Imagine for a moment what would happen to Apple's reputation and image among cool, hip consumers if it had to plead guilty to price fixing, was investigated by Congress for using a slush fund to buy political influence and was in trouble with regulators for financial shenanigans involving Steve Jobs and family ownership of the company--troubles that forced Jobs to leave the country for four months out of the year? Well Samsung is facing all those problems right now.
Samsung has built a terrific reputation. It one of the biggest winners of design awards, it is considered one of the most innovative companies in the world, and it is now one of the top global brands. Samsung is a huge and creative presence on the web. But an increasing number of scandals and run-ins with regulators and political leaders in South Korea may jeapordize its hard-won gains. A corporation that excels in innovation and design may not be able to maintain consumer loyalty if it's corporate governance fails and it conducts its business in an unsavory way.