There are major national variations in how the public perceives the same companies and brands, with respondents in China and India rating them far more favorably than people in North America or Europe, according to a new global study.
Findings from MSL Group’s Reputation Impact Indicator report show that respondents in India provided an average reputation core score of 79 across all companies, while the Swedish respondents provided the lowest average of 51. In China the score was 75.
At an individual company level, the study findings also point to the likelihood of enjoying a markedly different reputation from country to country, even if a company has high brand awareness in each.
For example, GlaxoSmithKline has a reputation core score between 81 and 42 points with the highest being in India and the lowest in Sweden. Similarly, HSBC’s score varies from 78 points in China to 45 in Sweden.
MSL’s Asia president Glenn Osaki said the implication for global brands was clear; they had to adopt locally focused communications and reputation strategies: “Brands are global, corporate reputation is local. There are large variances in the reputation of individual companies at a country level. The differences observed between ‘the old world’ and ‘the new world’ underline the need for a finely-tuned reputation strategy. Brands should avoid a standardized global definition of reputation, but attend to each individual market with insight and care.”