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What Is Your Reputation Worth?

In the long run, the only thing you have to sell is your reputation. Your product lines may change, your location may change, some of your customers may change or move away, but your reputation or brand stays with you, for good or bad.

Unfortunately bad reputations or bad word of mouth capture more attention and are more likely to go viral than good word of mouth.

In 1980, the Audi 5000 was reported to accelerate spontaneously without driver involvement. Audi paid little attention to the bad publicity, asserting that drivers were at fault for the alleged problem.

Audi sales in the U.S. plummeted from nearly 75,000 to 12,000 cars in the U.S. in the wake of the issue. Audi was ultimately vindicated by the National Highway Safety Administration ruled that driver error did in fact cause the problem.

But the NHTSA ruling received little attention – bad news gets more attention than good news.

It took Audi more than 12 years for Audi to get sales back up to the 75,000 level.

Your reputation can build, or destroy, your sales.