For over 6 years, I’ve been involved in branding projects, and today I will talk about what I’ve learned, and the important things to remember with your brand on the web. Here’s the key to corporate reputation.
What is Reputation?
Sometimes reputation can be confusing when it sits next to brand, but I’m going to lay it out below. There are two sets of perceptions: Products (what you do), and Corporate (who you are). Reputation is who you are. It is created by others – not what the company has created.
In 2013, the Global Reptrak 100 study produced by the Reputation Institute found that who you are matters more than what you produce. RepTrak is the world’s largest study of corporate reputation, and it is the result of more than 55,000 interviews across 15 markets.
The Way We Market Has Fundamentally Changed
What are consumers going to find when they look for you? What are people saying on Twitter and Facebook? What are the reviews? How do you interact with customers? All of these questions are key when thinking about your brand’s reputation.
I’ve found that the best way to approach this is through creating utility and making your consumers lives more easy. Create content that is meaningful and that your customers are looking for. Also, keep clear lines of communication open with your customer. Engage with them on Facebook and Twitter. And, if you make a mistake, admit it.
Predict What Can Happen – Crisis Communication 101
Crisis can happen at any time. One of the best ways to to prepare yourself is through building partnerships. You don’t want to be alone on the web and be forced to go on the defense. In crisis communication, the goal is to have created a healthy ecosystem where there can be a collective response, and the problem becomes a small speed bump, rather than a major communication crisis.
Creating Social Guidelines
Social guidelines today are a must. They help create “Why”? By setting up guidelines, you are able to state what the company stands for. This gives the company a better chance of identifying with the customer, even when crisis arises.
Also, guidelines help create priority. Is the priority around your customers? Your shareholders?
Think About Employees – Culture & Internal Value
Turn your employees into brand ambassadors. If you have a strong culture, then your employees are low hanging fruit. How are you empowering them?
Rather than just a corporate communication plan or response, you should give your employees the ability to be daily advocates so when a crisis does happen, it’s not just a communication plan; rather you have your entire organization that is behind you.
Finally, always remember that transparency is key. To learn more about how your brand can be transparent, check out my top three ways to keep your business transparent.