It is very important for a business to grow a good brand name in order to maintain a loyal customer base, and grow goodwill. This can be achieved with the help of reputation management. Reputation management is essentially the use of various methods to influence how the general public and the target consumer base perceives a brand. Such management strategies also need to undergo review from time to time, to change with the trends and consumer psyche.
In the past, the positives and negatives of a business were mostly discussed through word of mouth, which went on to shape the reputation of the company among the general consumer base. Now, however, most of our conversations have shifted online, and it’s inevitable that more information about a brand is spread that way. With the increased usage of online platforms among every possible consumer base, companies use social media and SEO tactics to achieve their goals as well manage their reputation online properly.
Why is Reputation Management Important?
Reputation management is critical to any organization and should be a key component of your business plan. Whether yours is a technology business plan or a bakery business plan, be sure to include reputation management in it.
It is widely believed that reputation management is a core component of the public relations department of any business. While this may be true, reputation management also forms a core component of the marketing and sales of any company. Let’s look at it this way, if the reputation of a company has been marred, it will inevitably affect the marketing and sales strategies affected by a company.
Reputation management is fundamental to the survival of any business in the long run, be it of any size or structure. We have seen varied examples of this in the recent past, with the dissolution of Enron group due to its sketchy ethics and subsequent failure of its public relations department to manage the accusations. This was a complete failure on the part of the company to properly manage their reputation, which ultimately led to their downfall.
A similar situation arose with United Airlines, when a passenger on one of their flights was mistreated by their staff. This received massive backlash from the online community across the world, and the stock prices of United Airlines plummeted. Their revenue was massively hit as well. It was only due to their dominant market share and brand name that United Airlines survived this hit. Any smaller company would not have been able to survive.
These are instances of how the development of online communication has made reputation progressively impactful. While in the past individuals who had a terrible experience in a business may have just told a couple of acquaintances, presently they can distribute their perspectives on the web, where millions of people have access to it. Nowadays, a sole questionable circumstance can cause any organization to take a nose dive into liquidation.
How does a firm or business manage its reputation?
There are various steps, which a firm can take to manage its reputation.
- Maintaining its standards – If the business provides good standards of services to its clients and partners, and maintains such standards, the reputation of the firm always remains positive. This is one of the most important offline methods of maintaining and growing a firm’s reputation.
- Building an Online Presence – This method is typically adopted by companies that are still starting out. It is very important for such companies to build an online presence. This can be done with the help of a blog, positive reviews on various websites and other similar methods.
- Maintaining an Online Presence – This is adopted by companies who already have an established, albeit small, customer base. The methods adopted are similar to the ones mentioned above, but should be carried out on a larger scale.
- Recovery – In the off chance that a business has become notorious for whatever reason, it is important to employ recovery methods of reputation management. The recovery method should employ novel marketing strategies combined with showing themselves in a good light, to facilitate a rapid recovery.
Follow these steps to maintain a positive reputation for your company.