Trust is the key to a successful business. That does not mean having to be all things to all people. Ryanair does not have a reputation for its customer service, but it is known and trusted for delivering the lowest fares.
Trust is a key word because it is more than integrity and honesty. Trust also involves competence and the ability to deliver a product or service at the agreed cost and standard.
But reputation is a fragile commodity and easily damaged. When there is a gap between the promise and the delivery, the ground is fertile for that most corrosive of emotions, cynicism.
When it comes to brand and reputation it is hard to apply a monetary value because they are priceless.
Every business and organisation, like every individual will make mistakes from time to time. The problem is not so much making the mistake as being genuinely sorry, demonstrating an understanding of what went wrong and assuring that it will not happen again.
Strong brands and people with a good reputation are much more likely to be given a second chance.
That is why companies like VW that is a trusted brand has been able to recover from the emissions scandal better than might have been anticipated.
The test of a brand or personal reputation is what people say when no-one is looking. What would people say about you or your business out of ear shot?