Eventually You’re Going to Have an Outage
When your application is unavailable, or not working as it should, this is when your reputation is most at risk. Surprisingly, many SaaS vendors just seem to ignore this point of vulnerability. Just look at how terribly issues with Yahoo Mail were recently handled. Did they think no one would notice or maybe if they just closed their eyes and covered their ears that after a while everything would just be fine?
I think the problem has to do with the fact that often application uptime is the responsibility of IT professionals, whereas reputation management and brand building is the responsibility of marketing. Information technology folks don’t get fired if their company’s brand is destroyed – marketing people do.