Everything You Need to Know About Brand Reputation Management
Brand reputation management is essential for nearly every business with an online presence. Click here to learn more.
What if your brand was missing the one thing necessary for you to make it big?
These days, reputation is everything for a brand. And all it takes is a single scandal or a badly-reported story to do irreparable damage to that reputation.
But what if you could prevent that damage from happening in the first place? With proper brand reputation management, you can effectively build a brand while gaining better control of the narratives surrounding your company.
Keep reading to learn exactly what a brand reputation management company can do for you!
What is a Brand?
According to a leading online business information resource, a brand refers to a marketing concept that helps others to identify a particular company, individual, product, or service.
Brands are intangible, meaning they can’t be touched or seen by a particular audience. Rather, brands influence perceptions of aspects such as value, expertise, innovation, or problem-solving. As such, brand awareness is one of the most valuable assets a business owner or individual may have. With this brand awareness, people develop preferences and feelings toward a given company. These feelings can include awareness, trust, and loyalty — the hallmarks of a powerful and effective brand.
Many people confuse brands with a slogan, logo, or specific “trade dress” — the colors, fonts, and unique style — a person or business uses to create brand awareness. While these are components of an overall brand image, the brand itself remains an ethereal, yet mission-critical, concept.
What Is Brand Reputation Management?
We’re going to walk you through exactly how and why brand reputation management is so important for your business. First, though, we need to address the elephant in the room: what, exactly, is brand reputation management?
In this case, it’s all in the name: this is an active process in which you and your employees do your best to positively influence the reputation of your business online.
This process includes everything from monitoring your marketing strategies to mindfully interacting with customers via social media.
Every business, no matter how small, does its best to manage its reputation. But all it takes is one small mistake or bit of employee oversight to cause a potentially fatal blow to your company’s reputation.
Why Is Reputation Management So Important?
So, why is reputation management so important? It’s mostly because thanks to the internet, any small mistake can be magnified into a huge scandal.
And the 24-hour news cycle of social media means that the scandal could be trending today and your business could be doomed by tomorrow.
That’s the bad news. The good news is that small matters don’t turn into huge scandals if a business is properly managing its reputation.
And on top of avoiding bad publicity, proper reputation management can help you gain more insight into your customers and what they want from your products. This will ultimately increase your conversations, your customer retention, and your overall sales.
Proactive Management vs. Reactive Management
To get the best reputation management results, it’s important to work with a professional team. The reason is that such a team intimately understands the difference between proactive and reactive management.
Most online brands only manage their reputations reactively.
Now, reactive reputation management never stops being important because issues with customers will inevitably occur. And how you deal with such issues plays a major role in how other customers perceive you and your business.
But a good brand reputation management firm offers both reactive and proactive management. Proactive management helps expand your brand (especially if your brand is relatively young) while also maintaining the good relationships and positive image you have already established for yourself.
The Need For a Reputation Audit
Another reason to hire a reputation management firm is simple. Before you can improve your brand reputation, you must conduct an audit of your brand’s existing reputation.
There are many ways to conduct such an audit, including conducting customer surveys, offering online polls, and collecting various online reviews. It’s also important to see what other people have been saying about your brand across social media.
You could certainly conduct such an audit on your own. But it can sometimes be difficult to sift through and separate meaningful critiques from mean-spirited “trolling.”
Separating Trolling and Criticism
On paper, the idea of a reputation management audit is simple enough. You’re just collecting what others have said about you in various online spaces. How difficult could that really be?
However, you quickly run into two related problems. The first is that only the most motivated customers are likely to respond to surveys and polls or leave a review.
And these tend to be customers who either really love your brand or really hate it, so it can be tough to determine what the average customer thinks.
The second is that your brand might run afoul of internet trolls. Such trolls may go so far as to organize online campaigns against you and ultimately distort your idea of what people actually think about your brand.
Fortunately, a good reputation management firm can help separate trolling from actual criticism. And they can present you with actionable insight that helps you improve your marketing, your brand, and your overall reputation.
Online Conversations: Risks and Opportunities
Another thing that a brand reputation management firm can help you with is social media. And that is because social media is the ultimate double-edged sword for your brand.
Many important demographics such as millennials enjoy social media because it offers a chance to interact directly with a brand. In fact, one study showed that 75% of millennials make purchases influenced by the online presence of brands.
And if someone has an issue with your company, they can take to social media to interact with your company directly.
Here’s the thing, though: the way you respond to social media complaints can make or break your company. And as we mentioned before, all it takes is one mistake for you to go viral in the worst possible way.
A reputation management firm can help you develop strategies for dealing with online complaints.
Not only will these strategies help you win over some of the complainers, but they will also help you win over others who have previously been neutral about trying out your products and services.
Management Can Be Time-Consuming
Speaking of being on the fence, you might still be wondering why you can’t just handle all your brand reputation management on your own. And the short answer is that it is time-consuming.
Nothing keeps you from signing individual employees or entire teams to manage your brand. But think about it: every minute they spend managing your online reputation is a minute they cannot spend on marketing, sales, or anything else.
By hiring an outside firm, you get the best brand reputation that money can buy. And you also save countless hours of time, freeing your employees up to do what they do best instead of nurturing your reputation.
Your Next Move
Now you know more about what brand reputation management is and why it is so important. But do you know who can help you manage your own brand?
Here at NetReputation, we help individuals and businesses take their brands to the next level. To see what we can do to make you even more successful, contact us today!