4 Ways To Prevent Bad Brand Reputation
Executives and business owners know the importance of brand reputation. In the simplest terms, companies with strong positive reputations are perceived as providing greater value, which can lead to higher success and profits. Accordingly, their customers become more loyal and buy more of their products, which essentially sustains long-term growth.
Moreover, in an economy where the majority of market value comes from intangible assets, reputation can make up as much as 63% of that value. Many companies, however, don’t place enough of their focus on managing that reputation and the associated risks but rather handle the threats after they surface.
Since threats can come at any moment – and from anywhere – companies should take active measures to guard themselves against such incidents to protect their value and avoid costly attempts to bounce back.
Adapt To Changing Beliefs And Expectations
Norms and expectations evolve over time, and so will the widespread beliefs regarding industries, markets, and products. If widespread expectations are shifting and your company’s stance or practices remain the same, the gap between the old reputation and current reality can pose significant risks for your business.
In a changing world, it’s essential that companies stay on the pulse when it comes to their industry, competitors, and products, and innovate to meet evolving standards. Nowadays, there are plenty of tools and resources to help you do this. For example, you can research registered company domains with tools like WHOIS history, analyze customer sentiment from social media data, and follow the easily-accessible news to anticipate market changes.
Create A Brand Marketing Strategy
One of the best ways to prevent a bad brand reputation is to build a good one. By creating a strong brand marketing strategy, you can establish your identity and values while communicating them with your audience. This strategy expands beyond visual brandings like a logo and slogan – it means creating a strong brand association that is tied to a positive reaction or perception in the eyes of consumers.
To achieve this, you will need to create content that, regardless of the channel or form, aims to achieve a single goal. Make sure you have a dedicated team specifically for that, who will ensure that all communications are consistent, original, and useful. This will eventually help you establish a brand identity and build a reputation among audiences of likely customers.
Have A Clear Set Of Values
According to research, 81% of consumers make purchasing decisions based on their trust in a brand, and 67% would try a product based on the company’s reputation alone. To build and maintain that trust with consumers, you need to be honest at all times and stay true to what you claim. Creating a strong brand identity is important, but it will not hold unless supported by your company’s actions.
Companies that just throw around values they would like to have to gain popularity or convince consumers might see their efforts backfire as they make statements they are not ready to back up. On the other hand, organizations that have a firm sense of who they are and are able to communicate their vision and values will get the right people on board and are better positioned to avoid reputation damage.
Respond Appropriately To Customers
Although you may control what you post or share about your company, there is always a possibility that controversial or negative opinions arise – especially as more discussions take place on social media. To address issues before they escalate or avoid the creation of a negative story surrounding your brand, it’s best to take control of the narrative – and speak to customers directly.
To do this, you should handle negative, aggressive, or unhappy comments well and address issues with transparency. Some entrepreneurs or companies get easily offended by negative comments or bad reviews, but it’s important to respond well to criticism if you want to protect your reputation. Connecting with customers will also help strengthen their trust and positive sentiment, as customers tend to value a brand more if it engages with them directly.
Your brand’s reputation can significantly impact customers’ perceptions and purchasing decisions. In today’s world, protecting that reputation is more important than ever but also more challenging. While it takes long years and investments to build a reputable brand, it takes several seconds for a social media post to potentially damage that reputation online.
Some of the most effective ways of preventing a bad brand reputation include adapting to changing beliefs and expectations, creating a brand marketing strategy, having a clear set of values, and responding appropriately to customers. And, always remember that a reputation is maintained, not built overnight.