Reputation is everything when it comes to PR, and effective brand reputation management should be a key consideration for every aesthetic and beauty brand – particularly in today’s environment of instantaneous (and permanent) commentary and feedback on the internet and social media. If you’re building a brand and wondering how to get things off the ground, or how to maintain that momentum – this article will explain the fundamentals of brand reputation management – both traditional and online – and how you can keep that great progress going!
What is Brand Reputation Management?
Brand reputation management is primarily where PR and marketing communications are used to shape, manage and maintain the external public perception of your brand or business in order to align or shift this to your desired, internal positioning.
The Benefits of Building A Good Brand Reputation
A strong, consistent brand reputation is the cornerstone of every successful business – it tells the public who you are, why you’re different and what they can expect from your goods or services. Building and maintaining your brand reputation is critical for creating ongoing consumer awareness, trust and demand for your services – helping differentiate you from competitors and tip consumers from consideration into ‘action’.
When a brand reputation is managed consistently it can help create a strong profile which generates repeat business, attracting further business opportunities and partnerships which ultimately take your brand to the next level. One of the most powerful ‘convincers’ in the consideration and purchasing process is an unbiased third party recommendation – just remember the last time you asked a friend for their opinion on what to get or where to go for something! Your brand reputation is always working in the background, not just through your own channels and what you say about yourself – but critically, what others say about you, what they’ve heard or seen in their own circles of experience and brand interaction.
Who Can Help Build Your Brand Reputation?
First and foremost, everyone who works in or around your business is essentially a brand representative – they must be equipped with your brand messages and values, so they can confidently promote and position your brand at any opportunity. Before you reach this point in brand reputation management you need to create your brand messages to clarify what makes YOU different and define why customers should choose YOU.
Your customers are another vital source of reputation-building power – they are your most influential advocates, so every touchpoint with customers is an opportunity to communicate who you are and why you’re special – to make a positive impression that they can then pass on to their circle of contacts.
If you need guidance in developing your brand’s profile – an experienced communications agency like Kendrick PR can provide much needed strategic support to help your brand stand out. Finally, to take your brand further and build a presence with wider audiences, including the press you can consider a more holistic PR strategy. We recommend choosing a PR agency who specialise in your industry, as experts in the beauty and aesthetics industry Kendrick PR offer a comprehensive portfolio of PR services for premium brands.
How to Start Building A Brand Reputation
The time to build your brand reputation is now, here are our PR expert’s 3 top tips for getting started:
- Create strong brand USPs – List 3-5 key points of quality and differentiation that set you apart, and seed these messages consistently across all your marketing channels – website, social media, customer marketing, shop or clinic materials. Once you have them share them with your team and in every piece of content you create for your brand.
- Listen to your customers – Ensure you incorporate customer reviews and feedback as part of your ongoing processes – glowing reviews can be shared on social media as a way to demonstrate genuine experiences and generate trust from customer prospects. Don’t ignore negative feedback or criticisms, respond warmly and if relevant find a way to improve.
- Build your tribe – Everything about your brand, from the look and feel, to the products and services on offer should be tailored to attracting your ideal customer. Make sure that your brand is visible in those places that your target customers are spending their time – both online and offline – and connect with them in a consistent manner. Once you have a core tribe of customers expect it to multiply!
Online Brand Reputation
In our world of instant online access and social media, brands are now even more connected to their customers. Prompt responses are an essential part of business engagement, to build your tribe and help garner that trust and positive experience with your business. Customers now expect a level of genuine engagement and interaction with brands – from likes and comments on social media, to follow ups and ongoing interaction offline, post purchase and so on.
Many of these are positive interactions, but of course there can also be an element of managing negativity online – dealing promptly and effectively with issues, managing expectations so that any difficulties are nipped in the bud. It is vital to ensure that you have time and resources dedicated to managing your online brand reputation or entrusting this task to a dedicated supplier.
How to Handle Negative Comments Online
Sadly, you can never know when criticism or negativity might get levelled at your business on social media – but you can ensure your response diffuses the situation quickly and effectively. Never, ever ignore the problem – it won’t go away, and others are watching to see how you handle the issue. Here are some effective tips to help you effectively manage any negative online comments:
- ALWAYS take the high road – No matter the injustice or the inaccuracies – don’t get drawn into a public spat, especially on social media where it’s there for all to see. Acknowledge the comment or issue and offer to get in touch directly to discuss and resolve the matter.
- DON’T fight fire with fire – Leave the response video rants to the celebrities on Instagram and Twitter. Don’t respond in kind – no matter how tempting it may be. Make sure you’ve had time to calm down and collect yourself before issuing any kind of response
- ACKNOWLEDGE & TAKE ACTION – The quickest way to diffuse the situation is to acknowledge it and push it straight to a resolution opportunity. You are not agreeing with what was said – you are merely acknowledging the dissatisfaction and publicly stating your desire to find a resolution.
If step 3 fails and vitriol is still flying – issue a statement on your channels and website to state the facts of the situation, what you have done to try to resolve it and that you remain open to a professional resolution.
Build a Stellar Brand Reputation
Would you like to know more about how Kendrick PR can help build and maintain your brand reputation? We’d love to support you with your PR needs and help your business thrive. Please do get in touch to schedule your complimentary brand discovery call with our expert team.