How customers view your company is one of the most crucial aspects to any business, regardless of industry or size. Knowing how to both protect your brand’s reputation and build upon it can help to grow and strengthen a company. Let’s dive into how to build a powerful brand with five expert branding rules.
Rule 1: Adaptation is Key
The market and your customers are constantly evolving. This means the way you conduct business and the products/services you offer will have to change in order to keep pace with the marketplace. This is also true of your brand and reputation. Watch trends, pay attention to the conversations in your industry, and see what your competition is doing and what people are saying about them. Then adjust your strategy and brand book accordingly.
Rule 2: Be Authentic
It’s also important to stay true to your company’s core values and mission while remaining genuine. People can typically spot brands who try to put on an act very easily, and the consequences of that can be devastating to brand reputation and growth.
For example, in 2017, United Airlines had a big PR fail. Passengers shared a video of a man who was aggressively forced off an airplane by security when he was randomly selected to give up his seat for maintenance and declined. While that viral video was more than enough to draw attention and to tarnish the reputation of United Airlines, things escalated when CEO Oscar Munoz gave a victim-blaming apology while praising his employees for following the proper rules. It’s these delicate situations (regardless of who is right or wrong) that require authenticity and understanding that stay true to a company’s core values and mission. Having a plan in place for situations like these will help you to be prepared.
Rule 3: Measure Results
If you think branding is abstract and can’t be measured, think again. Nowadays there are a variety of tools to monitor your branding efforts and results. Online reputation management tools such as Google Alerts and social media tools (Buffer and HubSpot are two that we use) provide a variety of reports, statistics, and analytics comparing your digital efforts.
Using these tools will allow you to see how others perceive your brand as well as how your audience is engaging and interacting with you. Taking the time to track and analyze these results will help you improve your brand and overall digital strategy, allowing you to focus on getting the best results possible.
At Synectics Media, we constantly measure results to “find the right answer” for your clients. For example, for one of our clients in the lawn and tree care industry, we noticed that they get more leads through AdWords versus Facebook ads, and we adjusted their strategy accordingly. The key to this rule is to perform small tests to quickly eliminate what isn’t working so you can focus on what is working.
Rule 4: Be Consistent
Hannah Fleishman from HubSpot says it best, “All of your communications and marketing assets should tell your brand’s story.”
From a consumer perspective, think about the brands that you follow and are loyal to. More often than not, they’ve earned your respect and trust due to their dependability.
For example, let’s look at Zappos. This company has built a strong reputation for delivering excellent customer service and happiness. By empowering their employees to make things right for their customers through an open, honest, and transparent work environment, Zappos not only has happier employees but very happy customers and brand advocates as well! The consistency and dedication to their ten core values allows Zappos to have an authentic and powerful brand.
These examples can apply to you and your brand, too. Developing a consistent look in all marketing pieces including brand voice and customer communication will help to strengthen your brand.
Rule 5: Be Creative in Building Brand Awareness
Spread the word about your business in a creative way. Some of our favorites methods include:
- Referral programs - Dropbox has a very strong word-of-mouth program that offers customers certain incentives to recommend their product to others. The execution of this referral program resulted in 60% permanent new users.
- Infographics - This is one of our favorite ways to build brand awareness for our clients, visit Whiting Law’s library page for some great examples!
- Running social media contests.
- Starting a podcast - Featuring local businesses for free on a podcast is a great way to increase your brand and network!
- Setting up pay-per-click (PPC) ads and remarketing campaigns.
Following these suggestions (along with dedication and hard work) can help your brand to become successful.
There are a variety of different ways to grow brand awareness, keep your brand’s reputation in check, and grow your business. New trends are always emerging, which is why continuing education is always encouraged for you and your company to remain successful.
What are some of your rules that you’ve learned about branding and business growth through reputation management? Talk to us in the comments, we love hearing from our peers.