Brand Reputation 101

How to Measure and Maintain Brand Rep

When people hear your company name, what is the first thing that pops into their minds?

People’s initial perception of your organization is also known as your brand reputation. Your brand rep either encourages or discourages people from engaging with your company. This means the way people view your company will affect sales and even recruiting efforts.

Often employers and managers don’t really know much about their brand rep or how to manage it. So, we’ll present some good and bad examples and then get into the nitty-gritty of how to monitor and maintain your brand reputation.

Examples of Good and Bad Reputation Management

Nike is a prime example of good brand management. From the brand’s involvement in social movements to the prioritization of its customers, Nike remains an organization that people want to work for and consumers want to buy from. Most recently, Nike has employed an entire Twitter support team for the sole purpose of addressing customer complaints. This is one of the most successful tactics Nike uses to keep a clean online brand reputation.

In a similar way, Lego has maintained an excellent reputation for years. Lego’s values and morals are progressive and are centered around family, community, and innovation. They also make it a point to showcase their commitment to inclusivity and sustainability. Consistently marketing these points makes them a company people want to work for.

In 2017, a doctor was drug off a United Airlines flight, and the incident was caught on camera. When given a chance to repair the damage, the president defended the employee instead of apologizing and seeking peace. This incident cost the airline billions in revenue during a span of at least two years, ultimately impacting effective recruiting and hiring.

Also, in 2017 Dove’s brand reputation took a hit when a racially problematic advertisement aired. Of course, Dove retracted the ad and apologized immediately. However, it is better if things like this don’t happen, especially because it has negative implications on recruiting. Diversifying a workforce while putting out socially unacceptable ads is nearly impossible and dwarfs recruiting and hiring efforts.

What Affects Company Brand Reputation?

Though much of brand reputation is measured externally, factors that affect brand rep mostly exist internally. Often, an organization’s internal culture, environment, and success greatly influence what the outside world thinks. Some of the biggest indicators consumers and candidates use to judge your company are:

  • Workplace environment and culture
  • Finances and company stability
  • Employee and employer reviews
  • Your company’s missions and values
  • The social and environmental initiatives and projects you prioritize

Any time your reputation takes a hit, it is a chance to review your organization from the inside out. However, if you don’t know how to monitor or collect feedback, then you’ll never even know that candidates and consumers are thinking negatively. On the other hand, if you can thoroughly answer the questions below, then you’ll have a good idea on what candidates and consumers like about your organization and what needs to be reshaped.

4 Tips to Maintain a Positive Brand Presence

Be Proactive

It seems like the biggest, most dramatic problem is what you should really focus on, right? Well, believe it or not, the biggest threat to a company’s reputation is letting small issues go unaddressed. Small issues will chip away at your brand’s image until it becomes a bigger issue that is more difficult to recover from. Instead, nip those small issues in the bud to avoid developing a bad rep in the long run.

Manage Expectations

If you look at companies with the best reputations, it seems as if they never miss a beat… like they are perfect. However, they just do a really good job at prioritizing transparency and managing expectations. In creating a brand for your company, make sure people know what they can expect from you. While this is important in sales, it is also important in recruiting. One example is including a short outline of the hiring process at the end of the job description. That way, candidates know what to expect and won’t be disappointed in any other result.

Be Consistent

At the end of the day, trust is built with consistency. If you want candidates to trust that you are who you say you are, you must show it every day. Most importantly, your company’s morals and values should be consistent with your work environment, culture, and initiatives. Sending mixed signals will turn people away and present an unclear picture about who your brand really is.

Stay Connected and Collect Feedback

Think of Nike. Nike hired an entire support team for Twitter. You don’t have to go as far as doing that (especially as a small-medium-sized business), but you should find ways to stay connected to your community. Constantly collecting feedback and engaging on social platforms not only keeps you informed but also shows that you are looking for ways to innovate and enhance your organization.

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