Brand reputation management has experienced a radical shift post the internet era. Before the internet, reputation was all about word-of-mouth publicity, and it took time for a brand to grow stale in the eyes of the consumers. Today, when almost every household has complete access to social media and online news, the situation has completely changed.
The importance of brand reputation has increased ten-fold. Back then, you could have launched a flawed product, marketed it heavily and made a huge profit before the activists would start to boycott it. These days, on the the other hand, if your flawed product somehow passes all the tests and hits the market, consumer rights police will be at your doorstep before even the first five products are sold.
Such is the power of brand reputation; it can rise or fall in the blink of an eye. Hence, it is critical to manage it effectively, given that you not only need to maintain your good reputation, but also spread the word to as many potential customers as possible. Here are three crucial steps that will help you do just that.
Make the Best First Impression
The first impression is just a fleeting glimpse of your brand name, logo or tag-line on any online or offline platform. People usually determine whether or not they like the brand within seconds, and they will only give your company a chance if it has made even a remotely good first impression.
Take a YouTube advert for instance. You might know that there is a five-second skip-timer for longer ads. Thus, you need to keep the audience hooked within the first five seconds itself. You can say over 15 words in that time frame, or just one that will grab the attention of the viewer and keep him/her listening right till the end. Similarly, hundreds of pictures can be crammed in that five-second delay, or one influential image which piques their curiosity instantly.
Be the Brand that You Aspire to Be
Your business is defined by your motto and brand values. You may not have acquired the desired reputation yet, but don’t take too long to get there. And once you do, leave no stone unturned to follow those values down to a T. For instance, if you promise to provide the highest quality product, then take every course of action (moral, of course) to make sure that there’s no other brand out there with a product quality higher than yours.
Additionally, don’t ever let go of the original charm of your brand. David Anderson, an author of ihatewritingessays.com reviewing platform, states that the basic, most fundamental personality of your brand attracted your very first customers; don’t lose it beneath the glitz and glamour of success.
A company brand is like any human being. There is a high chance that fame will corrupt it, eventually leading to its downfall. You need to take great care that the core values of your brand remain intact.
The Art of Listening Carefully
As you would know, customer interaction forms the crux of brand reputation management. Back then, it was the radio, newspaper or post that proved to be the interactive medium. Today, it’s mostly social media. True, clients may send you an email every once in a while, but social media outlets are so much quicker.
However, the communication medium doesn’t matter as much as the way you interact. There are firms that hire an expert to draw up a list of possible customer queries along with the corresponding answer templates. Then they simply copy-paste that template on a communication platform. The number of templates may range in the 10s or 20s, or even hundreds in some cases, so no two answers may be the same, at least during a short time-span.
Admittedly, it is far easier to take this path, but it is not only unethical but also lacks the personal touch. Customers are delighted if an already recognized company recognizes them in turn. Imagine if a famous personality recollects you – a fan – from your previous meeting; the innumerable butterflies in your stomach! Meager templates don’t help you forge a lasting bond with your clients. And that is where the rarely heeded art of listening comes into the picture.
A listener perfectly comprehends the customer complaint, works on it, and notifies the client of its correction. This develops trust and a not-easily breakable bond between the company and the customer, thus improving its brand reputation.
Brand reputation management isn’t an easy task, but if you implement the aforementioned tips efficiently, you will find your brand on the lips of every target audience in a desired niche.