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Did you know that approximately 80% of South Africans base their shopping decisions on the good reputation of a company? We shine a spotlight on business reputations at the Virtual Awards, which will be hosted in Johannesburg on 11 November 2021. The reputation index compiled by Top Companies South Africa (TCSA) provides a comprehensive rating of South Africa’s most reputable businesses. By participating in the awards you may learn how pharmaceutical retail sector businesses stand out in terms of familiarity and reputation. A company can acquire a report that is tailored to their needs; businesses in the Fast-Moving Consumer Goods (Personal Care) category have higher reputation scores. Perhaps surprisingly, businesses in the Financial Services: Short Term Insurance industry have relatively lower reputation scores.

The customised report provides detailed insights into the research findings. The report will reveal that boycott behaviour, or customers’ predisposition to avoid buying from companies with a bad reputation, is significantly high. The report will further show how nearly half of South Africans believe businesses are not doing enough to address the problems they face in society. There is an expectation that the corporate world should not isolate itself from society by not paying attention to daily concerns.

TCSA asserts that brand management and business reputation management are not the same thing. The opinions of stakeholders about a company’s reputation are crucial. Much attention is spent on the more short-term operational aspects of a brand, and insufficient time on longer-term reputation. The TCSA awards offer a gateway to an understanding and the management of reputations.

Consumers have nearly unlimited access to information about companies and can share such information with their peers across the world, making reputation management an important element in safeguarding the wellbeing of the corporate brand.

The TCSA Reputation Index was created with the goal of identifying the factors that influence a company’s reputation, and thus its long-term viability and profitability. Companies can manage their reputation, but they can’t always control or predict it. Customers, suppliers, and other stakeholders have control over it. The 2021 TCSA study had over 2 600 participants and rated about 200 companies.

Sifiso Falala, CEO of Plus 94 Research, says, “The Covid-19 pandemic has changed the business landscape and forced companies to relook their brand and reputation strategies. We have seen customers, potential partners and employees demanding more from businesses, and wanting to be associated with more conscientious companies that have great reputations. Coupled with that, in the age of social media and online customer review sites, reputation management has never been more complex. This survey gives companies and organisations the opportunity to showcase the strides they have achieved in effectively managing their brands and reputations, and provides a platform for them to also identify gaps and establish areas of improvement.”

Nthabiseng Mokake, MD of Media Torque and Events, says, “We need to distinguish between a good reputation and public relations. Reputation refers to what you do and not what you say. Countless studies have shown that an impeccable reputation is not only a nice to have, but a business imperative that helps to attract more business opportunities, creates greater revenues, attracts sought-after employees and more customers.”

She said, in the age of smartphones and COVID-19, business reputation management refocuses and strengthens corporate control. COVID-19 has had a broad-reaching impact on the industry, extending beyond traditional catastrophic risks. It was a truly one-of-a-kind “black swan” event that will transform the way businesses are conducted for years to come.

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