Executive Briefings

Make Supply Chain Strategy Part of Your Corporate Brand Strategy

Analyst Insight: Consumer perceptions of a company's supply chain have a big impact on how consumers feel about a company and its corporate brand. Research provides insight into how supply chain reputation impacts the overall corporate reputation and how supply chain strategies can be used to boost consumer perceptions of corporate brands. - Viktoria Sadlovska, Research Director, Reputation Institute

Make Supply Chain Strategy Part of Your Corporate Brand Strategy

How do consumers perceive your corporate brand? Reputation Institute’s unique reputation measurement model - RepTrak - helps to uncover how people feel about your company in general and the way your corporate brand presents itself to the world. For instance, Reputation Institute's data shows that in 2015, 65 percent of U.S. general public respondents strongly agree that Apple is an “imaginative, up-to-date, exciting, and innovative” company. At the same time, only 54 percent of respondents think the same about Dell, and just 37 percent about ACER.

What is the role of supply chain management in shaping public perceptions of your corporate brand? If a company wants to be viewed as innovative and imaginative, its product development process must enable it to generate and productize new ideas quickly, making it the first to market with groundbreaking innovations that benefit consumers. Suppliers must be secured and the manufacturing process planned effectively to support bringing those innovations to market in a timely manner. Any misstep - such as a delay in expected new product release - and your company risks diminishing its reputation for innovativeness and industry leadership.

One of the major areas where supply chain impacts the way consumers view your corporate brand is sustainability and corporate social responsibility. When a company’s supply chain has a good reputation for CSR - i.e., consumers view it as ethical, socially inclusive, environmentally friendly, and respectful of human rights and local communities - that reputation has a major positive impact on your corporate brand’s CSR profile.

In 2015, Levi Strauss & Co. was among the top-ranked companies in Reputation Institute’s U.S. CSR RepTrak – a ranking of top companies based on U.S. consumer perceptions of their CSR. Levi’s is known for its strong focus on supply chain sustainability, with significant emphasis on waste reduction and resource conservation (Waste Less and Water Less initiatives), as well as its supply-chain-focused social justice initiatives. When it comes to corporate brands, companies that are better known for supply chain sustainability and CSR see those achievements translate into improved CSR reputation and a bolstered CSR profile for their corporate brand.

The Outlook

How much does supply chain reputation matter? Reputation Institute’s research reveals that in the U.S. market, over 40 percent of the overall corporate reputation is driven by consumer perceptions of corporate Governance, Citizenship, and Workplace, with another 30 percent being driven by a company’s Products/Services and Innovation. A company’s supply chain has a direct impact on all of these reputation dimensions. A strategic approach to supply chain management enables a company to effectively utilize supply chain strategies to bolster its reputation and shape the perceptions of its corporate brand.

How do consumers perceive your corporate brand? Reputation Institute’s unique reputation measurement model - RepTrak - helps to uncover how people feel about your company in general and the way your corporate brand presents itself to the world. For instance, Reputation Institute's data shows that in 2015, 65 percent of U.S. general public respondents strongly agree that Apple is an “imaginative, up-to-date, exciting, and innovative” company. At the same time, only 54 percent of respondents think the same about Dell, and just 37 percent about ACER.

What is the role of supply chain management in shaping public perceptions of your corporate brand? If a company wants to be viewed as innovative and imaginative, its product development process must enable it to generate and productize new ideas quickly, making it the first to market with groundbreaking innovations that benefit consumers. Suppliers must be secured and the manufacturing process planned effectively to support bringing those innovations to market in a timely manner. Any misstep - such as a delay in expected new product release - and your company risks diminishing its reputation for innovativeness and industry leadership.

One of the major areas where supply chain impacts the way consumers view your corporate brand is sustainability and corporate social responsibility. When a company’s supply chain has a good reputation for CSR - i.e., consumers view it as ethical, socially inclusive, environmentally friendly, and respectful of human rights and local communities - that reputation has a major positive impact on your corporate brand’s CSR profile.

In 2015, Levi Strauss & Co. was among the top-ranked companies in Reputation Institute’s U.S. CSR RepTrak – a ranking of top companies based on U.S. consumer perceptions of their CSR. Levi’s is known for its strong focus on supply chain sustainability, with significant emphasis on waste reduction and resource conservation (Waste Less and Water Less initiatives), as well as its supply-chain-focused social justice initiatives. When it comes to corporate brands, companies that are better known for supply chain sustainability and CSR see those achievements translate into improved CSR reputation and a bolstered CSR profile for their corporate brand.

The Outlook

How much does supply chain reputation matter? Reputation Institute’s research reveals that in the U.S. market, over 40 percent of the overall corporate reputation is driven by consumer perceptions of corporate Governance, Citizenship, and Workplace, with another 30 percent being driven by a company’s Products/Services and Innovation. A company’s supply chain has a direct impact on all of these reputation dimensions. A strategic approach to supply chain management enables a company to effectively utilize supply chain strategies to bolster its reputation and shape the perceptions of its corporate brand.

Make Supply Chain Strategy Part of Your Corporate Brand Strategy