When you are in business reputation is more important than ever before. If you think that being pleasant with people at fancy dinners is the extent of the effort exerted by the rich and powerful to keep their names in good standing, you would be very wrong. Companies spend billions of dollars annually to keep their reputation positive and yet even after all of this sometimes they still don’t come out on top. Some of the biggest companies in fact have some of the worst reputations, which makes you wonder how important a good name is if you have a corner on the market, but if everyone who uses your product has a fragile relationship with you there are plenty of things that can go wrong from there. Luckily failures can be learned from and here are some lessons we can learn from the big companies with bad reps.
Thanks to an unending stream of violations with user information, Facebook has garnered quite the negative rep recently. With its creator Mark Zuckerberg giving a less than helpful appearance in court to support his multibillion dollar baby, it hasn’t got much better. Though it may seem backwards that people who willingly put all their information online for everyone to see are a little worried about secrecy, selling off info to ad companies and possibly worse is not really a good move. The lesson here is not to exploit user data, but on a broader scale be transparent with your intentions and it wont come back to bite you later on.
The Trump Organisation
It probably wouldn’t be a stretch to call the current President of the United States the most disliked man on the planet. From bigoted remarks that involve vulgar sexist comments to unquestionable racism, Donald Trump has a lengthy list of actions that would do harm to anyone’s reputation. His company unsurprisingly has taken hits as a result, though you might think becoming a world leader would be a huge positive, word of mouth and overall likeability clearly outweighs this privilege. The takeaway here is not just, don’t be hateful but really pick a good head of company and don’t let them get tied up in other public activities, like for example politics.
Known as Electronic Arts or EA games, this company has been one of the most disliked names in the game industry for the past few years now. From their incessant use of microtransactions to openly money grab from players who have already purchased games, to churning out virtually the same game with a new name each year (FIFA, Madden, NHL), they really aren’t doing themselves any favors. The worst thing about EA is that their fans are very vocal about these flaws and yet their willingness to amend them is generally absent, leaving players disgruntled to say the least. What we can learn from EA is a vital rule to live by in business which is listen and at least try to appease the consumer. Secondly if you do have a system that maximises your profit with little effort, don’t overuse it and don’t make it so easy to detect.