Myth 192 - The myth of top brand and reputation
Lehman Bros has more than 150 years of track record. A highly rated investment banks staffed by some of the best brains money can buy. And they were all paid damn well, many, not ten or twenty, were driving Ferraris and owning several multi million dollar castles in the US and in retreats across the globe. Working in Lehman Bros is like having it made. And their products were A rated and sold across the world. The more they were sold, the more credibility they earned and the stronger is the brand name. No one expects Lehman Bros to collapse. No one expects its products to be flawed. The only organization here that can match the reputation of Lehman Bros is Singapore Inc. Though it does not have the long track record, it is staffed by the best men and women, proven to be the best, thorough, hardworking, transparent, incorruptible etc etc. In other words, the brand and reputation alone will bring confidence that it will not fail. Whatever it does, its services and products are unquestionable. Today, not only Lehman Bros has fallen, Merrill Lynch, Goldman Sach, Morgan Stanley, Barclay, UBS, Citibank and a lot more big names with big reputations have fallen to the wayside. In terms of reputation, brand, expertise and capitalization, none of our local institutions is in their league. Some big local institutions are also going to be dragged down, despite their big reputations. Can we live and trust on brand names and reputations alone? When the people change, the ideas change, the values and products change, the brand, the mission change and the reputation must also change. When good people have left, when bad ideas and values replaced the good of the past, the goods and services will not be the same again. Sometimes the changes are incremental and small and are difficult to detect. But change is taking place. You want proof, call Lehman. One can choose to continue to believe that nothing has changed. Refused or cannot see the changes. Everything is fine. One can also be frighten, be very frighten, when one is perceptive enough to see the rot within. To each his own belief. But surely there will be many Lehmans to come along.