Building corporate reputation: 3 key learnings

Brands today must balance the viewpoints of a complex array of stakeholders that have the power to impact brand reputation, and as a result, business growth.

Aviva’s Group Reputation & Brand Governance Director, Raj Kumar, recently spoke on stage at Kantar Talks to share how reputation became an important measure of success for the business and the steps Aviva has taken to actively manage their reputation.

1.Reputation starts from the inside out

Raj stresses that all stakeholders are now connected and interact at a higher level than ever before. This means your reputation could be tarnished or built up by anyone connected to your brand, internally or externally. It’s imperative to keep customers happy, but reputation is about the experience of all stakeholders that interact with Aviva.

For this reason, it is about the actions of all employees across Aviva, not just one single department. The actions of the employees are based on the culture at Aviva, therefore when looking at building reputation, Aviva work inside out, starting with employee happiness and satisfaction first.

2.Research is the foundation

Research allows you to talk on a level footing with the stakeholders inside the company. You must understand all the stakeholders to influence change. Raj highlights that he can’t go to his marketing departments and say they are doing something wrong if he doesn’t understand the customer, or he can’t tell the sales director what to do when he doesn’t know the needs of the brokers they oversee.

Whilst corporate affairs, marketing and operations teams all talk about stakeholders in silos, reputation allows you to bring it all together in one place and understand what to focus on as a company. That is where you need to bring in research and insight.

3.Building, not just protecting

Reputation is not about stopping things, it’s about starting things and building things. Building trust is a key driver to building reputation and trust is built by actions, not words. Raj discusses the two ways of understanding trust.

One way is the activities that build trust, and how Aviva build relationships across its customer base. The more information it has on the database about the customer, the more they can customise communications, offers and propositions. This personalised customer experience builds another layer of trust.

The other way is through moments of truth. When a customer makes a claim, Aviva are working one-on-one with them. Raj mentions the need to make it easy for them and to offer a level of certainty that Aviva will pay out, which in turn will increase trust in Aviva as an insurer.

Aviva paid out £33 billion in claims last year which covered 99% of claims. The website provides information on situations that don’t result in a claim being paid out, so customers see a level of transparency.

Discover the rest of the content from the Kantar Talks event.

Get in touch to find out more about how to actively manage your reputation:

Anna Salter, Director

+44 (0) 20 7264 6390

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