Life is famously unpredictable, and even our most beloved brands and personalities can find themselves in a full-on PR crisis. How they bounce back from any unpleasant ordeal lies hugely on how formidable their reputation is.
But most skeptics think that if you have a lot of money and powerful connections, you don't need to work hard to build your company's reputation.
Unfortunately, you can't buy a good reputation; you must earn it. When you successfully build your company’s reputation, it's something no one can ever take away from you. In business, your reputation is the only currency that counts.
What is reputation?
To understand the importance of building reputation, you first must understand what reputation means. In simple terms, reputation is generally the beliefs or opinions about someone or something. Whether your company has a good or bad reputation is up to you.
In today's internet age, people will view your brand's reputation through the lens of social media and search engines. And that is why it is crucial to build your company's reputation starting from day one.
If you stick around to the end of this article, you'll learn how you can build a reputation that stands the test of time. Without further ado, let's delve in!
1. Stick To Your Word
There are lots of charismatic people who are great talkers. But at the end of the day, your reputation is shaped by how you stick to your word. That is what Nike did when they made Colin Kaepernick, the American quarterback who protested against police brutality by kneeling during the national anthem.
It was the face of Nike’s new advertising campaign, and the move paid off, but not without backlash from angry customers who pledged to burn their trainers and refused to buy from the brand again.
Instead of changing its stance, Nike reacted proactively by producing a tongue-in-check video showing people how to destroy their trainers safely. By sticking to its decision and tackling critics head-on, Nike retained their reputation, and new sales shot up to 31%.
2. Be Transparent And Honest
When customers suspect that you're not genuine, they're likely to leave your brand. According to Jeremy Bowler of SmallBizClub, people can easily see through the facade when you try to be something you're not.
The problem with many companies is that there's often no key or apparent differentiation in their products and services. So instead, they sugarcoat some features as a marketing tactic to get customers to buy.
Unfortunately, this always backfires when customers' expectations aren't met. To build your company's reputation, you must be transparent and honest about your offers, without any shady elements.
3. Provide Quality Experience
A quality experience is probably an unbeatable tactic when building your company's reputation. Take the brand, Klarna, for example; the brand provides a superior shopping experience unmatched by its competitors here in Sweden.
People want things to be easier and faster, and providing them with this experience every time means they will feel satisfied and always return for more. And when a customer is happy with the experience, they automatically become unpaid marketers, spreading the word without care.
Take a moment and envision yourself as a customer, and go above and beyond to optimize and improve your customers' experience. When your brand is known for quality, people will work with you, buy from you, and invest in your company without hesitation.
4. Build Your Online Presence
Google is now a common verb - so common that we 'Google' more than 3.5 million queries each day. Before a customer makes a buying decision, they search to get ideas, learn what products and services they may need, compare prices, and anything else that helps them make a decision.
While customer reviews can help compel potential customers to buy, it is also vital you have a high-quality and user-friendly website that provides all the information a customer might need.
Also, take advantage of social media and SEO, and if you're not technically inclined, you can always hire an expert so you can focus on other things that matter. If you use freelance help, it might be easier on your budget.
5. Treat Your Employees Well
Believe it or not, your employees can make or break your company's reputation should you mistreat or undervalue them. On the other hand, a happy employee will give their best and treat customers well when the need arises.
Look at it this way - people often like to talk about their jobs to their friends and family and might even post about it on social media about their satisfaction or dissatisfaction. So, treating your employees well will encourage them to do their best and help build your company's reputation.
So when an employee is doing a great job, shower praises, pay them their market value, and don't hesitate when they're due for a raise.
6. Engage With Your Customers
Another incredible way to build your company's reputation is to be responsive. Be friendly and listen to what your customers have to say. When they comment or send an email, don't be afraid to engage them, without getting too personal.
When you're constantly engaging with your customers, they don't feel like they're just another number in your books. Instead, they feel recognized, appreciated, and likely to bond with your brand for the longest time possible.
Your company's reputation depends significantly on how you treat people, so you must prioritize doing the right thing at all times. As a result, your company gains credibility, allowing you to reach your goals without hassles.
A successful entrepreneur once said:
"It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you'll do things differently." - Warren Buffet.
While it is important to build your company’s reputation, it’s also paramount you protect it. Focusing on doing the right thing, sticking to your values, and constantly improving your offering is key to building and maintaining your company's reputation.
The fact is, it doesn't happen overnight, but it's possible through consistency. The good news, however, is that we're here to guide and help you grow and scale your business. So feel free to subscribe to our newsletter, so you don't miss our updates.
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