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What it takes to write a corporate reputation hit with Joan Jett, Donna Summer, and Taylor Swift.

Corporate Reputation07 Jul, 2022

Climbing the corporate reputation charts

There’s another reputation hit just waiting to be written, and the fans want it from you. Whether you’re just getting started or have been at the top of the charts for years, audiences have an opinion on your company, how it operates, and what it offers—and it’s constantly changing. Reputation is universal. Everyone has one, but it’s what you do with it that can send you to the Grammys or make you forgotten a one-hit wonder. We’re operating under a stakeholder economy, meaning that the fans (or haters) get to decide what makes or breaks your organization.  

Stakeholders vs. Shareholders

Building (and maintaining) a strong corporate reputation can be a tumultuous journey with so many voices always calling for your action and attention. Amongst those voices, there’s a lot of advice out there, good and bad, about what to do with that reputation. We picked out three fan-favorites from music royalty that will help create a big picture and get you on your way to reputation superstardom.   

Opening Act: Joan Jett and her bad reputation  

I don’t give a damn bout’ my bad reputation.

Bad Reputation 1980

Oh, Joan! Haven’t we gone over this in our Ultimate Reputation Guide? Reputation encompasses how stakeholders feel, think, and act—a good reputation has its benefits, while a bad reputation comes with consequences. 

A bad reputation can lead to revenue loss and loss of confidence in your organization. And businesses have taken notice: 79% of business leaders are at the mid-stage of discovering, activating, or expanding their understanding of reputation.

Reputation data graphic 1

We get it. Reputation is usually thought of as an intangible concept, making it hard to know where to begin for improvement and management. It’s amorphous in nature, however, our measurable data shows it’s universally recognized and accepted for its value. Here at RepTrak, we’re making reputation accessible—because we actually track it. Unlike Joan, at RepTrak, we’d recommend that you give a damn about your reputation. Giving a damn, and knowing where to focus your efforts, makes a difference. 

RepTrak reputation wheel asset
So why should I care about a bad reputation anyway?

Take it away, Donna.  

“Your reputation follows you wherever you go. Don't get a bad reputation. Your reputation can't be bought, it can't be sold.”

Donna Summers Bad Reputation

You’re hitting all the right notes, Donna. Your reputation can’t be bought or sold... especially when it comes to the younger generations. Certain stakeholders are making a big splash when it comes to showing off their growing purchasing power. This year’s Global RepTrak 100 Report included new insights into how different generations are impacting reputation.  

Global Reputation Scores by Generation

Gen Z has particularly high standards in what they expect from their star brands, and our data found that those brands aren’t as effective in meeting them as they are with older generations. RepTrak’s 2022 GRT data demonstrated Gen Z data consistently ranked lower than older generations, warning that this has the potential to become a lasting trend if organizations try to wiggle their way out of real action and effective communication. Product value is important, but these young fans want dynamic companies they can feel good about purchasing from.  

Sing the RepTrak motto with us, Donna.

RepTrak motto graphic

Taylor, bring us home.   

Are you ready for it?

Reputation Taylor graphic

Technically, this hails from Taylor’s Reputation album, but her message is consistent. Stakeholders get smarter all the time and will put your name in red if they don’t know what you’re up to or don’t like what they’re seeing. Taylor Swift’s entire album helps illustrate the point that a reputation can easily be built for you—positively or negatively.  

If you want stakeholders, future employees, and customers from all generations to sing your praises, you must communicate your efforts to the public. Our Ultimate ESG Guide shared that Global ESG Scores saw a 0.8-point YoY decrease from 2021 to 2022, with individual Environmental, Social, and Governance Scores all decreasing. And ESG weighs heavily in the hands of both friends and foes:  

ESG data graphic 2
Look what you made them do graphic
ESG2 graphic data

The medical, social, and environmental conflict of 2020 prompted deliberate responses from organizations who “promised to do better” in 2021 with the posting of black squares on Instagram and random tweets about sustainability. But as our guide points out, 2022 was the time to fulfill those promises, and those same organizations came up short. Consumers remembered those empty statements, and adjusted perceptions accordingly.  


With Joan, Donna, Taylor, and of course RepTrak, by your side, you’ve no doubt got a reputation hit on your hands. But remember, improving and maintaining a good reputation is a constant journey that works in tandem with both our data and your audiences. Just like a superstar always has a fanbase to sing and answer to, you do as well.  

Give yourself a big round of applause! You’re on your way.   


Welcome to the stage, RepTrak!  

We’re in the business of reputation. Our advanced reputation tracking platform is always-on, constantly monitoring reputation data on more than 5,000 companies worldwide. Our reputation database combines and analyzes millions of perception and sentiment data points from online surveys, media, and third-party sources, so you can confidently compare and understand your reputation within industries and across geographies. With millions of campaign possibilities to support reputation efforts, there are still major gaps in success metrics that prevent corporate communications like yours from making data driven decisions. We can help.  

Our data will help you prioritize your campaign spend to where it matters most to your employees, customers, and prospects. But we don’t stop at the data. No star can write a reputation hit all alone, our clients work with in-house experts with strategic guidance to improve and protect your corporate reputation. We want the fans to love you as much as we do, visit to schedule your demo today.  

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