Trust. Big brands are headline news again. Scandals at Uber, the ignominious collapse of Carillion, the recent Facebook data breach and now the Google EU fine. Each has exposed a lack of corporate governance, the absence of responsibility or just basic greed. They also show the fragility of brand reputation. Many of these brands have been the fascination of the business world and the darlings of the marketing community. Consumers may have other feelings towards them.
Over the last ten years the world has seen the emergence of the tech giants to become the largest organisations on the planet. These companies were built on innovation, energy, the idealism typical of start-ups and captured the imagination of many but now they hold huge global influence.
Having transformed whole industries and disrupted the world maybe now they need a transformation strategy themselves – they have grown-up fast but are not mature and need to adapt their culture to the responsibility that goes with position they hold. Nobody, and no company, is perfect and all will make mistakes. How they handle turbulence and respond to a crisis will dictate whether they regain their customers’ confidence. Trust and integrity cannot be taken for granted and that hard-earned reputation can easily be lost. There’s a lot of work to be done and a few hastily produced TV commercials won’t fix it. There is no silver bullet, change is a continual process. This is not about a PR statement or an internal communications programme it’s about rediscovering the organisation’s sense of purpose, reinforcing values, hard-wiring behaviours and making sure change happens.
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