Submitted by World Economic Forum
The World Economic Forum sent a survey in December to all 1,500 participants to the 34th Annual Meeting currently under way in Davos, Switzerland. About 10% of the participants (132 respondents), whose membership is primarily drawn from the world’s 1,000 leading global companies, responded. This “Voice of the Leaders Survey” was released today by the World Economic Forum and Fleishman-Hillard International Communications. It reveals fresh insights into the issues that concern top business leaders.
“The reputation of a company and its products used to be regarded as an intangible asset that was very hard to quantify,” said John Graham, Fleishman-Hillard’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “Now it is clear that reputation is a vital component of a company’s value and it is becoming a key measure of a company’s performance.”
Three-fifths (59%) of the survey respondents estimated that corporate brand or reputation represents more than 40% of a company’s market capitalization. And more than 77% believe that reputation has become more important over the last two years.
“Clearly, the recent wave of corporate scandals has made CEOs reappraise the importance they attach to their corporate brand,” added Graham. “One of the results of this reappraisal is that business leaders no longer regard traditional financial measures as the ultimate indicator of a company’s success.”
Ninety-two percent of corporate survey respondents (103 leaders) perceive reputation as important to their corporate strategy and 24% rated corporate reputation as the most important measure of success. That answer was followed by profitability (17%), return on investment (13%), sustainability (6%), and stock market performance (5%). Survey respondents named only the quality of products or services (27%) more often than corporate reputation as the leading success measure.
Among the survey’s other findings:
The survey of leaders’ opinions follows a separate complimentary survey released last week carried out exclusively for the World Economic Forum by Gallup International in advance of the Forum’s Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland. The results of the “Voice of the People” survey, were based on almost 43,000 interviews from 51 countries, and represented the views of more than 1.1 billion global citizens. The questions concerned different aspects of prosperity and security.
Among the findings: half of those interviewed (48%) across the world think the next generation will live in a less safe world. In Western Europe this figure rises to almost two-thirds (64%). But in West Asia (Afghanistan, India and Pakistan) – three countries with turbulent backgrounds – people are more optimistic about the next generation and half those questioned feel the world will be a safer place for them. The survey also found that people feel their country’s economic position is worse now than it was ten years ago.
For the full text on BOTH reports and executive surveys, please visit the World Economic Forum’s website at http://www.weforum.org/securitysurvey
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