Mozcon 2016: Rhea Drysdale

Rhea Drysdale at Mozcon 2016

DISCLAIMER: This post is written as a live blog from Mozcon. There may be typos and grammar to make my high school English teachers weep. Please excuse those … it’s a fast-paced conference with back-to-back sessions and no time for proofing or even proper writing.

After an awesome snack break the next session I was dying to blog was Outspoken Media‘s Rhea Drysdale.  She starts by talking about Steve Jobs and his launch of the iPhone.  She moves on to chatting about doing good work and still losing the client which brings us to the point of the her session – building a great brand.  She clarifies that she’s chatting about building great brands not burying information.

She brings up the fact that only 7% of employees thing their companies are doing and exception job.  Why?

So .. What is reputation marketing (not management)?

  1. It is NOT review management.
  2. It IS what happens when you consistently exceed the expections of stakeholders.  This includes employees.

She uses Coach and Hermes bags in her example.  Coach charges $300 and the Hermes costs between $11k and $150k.  Why are people spending that?  Exclusivity and the brand and brand equity.  In fact one report puts them as a better investment than gold or stocks right now.

Remember … Reputation is the expectation of future behavior based on pas experiences.  This is why Hermes has a market cap of 3x Coach with only about 20% higher annual sales.

Great reputations are grown on consistency, dedication to your mission.  This is the key to a good reputation.

A question to ask is … what happens when you surprise people with positive news.  We know negative surprise news is twice as likely to deter a client … so what does positive news do?

This generation is different.  This generation grew up with access to a lot more than brand data but access to reputation information.  This creates a setup where we can group companies into 4 quadrants.  The reputation line and brand lines crossing, each with a more important to less important scale.  Knowing where you lie is critical to know where to focus.

Reputation vs brand quadrant.

Here’s the formula:

market value – tangible assets = reputation

Now …

Compile as much reputation data as you can (review sites, CEOs reputation, etc.) and give yourself a grade compared with your competitors and figure out how to grow that based on the needs of your industry.

Chart Your Reputation …

If you are in the middle you’re not failing but you’re not succeeding.  Things are harder.  When you exceed expectations you’ll find that people want to pay more money for longer.

And if you surprise people with excellence you get mentions, you get links and you grow your reputation.

Outspoken for example looks like they’re winning in organic against SEER, Distilled and Razorfish but when they looked at community-drier and branded phrases they lost a lot of ground.  So they focused more on reputation and the company grew.  Reputation marketing is an ongoing event.

An hour before this sessions started Outspoken published a reputation marketing guide.  You can find it at

As she closes her session I’m left thinking that this reminder is probably one of the most valuable takeaways any business owner can take.