I’ve been in the public relations industry long enough to see brands spend years building up their reputation, only to tarnish it with one simple mistake. One of my favorite quotes, which is displayed in our office at 5WPR, is from Warren Buffett: “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things different.“ As usual, Buffett is exactly right. Let’s talk about the importance of brand reputation.
The Importance of Business Reputation
But why exactly is your brand’s reputation so important? Before the world of mass advertising, businesses relied heavily on word of mouth by their customers to establish a strong reputation. It’s easier for a brand to attract customers when their name is associated with something positive, and this shouldn’t surprise anyone.
Everyone wants to have a positive reputation, but everyone might not realize the importance of brand reputation. Here are my top 5 reasons why your brand’s reputation matters:
Companies with strong brand values and identity give their employees something to believe in – employees can take a sense of pride knowing that their work is playing a role in the broader vision of the company, motivating employees to work harder and ultimately making them happier at work. It feels good as an employee to ‘brag’ about enjoying where you work because it is well received by the public.
Be the organization your employees want to work for.
Word of Mouth is Paramount
Your reputation is not only important for your current customers, but it also impacts potential customers. If you have satisfied customers they’re more likely to talk about your brand, which can have a huge impact on your business. Additionally, it will amplify everything you do. Are you planning a charity campaign for a specific month? Enjoy all of the free press as your loyal customers share and help get the word out.
Be the organization everyone talks about.
A Strong Reputation Distinguishes You from the Competition
When you’re in an industry with a lot of competition it can be difficult to stand out. There are plenty of examples of companies that have the same services with roughly the same costs. But what is going to make a consumer choose one of the other? The brand’s reputation.
The benefit of having a strong, well-recognized brand and reputation is that it will improve your bottom line. The more difficult it is to copy your brand, the longer you will be able to have the competitive advantage.
Be the organization that is always the number one choice.
A Good Reputation Can Mitigate Impact of Bad Reviews
At some point, every organization is going to receive negative reviews about their company online. Unfortunately, consumers are more likely to share negative experiences than positive ones. Studies show that one negative review can hold as much weight as ten or more positive ones. Online reviews can be extremely compelling for those who are not yet familiar with a brand. However, when your brand is associated with a positive reputation, it can significantly mitigate the damage from negative reviews.
Be the organization whose reputation is strong enough to withstand a little criticism.
Trust and Credibility
Last, and definitely not least, is that your brand’s reputation will lead to trust and credibility. One of the most important success drivers for any business is how much they are trusted by the public. When someone interacts with an organization, they are likely to share that information with their friends and family, or even on social media.
An example of success would be “check-ins” on social media. Do you think someone would feel comfortable sharing that they visited your organization if you have a bad reputation? Absolutely not!
Be the organization that consumers trust.
How to Manage Your Brand’s Online Reputation
Now that you know more about the importance of brand reputation, let’s talk about how you can manage it. There are many different options available to help you manage your brand’s online reputation. Listed below are just some of them.
Social media is a great way to display information about your brand. It’s important to make sure your social media accurately reflects your brand’s opinions and views, as it is always available to your potential customers.
Reputation Management Tools
You can work with many different platforms and software to help automate brand reputation online. There are many different reputation management platforms available, such as BirdEye. BirdEye is a unique solution for businesses, offering review management and generation, as well as social listening and insights. It is a simple, no-brainer solution.
A strong public relations strategy will position your company as a thought leader in your industry. It helps familiarize consumers with your brand, and control how your brand is viewed. Public relations is about telling a story, and that story is how you want your brand to be perceived.
Reputation is Key
There are many different strategies one can employ to build a strong brand reputation, including: marketing and positioning, corporate social responsibility, customer engagement, employee benefits, social media, collaborations, influencer marketing, and so on.
What is your next step to improving your brand’s reputation?
Ronn Torossian is a public relations executive with over 20 years of experience for some of the most admired and well-respected companies in the world. His unique way of thinking has transformed the PR industry. As the founder of 5W Public Relations, he has unique insights and perspectives on branding and growing successful businesses.