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Ian Louden, head of brand at ArcelorMittal, explores the relationship between brand and reputation. He suggests that now, more than ever, the brand that matters is the one that lives in the heads of stakeholders, not the one that the CEO or brand manager dreams of having.
Today, what stakeholders think about companies, in both their minds and hearts, can make the difference between advocacy and preference or opposition and rejection. Great brands – the kind for which stakeholders give the benefit of the doubt when a crisis comes – are earned as a consequence of the company’s actions and behaviours.