Brand Reputation Management - Strategies From Branding Experts
Brand reputation management plays an essential role in growth of an organisation. A strong brand reputation builds customer trust and boosts customer confidence and their loyalty towards your products or services, which leads to more sales and increased growth. How can you leverage your brand reputation for bottom line growth?
What You’ll Find In This Article:
- How To Assess Your Brand's Reputation?
- Maintaining Positive Brand Reputation
- Crisis Management & Addressing Negative Reputation
- Examples Of Effective Brand Reputation Management In Times Of Crisis
How to assess your brand's reputation?
Assessing your brand's reputation is an essential part of your brand reputation management strategy. By understanding how your brand is perceived by your existing customers and potential customers as well as other stakeholders, you can identify areas where you need to improve and develop a strategy to enhance your brand reputation management efforts. Here are some steps you can take to assess your brand reputation:
Conduct a brand audit
Conduct a comprehensive review of your brand's current position in the market, including your products, services, marketing campaigns, and customer experience. This will help you identify strengths and weaknesses in your reputation. In one of our previous articles, we've talked about when to do a brand assessment as well as how to research brand equity to truly understand your brand reputation.
Collect feedback from your customers, employees, and other stakeholders. Use surveys, interviews, and other feedback mechanisms to gather data on how your brand is perceived.
You can read our list of best brand monitoring tools to use in 2023.
Mintor social media & review sites
Monitor social media platforms for mentions of your brand. Look for both positive and negative mentions and track the sentiment associated with your brand. You should also monitor review sites and search engines such as Yelp, Google, and TripAdvisor for online reviews of your products or services. Look for trends in feedback and identify areas where you can improve.
Analyse the data you have collected to identify trends and patterns in how your brand is perceived. Look for common themes in the feedback and identify areas where you need to improve.
Benchmark against competitors
Benchmark your reputation against your competitors. This will help you understand how your brand is perceived relative to others in your industry. Our brandr index solution was designed to include competitors' analysis as well as the overall public brand perception, so that you can get a complete overview of how your brand is doing.
Maintaining positive brand reputation
If your brand reputation is positive, you should make more of an effort to keep it that way. Whether the great brand reputation is a result of effective brand and reputation management strategy or organic business growth alone, you should always strive to do better and consciously manage your reputation. Here's a few brand reputation management strategies for up-keeping a positive brand image:
1. Provide excellent customer service
Providing excellent customer service is essential for both business success and building and maintaining a positive brand reputation. Customers expect prompt and efficient service when they interact with a company, whether it's through social media channels, email, or phone. Companies that prioritise customer service are more likely to build long-term relationships with their customers and develop a good brand reputation. This means responding quickly and efficiently to customer inquiries, resolving issues promptly, and going above and beyond to exceed customer expectations.
2. Consistently deliver high-quality products or services
Consistently delivering high-quality products or services is essential for their brand loyalty and building a good brand reputation. This means focusing on quality control, product development, and customer feedback to ensure that your products or services meet or exceed customer expectations. Companies that consistently deliver high-quality products or services are more likely to build customer loyalty, receive positive reviews, and maintain a good brand reputation.
3. Be transparent and authentic
Transparency and authenticity are essential components of a positive brand reputation. Companies that are honest and open about their business practices, admit mistakes when they occur, own negative reviews, and communicate openly and transparently with customers and other stakeholders are more likely to build trust and credibility. This means being upfront about your business practices, acknowledging negative feedback, and providing transparent and honest responses to customer inquiries.
4. Engage with your audience
Engaging with your audience on social media and other channels is an effective way to maintain a positive brand and online reputation. Companies that actively engage with their audience are more likely to build a loyal following, receive positive reviews, and create a positive brand image. This means responding promptly to comments and messages, participating in conversations related to your industry or niche, and creating relevant and engaging content that resonates with your audience.
5. Monitor you brand reputation
Monitoring your brand reputation is crucial for maintaining a positive brand perception. Companies that regularly track mentions of their brand on social media and review sites can quickly identify and respond to negative reviews, resolve issues promptly, and maintain a positive brand reputation. This means using reputation management tools such as Google Alerts, Hootsuite, or Brandwatch to monitor mentions of your brand and respond to negative feedback promptly and transparently.
6. Give back to your community
Giving back to your community is an effective way to build a positive brand reputation and inspire customer loyalty. Companies that support local businesses, charities or organisations, sponsor community events, or participate in volunteer work are more likely to build positive brand perception and develop a loyal following. This means identifying causes or organisations that align with your brand values and actively participating in activities that support them.
Crisis managment & adressing negative reputation
While a positive brand sentiment and strong reputation are important, so is effectively managing public relations issues and crises as they arise. Here's what years of experience has taught us when it comes to combating reputation issues:
1. Acknowledge and address the issue
The first step in repairing a negative brand reputation is to acknowledge and address the issue. This means being transparent and honest about the issue and taking steps to resolve it promptly. Companies that take responsibility for their mistakes and actively work to address the issue are more likely to regain the trust of their customers and repair their brand reputation.
2. Communicate effectively
Effective communication is critical when repairing a negative brand reputation. Companies that communicate openly and transparently with their customers and stakeholders are more likely to rebuild trust and repair their brand reputation. This means providing updates on the progress of resolving the issue, addressing customer concerns promptly and transparently, and communicating any changes or improvements made to prevent similar issues from occurring in the future.
3. Provide excellent customer service
Providing excellent customer service is an essential component of repairing a negative brand reputation. Companies that prioritise customer service and go above and beyond to address customer concerns and resolve issues are more likely to rebuild customer trust and repair their brand reputation. This means responding promptly to customer inquiries, resolving issues promptly, and providing exceptional customer service throughout the repair process.
4. Monitor and respond to feedback
Monitoring and responding to feedback is crucial when repairing a negative brand reputation. Companies that actively monitor feedback and respond promptly and transparently to negative reviews are more likely to rebuild trust and repair their brand reputation. This means using reputation management tools to monitor online mentions of your brand and responding to negative comments promptly and transparently.
5. Offer incentives or compensation
Offering incentives or compensation can be an effective way to get customers’ trust and repair a negative brand reputation. Companies that offer discounts, refunds, or other incentives to customers who have been affected by the issue are more likely to rebuild customer trust and repair their brand reputation.
6. Focus on improving and preventing future issues
Focusing on improving and preventing future issues is essential when repairing a negative brand reputation. Companies that implement changes or improvements to prevent similar issues from occurring in the future are more likely to rebuild customer trust and repair their brand reputation. This means identifying the root cause of the brand's online reputation issue, implementing changes or improvements to prevent similar issues, and communicating these changes to customers and stakeholders.
Examples of effective brand reputation management in times of crisis
To put those strategies into context let's take a look at some examples of companies managing and adjusting their brand reputation management strategy in times of crisis.
Johnson & Johnson
In 2010, Johnson & Johnson faced a major reputation crisis when several of its products, including Tylenol and Motrin, were found to be contaminated with bacteria. The company responded by recalling the affected products and implementing changes to its manufacturing processes. Johnson & Johnson's transparent communication and quick action helped to minimise the impact of the crisis and rebuild customer trust.
In 2017, United Airlines faced a major reputation crisis when a passenger was forcibly removed from a flight. The company initially responded poorly, but quickly took action to address the issue by changing its policies and procedures, compensating affected passengers, and communicating openly and transparently about the incident. United Airlines' quick action and willingness to take responsibility helped to repair its reputation over time.
In 2009, Domino's Pizza faced a reputation crisis when two employees posted a video on YouTube showing them tampering with food. The company responded quickly by firing the employees, apologising to customers, and launching a comprehensive social media campaign to rebuild customer trust. Domino's Pizza's transparent communication and quick action helped to repair its reputation and regain customer loyalty.
Evaluating your brand reputation management strategy
In order to effectively manage brand reputation you need to stay on top of the public perception of your brand both in traditional media as well as in online conversations. There's a lot of brand monitoring tools that you can use daily to keep up with the social media posts, reviews etc. But it's also important to think about the bigger picture - that's why brandr Index exists.
Brandr Index provides you with a 360 evaluation of your brand's performance across different areas - customers, stakeholders as well as the industry overall. Our experts conduct a thorough analysis of your business and its environment to then provide you with a detailed report and actionable insights on how to improve your branding and reputation management strategy. If you'd like to learn more about our tool - contact us or check out an example report.