To succeed in a fast-moving, dynamic market—especially in the online era—means building trust and building it fast. There are two sides to an organisation as far as those looking to engage with companies that are credible, that have earned excellent reputations.

First of all, customers want to engage with reputable organisations. They exchange their hard-earned cash in return for goods and services they trust won’t let them down. And in most cases, they’re prepared to pay a premium for their loyalty.

Secondly, employees want to work for reputable companies. A survey by reed.co.uk, one of the UK’s leading websites for graduate jobs, found that a company’s reputation counts most for prospective employees:

“Virgin, BBC, Google, Apple, NHS and John Lewis all made prominent appearances on the survey’s list of most desired organisations to work for. Not surprisingly, they all offer products that most would either want or they would be happy to shop there.”

Commenting on the survey results, a spokesperson for reed.co.uk said: “Whether it’s the smartphone in our pocket or our favourite department store, the brands we admire the most are also the ones we’d most like to work for.”

The same applies to smaller organisations. They too must attract and retain high-paying customers. They too must attract and retain high-quality employees.

How can they (we!) achieve this lofty goal of high trust through reputation and credibility on a shoe string? It all starts at the very top of the organisation. What the owners or senior management team determine is important will filter down to the employees and out to customers. Wittingly or unwittingly, they set the agenda and instil the basics of their organisation’s culture.

So the answer to the question on how to build a reputation on a budget is to start at the top of the organisation—to take stock of its values, attitudes, traits, and ambitions and ensure they’re compatible with delivering long-term customer and employee retention.

Click here to read the reed.co.uk press release.

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