WASHINGTON, D.C.—APCO Worldwide has launched the first in a series of studies using its Return on Reputation Indicator. The new outcome-focused methodological tool, developed by APCO Insight, the firm’s opinion research group, will help companies better understand, protect and increase their reputation equity.
Relying on quantitative research among nearly 10,000 respondents, the Return on Reputation Indicator, for the first time, measures the affect of overall reputation on a number of specific business outcomes, including consumer behavior, community activism, policy support, the litigation environment, financial value and employee retention and recruitment.
The initial study using the Return on Reputation Indicator surveyed the retail sector. In partnership with the Retail Industry Leaders Association, APCO surveyed key audiences to measure industry reputation against business outcomes and uncover the core drivers that define the reputation of retailers. The results reveal that with a one-point increase in the retail industry’s reputation:
· Annual spending by the average consumer increases $133 per year
· An additional 94,600 community activists actively and vocally advocate on behalf of the industry
· The proportion of policy-makers who support the retail industry on most proposals increases by nearly a percentage-point
· An additional six million Americans are likely to give the retail industry the benefit of the doubt when crises arise
· More than a half-million retail employees are likely to remain on the job
· Market capitalization increases 0.4 percent for the average retailer
The Return on Reputation Indicator also analyzes reputation across all key stakeholder groups, including consumers, community activists, policy-makers, investors and employees. The tool uncovers those drivers that are assets to a reputation as well as the opportunities that can improve a reputation most significantly.
“APCO’s Return on Reputation Indicator proves a conclusion we’ve long assumed to be true, that reputation directly shapes consumer spending, employee tenure, community support and shareholder value,” said Kraus. “Meeting the ever-growing expectations of stakeholders is much more than a moral responsibility: it’s a business imperative.”
“Our reputation is arguably our industry’s most important asset,” said RILA President Sandy Kennedy. “We can no longer simply respond to challenges and issues when they arise. We must work to build a reservoir of goodwill that allows us to engage our stakeholders more effectively and productively over time.”
APCO Insight plans to use the Return on Reputation Indicator tool to survey additional industries.