Financial Services Firms Likely to Improve Positive Communications in 2010

Large marketers in the U.S. must be doing something right. For the first time in 4 years, the number of consumers who said that corporate America has a good reputation rose in 2009. The annual Reputation Quotient survey conducted by Harris Interactive reveals key data about which industries need improvement in the eyes of U.S. consumers. The top-level data shows that 18% of consumers believe corporate America has a good reputation and 81% believe it has a not good/terrible reputation. (That’s a drop from 88% in 2008.)

The industries showing the most improvement include:

  • Retail +9%
  • Automotive +9%
  • Manufacturing +2%

The only industry to show a decline in reputation in 2009 was pharmaceutical which saw a 2% drop.

According to the analysis accompanying the report, consumers are more likely to recommend a company or invest in a company when it enjoys a good reputation. And consumers are also more like to buy goods and services, especially CPGs,  from companies with solid reputations. Not surprisingly, most consumers were still avoiding financial services companies in 2009.

Consumers also pay attention to corporate communications and a company’s reputation is most closely correlated with sincere communications (.85) and accurate information (.83). In addition, when it comes to highly visible companies, those who use ‘easily recognizable’ communication formats enjoy the best average positive rating (65%).

The bottom line from this study is that more financial services and pharmaceutical firms may be increasing consumer communications and using sincere, accurate and recognizable messages to repair their  damaged reputations in 2010.

[Source: The Annual RQ 2009 Summary Report. Harris Interactive. April 2010. Web. 12 Apr. 2010]

Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.