UPFRONT Reputably branded

Brands rule, the customer is king, CEOs are the prime custodians of corporate virtue, and NGO criticism holds no fears.
This is corporate China as seen through the lens of Corporate Reputation Watch survey which was sponsored by Hill & Knowlton and specifically targeted Chinese business executives. It found that the majority (89 percent) rated corporate reputation highly – particularly in relation to building business brand.
Three quarters of the 122 business leaders polled said brand-building was the most important business outcome from their company’s corporate reputation and it was rated by the majority (84 percent) as the most important achievement for corporate social responsibility (CSR).
Compared to their Western counterparts, Chinese CEOs don’t really rate their boards of directors – only just over quarter thought their boards of directors were doing good job and most (75 percent) believe the CEO rather than board carries primary responsibility for corporate reputation and for CSR initiatives.
And while Western companies quail at the thought of criticism from financial analysts or NGOs, Chinese CEOs rate their impact as negligible – NGO criticism earned mere five percent threat rating, possibly because they take lower-key role in China, the report suggests.
Instead the main threats to corporate reputation were seen as coming from customer criticism or product/service problems and customers are ranked the most critical external force on corporate reputation.
This recognition that the customer is king will help make Chinese companies strong competitors in global markets, according to Hill & Knowlton.

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