Reputation is a tricky thing. It takes consistent behavior observed over a period of time to build a positive reputation, and a single bad event can crumble what takes months to build.
This holds true for individuals, families, small groups of people, and even large corporations.
Companies spend enormous energy trying to build up their reputation or brand value. Its brand value alone that lets Tylenol charge more for the exact same pill that your local pharmacy sells a generic version for dirt cheap.
A Business Deal
Although I enjoy reading about the economic practices of Goblins, I'm definitely not one myself.
I make my wow-gold by gathering while I'm out and about doing what ever it is that I'm doing. And "what ever it is that i'm doing" is often daily questing, which only further divides my activities from the efficient gold/hour numbers that Goblins are capable of.
However, even I recognize the value of a daily cooldown.
I should probably be using my Titansteel cooldowns to save up mats to boost my gf with an epic shadow priest mace.
But, I'll deal with that when I get to it, and I'm about 20 blacksmithing points away from needing to worry about that.
In the meantime, there's always somebody willing to pay good money for a cooldown.
One such fella barks on /trade, he and I arrange a get together at the Dalaran forge.
Badda bing, badda boom, he's got his steel, I've got my gold. Smell ya later.
But then a happy moment comes along.
Oh, cool, titanium
The uber gf was out and about doing whatever it is that girls that play wow like to do, and she's a miner, and came across a titanium node and mined it.
Wait a tick? I thought titanium required 450 maxed mining. When did you ding that?
Ah, gratz. Wait another tick? Wanna make some gold? (digital pimpin', ftw)
My happy customer from just moments ago, as it would turn out, is interested in one more Titansteel.
So she scoots back to Dalaran, he trades over the mats.
Like a Bat out of Hell
And what he sees next is....the toon he just traded a hundred or so gold worth of mats with...she bolts like a bat out of hell out into Dalaran.
WTF? or at least that's probably what was going through his head as he trotted off to follow her.
You see, having just dinged 450 that morning, she hadn't trained to smelt titansteel yet. And in a brain fart, rather than just talk to the mining trainer right here, she decided to wander deeper into the city.
So I reassure him what she's up to, so please don't worry.
It was his answer that made the ape-subroutines ingrained in my genes smile....
I'm not worried, I respect your guild. I dont think she'd stiff me.
And she didn't. Two seconds later, she's trained up in steel, he's got his product, she's got her money. Smell ya later.
Sure, we're not talking about world-changing stuff like the brand value of Google or Nike, but the guild's reputation did keep things calm in a situation where the customer might have started crying "NINJA!!!"
Its all about respect, and it looks like we're doing something right.