A strong brand is one of the most important tools you have to reach your marketing goals and make a meaningful impact on your business.
Warren Buffett once said that a brand’s reputation could quickly take a hit, so you need to pay close attention to reputation management: “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.”
The statement couldn’t ring truer, with so many rookie, cringeworthy branding mistakes and public blunders that can ruin a brand’s reputation for good.
A good brand reputation is more powerful than anything else when it comes to building customer trust.
Creating a strong brand reputation and gaining customer trust and confidence may be an arduous journey, but it allows you to reap huge rewards.
Table of contents:
1. What Is Brand Reputation?
Brand reputation is that it-factor that helps you gain a competitive edge and stay ahead of the pack.
Put simply, brand reputation is based on the customers, stakeholders, and market’s perceptions of your brand.
Many business owners talk about brand reputation and brand building as if they are one and the same. They are not, and confusing the two can lead to mistakes and missteps.
Brand reputation is the way consumers and competitors see your brand. Reputation is something that can be earned and managed but not controlled. On the other hand, brand building is a controlled process that can be adjusted at any point according to specific strategies.
Brand building makes your company relevant in today’s cutthroat market, while brand reputation makes it look reliable, trustworthy, and credible.
Even the most impressive brand-building strategy could turn into a waste of time, money, and resources if it does not focus on the reputation aspect.
If you search the Internet, you’ll find that brand reputation is essential for reasons such as:
- Customer trust and confidence
- Customer loyalty
- Higher sales
- Business growth
- Competitive edge
That’s surely true. Brand reputation is critical for attracting and retaining customers and staying ahead of the curve. But no one is actually explaining how and why reputation matters to the bottom line.
Hear me out.
Brand reputation is a critical factor in terms of Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC) – the cost related to acquiring a new customer (e.g., the money you spend on marketing tools to determine a potential customer to make a purchase). The more reliable your brand is, the less money you have to spend to make a sale.
A low Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC) allows you to increase the Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) – the metric that indicates the total revenue a company can expect from a customer over the whole period of their relationship.
Brand reputation is directly impacting your CAC/CLV ratio and, eventually, your revenues and overall success. That’s why it is so important to invest in reputation management.
Now let’s take a closer look at those strategies that help you build and maintain a good brand reputation.
2. 4 Ways To Build A Great Brand Reputation
- Create valuable content for your audience
The content you publish is a decisive factor in building a solid reputation and creating a positive image of your brand.
Unfortunately, many businesses waste time and money because they don’t know how to create content that engages their target audiences. Ideally, your business should:
- Produce high-quality content
- Generate content consistently
- Align content with the buyer journey
- Deliver content in suitable formats (e.g., blog posts, video, podcasts, images, etc.)
- Use storytelling in content marketing (the art and science of using narrative to engage prospects and customers)
- Appeal to emotions
- Focus on authenticity
- Deliver the right content, at the right time, through the right channels
Content marketing is one of the most effective ways to enhance your brand reputation while providing your audience with valuable information.
Again, reputation is built from consumers’ perceptions of your brand, and content marketing is a great way to spread positive vibes and develop a positive customer perception.
- Provide a great customer experience
You may have an amazing product, but if you deliver poor customer service, people will hear about it, and you’ll start losing customers.
Great customer service is all about valuing customers’ time, having a professional attitude, being available 24/7, and exceeding expectations.
You might say, “I’m sure that my startup delivers a great customer experience because I handle business phone calls myself”.
Well, I’m sorry to inform you that this is not the way to ensure you meet customer expectations and provide excellent customer service.
If you handle business calls yourself, you risk missing calls (and opportunities) – not to mention the background noise and your inability to provide 24/7 coverage.
Moreover, focusing on basic tasks such as picking up the phone every time a customer is looking for answers to FAQs does not allow you to dedicate time to your core business (the main source of your company’s profits and success).
Luckily, you can keep your customers loyal to you and your business and build a great brand reputation with a virtual receptionist – a flexible and affordable telephone answering service that ensures a personalised customer service experience and 24/7/365 coverage.
- Protect your online reputation
What is the first actionable step you take before meeting a potential client or purchasing a business’s product or service for the first time? You do an online search. And guess what? People do the same before buying from you or doing business with you.
That’s why it is important to protect your online reputation and manage reputational risk.
For example, the Domino’s Pizza crisis had proven that social media could seriously damage a brand’s reputation (the company was launched into a viral attack when two employees posted videos of adulterated food on YouTube in April 2009).
Make sure you monitor what people are saying about your brand using tools such as Social Mention, Tweet Reach, Brandwatch, and much more. Do not allow anyone to tag you in pictures that might damage your brand reputation, and always think twice before sharing a post or making a comment on social media.
Expert tip: In the digital age, protecting your online reputation is critical, but make sure you do not neglect your offline reputation as well.
Create a professional image for your business and show people that you take what you do seriously. If you have a home-based business, set up a professional mailing address.
One option is to rent virtual office space and show your prospects that you own a professional business – not a small business that you’re running as a hobby.
- Collect customer reviews
I can’t stress enough the importance of collecting online reviews to strengthen your brand’s reputation.
Online reviews play a large role in marketing and sales, so make sure you take time to build a positive digital footprint.
Not only will they help you build, preserve, and maintain brand reputation, but they will also be very helpful for Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and Search Engine Marketing (SEM), especially on Google.
Start by adding or claiming a business profile on Google, Bing Places, and other review platforms that allow you to list your business and generate more leads. Then, optimise your business profiles on these search engines and platforms and use testimonials and product reviews as one of your greatest sales tools.
To truly improve your product and build reputation, you should be valuing what your customers have to say about your brand. Although not all reviews will be positive, it is essential that you welcome negative opinions (as I shared in this blog post).
Conclusion: Brand reputation is a critical component of any brand strategy, as reputation can greatly impact sales and growth. If you jeopardise it, you will lose customers to the competition.
Luckily, you have many opportunities to develop and protect your brand reputation thanks to the accessibility of the Internet.
Apply the tips in this post to take control of your brand and increase your customer lifetime value and loyalty!
Perception is reality. This statement is more true than ever in today’s business world. If you’re looking for ways to enhance your brand reputation and build trust, B2B HQ has a savvy and affordable solution to your needs. Start using a flexible virtual office and project a qualified appearance with a professional mailing address and other essential services. You don’t have to wait to boost your brand reputation! Contact us today – we would be happy to give you a helping hand!