Revenue and profit drive any business — both are essential for any company’s operation. However, both are far from the only things necessary to create a successful business.
Brand reputation is an intangible quality that shapes how your company is viewed by the media, the public, competitors, and most importantly — your customer base.
That said, a lot of work goes into managing a positive brand reputation. To help protect your brand’s perception, use this guide for helpful reputation management tips and that will help you to nurture brand reputation.
What Is Brand Reputation?
Brand reputation is how the world perceives your business. In other words, it’s how your company comes across to the public. And that’s what defines your reputation.
Brand reputation is simple in definition yet complicated in nature. We’ll explain this using two examples.
Suppose your company has provided quality services to a local community for 75 years. Most likely, your company has a great reputation as a local service provider.
In this sense, your great reputation is well-earned. And it shows, thanks to positive customer reviews on your Google Business profile.
However, let’s say that your company provided amazing customer service when you opened 75 years ago and has recently started declining in that aspect.
As a result, the community noticed and has started looking elsewhere for service.
Because of this, your business now has a worse reputation, regardless of how great it was in the past. With that, you can see that business reputation is fluid. And it can change in the blink of an eye.
For this reason, you must be vigilant in managing their reputation effectively.
Why Does Business Reputation Matter?
It sounds obvious why business reputation matters today, but this fact can’t be stressed enough.
In fact, 85% of people research companies online before purchasing.
On top of that, 86% of them would pay more for a company’s services if they had a better reputation than a competitor. The statistics speak for themselves.
But here are a few important reasons your company should embrace a reputation management strategy:
- Your brand’s reputation will directly affect your company’s customer acquisition. Generally speaking, the more well-regarded your company is, the easier it’ll be to attract paying customers.
- A bright brand reputation leads to better customer retention rates and repeat purchases. Not only can you sell more products and services with an excellent brand reputation, but you can also keep customers coming back.
- Both of the benefits mentioned above cause higher revenue and profits over time. Ultimately, your reputation can affect your bottom line.
- Maintaining a great brand reputation can be a difference-maker in competitive industries. If you want to surpass your competitors online, you’ll have a great chance at doing so with a stellar business reputation.
For these reasons and more, solidifying a positive company reputation is the key to long-term success.
What Shapes A Company’s Reputation?
Now, we’ve covered your brand’s reputation and why it’s important. Though, if you’re going to manage your company’s reputation, you need to first understand its key components.
Any company’s reputation is shaped by its:
- Brand kit: Your company logo, name, fonts, and stationery define your brand’s image and how your audience will consume it.
- Philosophies: Many companies have a mission statement and values they abide by. These shape your company’s culture and directly influence the products and services delivered to the marketplace.
- Employees: Your staff represents your company, whether you want it to or not. Hiring people who embody your mission and values is key if you want to deliver exceptional customer service.
- External recognition: Every time you win an award or receive positive recognition, you create a strong brand image.
- Corporate communications: Every public relations (PR) expert knows the information they put out will ultimately shape their company’s image. Successful companies control their narrative and don’t allow external forces to do it for them.
All of the components go toward building a positive brand image, which will allow you to sell more of your products and services. And you build trust as the go-to business in your niche.
How Is A Perfect Brand Reputation Achieved?
You can establish your brand reputation in two ways. You can create your own reputation or allow the court of public opinion to dictate that for you.
Ideally, you should get a headstart in achieving your own brand reputation. The most successful companies do this daily. For example, The General is a world-famous auto insurance company.
Their motto is to make car insurance easy and affordable for everyone. You can see this messaging in their TV commercials, marketing materials, and website.
Before anyone knew about this company, they proactively shaped their reputation (helping them remain relevant in a highly competitive industry for 60 years). With that said, there are two ways you can set a positive reputation:
- Pursuing a reputation: You can actively build the reputation you want for your business. By investing in a brand management strategy, your company can stay on top of media relations, PR, and reputation management.
- Earned reputation: Think of this reputation as earned through customer interactions. Simply put, the better you provide a product or service, the better your reputation will be.
Ultimately, your business reputation is well-deserved. It’s derived from the work you put into maintaining your reputation and delivering high-quality services (day in and day out).
Nonetheless, you can’t tell people how to view your business. There are several everyday strategies you can implement to create an appealing reputation.
How To Nurture A Proper Company Reputation
Here comes the moment of truth. If you want to learn how to establish and protect your company’s reputation, here are some helpful best practices to follow.
Create A Warranty Program
As a brand, you want to offer your customers not only a great product but also a great experience. You want them to feel confident and satisfied with their purchase and to trust you as a reliable and reputable seller.
One way to achieve this is to provide a full certificate and warranty for your products, especially if they are high-value items, just like VRAI, a company commercializing lab-created diamonds.
Lab-created diamonds are real diamonds grown in a laboratory using advanced technology and innovation. They have the same physical, chemical, and optical properties as mined diamonds but are more customizable and consistent in quality.
VRAI offers customers a full certificate from a reputable gemological institute such as GIA, which verifies the quality and origin of the diamond. The warranty covers any manufacturing defects or damage to the diamond.
Why is this method so effective? At its core, a warranty is a promise. It tells your customers, “We believe in the longevity and quality of what we’re selling, and we’re willing to back that claim.”
By offering a warranty, you’re essentially putting your brand’s reputation on the line, signaling that you have full confidence in the durability and performance of your product.
For the icing on the cake, warranties provide consumers with a safety net, assuring them that should the product fail or underperform, your brand is committed to rectifying the situation.
This assurance can be the determining factor for many consumers when choosing between products or services. Case in point, 47% of consumers are more likely to choose a brand if they are offered warranties or product protection plans.
Collect And Respond To Online Reviews
For example, if you’re shopping for a wireless mouse with the same 4.5-star reviews, which one would you buy?
- The black one, with 6,016 reviews
- The purple one, with 59,250 reviews
Odds are you go with option number two (the one with more reviews). Why? More people have backed the product rating than option number one. So, the quality and quantity of customer reviews matter.
However, it’s a double-edged sword. The more online reviews you generate, the more effort you’ll need to manage them. That’s where the power of media monitoring comes into play.
Thankfully, you don’t have to manually scour the internet to keep track of all the instances a consumer mentions your brand. With a media monitoring tool like Determ, you can easily keep track of these mentions and respond in real time.
When responding to online positive reviews, make sure to follow these strategies:
- Don’t argue with customers who leave negative reviews. Apologize first, stay professional, and offer to make a bad experience right.
- Stand your ground with fake reviews. Keep your eyes out for suspicious reviews and report them as needed.
- Respond to online reviews in a timely manner. If you wait too long, responding to customer reviews won’t placate the customer, which can sour your online reputation.
Get Involved On Social Media
Before the days of social media, companies had to invest aggressively in PR and media relations. Nowadays, social media platforms give businesses the power to promote their messages to their target audience.
You don’t have to just use social media to run advertising campaigns. You can also use social media to amplify your PR messages, share customer stories, and promote important company milestones to build customer loyalty.
Billions of people use social media across the globe. Many of them interact with their favorite brands on social media. So, why not jump on the bandwagon?
Define Your Philosophies
Every brand is more than just a logo or a product — it’s a living, breathing entity with a unique identity and purpose.
This identity, largely shaped by your brand’s core philosophies and values, is pivotal in molding your reputation in the marketplace. Why?
A well-articulated set of philosophies provides a clear roadmap for every stakeholder in your company, from top-tier leadership to frontline employees. When everyone operates with a shared understanding of your brand’s values, it results in consistent actions and decisions that align with these principles.
Plus, brands that are steadfast in their philosophies tend to attract like-minded consumers, partners, and even employees, creating a community bound by shared beliefs.
Take, for instance, Habitat for Humanity. The organization prioritizes community-building and the spirit of volunteering.
But these aren’t just words on their website. They’re principles that dictate their global initiatives.
From building homes for the underprivileged to fostering community engagement projects, their actions resonate loudly with their philosophies. As a result, they’ve garnered immense respect and trust, not just for their work but for the values they uphold while doing it.
While products, services, or marketing strategies might evolve, your brand’s core philosophies should remain set in stone. They are the foundation upon which your reputation is built.
So, come what may, your brand’s essence remains undiluted and its integrity unblemished.
Nurturing your brand reputation can shape the overall success of your company. Your success in this area will come down to how well you pursue your brand reputation and deliver quality products.
So, if you want to reduce your reputational risk and shield your brand reputation that you worked so hard to build, following the strategies in this guide is a great first step.
Reputation is easy to tear down but challenging to restore. It’s a priceless asset worth protecting.
Here’s to your reputational success!
If you want to know how to nurture your brand reputation book a demo and find out how Determ can help you!
Brandon Lee is a content marketing expert who helps businesses master the art of storytelling and creating amazing digital content. When he’s not writing or reading, you can find him spending time with his beautiful wife and kids.