Apple has long had a stellar reputation for product quality and innovative vision—but has its recent focus on pleasing Wall Street come back to tarnish its overall strength as a brand? Samsung’s emergence as a stronger brand in a recent reputation-tracking study highlights the correlation between brand strength and overall corporate reputation—and consumer perceptions of those reputations, according to new analysis by Reputation Institute.
“When we released the 2016 U.S. RepTrak earlier this year, one of the most common questions we got was how can it be true that Samsung beat Apple so significantly?” said Stephen Hahn-Griffiths, vice president and managing director of the U.S. and Canada at Reputation Institute, in a news release. “What we found is that a big part of the answer lies in Samsung’s strong commitment to a brand purpose that guides its strategic decision-making.”
Samsung landed in the No. 3 spot on the 2016 U.S. RepTrak rankings with a Brand Strength score of 82.9 and an overall Pulse reputation score of 84.4. Apple ranked 153rd with a Brand Strength score of 75.2 and a Pulse score of 73.5.
“The correlation between brand strength and reputation is irrefutable,” Hahn-Griffiths said. “Corporations that perform well on the three triggers of brand strength—what they do, say and are—enjoy the benefits of enhanced reputation, which makes consumers more likely to buy from and buy into the company, and also inspires prospective employees to want to work for the company.”
The research shows that brand strength impacts reputation through perceptions of whether the company offers consistent delivery (what they do), sparks genuine dialogue (what they say) and conveys a unique persona (what they are). The better a company is on delivering a consistent experience, being genuine, and standing out from the crowd, the stronger the perceptions of brand—and resultantly, the stronger the emotional halo of reputation.
Why does Samsung have more corporate brand strength than Apple? Samsung has a better-integrated brand and corporate communications strategy that generates the benefits of a stronger corporate brand. Samsung delivers on the three aspects of brand strength, and also meets or exceeds expectations on all seven rational dimensions of reputation, which comprise products and services, innovation, workplace, governance, citizenship, leadership and financial performance.
By contrast, Apple focuses primarily on innovating new products and services, and on satisfying the financial performance needs of Wall Street.
Source: Reputation Institute; edited by Richard Carufel