Expert Insight into France's Era of Corporate Reputation Resilience
Corporate Reputation07 Dec, 2023
In the wake of unprecedented challenges, the corporate landscape in France is transforming — with resilience at its core. Our latest insight-packed report, "Seizing the Moment: France's Corporate Reputation Resilience," delves into this evolution, spotlighting the critical roles that holistic value, authentic engagement, and ethical conduct have in reshaping businesses' reputational trajectories.
Today's French stakeholders are vocal advocates for change, championing companies that don't just pursue profit but contribute positively to societal well-being. They demand transparency, seek sustainability, and value genuine dialogue — factors that form the bedrock of a robust and resilient corporate reputation.
A company’s reputation does not exist in a vacuum. Historically, RepTrak data has seen the correlation between economic trends and reputation dynamics — underscoring the nuanced interplay between a company's financial context and its public perception. In 2023, as inflation cools off, a reputation upswing is noted. And France is the sole major European market seeing a Reputation Score increase in 2023.
While this trend in reputation lends companies a great opportunity to re-engage with their stakeholders, it will be important to remember that this environment is not risk-free. Having a corporate reputation strategy (and a tool like RepTrak to monitor your reputation) will be important as you communicate with your audiences. Here are some key points to consider as you start planning for 2024 engagement:
Capability vs Character:
High scores in “capability” elements (Drivers like Performance, Products & Services, and Innovation) starkly contrast with lagging “character” measures (Workplace, Conduct, and Citizenship), despite the latter making up around 40% of a company’s reputation.
Protection of purchasing power and the planet:
Within the current landscape, two major public expectations emerge: providing affordable products and services and following through on robust environmental commitments. For both, authenticity and corporate integrity are vital to navigating reputational challenges like shrinkflation and greenwashing.
Stakeholder-driven channels and public sway:
What companies communicate about themselves is no doubt vital for a thriving corporate reputation. Yet, RepTrak data reveals that reputation influence is notably stronger via stakeholder-driven channels (meaning what other people are saying about companies), than with corporate-owned sources. Tuning into and leveraging organic public dialogue is crucial for a holistic approach to reputational management and capitalization of emerging opportunities.
Who is currently seizing the moment?
Case studies on Renault and Decathlon reveal that having an agile and multi-faceted reputation strategy, capable of catering to complex and sometimes competing stakeholder expectations, is crucial for a positive reputation. Within the current socio-economic environment, these two businesses exemplify how to meld social causes with core business activities, honoring commitments with concrete actions.
Ready to seize the moment?
This report is more than a compilation of statistics; it's a clarion call for companies to listen, learn, and lead with values. As we step into a new (and hopefully thriving) era of corporate reputation in France, the opportunity is ripe for businesses to forge deeper connections, build trust, and emerge as leaders in a society that values action over rhetoric.
Dive into the full report to explore these insights further and understand how your business can navigate the complexities of France's corporate reputation landscape to seize the moment.
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By Elif Guvencer
Elif Guvencer is a Vice President within RepTrak's EMEA Advisory team, and has been leading the reputation journey of some of RepTrak’s biggest accounts in the region. Elif has a deep understanding of corporate brand creation, communications, public affairs, and reputation management across global markets.