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Diversify… or die

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“We launched Reputica in June 2007 as a dashboard service that measured a company’s reputation. This is done through reading and interpreting different sources of data, both online and offline, and then formulating a reputation score by applying a standard set of variables,” explains Jordan, who co-founded the company.

“I remember that the day after we took Reputica to market, we got a phone call from one of the big investment banks saying, ‘We need this and our analysts are going to love it because it gives them a bit of early warning with what’s going on with stocks we’re monitoring’. But I felt that the dashboard service didn’t provide utility in the way investments banks needed,” recalls Jordan.

Jordan suggested the bank would benefit more from having a service that correlates the index to stock price movement, thereby creating a predictor of share price fluctuation. This has led Reputica to create a product targeted directly at financial services by using similar technology to the dashboard service but enriching the algorithm.

“So it’s based on the same principles but it’s a completely different proposition and has opened up an entirely new area of business for us. And what’s been very encouraging is that we’ve had it validated by the heads of some of the biggest PR companies in the world.

Stephen Carter, CEO of Brunswick, which does all the corporate communications for the big banks, just can’t get enough of it. And Christopher Sattherwaithe, CEO of Chime Communications – which owns Bell Pottinger and have been in the PR game since time immemorial – said he has tried for three years to find something like the Reputica service.”

Reputica has also re-purposed the service to spawn a whole new area of business in serving the litigation and legal market. Lawyers use the dashboard to track any leakage surrounding the court case of the client they are representing.

Similarly, it can be used in cases that involve defamation – Reputica can use the dashboard to prove that certain pieces of news or data have spread into certain territories.

“So we’ve been diversifying and expanding the service as we’ve spoken to more clients and industries. We’ve recently had a request to re-purpose Reputica to monitor brand, rather than reputation.

"We’re finding that, on a case-by-case basis, the Reputica dashboard service is starting to incubate a lot of new areas of business. We’ve been able to develop new flavours of the same theme.

And that’s why it’s important that we made it clear from the beginning that we’re not a one-trick pony. We’d have been foolish to say, ‘No, we’re all about reputation management’ and ignore these other areas. As it happens, they’ve turned into fairly lucrative markets.”Related article: Take control of your brand’s reputation

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