Your brand’s reputation: It is a deciding factor that bears a lot of weight in buyers’ decisions.
And there’s more.
When you show brand management efforts (i.e. show that you care about the reputation of your brand), that says a lot about you and the people who work for your brand.
It proves that you can be trusted, and your level of commitment is high enough to promote longevity and quality all around.
What does a superb brand reputation do? It attracts the best employees. It entices and retains the best customers. It appeals to investors and brand advocates of all types.
Let’s talk about how you can maintain a brilliant brand reputation with digital brand management.
Digital Brand Management, in your Marketing Mix
Every brand should utilise a marketing mix in its strategy; however, it doesn’t end there. Every function, every event…every heartbeat…should have its very own marketing mix.
For example, maybe a customer-appreciation luncheon should be advertised on your website, on social media channels, and in your monthly newsletter; and should then be covered with photos, video and written content in your blog and in the local newspaper. Channels should be chosen based on applicability to the event, as well as through your understanding of how your target audience chooses to receive its information…according to the type of news and circumstances surrounding that news.
Your marketing mix should include those channels that you are comfortable with, and those that have proven most effective; however, evolutionary brand management requires that you incorporate new forms of media, too. These forms may be unfamiliar to you; you may experience apprehension in learning something new, and worry that you’ll make a mistake. This is normal, and mistakes will happen—but nothing will be as detrimental to your brand as ignoring new media channels and allowing your competition to occupy that space.
And when I say occupying a space, that doesn’t simply mean having a page, or putting up a website; it means staying active and engaging within that space…really spreading out and being a living presence there.
Here are a few examples:
- Your website is a living, breathing entity that is responsible for all the same things that your brick-and-mortar store is (or was). There are lots of [often lost] opportunities for brand management there. Post regular blog articles (at least weekly). Update your About Us page to reflect changes in personnel, experience and credentials. Adjust text to suit the evolution of your brand (without compromising its core values or branded language). Change and add news feeds as necessary to satisfy customer preferences and needs.
- Your social media pages are not intended to be firing cannons, from which random information is spewed and forgotten. Instead, they are to be places where highly relevant content is created (and shared) to prove expertise, build trust and start conversation. All comments should be addressed. All opportunities for further communication should be scooped up and maximised like the gold they are.
- Another brand’s website is a great place for your guest blog posts—assuming that the two brands are complementary and that your ideal customers are frequenting that brand’s website. This establishes you as an expert in your field and someone who is willing to reach outside their circle to make more quality connections. This also ensures that your brand’s [good] reputation is propagated in places outside your circle.
- Other social media pages and social media groups are also brilliant places to manage your brand’s reputation. Offer advice and solutions whenever possible, making your brand the go-to in your industry. Avoid sales language, taking advantage of opportunities to develop relationships that could grow into sales.
- Establish a Google Alert for your name and brand name, as well as keywords that are associated with your brand. Monitor what’s being said about you and your brand, and intervene when necessary. Respond to positive comments with offers of more help. Respond to negativity with gratitude for the opinion, followed by action for improving consumer experiences. Know what’s being said about your brand, so that you can gauge perceptions and create the brand that people are craving.
- Encourage brand advocates to go digital with their word-of-mouth advertising. When you come into contact with people who really understand your brand and share its values, nurture those relationships. Lead by digital example. Acknowledge the digital praise they give your brand. Reward their advocacy.
- Organisations like The Better Business Bureau, The Chamber of Commerce and local visitors’ bureaus are no longer limited to traditional networking. They are going digital, too—meaning that establishing connections there can prove invaluable to your brand management efforts. It’s likely that they’re connected with more of your ideal customers than you are, so get on their digital radar.
- Webinars are gems of the digital age, and if you want to be seen as an expert in your field, I suggest you explore how these digital seminars can serve your audience. Know what your people are most interested in learning. Poll them and take note of activity to choose the best time of day for airing. Make recordings available after the events. Publicise them on your internet places, encourage sharing and use webinars as tools to attract new clients.
Expert-level brand management, or the preservation of your brand’s good reputation, is two-fold and consists of:
- The Continual Shaping of Brand Perceptions
- The Maintenance of your Brand’s Good Reputation
One thing is for sure: Your brand cannot be left to run rampant, on its own. It’s true that consumers, not you, will ultimately shape perceptions of your brand. That does not mean, however, that you are powerless in the creation of the brand you want to see in the world. Work with the public, to know what they want and then deliver that, within the parameters of your brand. Do this, and you will maintain a brand that is everything it needs to be, for all the right people.
Are you ready to learn more how to make your brand more credible, visible and profitable? Then join me for a B.R.A.N.D. Building Bootcamp. You will learn not only how to manage your brand, but to nurture a brilliant strategy, from creation to exit. Learn more here. Register as early as possible, to take advantage of a £200 discount.