Building a trusted brand reputation takes time and effort. Once you have created this positive brand image, you want to hang onto it! Seemingly small mistakes can be costly when it comes to the public perception of a company, so it pays to take this part of running a business seriously and continuously work to protect and improve your brand reputation.
Our business advisers at BDO Whangarei have outlined 5 key strategies that help manage your brand image. Read on and benefit from the results of a stellar reputation in your industry!
1. Practise honest communication
No one likes being lied to, and that is especially true for the customers and clients who you do business with. Being transparent when communicating with customers is vital for good brand reputation, especially in the social media age where you are communicating more personally with your audience.
Practice honest communication by being open and sincere about your products and services, and by treating your customers with respect. These days, consumers have a diminished tolerance for foul play, and won’t have a problem moving to another provider if they feel like they have been treated badly. Don’t let your brand image crumble by bending the truth or making impossible promises, be honest with your customers and they will thank you for it.
2. Improve customer experience
Ensuring customers have a positive experience is a sure-fire way to improve public perception of your company. Think about all the touchpoints on your customer journey, and assess how these can become as seamless and rewarding as possible. If you don’t have time to complete this task or are unsure where to start, a business consultant can go through the steps with you to uncover areas for improvement.
The global Covid-19 pandemic has recently seen businesses shift to remote and digital services. Customers now expect to be looked after remotely and still receive a premium service. Make sure you have ironed out any concerns or complaints with your remote capabilities, so your brand image isn’t negatively affected by this change.
3. Produce valuable content marketing
A great way to improve brand reputation is to produce quality content marketing. By publishing content that is interesting to your audience or solves a problem for them, you are showing that you care about their needs and are not solely focused on selling. Types of content marketing you could utilise include blogs, news articles, interviews, or informational videos.
Another benefit of finessing your content marketing strategy is that it can cement your place as a thought leader in the industry. Publishing news and insights into the market leads to clients and competitors viewing you as a top player in the field, further improving your reputation.
4. Prioritise testimonials and watch out for social media
Research shows that consumers now mainly rely on information and reviews from their peers when making purchase decisions. Having social proof of your business claims, such as testimonials backing up your product benefits, will improve your brand image and lead to increased consumer trust.
Just as a good testimonial can boost business, however, a negative comment on social media can be detrimental. The immediacy of social media communications allows negative brand reviews can spread fast, and it can be difficult to claw back control of the situation if they gain traction. Using social listening software to monitor mentions of your company name online can ensure negative feedback is dealt with appropriately and quickly, so it does not snowball into a bigger problem.
5. Have a policy for addressing negative feedback
When you do come across negative feedback online, you need to respond carefully to minimise any damage to your brand reputation.
There are several things you want to do when responding to negative feedback. Firstly, acknowledge the problem; do not brush it aside. Be specific in your reply so the customer knows you have understood their issue, but don’t be defensive. Apologise and focus on a solution. If possible, move the conversation offline by providing direct contact information. Doing this will give you a better chance of solving the problem, and personalises the experience for the customer.
Most importantly, make sure everyone in your company knows what the policy is for responding to criticism, so you have a consistent approach that protects your brand.
Improve your brand image with expert advice from BDO
Protecting and improving your brand reputation does take some work, whether you decide to invest in content marketing, upping your social listening efforts, or doubling down on customer service. However, investing in this area of business operations can have hugely positive results in terms of improving brand awareness and customer loyalty.
Our business advisory services can help to ensure you are putting your best foot forward. At BDO Whangarei, we can analyse your current approach through a variety of services, including succession planning, risk advisory, our Business Review Programme, and more, and provide personalised recommendations for improving brand reputation and dealing with risks. Contact our experienced team today and start the journey to better brand image!