Brand reputation will matter in any year as long as businesses rely on customers to be successful (so… always).
Consumers are more opinionated than ever before and it’s because they are armed with so much more information (whether it’s true or not). Everyone is facing increasingly aggressive dialogue about discrimination and social ideologies, and the mob mentality that comes with empowered social media users. As a result, consumers are questioning every move that brands make. Really, people are looking for complete honesty and transparency and to support brands that share the same values and ethics that they do. Over 80% of consumers want to trust the brands that they buy from.
That is why your brand reputation matters more than ever in 2020.
What is brand reputation?
Brand reputation is a fancy term for how other people see your brand. It’s their opinion of you. Brands with a great reputation are generally seen as trustworthy, which leads to larger communities of loyal customers. On the other hand, a bad reputation will negatively affect your sales and you will find that your customers are always looking for the next best thing because they aren’t loyal to your brand at all.
What will negatively affect your brand reputation?
The biggest mistake you can make is thinking you can pull the wool over your target audience’s eyes. Here are six things that will hurt your brand reputation:
- Buying fake followers and/or fake engagement on social media – bots can also be the end of you.
- Creating a social responsibility program as a response to a rumor.
- Trying to cover up or “spin” a story so it just goes away rather than dealing with the issue at the core of your brand or business.
- Partnering with influencers or other brands that you haven’t vetted or that you know aren’t fully aligned with your own brand values.
- Not taking a stand against hatred and bigotry.
- Taking a sales-first or a me-first mentality.
How do you get a better brand reputation?
With all of the security breaches and secret data collection being reported what seems like almost daily, it is going to take more than a flashy marketing campaign to get your target audience to see your brand in a different light. There are five things that you need to do to make sure you have a great brand reputation:
- Continuously think of how you can offer more value to your target audience – whether it’s through great content, a better product, or a better customer experience.
- Build transparency into your core communication strategy – you never want to lie to your customers, and omitting information is also not great.
- Build a brand and stay true to yourself rather than changing to fit what you think others want to hear.
- Align yourself with a cause that is meaningful to both you as a brand, but also your target audience.
- Partner with influencers that your audience trusts – 63% of consumers trust them more than they do you as a brand.
Have you really looked at how your audience sees you versus how you see yourself as a brand?
Candace Huntly is Founding Partner at SongBird Marketing Communications, an award-winning agency working to take organizational and individual brands to the next level. With a passion for all things related to creativity and strategy, she specializes in business intelligence, marketing & branding, content strategy & development, media & influencer relations, and social media. Basically, if you need to put your brand, product, or cause in the public eye, she will find a way to do it, while making the approach unique to you.
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A version of this article was originally posted to the SongBird Marketing Communications blog.