How to Build Your Brand Reputation (Or Fix a Bad One)
Brand exists beyond and outside of the product or service a business provides. It speaks to the spirit of a company, what differentiates it from its competitors and the identity that consumers or clients relate to. Brand reputation is built around three core principles: distinction from peers, resonance with your audience, and trust. In the grocery space, shoppers have traditionally tended to choose recognizable name brands over less costly generic products, even when those products are of equal or superior quality. This prompted grocery stores to promote awareness and improve the reputations of the store brands they carry. By improving their own brand reputation, major grocery retailers, including Whole Foods and Target, have built brand loyalty around many of their store brand products.
Brand reputation is essential to maintaining one’s place in a competitive market. Building and maintaining a positive brand reputation, and coming back from a bad one, requires strategy, monitoring and mindful engagement. Keep reading to learn more.
1. Optimize Your Presence Online
A key component of brand reputation is holding authority online through effective SEO strategies. When potential new leads research your company or search keywords related to your product or service, appearing in the first one or two pages of search results enables you to: 1. Demonstrate competency and 2. Prioritize your company’s narrative. Investing in SEO should be step one for brand building and reputation management.
Baseline SEO maintenance demands that certain accessibility features be present such as meta descriptions, alt tags, HTML headers and more. These are the things Google looks for when it crawls websites, which is what determines ranking. Well researched keywords should inform thought leadership articles and useful content for your target audience. Effective SEO keeps your brand top of mind on your terms, giving you better control over building and maintaining your reputation.
2. Monitor and Control the Conversation
A golden rule we’re taught growing up is not to worry about what other people say. Brands should toss that right out the window. In order to build and maintain your brand reputation, especially if you’re in a process of rebuilding, you need to be aware of how your brand is being discussed. Set up Google Alerts for your brand name, including common misspellings, and other keywords associated with you. When someone mentions your business online, you’ll receive a notification, putting any negative comments on your radar before they have a chance to spiral. Likewise, seeing positive mentions can be an important data point for measuring brand reputation.
Tools like Google Analytics can provide additional insight into how people are engaging with your brand, helping to inform your strategies for building reputation. It may also be valuable to remove the opportunity for others to damage your brand reputation by purchasing similar domain names, including those that use different extensions, and domain names that cast a negative light on your brand, e.g. BrandIsCanceled.net. Resist the urge to hash out complaints or negative comments online. Doing so will only boost their SEO ranking.
3. Mindfully Engage With Your Audience
Building your brand reputation should involve healthy engagement with your target audience. Highlight positive reviews and testimonials on your social media and websites. Respond to customers and clients in a way that leaves a positive impression or creates a memorable user experience. When negative comments or complaints show up, remember that anything you say can and will be used against you in the court of public opinion. Take a step back to assess those comments. If someone has had a genuinely poor experience, work with them offline to gain understanding. If necessary, create and communicate actionable items within your company to prevent further issues.
If an issue has ballooned to a more damaging story for your brand, rebuilding your reputation is made possible through communication and action. Address the problem openly and honestly and develop a strategy to show tangible change. This puts the conversation back under your control and demonstrates that your brand has the courage and humility to recognize a mistake and grow from it.
Build Your Brand Reputation with Bullseye Media
Bullseye Media crafts compelling storytelling for brands built around date-supported strategies to build and maintain a positive reputation. Our SEO team utilizes thorough keyword research, website and social analytics, best practices and a proprietary SEO equation to maximize your online presence. Our creative teams capture and help craft the voice, spirit and aesthetic of your brand to deliver polished content that will engage your target demographic and differentiate you from the competition. Driven by results, Bullseye Media works with our clients to develop and optimize creatively ambitious, reputation-building campaigns. Whether you’re looking to grow your existing market, are just starting out in building your brand or you’re looking to heal a fractured reputation, reach out to Bullseye Media for a trusted partner.