Brand Reputation improvement tactics in 2019

A good Brand Reputation means customers have trust in your company and they are happy to purchase the goods and services that you offer. While a lousy brand reputation means consumer mistrust, your company and they are doubtful to use your products.

Shahin Shakarli

Mar.04,2019

Brand Reputation is the measure of how the customers, companies, stakeholders and the market view and react to the brand of the company. To be more specific, it is the sum of the ideas, feelings, observations associated with the brand during the purchase/ sales of goods or services while using them or after sales offer provided by the company. Brand reputation can be affected by pricing, branding, promotion activities, customer service, operations, public relations and many other things related to a brand. A good reputation of a brand means customers have trust in your company and they are happy to purchase the goods and services that you offer. While a lousy reputation means consumer mistrust, your company and they are doubtful to use your products.

 

How did Brand Reputation change in the last decade?

Brand Reputation is an intangible asset that all companies must have in the fast-growing technology world. In the past years, technology changed people’s brand perception significantly. Earlier people have experienced the brand by visiting the store, involving in sales or by getting information from others, but nowadays all information is just a fingertip away from everyone.  Almost all brands are available on social media and people can easily share their feedback on the products they purchased and the services they received which is open to everyone in the world. However, companies need to pay special attention to their customers as only a few unsatisfied customers might have an effect on the mind of many others and damage their reputation in seconds.

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To keep the Brand Reputation in the high level in the social media companies must concentrate on the online reputation management as the virtual world has become the leader for information search engines. Each online expression of the clients needs to be taken into account very seriously by the brand managers and special attention should be paid to the marketing and promotional activities, advertisement, PR strategy. A brand manager can organize regular training for the employees to manage high reputation.

There are also many other negative sights that social media and digital marketing might have on reputation such as fake identities, copyright infringement, trolling, etc. In any unexpected cases, the online brand manager and management team should be proactive and swift to solve the problem and to maintain their reputation.

For example, the lack of business ethics of Dominos's employees profoundly damaged the reputation of the company in the year of 2009. Two employees of Domino’s Pizza employees filmed a nasty video in the kitchen of the restaurant and shared it online. Thanks to the social media tools that it took only a few days the video reached millions of people, and they shared their disgusting comments. According to the New York Times, references for the video in search of “Dominos” were in 5 among 12 results. Managing director of the company called the situation as a nightmare.  Although ten years passed from the event, people still remember the video.

The tweet of the page of the famous fashion designer Kenneth Cole can be another example. The brand used the riot in Egypt to promote new collection, which is not well accepted by the followers. Although Kenneth Cole removed the tweet and she apologized for, it was not enough to fix the reputation. Screenshots still exist, and hashtags link an incident forever to the brand.

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In each situation mentioned above, damage to the brand reputation can be minimized if the companies have had proper online reputation management. However, they allowed damaging content about their company to be posted online and was not swift enough to handle the situation, control the conversation and reduce the effect of damage. Kenneth Cole only posted her apologies after two hours of the first tweet. Two hours is quite a lot of time to spread the news and reach millions and millions of social media users. As a result, the customer of Kenneth Cole called her insensitive and unsympathetic, and Domino’s pizza consumers accepted them as a brand that does not respect health code and violate them easily.

 

Why is brand reputation essential?

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Here are the key reasons why it is important:

 

1. Truth is the backbone of your reputation

A confident and powerful reputation of any brand in the market creates trusts in the minds of current and potential customers. The customer always buys the goods and services from the brand that is quite well known in the market. When you lose the confidence and trust of the customers, you lose them permanently. Losing customers because of damage to the truth, cause a severe decrease in sales, as unhappy customers never forget their bad experience and are inclined to share it with more people than you expected.

By the strong reputation and the increased level of trust, customers stay loyal to the brand. They purchase goods and services from the brand they are confident about and in many cases do not prefer other competitor brands that offer reduced price and discount packages.

 

2. High Sales and Competitive Advantage in the Market

As an intangible asset of the company, brand reputation affects other important tangible assets such as sales and profit significantly. The brands that already have a place in the market and gained the truth and loyalty of the customers with their continuous efforts to maintain the quality and service levels cause a critical increase in sales. Besides, the company with the excellent prominence has an advantage in the market among its competitors, as the customers' trust and choose the brand that has a good position in the market or well known among their friends and families.  

 

3.  Word of Mouth

As social media platforms grow tremendously, we can call it “tweet to tweet” rather than mouth to mouth. The customers are the best brand representatives of your company if they are satisfied with the services and if your brand is represented in the social media such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, SnapChat, etc., people can easily share their opinion about the businesses. Positive word of mouth also helps the company to reach its high sales and profit target.

 

4. Employee loyalty

Who does not want to work in the company with a strong reputation? As much as customers, employees also want to work with the brand that has stable and growing job opportunities and a powerful reputation of a brand the market and they became loyal when they found this chance.

 

5. Expansion opportunities

When the reputation of the company is growing, it gives positive signals to the management to expand the business by offering new product line & offerings and by entering the new domestic and international markets.

 

How to build a Powerful Brand Reputation

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Reputation management strategy is the backbone of a powerful brand building. The below guide to reputation management strategy will help you to develop or repair your company’s online brand reputation.

Reputation building strategy of a brand looks like a house building. Firstly, you should know which materials you need to start. The case is the same for reputation building. There are three primary materials you should consider to initiate your strategy: earned media, paid media and owned media.

Reputation management professionals use these components in the close combination with ORM, PR, and SEO.

 

What is earned content?

Earned content is online information about your brand or business that does not require any payment or any effort from you for writing. We can call it free publicity, as well. Mention of your brand, customer reviews, social content shares and social media interactions such as reshare of your content are in earned content. If you are doing well, or lucky, you may even get a place in the coverage of favorite media organizations such as the Wall Street Journal, USA Today or the New York Times.

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What is owned content?

Owned content is the online information/material about your brand or business created by you. The best example of owned content is your website, which is produced by the company and has control of each information and materials published on the site. As the website only occupies one spot in the search results, companies pay attention to the other form of owned content such as separate blog and social media channels such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, etc.

All mentioned owned content types are common for all companies that want to build a powerful reputation of a brand. Moreover, there are also industry-specific types of owned content that is different and specific for each industry space.

 

What is the paid content?

The last category is paid content. As can be seen from the name, paid content requires money to produce online information and materials about your business. It includes pay per click advertisement, social media promotions, influencers, display ads, content syndication,

None of those three contents is more valuable than the other and should be used in harmony with one another.

Some companies spend thousands of dollars on the above mentioned digital marketing strategies which help to increase the sales and the traffic, but cannot get a result for a powerful reputation for the company.  Because completion of the above mentioned three essential content means that your online reputation is formed, but the question is “How it is formed?” The answer to this question is heavily depends on “other systems” that affect how your brand is seen online. One of the most critical parts of these systems includes an online search system, which is followed by social media algorithms.

In the digital world, an excellent reputation can only be built by continuous production and publication of high-quality content, as well as by meaningful and expressive approaches and proper contribution to your social media networks. The process of building a brand reputation requires patience and takes much time, but not a massive amount of money.

Here are some tips for building a powerful brand reputation:

 

1. Make sure you reflect your brand positively

There are several key points that all companies should consider in their management strategy and pay attention to reflect the brand positively:

Search Engine Optimization (SEO): If you want to be in the top of search engine results, you have to put effort on your Search Engine Optimization strategies continuously. It is essential as the customers are searching for the information and solutions to their problems. If they cannot find enough or up-to-date information, you will lose the competition. SEO plays a crucial role in reputation management of a brand and helps to lever relevant content and strategic keyword, which drives traffic to your website.

Public Relations:  It is necessary to conduct a strong PR program to become a true leader and an expert in your sphere in the best newspapers, blogs, business publications and lead generating trade outlets. Powerful PR strategy can develop brand perception and manage negative emotions and raises your presence in the virtual world. An impressive PR management team also helps you to secure award opportunities and high profile speaking engagements.

Content Marketing: By what kind of content marketing you can increase your brand's reputation? Industry research reports, an excellent company blog, infographics, dedicated articles are excellent examples. Production of leading content promote your brand and increase awareness. By focusing on the informative industry topics that your audience is interested in, you can expand the traffic of visitors to your website and the number of potential customers.

Social Media: Nowadays social media is one the powerful method to keep a reputation of your brand high. Many people use social media, today, to search for brands and share their comments and feedback. In the social media network, you can make your business more accessible and offer your customers more personal service by focusing on their needs and feedbacks.

Website Development: Powerful and user-friendly website with positive user experience will improve your brand reputation. Nowadays, almost all companies open a site, but it is essential to pay special attention to keep it simple for customers to find the information they need. If you have a more complicated website in comparison to your competitors, it will increase customer loyalty and decrease immediate site exit.

In addition to all points as mentioned above, it is important to pay special attention to people, if you want to reflect your brand positively. Be sure that you hire the right people, and you train them under the standards of your company and be confident that your whole team delivers the same message about your brand.  Moreover, establishing a robust relationship with people who have the same or similar standards and values to your brand. Apply this rule not only for your staff you selected to represent your company offline and online but also for influencers and partners. Select the right influencer to represent your company and brand. When you have a partnership with an organization, try to re-share tweets, a blog or link to give the sign that you support the content.

 

2. Manage conflicts wisely and set guidelines for negative feedback management

Witnessing shameful social media wars is common. Moreover, sometimes companies cannot stop themselves responding impolitely to someone who has shared their negative opinion of the brand, which creates furious fashion and leads even insults sometimes. Be sure these comments say a lot about your brand! When your current and potential customers read, it is enough to have an expression about the future treatment or talk of the company with them.

Not to damage the brand's reputation your representative in the social media or another virtual world should follow below-mentioned advice:

Be professional and patient: There are thousands of people comment on what you share, regardless of how you feel about the comment, stay professional. Even if you are super angry, pause, take a deep breath and then comment patiently.

Respond to negative feedback and comments swiftly: If someone shares negative feedback, you should treat it as an urgent issue. Be swift and show that you care about them and be helpful by offering a quick solution. You can use social listening tools to respond to negative comments as well. Negative feedbacks spread super fast in social, so you can prevent them by these tools, which are built on CRM (Customer Relation Management) solutions. You will get alert any time when someone mentions your brand on social media, and you will have a chance to aggregate those comments and analyze them. Besides, you will also see the influencers who are the critical sources of information your potential customers listen to.

Approach the customer offline: Once you address your response publicly online, try to contact the customer offline, in person to make him/her sure that it is not just for a show, but you really care about them. Try to reach the customer via channels to understand how you can make the situation better. These kinds of extra effort may help the customer to think again and change or delete the comment and review.

 

3. Keep monitoring your brand

All information including private ones is only one fingertip away from millions and millions of people sitting behind the computers and other electronic devices. It is easy for customers to share their complaints about brands, products, and services in online networks, which affect the brand reputation negatively. Unfortunately, many of those comments based on unreliable sources and cause inaccurate information flow as a result.  However, you have to keep monitoring your brand and be aware of all the references to prevent them on time. Some companies give responsibility to the customer service team for online brand monitoring, while other companies select specialized digital marketing companies to handle their online reputation management. In an ideal situation, you need to combine knowledge of your customer service team with the experience of digital marketing companies.

In section 4 detailed information about monitoring tool will be provided.

 

4. Good customer service is more than you think

Be attentive to all details and all possible contact points with the customer including delivery of the products and the services. Because it is what your reputation is going to be built on. Right signals in the relationship with the customers deliver good messages to your current and potential clients as well. Customer satisfaction is an excellent way of promotion favorable word of mouth.

It is also essential to allow your customers to share their feedback easily. Try to create a democratic environment, where customers can raise their voices. It is good politics to decrease the number of negative comments and feedbacks, where it is hard to influence and manage.

It also helps the company to strengthen the backbone of your brand: products and services in particular, by identifying the weaknesses of your product and services. Improvement on them will increase customer satisfaction, and a happy customer will help you to attract more businesses.

 

5. Keep your promises

Promising to customers is one of the most natural things. However, the hardest part is to keep and manage your pledges. You can increase the expectations by promising to your customers but never forget that unfulfilled promises might have even worse results and damage the company's reputation.  When the companies do not keep their promises or fail to meet the expectations, customers lose their trust in the brand which is hard to gain back. Make a list of targets and expectations of the customers and try to deliver them systematically.

 

6. Key Tools to Monitor Brand Reputation

Monitoring of the brand's reputation allows you to track what people say about your brand online. It helps you to leave timely feedback on comments about your brand and maintain a powerful reputation.  You can do this monitoring manually by searching your brand’s name on social media, in different search engines, but it will take much time, and as a result, you will only be able to explore a tiny part of information about your brand.

Below mentioned tools will help you to do the same job more efficiently and effectively by saving your time. Some of the online reputation monitoring companies offer their services for free, while most of them charge you a compensation. Almost all brand monitoring companies allow you to try it for some period of times, before purchasing the tool. That is why it is essential to do proper research before making payment. Here are tools that will assist you in monitoring brand reputation regardless of your expertise area:

 

Google Alerts

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Google offers several free tools for marketing managers and SEO professionals. Google Alerts is one of the valuable free tools among them.

It is simple to use the tool thank you think, type the name of your brand or you may enter the term you are interested in. You will get the automatic email notification about your search based on the database of Google. According to your preferences, you may get the alert at least one time in a day or at least one time in a week.

 

Social Mention

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Social Mention directly monitors more than 100 social media platforms including, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google, FriendFeed, Digg, etc. According to the official site of Social Mention, the tool currently provides analysis service and a point-in-time social media search, daily social media alerts and API. The below picture shows you the result about the brand of “Amazon,” and it helps you to monitor and develop your brand reputation based on the analysis of the tool.  The site of social mention is, and you can find all detailed information about the meaning of each part (e.g., strength, passion, sentiment, reach, etc.) just by putting the cursor on it and the clarification will automatically appear. Being a free tool, you can use the tool without registering to the website.

 

Review Push

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If you have a company with more locations, Review push is the right address for you. It does not matter how many places you have the tool offers you multiple location monitoring for each, which helps you to manage online reviews. Moreover, by monitoring reports from the top review sites on the web on a daily basis, Review push notifies your company when your brand receives a new review. It also offers you to respond to the feedback or the comment directly from the email.  The company suggests you 21 day of the free trial period to use and test of the tool.

 

Awario

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Awario makes reputation management easy. They offer non-stop monitoring to let you know the conversations that might affect your business. The tool provides you Sentiment Analysis to sort the mentions (e.g., positive, neutral, negative), to track the growth and to spot the remarks that require immediate action. Besides, it also helps you to identify top influencers, compare several alerts and analyze the progress. The company provides you 14 days of free trial use.

 

Reputology

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Reputology is one of the best assistants for businesses to track their online reviews. Beside its review of common social media platforms, the tool also monitors industry-specific sites such as hospitality, dining, healthcare, fitness, and real estate and offer you to respond to the feedback or the comments via the app. Reputology works very good for multi-location businesses, which helps you to keep the reviews of each their locations in one place.

The workflow tool also allows you to track follow-ups of your team and let your group assign a status to a review and document the steps to resolve it. You can set up various views of the Reputology dashboard for different team members for multi-location businesses. By doing this, local operators, regional directors, and other responsible staff will only be able to address the reviews relevant to them.

 

SentiOne

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Many well-known brands track their online discussions with SentiOne such as Decathlon, Huawei, LG, Electrolux, Beko, Nivea, etc. The tool not only allows you to get instant access to real-time data but also lets you reach the historical data.  SentiOne offers you to analyze your data in four sections: social listening, online insights, audience engagement, and data analytics. You can get a descriptive data analysis to see the real need of your audience and gain valuable insight. The tool allows you to do influencer marketing, sentiment analysis, social channels, gender analysis, geo-location analysis, hour histogram.

 

Reputation.com

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Reputation.com offers large multi-location businesses monitoring and improvement of their brand reputation, and optimization of online and onsite customer experience, calling itself “market-leading solutions help you manage every customer touchpoint.” The company offers you: optimization tool for business tools to increase traffic, calls, and click-throughs; engagement with local directors for customers by managing and updating location data regularly; review management and rating improvement; involvement in the social media, etc. Besides the company owns patented Reputation Score with nine unique factors. They have good strategic relationships with industry-leading partners.

 

Talkwalker

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Talkwalker allows you to monitor your brand reputation. The company has been recognized as a strong performer by Forrester in its Forrester Wave: Social Listening Platforms, Q3 2018 report, from its first ever participation. Up against 40-strong criteria and the ten leading social listening tools in the world, Talkwalker received the highest score in current offering, data quality, reporting, and customer growth. The program offers analysis of online, social, even print and TV/radio content; global coverage of owned and earned content in 187 languages; Image Recognition technology for tracking over 30,000 brand images; the historical data up to two years; real-time unique social media analysis; automatic report creation and distribution. To empower the business decision the tool allows you to build a data intelligence hub. You can use the free demo version of the site for a short period of the time.

 

Review Trackers

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ReviewTrackers is a customer network business review platform and provides a paid tool to track reviews of customers from many different sites and sources. The tool helps you to create customer groups by region, individual locations, ratings, review sources or time. Beside its daily, weekly, monthly alerts on a new review, ReviewTracker also offers custom report and monthly competitor report.

The tool identifies the highest performing employee in your team, which help to improve customer service. The company currently have many customers from different industries including financial, automotive, healthcare, insurance, etc.

 

Management strategies for Brand reputation

 

If you aimed to grow your business, you need good management of brand reputation.  A positive reputation of a brand increases customer confidence and builds loyalty in your product and brand, ultimately driving sales and bottom-line extension.

In today’s cruel competitive world, reputation management of a brand has become a significant priority for businesses, especially when online communications about the brand take place on a whole day basis. On online forums, social media, news websites, blogs,  search engines, and other Internet sources, it’s essential for your brand to be positioned and prominent as an industry-leading and knowledgeable resource and solution for your clients. Several major initiatives are necessary for a powerful reputation management strategy:

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Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Strategy

Search Engine Optimization (SEO): Lasting Search Engine Optimization strategies set you in the head of search engine results, where customers are searching for solutions and resources to appropriate problems. If you are not present where customers are attempting, you will be left behind to opponents who are there. Search Engine Optimization grows important keywords and useful contents in brand reputation management that directs traffic to your site and increases sales.  

 

Social Media Strategy

Social Media: Although social media is a nearly new platform for many Business to Business (B2B) companies, it is an essential element of brand reputation management. Social media is a great method to make your business personable, accessible, and focused on the clients.

Public Relations (PR): A powerful Public Relations program places you as a thought expert and leader in your sector in major business publications, newspapers, blogs and guides creating trade outlets. As a significant part to successful brand reputation management, Public Relations can leverage brand perception, control negative sentiment, improve your web presence and inform customer opinion. A good Public Relations group can also provide high profile award opportunities and speaking engagements.

 

Content Marketing Strategy

Content Marketing: A company blog, white papers, industry research reports and contributed articles are examples of the role of content marketing in reputation management. Building lead-generating contents across an assemblage of channels increases perception about your brand and the advantages of your products. You will get more website users and potential clients by placing your company as an informational industry source on topics which your audience is interested.

 

Website Development Strategy

Website Development: A big website with enjoyable user experience and easy to navigate features can increase your management purposes. Focusing on users and making it mild for them to get the information they want will reduce site abandonment and magnify brand loyalty.

In the hustle and bustle of standard business processes, it can be easy to lose the brand reputation impact on corporate extension and sight of the value of reputation management of a brand. However, the lack of management can negatively and significantly influence the overall success of the organization.

Today, Webzool Creative works with many startups in technology, leading enterprises, and Business to Business (B2B) sectors. We are providing search engine optimization (SEO), public relations, social media, and marketing assistance as part of a complete brand reputation management program.

 

Watch out for these actions in Brand Reputation

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Social listening and media monitoring are necessary tools for brand reputation and building management. However, so is a brilliant strategy. You need to know who is speaking, what they are talking about, and where they are expressing it. Was it n the news, on a blog, or maybe a review website you had absolutely no clue what out there? You will also want to listen to the advice here to guide the conversation in the right direction and set yourself up for success. There are significantly more points to consider in brand reputation. Reputation management of the brand, once a subset of a marketing plan of the company, is today the driving force after it.

There are many critical aspects of online reputation management, for sure, each of them equally necessary.

 

Do not spam search results

If you create many web profiles to defeat Google, be sure that you are digging a hole for yourself! Several reputation management companies offer to make a lot of press releases, social media profiles, and other "trash" web contents. It’s both ineffective and cheap. The search engines like, Google, Yandex or Bing are smarter today, and they don’t fall for this trick anymore.

 

Do Work to Improve Your Search Ranking

The picture from the search engine rankings' top is pretty high. Chitika (a study from online ad network) found that the first organic listing on any presented Google search results (it means the first listing, not a sponsored ads), gets 33% of the traffic. The second listing gets 18%, the third listing receives just 11%. “Position zero” search results, similar to Google’s “People Also Ask” and “Featured Snippet” boxes may earn even more attention.

The brand reputation management strategy should put special importance on getting the listing to the head of the search page and ensuring it stays there. It means providing diverse, quality content, and doing the fitting search engine optimization legwork to make sure you stand out.

 

Do not react in public if you are sad

Some of the severe reputation problems occur when a business owner, public relations professional or company attorney reply to a blog post, bad review, or article in an ill-advised manner. Whether with sarcasm, anger, or just severely worded answers. It is interesting how many people tap in all caps. To tell the truth, it is not a good idea at all.

 

Ask for more feedbacks

Considering you are not in the center of a big problem that’s likely to illegal more negativity than you want, asking the online world for feedback is an excellent method to explain your commitment to presenting the best service or product possible. Test a simple Facebook post asking your users what else they would like to see from your brand or where you can change. This approach shows humility and initiative, both of which play into your business’s likeability and trustworthiness.