5 Tips That Can Make Anyone a Branding Rockstar
Your online brand identity plays a huge role in attracting new customers and retaining your existing ones. Building a good reputation is one thing, keeping that reputation intact is another. Your brand might be shining in flashing gold lights now but will it still be that way tomorrow? There are many contributing factors to keeping your brand image to your standards. While you may have little control over what a few disgruntled customers have to say, you do have control over how you handle it.
A recent PR Daily report came out displaying the most and least respected brands on the market. While Coca-Cola, Hershey’s and Apple were recognized for their familiarity and favorability by customers, companies such as Delta Airlines, Best Buy and Papa John’s Pizza weren’t so lucky.
Here are five ways to stay ahead of the game:
1. Keep your brand message consistent: It’s important for your audience to be able to easily identify who you are and what you do. Devising a consistent brand strategy throughout your online channels helps increase brand recognition. Every business should ask themselves “Who are we? What do we stand for? What do we want to be recognized for?” Establishing this early on will help create consistency through all content that you share.
2. Track your brand: Monitoring all reviews, comments and any content pertaining to your brand is crucial to your brand image reputation. Create a “Google Alert” to be notified when anything about your brand is mentioned online. Social media is no longer an option, it’s a necessity. Staying active on social is imperative to success in this digital age. Many customers now turn to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to communicate for both good and the bad.
3. Set the facts straight: Whether it’s a comment left on your social media or a public company crisis, it’s always vital to respond quickly. The longer you wait, the less authentic your answer will appear to be. The last thing any company wants is bad publicity. There’s nothing like bad media attention to put a dent in your reputation. Do yourself a favor and address the problem head on, don’t leave room for rumors! Make sure to distribute content pertaining to the issue throughout all your channels when a big problem occurs. Remember, be consistent with your message. Failing to do so will only further tarnish your brand image.
4. Trademark your name and snag social media handles before someone else does: Does your company have a unique name? If the answer is yes, slap a trademark on it! Unfortunately if you have something common like “Joe’s Pizza” it might be a bit of a struggle. As soon as you’ve registered your company, it’s not only important trademark it but also to create social media accounts under that name to avoid it being used by another party. You may not be active on all social media channels, but it would be a pity to later discover your name is being used for an entirely different product or service other than your own. A bit hard to be affective when managing your brand’s image when you have zero control over what’s being produced from those accounts.
5. Shape your human brand: The people behind your brand are what makes your brand succeed. From the CEO to the customer service representatives, all involved with your company must represent your brand to the highest standard. Don’t allow anyone to slip through the cracks. At its core. your company is the people who work with it. Train your employees to have extensive knowledge of the company itself, and help them work on techniques to improve. Do they know to ask for positive feedback when a customer expresses how happy they are? Do they know the right way to handle a complaint? Ensuring the quality of your service/product is just a fraction of what it takes to keep your brand image strong. The people behind it are what helps drive you towards success.
Bill Stevens is founder of Review Balance, an online reputation management tool geared toward helping small-business owners.
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