Reputation management for a company is a continuing process that is never fully complete. In today’s world, consumers want to be certain that their money is going to ethical businesses with positive reputations, and many consumers want to be sure that they are not inadvertently funding companies, or individuals, with conflicting values. Research has proven that companies who dedicate the time, money, and energy to their brand’s reputation management will absolutely reach more potential customers, and earn more customer loyalty. So, how is it done? In this article, we will discuss our 5-step action plan to not only build a positive reputation in the marketplace, but also how to implement a system that continuously monitors the sentiment towards your brand.

Step 1: Brand Safety

As you may be well aware, the majority of purchases and decisions in the marketplace begin online. This is also true from brand building and brand reputation management. It all begins online through the effective monitoring and engagement of social media accounts and consumer reviews. Therefore, the first step in any successful brand strategy is to implement brand safety measures. This involves making sure that your brand’s digital footprint and interactivity are safe and accessible for consumers, while also avoiding the dangers of online communication. Brand safety ensures that advertisements, their content, and any content shared by brands are appropriate and not associated with topics of consumer opinions that may be negative. For example, if you work with a less-than-reputable ad publisher, your ads could be placed among content that is inappropriate or offensive to your consumer base, or on websites notoriously famous for their lack of security. Ads can also be published with bad links, misleading content, or unethical tracking methods that many consumers are sensitive to. While none of these things are genuinely the fault of the company, or its employees, the negative association is still a large risk, and is a guaranteed way to lose trust in the digital community. Therefore, it is highly recommended that a brand reputation management strategy be implemented to ensure that brand safety measures are made a priority to prevent scenarios like these that could negatively set your company back from achieving its goals.

Step 2: Research & Audit

As we just mentioned, brand reputation management for a company begins online. Once you have taken the necessary precautions for brand safety, it is time to begin the next step in the process: researching and auditing your brand. Before you can take action, you have to do the research. This step involves a thorough scouring of various social media accounts, consumer review sites (such as Yelp), and any other digital platform where your brand name or product may be mentioned. During this research, you will be able to locate and review the level of engagement your brand is receiving, and exactly what people are saying about it. Most social media platforms include the ability to measure and review these engagement metrics without the need for third-party software, and many of the websites that do not include this will still work well with Google analytics. If more research is needed, a professional digital marketing company can assist with additional expertise to provide even more accurate data. 

Step 3: Establish A Management Strategy

Once your research has provided you with enough of the necessary data, and you have a good idea what your brand’s overall impression is in the marketplace, you can establish a brand management strategy to either make improvements, or further commit to what is already working. We can begin by admitting that no brand will come out of the research and auditing process with a perfect score. There are always steps that can be taken to improve brand image and consumer engagement, and there is always a competitor out there trying to do better than you. The first, and probably the most vital element of brand reputation management for a company, is hiring an individual or a team to monitor your social media activity. This involves setting a consistent schedule for posting new content and monitoring the comments, messages, and shares your account receives. This will allow you to respond quickly to any complaints, negative comments, or poor reviews quickly before they spread and damage your hard-earned reputation. The more rational-minded consumers out there understand that sometimes things go wrong, employees make mistakes, or a product does not work as promised, but if you aren’t monitoring what your customers are saying, you won’t hear about such problems and you won’t be able to respond in a timely manner.

Step 4: Take Action

If you’ve followed steps 1 through 3 efficiently, then you will be able to take effective action to secure your brand reputation. Showing the public that your company is willing and able to take swift, corrective action when problems arise is a proven way to build trust in a community and retain your customers. After all, your brand message is ultimately a promise to your customers that they will be satisfied with the purchase of your products or services, and keeping that promise is the largest deciding factor in building trust. However, these strategies are not only reserved for crisis management. With established brand management strategies you will also be able to monitor any positive feedback, or constructive criticism, that you could implement to improve your brand’s overall performance.  

Step 5: Repeat

As we said in the beginning, brand reputation management for a company is a continuing process that is never finished. However, once you’ve taken these initial steps, and assigned a dedicated team to the task, you will be able to continuously repeat steps 1-4 with greater ease and efficiency. Routine audits and consistent monitoring are essential to brand reputation management as you will undoubtedly be required to take action and make changes periodically throughout the lifespan of your brand. Survival of the fittest is an evolutionary concept that determines which species will survive in the wild the longest, and it is the ones who are most able to adapt to change. The same is true for companies and their brands. Marketplace values and sentiments can change frequently and dramatically, and if you do not have a plan in place to monitor and adjust to these changes, you will not survive long in the competitive world of industry. 

Reputation Management with CloudMellow

Now that you understand the importance of brand management strategy for a company, it is important to know that you will not have to take on the extra work yourself. CloudMellow offers a variety of services in brand management and development services, and is dedicated to making sure your brand is reaching its full potential in a society driven by technology. Visit our website to get your free analysis and get started!