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Fame & Fortune: How Successful Companies Build Winning Reputations by Cees B.M. van Riel, Charles J. Fombrun

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Chapter 7. Be Distinctive

A hallmark of the best-regarded companies is their distinctiveness. Whether viewed from inside or out, from top to bottom, across media channels, or comparing their actions and communications, the high RQ companies seem to distinguish themselves successfully from rivals: They stand for something. In large part, they do this by building their reputations around a “core reputation platform”—one that speaks to all stakeholders and tells them a story. Although, over time, a company may tell multiple stories to its stakeholders, the best-regarded companies tell stories that are rooted in a core reputation platform.

Sony is a company that has many stories to tell. Often the stories involve successful products like portable radios, ...

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