Branding and reputation management activities are much like two sides of the same coin, representing different aspects of corporate positioning yet inseparable at the same time. This connection is such that if a brand suffers, its reputation is going to go along with it, and vice versa, with this correlation being fairly tight despite that fact that the two terms address different relationships between a business and its customers. 

Generally speaking, branding activities are purposed toward shaping the way that a business existing customers as well as its broader target market connect to the company, its products, and its services. The sum of these connections measures the satisfaction level of the customer experience, which in turn defines the strength of the brand.

Reputation management, on the other hand, is purposed toward building customer relationships by being a solid corporate citizen. In terms of reputation management focus and actions, growing percentages of both are being directed toward social networks where adding value and accessibility for the community can enhance a businesss reputation as a solid member of the network. 

Between brand perception and reputation management, branding is generally the less volatile of the two in terms of changes in the ways that customers perceive the business and its products/services. In fact, a company that has built a strong brand can usually maintain strong customer loyalty despite problematic product issues. For example, the failed map application on Apples iPhone has generally been forgiven and forgotten due to the extreme level of loyalty expressed by the companys customer base.

Reputation management operates in a far more fluid environment where a comment made in an obscure interview, for example, can ignite a tidal wave of negative sentiment based on the perception that a companys culture or policies are not those of a good corporate citizen. In these types of situations, the issue that ends up damaging a company isnt related to customer experience but the feeling of a significant amount of customers that they just dont want to do business with a company that doesnt reflect their values. 

While branding and reputation management carry different definitions, the practices have direct and correlated relationship. To summarize, a successful company will need to pay attention to both sides of this coin to optimize trustworthiness and accountability with existing and potential customers.

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