Venture Capitalists Face the Reputation Economy

Last week the New York Timesexplored the recent public relations and marketing boom among venture capital firms. In the past top firms have “operated under levels of secrecy typically reserved for Swiss banks,” Nicole Perlroth writes, but with fewer active firms, meager investor returns and increased accessibility the tables have turned in the world of venture capitalism. “Ten years ago, entrepreneurs needed some kind of insider advantage to get a meeting with a firm,” Perlroth explains. “Now the most promising entrepreneurs do careful due diligence — on Twitter, in blogs and in the media — before agreeing to take coffee with a V.C. The best entrepreneurs are courted by the venture capitalists, not the other way around.” [Read more…]

Building a Reputation- Volkswagen’s Long, Winding Road

With Volkswagen claiming the top auto industry spot in Fortune’s annual World’s Most Admired Companies list and The Economist highlighting the Germany automaker’s global ascent, it’s worth taking a look at the tremendous shifts in reputation the company has experienced over the course of its 75-year history.

An Unlikely Origin

It’s hard to imagine today, but VW began as a state-supported operation in Nazi Germany. While Hitler heralded the Beetle as an affordable “people’s car” (in German, volkswagen), VW’s early years did not live up to that reputation. “Only 630 Beetles were made there during World War II—and distributed to the privileged,” according to Der Spiegel. [Read more…]

Ralph Lauren’s Olympic Uniforms

Ralph Lauren is facing an uproar after it became publicly known that it outsourced the manufacture of the U.S. Olympic Team’s uniforms to China.

The U.S. uniforms in many prior Olympics had been manufactured overseas, as reported by the New York Times. But when the patriotism associated with that event meets a brand with such an all-American image, perceptions change. [Read more…]

A New Guiding Vision for Yahoo

Marissa Mayer

After Scott Thompson’s abrupt departure from Yahoo, ex-Google executive Marissa Mayer has been named the new CEO.  Mayer is now the company’s best chance to arrest its precipitous slide from dominance—she was in fact behind many of the changes at Google that has earned it its leadership position, including working for 11 years to perfect its search engine. [Read more…]

Anderson Cooper’s Deft Reputation Management

Anderson CooperEarlier this month CNN’s Anderson Cooper revealed that he is gay in a letter to The Daily Beast’s Andrew Sullivan. According to the Huffington Post, Cooper’s decision to officially come out followed “a long discussion with his team making sure he wasn’t committing career suicide.” With rumors that Cooper may soon marry, that letter could be part of a larger plan to open up about his personal life while closely managing the tone and context of that revelation. [Read more…]

Dollars & Sense: The Shareholder Value of Reputation

Major companies currently owe an average of 26% of their market capitalization to their reputations, according to this new study from Echo Research. Looking at around 700 companies in the United States and United Kingdom, the study highlights the considerable impact that reputation can have on shareholder value. [Read more…]

Rachel Botsman’s Reputation Revolution: Trust Trumps All

Last week at the annual TEDGlobal conference in the Edinburgh, Scotland, social innovator and technology consultant Rachel Botsman posed this question: “If someone asked you for the three words that would sum up your reputation, what would you say?”

Botsman imagines a time where you won’t need to answer with a traditional “elevator pitch,” or even a list of references or credentials. Instead, she sees “a future in which resumes and even credit scores are irrelevant, replaced by an aggregated digital reputation based on our interactions in the collaborative economy,” according to Mashable.

[Read more…]

Barclay’s Crisis

With News Corp’s hacking scandal still percolating through the news and legal system, another totemic British company is facing a reputational crisis—though the response from the two companies could not have been more different.

At the end of last week Barclays was hit with a fine for fixing the LIBOR rate. Rupert Murdoch’s counterpart at the bank, Chairman [Read more…]