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MISSION:INTANGIBLE, the blog of the Intangible Asset Finance Society, offers critical comments on intangible asset, corporate reputation, and finance; supplemented by quantitative reputation metrics. Intangible assets include business processes, patents, trademarks; reputations for ethics and integrity; quality, safety, sustainability, security, and resilience; and comprise 70% of the average company's value. MISSION:INTANGIBLE is a registered trademark of the Intangible Asset Finance Society.

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Reputation Year In Review

C. HUYGENS - Saturday, December 31, 2011
Let's not get carried away. Huygens can not possibly do justice to a review on reputation in a year which almost $6.3tn (12.1%) was erased from global stock markets as the eurozone financial called into question the future of the world’s largest currency bloc, according to the Financial Times (Dec 30, Wigglesworth). Instead, Huygens offers a tale of two intellectual property strategies, and an example of reputational resilience.

TIVO and Rambus are two firms that have been fighting IP infringement battles for many years. At the end of 2011, TIVO finds itself experiencing one of the greatest reputational jumps over the trailing twelve months while Rambus story has a less than happy ending, so far.

Among the 28 companies in the Electronics/Appliances sector, Tivo's reputation metrics, according to the Steel City Re Corporate Reputation Index, rose from the 3rd to the 84th percentile. Its most recent EWMA reputational volatility was 74% after a very volatile year, and while its volatility continues to trend downwards, its trailing twelve week reputational velocity and vector are at 8 and 11 percent, respectively. All good signs consistent with the fact that it has outperformed the median of its peer group by 37%.

Among the 98 companies in the Semiconductor sector, Rambus dropped from the 89th percentile to the 4th percentile. After a volatile year, its exponentially weighted moving average volatility is down most recently to 30% while its vector and velocity continue to trend negative at -36 and -9% respectively. Not surprisingly, Rambus is underperforming the median of its peer group by 39%.

Last, the Coca Cola Company distinguished itself this year by exhibiting among the lowest levels of reputational metric volatility. Among its 14 peers in the Soft Drink Producers & Bottlers group, it showed no change on any metric. It outperformed the median of its peer group by 7.67%.

The first lesson among many this past year comes from the last case: in a highly volatile market, reputational stability has value. Things do go better with Coke.

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