Here in the digital age, cultivating a solid brand reputation is more than just a good idea. It’s an absolute must if you’re serious about building a loyal customer base and dominating your chosen niche.
Your reputation is what keeps your existing customers loyal to you and convinces new customers to trust your products with their quality of life.
That said, it’s essential to understand that legendary brands don’t just happen on their own.
Ongoing reputation management is critical for making sure any brand succeeds, so it should absolutely be part of your branding strategy.
Here’s what you need to know to get started.
What is Brand Reputation Management?
The term “brand reputation” describes the public’s general perception of your brand.
Although the way your customers view you is undoubtedly part of that, it’s not the entire picture.
The perceptions of your stakeholders, your peers, your competition, and the market you’re in as a whole are part of it, too.
Your brand’s reputation is all about how your company, products, and service offerings make people feel.
Establish a good one, and your customers will follow you anywhere. They’ll recommend your products and services to everyone they know, too, helping your company to grow.
Taking care of your reputation is a crucial part of running your company right, and that’s what brand reputation management is all about.
Why is Brand Reputation Management Important?
Maintaining a solid catalog of incredible products is only part of what makes a brand.
Ultimately, brand reputation is the X-factor that helps convince a consumer to give the products behind it a try.
Here’s a closer look at how brand reputation management helps keep yours nice and positive.
It boosts your sales margins
A good reputation is a part of what helps a brand carve out a spot for itself in a chosen niche.
When a company has a glowing reputation for producing quality products and delivering world-class customer service, everyone wants a piece of what they’re putting out there.
Sales skyrocket as a result.
It inspires customer loyalty
It’s easier and less expensive to retain the customers you have than it is to attract new ones every time, so repeat business is essential if you’re serious about growth.
Keeping your reputation spotless via careful reputation management helps both existing and potential customers trust you.
Consistently positive experiences eventually inspire unshakeable loyalty. Loyal customers stay with a brand and are often willing to pay more for its products.
It gives you a competitive edge
The better your reputation, the more of an edge you’re going to have in your industry.
Competition is fierce these days and getting fiercer all the time. It’s also easier than you think for your company to get lost in the shuffle.
Taking good care of your reputation can be just the thing to help you move ahead of even your stiffest competitors.
It makes your company stronger
A solid brand reputation doesn’t just make you look good to your customers and peers.
It can lead to a stronger, more efficient company, as well.
The better business is, and the higher sales soar, the more you’ll be able to expand your market reach.
In addition, you’ll find you’re better able to attract quality talent to your team. After all, everyone wants to work for a company with a reputation for excellence.
Brand Reputation Management: How to Protect Your Brand
Now that you know why it’s crucial that you be proactive about building and managing your brand reputation, it’s time to learn how to do that.
The following are some expert tips to get you started in the right direction.
1. Prioritize your customer experience
Although your product offerings and price points are still vital, there’s one thing that eclipses both of those here in the digital age — customer experience.
At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter how great or value-conscious your catalog is. If a consumer doesn’t feel like a priority to you, they won’t be back to buy from you again.
On the other hand, if you treat a consumer like royalty, you’ll convert them into a customer for life.
So treat every customer to white-glove service that makes them feel special, and be quick to resolve any issues that arise.
Keep in touch via newsletters and personalized quarterly check-ins. And be responsive when they need anything from you.
(Speaking of newsletters, are you subscribed to ours?)
2. Become a content marketing master
Helping your brand reputation reach its full potential online is all about great content marketing, so you’ll want to work on your strategy.
A well-rounded content strategy makes sure you’re an ongoing presence in your audience’s lives so that they don’t forget you. It can also help you establish yourself as an authority in your field.
Although it’s OK to post some sales-oriented content to your blog and social media feeds, the bulk of your content production efforts should go toward material that has genuine value for your readers.
Post some things that entertain them and keep them engaged. Also, post plenty of educational content that keeps your target audience in the loop and helps them solve their problems.
3. Personalize your interactions with customers
Today’s consumers look for more in a brand than indispensable products they can’t imagine their lives without.
They want to establish a personal connection to the brands they buy from and feel like their purchasing choices really count for something.
But, most importantly, they want to feel like the brands they’re invested in care about them in return.
Yes, part of this means personalizing one-to-one interactions like email correspondence or social media exchanges. But it also means training your sales reps, customer service team, and anyone else who interacts with your clientele to do the same.
4. Deliver on your promises
Brands are a lot like individual people in that integrity counts for a lot.
For your customers to trust you and become loyal to you, they need to know they can count on you to do what you say you’ll do.
So always keep your promises. Stand behind your products and service policies, as well.
Don’t just say customer service is important to you. Instead, show your customers this is the case by going above and beyond to keep them happy.
And when you make a mistake, or something unexpected goes wrong, own up to it and do whatever you need to do to make things right.
Your customers don’t need you to be perfect, but they do need you to be honest, forthright, and transparent.
5. Invest in your employees
Ultimately, your company will only be as good as the team you have standing behind you.
So don’t do what so many companies do and forget about your employees when you’re brainstorming ways to keep people happy with your brand.
Keeping the people who work for you satisfied is one of the most effective ways to improve your brand reputation.
Employees who are engaged, happy, and fulfilled feel more personally invested in what they do. They work harder and routinely go out of their way to do their job well.
They also become advocates for your brand just as surely as your happy customers do.
So take care of your team members. Listen to them, and use what they tell you to improve the way your company functions.
6. Address negative feedback promptly
No matter how good you are at cultivating and maintaining a positive brand reputation, you won’t be able to please everyone 100 percent of the time.
Sometimes something goes wrong, and a customer walks away from an experience unsatisfied, so it’s essential to have a strategy for dealing with negative feedback when it occurs.
Use social listening tools to keep track of your brand’s social media mentions.
You’ll be alerted whenever you come up in conversation. Yes, you can and should use these tools to show your gratitude for customers who sing your praises, but it’s even more important to diffuse any negativity right away.
Never ignore negative comments or reviews. Instead, respond to them quickly, diplomatically, humbly, and professionally.
Make it clear that you’d like to make things right and invite the commenter to tell you more about their experience.
Then go above and beyond to meet their needs and satisfy them. It’s easier than you think to turn situations like these around, and all it takes is some patience and understanding.
7. Step up your social media presence
By now, it’s safe to say that social media is a significant part of the average consumer’s life.
It’s also part of how your customers ultimately decide where to spend their money and which brands to trust.
That means they want and expect to see your brand on social media. They also want to interact with you and truly make you a part of their everyday lives.
So cultivate and maintain an active, positive social media presence that will add to your audience’s experience.
Engage them, invite them to be part of what you’re doing, and be responsive to them when they go out of their way to engage you. You’ll love what it does for your brand reputation.
Wrap Up: Build the Ultimate Brand Reputation and Meet Your Goals
As you can see, dynamic branding counts for a lot here in the digital age, so it’s vital to cover all your bases.
Managing your existing reputation is definitely a crucial part of that, but so is nurturing an irresistibly distinct brand identity.
Are you ready to get started in the right direction? Then check out our cohesive brand guidelines bundle for all the details.
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