A brand is the face of your business. It’s the personality of your company, a representation of everything you stand for and aspire to be. It’s how we relate to your customers, how customers relate to you—even how you think about yourself. Building an online reputation is essential if you want to grow your business. A strong reputation comes from developing valuable connections that lead to trust. The concept sounds simple, and it is, but many businesses struggle with this process. And, many times, it does not take much for all of your hard work to be tarnished by a simple mistake that leads to a damaged reputation.
Protecting your reputation can be tricky, especially when there are so many moving parts involved in the process. But, no worries! Here are six ways that you protect your brand’s reputation.
Define your brand’s journey.
When you think of successful brands, what comes to mind? Apple is one that most of us immediately think of because its brand journey has been so well defined and executed. If you are looking at building a strong, long-term brand, then defining your “brand journey” is essential. Your brand journey is a powerful tool that helps you establish what your brand stands for, and gives you the opportunity to showcase your values to the world. Without an idea of who you are, what you value, and how you define yourself, your brand becomes generic and loses the distinction that sets you apart from the competition.
Make an effort to build trust.
Do you feel like you’re spinning your wheels when it comes to building brand awareness and customer trust? Trust is everything when it comes to your brand and your ability to smoothly conduct business. In some cases, like in the case of a dental office, a lack of trust can actually lead people to run in the opposite direction. Be patient and be dedicated to offering quality, value, and peace of mind. Have integrity and stick to your values, and you will build true brand loyalty and trust. These things will last a lifetime, and you will be able to touch more people like never before.
Leverage social media to boost your brand.
Social media has changed the game for building and maintaining a brand. Whether we like it or not, those platforms are making more and more of an impact on our daily lives. People turn to social media in order to voice their opinions on issues, educate others, and get their news. Social platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, etc., are all being utilized to further people’s knowledge or increase their influence due to its online power. Businesses that can effectively engage using social media are being rewarded with increased business, while those who stay on the sidelines are being left behind.
Believe in your brand’s purpose and growth potential.
Building a brand is just as much about constructing your narrow niche, your story, and your point of view as it is about the actual product. It is about taking on a cause — actually more than one cause — or taking on a challenge. It is about making something work when others have failed to make it succeed. If you want to grow your small business, you need to believe in it’s purpose and growth potential. Sure, the first step to success is understanding your business model and customer needs. But in today’s world, if your current level of customer service is not good enough, you have to believe that the next level – or even more – is possible with a little elbow grease.
Understand that perception is powerful.
There’s a lot of writing about brands these days. But let’s be honest, it’s almost all fluff. What everyone loves to talk about is culture, impact and leadership. Meanwhile, what we need to do is learn to focus on what really matters – perception and strategy. Perceptions can take years to build and seconds to destroy. Reputation management is a vital component of an effective marketing strategy. Today, reputation is everything, and everything you do or say can damage your reputation. It may not be easy to recover from a single misstep, so build a strong reputation through your brand’s image and outside positive psychology.
Have fun and stay positive.
Above all, have fun. Don't get hung up on every little setback, but don't be afraid to rethink your strategies if you’re getting stuck. Remember that positive energy and optimism can attract new followers to you and your brand much faster than focusing on negativity. So make sure that you are not getting so caught up in the minutiae of SEO and social networking that you forget to appreciate all the incredible people who are taking time out of their busy lives to read what you've written, comment on your blog posts, follow you on social media and even buy your products or services. If you aren't having fun doing it, then what's the point?
Whether your mindset is bent on protecting your brand or you’re simply preventing a problem from happening, it’s important to take some preventative measures. A brand can go from vibrant to wanting in seconds.