Brand management has entered the territory of risk management with companies in Australia and New Zealand nominating challenges relating to their brands and image as the greatest risk they face.
The findings from risk management group Aon place brand and image factors – spanning fields like compliance, ethics, product quality, sustainability and social media – at the top of the list of risks for companies.
With a mean score of 5.69 out of seven for severity of risk, brand and image topped the chart for the fifth year in a row, followed by market environment at 5.57, regulation and corporate governance also at 5.49, and human resources at 5.46.
The study surveyed 319 executives in Australia and 32 in New Zealand to gauge the trends and shifts they perceived as posing the greatest threats.
Paul Looker, group manager of Melbourne IT, told AON: “Brand and image will always be up there, because it is the outcome of all the other risks.”
Co-founder of intelligence provider SR7, Peter Fraser, was quoted in the report as identifying social media as a key risk tool, “Intelligent organisations are embracing the medium for opportunities and mitigating the risks by using social media command centres.”
The report isolates last year’s natural crises, the carbon tax, Qantas’ fleet grounding and the European debt crisis as key influences or corporations risk perceptions.