While consumers demand transparency from corporations, a new online reputation study conducted by mindswarms uncovered a double standard when it comes to managing their personal reputation. So, what accounts for this discrepancy? We dug deep to discover the truth.
To understand how the notion of online reputation has impacted consumer behavior on two axes: how they consume content related to reputation, and how they think about their own reputation.
National US sample
17 states, 27 cities
Even Male/Female ratio
Mix of ethnicities
Mix of socio-economic backgrounds
Consumers expect transparency from corporations, but their behaviors show that they hold themselves to a different bar of “honesty.”
My expectations: Corporate brands:
My behaviors: “My” brands
Three emerging consumer “recognitions” have led to this double standard
1. They acknowledge the permanence of their online actions.
2. They increasingly realize their brand reputations can be tracked as carefully as corporate brands.
3. They know they can now take active steps to “manage” their personal brands online
1. Higher level of consciousness about the permanence of their actions online.
2. Increasingly realize personal online reputation may be tracked as easily as corporate reputations
3. Expecting complete transparency from corporate brand v.s. actively varnishing their own reputations.
04. But when it comes to their online reputation, consumers, like corporations, recognize the importance of a positive “brand standing” to their overall success, with honesty and transparency a much lower priority.