Brand reputation is the substance that keeps a brand moving. Damage to a company’s brand could lead to the loss of prospective clients, low sales and possibly death of the company. In Warren Buffets words ‘it takes 20years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that then you will probably do things differently.’
Having built a good brand reputation, I know what it takes to maintain such and the benefits that come with it. Building a good brand reputation is like protecting an egg, once it cracks, you will have a hard time convincing the mass that the new egg you laid is worth it. Irrespective of the fragile nature of branding, many reputable companies have stood out in this area. The likes of Coca-Cola, Facebook, Google, General Motors, Samsung, Toyota, are still maintaining their brand identity. Some of the above-mentioned companies have had their fair share of brand attacks and setbacks. So how do they overcome such setback and still stay at the top of their game? The answers are stated below:
Admit Your Flaws and Take Responsibility.
In September 2016, Samsung admitted to its battery flaws that led to the explosion of Note 7, which was its recent product at that time. Though the flaws got the media on fire, they still scaled through. What was the result of their action? Damage control.
The masses like it when a brand admits their fault and seek an amendment. They are always ready to give a second chance.
Recall And Replace Product If Possible.
By 2016, Toyota, a popular vehicle manufacturing company was regarded as the largest vehicle manufacturing company in the world [according to Forbes], they recalled about 1.4million cars in October 2016, over faulty air bags made by its supplier named TAKATA.
This is a typical example of how top brands protect and maintain their identity. Today Toyota is still waxing stronger as one of the most reputable brands in automobile industries. Whenever you face a brand setback as a result of under delivering, make sure you recall and replace. The masses find this gesture, appealing to their well being.
Run a Damage Control Advert;
As of 2009, a couple of tobacco companies in the USA were ordered by a court to run a damage control Ads due to the misleading information they gave to the public. When you misinform the public without running a damage control aids, your company runs the risks of its reputation and of course stands a chance of harming the masses through the information you gave out.
Respond to Negative Reviews in a Calmly and Helpful Manner.
When you receive a negative receive a negative review pertaining a particular product, The greatest defense you can carry out is by responding calmly and helpfully like;
‘We totally apologize for the stress our product has caused you, I hope you wouldn’t mind suggesting a better way of improving our product so that we can serve you better’.
There are tons of other calmly ways you can respond, it all depends on the situation you find yourself in.
Control Your Brand Feedback Option.
In the 21st Century, when freedom of speech is been abused, it’s advisable that brands keep their feedback option in control to avoid unnecessary negative comments that might dent the image of the brand. You can control your review and feedback option by providing your clients with a feedback/ review portal that leads directly to the company’s inbox, from where it will be published in order to be viewed by clients.
USE ONLINE TRACKING TOOLS TO KEEP CHECK.
Online tools like ‘Google Alert’ can help you know when certain keywords are indexed on Google. You can easily set up your brand name as a keyword In order to keep track of whatever the media write about your brand and keep check of it. Other tools like MENTION performs the same function but has a filter that shows what the big guns in your industry are saying about the industry.
Like the Old saying goes, Prevention is better than cure, but in cases where you can’t prevent your brand damage, you can use the above method which is been practiced by top brands around the world to correct and maintain your brand identity.