What You Need To Know About Reputation

How your brand is determined by the interconnection between reputation, ethos, credibility and fame? You'll find this guide as reference for the matter.

Reputation Matters, What You Need To Know About Reputation , Esra Koc, Pirimo

In recent years, brand has become a buzzword—so let's return to the basics. When you want to curate your image as a company or individual, you work on your brand. Your brand is designed to enable your target audience to relate to your message. It can incorporate your passions, interests, characteristics, values, and strengths. Essentially, your brand is the thing that comes to mind when people see your product or read your name.

Fame, on the other hand, is awareness: people may know who you are but might not know anything about you. It's a form of celebrity. You might be famous for your work, talent, or association with a particular social group. It's an organic, largely unmanaged image, akin to a viral video, where imagery becomes popularized without further context.

Can you do what you say you can do? Are you reliable?

Credibility is determined by outsiders and earned through experience and expertise. It is often associated with a well-managed brand and reflects what others collectively think of your abilities. It evolves based on your perceived commitment to three pillars: expertise, trustworthiness, and goodwill. 

Each progressive stage of interaction with a person or company is represented by distinct credibility types: initial credibility, transactional credibility, and end credibility. All hold the potential to build or damage one's reputation. Credibility is a complicated quality pondered by philosophers since the days of Aristotle.

The ancients considered ethos as an equally crucial element in building perception. Essentially, ethos is about character: your core values and identity. It incorporates qualities such as reputation, expertise, credibility, and accomplishments. You may have both a professional ethos and a separate personal ethos (being a parent or caregiver, for example) and present yourself differently depending on the circumstance.

To be persuasive, Aristotle noted, you must be able to communicate your ethos effectively: logos (critical thinking and judgment), pathos (empathy and fairness), and kairos (patience and opportune timing).
Authentic change can only happen when you're honest with yourself. The self-awareness and maturity needed to establish a professional ethos can be uncomfortable, but it's essential to personal growth.

While you have some control over your brand, your reputation is decided by those around you. This can be a good or bad thing, but it's essentially the totality of all your interactions as seen and perceived by others.

The harsh truth about reputation is that it's what people say about you when you're not in the room. Your reputation differs from everything we've covered but is linked with each element. Reputation is how others see you based on their interactions with you or their perception of you based on someone else's interaction with you.

Can you control your reputation? Not directly. Reputation management, however, is a proactive (rather than reactive) approach to protecting and improving your reputation. The objective of reputation management is to influence perceptions.

What is the difference between brand, credibility, ethos, fame, and reputation?

Defining and understanding all of these terms isn't enough. How do they differ? Which matters when looking at your personal or professional image? Although brand, credibility, ethos, fame, and reputation are interconnected, they are not the same.

For example, consider brand and reputation: Your brand is what people recognize about you: your qualities, values, and strengths. You can hire a professional to help develop and manage your brand. However, reputation cannot be bought. Reputation must be earned, and that's not always easy. Reputation must be cultivated, and that takes time. Fortunately, though it can't be curated like a brand, you can still influence your reputation.

While reputation is more about personal interactions, fame is about public opinion. Fame can be fleeting; reputation can follow you around for years. Both can be good or bad.

Credibility looks more at what others believe you can do, while reputation is an effect of past behaviors. You can see how these are very similar but not precisely the same. Both influence how you're viewed and take a lot of time and hard work to build up—and both can be lost if you're not careful.

Understanding and managing your reputation may initially seem complex, but it's essential to achieving your objectives and well worth the time and effort to safeguard your personal and professional image.

In the next section, we'll explore why ignoring your reputation can prove perilous.


Esra KOC
Business Executive on Corporate Communications | Public Relations Executive | Publicist
Esra Koc can be reached at [email protected].