Brand Reputation Management: The Key to a Successful Online Business in 2023

Brand reputation management is vital to building a lasting connection with your audience. Read this blog to learn how to make your brand stand out!

In a world where information spreads like wildfire, it is now more challenging than ever for brands to safeguard their image. Just as positive reviews boost customer loyalty, negative feedback can spark a poor public perception. For this reason, business owners from all around the globe rely on brand reputation management to avoid these reputation risks.

No doubt, a solid brand identity is a valued asset that helps grow your business in the long run, but building or rebuilding that identity is a slow process, demanding both time and effort. Therefore, before you embark on this journey, basic know-how of the overall concept and strategy can save you a lot of hassle.

So, join us as we delve deep into the intricacies involved in brand reputation management and strategies you can adopt to undertake the task!

What is Brand Reputation Management?

Brand reputation management is the strategy for influencing or regulating the public sentiment around your brand. It entails how your clients, employees, stakeholders, or the general public view your brand and what they think about it. You can easily control this perception through:

  • Social media platforms
  • Collaborators and stakeholders
  • Online review sites
  • Customer experience
  • Digital advertisements

Why Does Brand Reputation Management Matter for Companies

The online business market is booming, with unlimited opportunities to reach a global audience. However, this global reach is difficult to maintain in this era of fast connectivity, where people quickly believe what they see or read online. It presents the immediate need of brand reputation management for companies to shield their brand from poor standing in the public.

More than 90% of customers avoid buying from brands after reading a negative review. That also suggests how maintaining a good reputation is inevitable for leading successful businesses. For instance, in 2019, the Joe Dough Sandwich Shop diffused negative customer feedback by responding to them in a fun way, which uplifted their online image.

Most companies now perceive brand reputation management as a vital part of the business as it leads to:

  • Boosted customer loyalty
  • Increase in profits
  • Organic online traffic
  • Positive public perception
  • Improved consumer base

What Are the 3 Essential Elements of Brand Reputation Management?

Although brand reputation management involves several core values for businesses, successful execution of the plan narrows down to three main rules. So, let’s get into details and learn about those brand reputation must-haves that companies should not overlook!

1. Monitoring, Evaluating, Improvising

Monitoring the online conversations about your brand gives you a rough idea of public opinion, whether positive or negative, that you can later use to bring about relevant policy changes. Make sure you generate a consistent strategy and always keep track of:

  • Client reviews on e-commerce websites or online review sites
  • Reports about your business profile on media outlets
  • Remarks about your brand on notable online forums
  • Public sentiment on each of your posts via comments

A closer assessment of these areas will enable you to come up with the groundwork needed for a proper brand reputation management strategy. In the next step, you should evaluate the impact of these onset measures on your company’s performance. For this, you can count on:

  • Consulting law firms or brand management experts for insights
  • Accessing data analytics for an in-depth brand audit

Then, take action and improvise according to what fits best for retaining your online brand reputation in a positive light. For instance, Tesla, an automotive company, recently updated their Model X and Model S vehicles on customer feedback and replaced the yoke with a standard round steering wheel.

Moreover, with efficient AI-powered tools like FeedHive, you can visualize your followers' activity or engagement through simple data interpretations and trace the progress. The AI features also generate suggestions to upgrade your online profile, leading to better reach and improved performance.

2. Focusing on Client Experience

Whether it is positive word-of-mouth, a wholesome comment on your post, or an excellent customer review on a website, they can reach hundreds or thousands of people online or in real life. But the same is true for negative customer feedback. It indicates that customer experience scale can go a long way to building your brand reputation, for better or worse.

Therefore, maintaining a good streak of customer experience must be the top-most priority for all the brands working on reputation management. It’s a little tricky because 85% of business owners assume they offer a personalized client experience, while 40% of consumers don’t agree with this prospect.

So, the question arises: How do brands curate a strategy entirely focused on customer satisfaction and product services? Well, relax! You can take an edge in the customer services domain by:

  • Training your core team members on how to deal with the customers
  • Interacting with customers through direct messages and responding quickly (FeedHive’s social box is ideal for this purpose)
  • Maintaining a neutral tone regardless of consumer behavior (harsh or appreciative)
  • Cultivating a culture of rapid adaptation or real-time problem-solving
  • Conducting online surveys to get a sense of customer habits
  • Embracing a flexible attitude to enact regular changes upon customer feedback

You can also leverage the power of FeedHive to follow the engagement metrics on your profile and get meaningful suggestions to optimize strategies for a fine-tuned user experience. Furthermore, focusing on these areas helps you build a climate of trust and credibility, and users perceive your brand with a rosy outlook, leading to a favorable brand image over time.

Considering a real-life example, Netflix’s data-driven algorithms analyze users through watch history, demographics, content preferences, and search queries to serve them a more personalized experience. This customer-centric approach has enabled them to maintain a base of more than 200 million users up until this day.

3. Thinking Beyond Profit

A money-driven approach to support your business promises short-term success. A staggering 92% of consumers trust brands that are more open about social or environmental issues and oppose the ones only concerned about earning profits. That means your brand reputation only gains momentum if the customers feel aligned with the company’s values.

Put simply, we refer to it as a corporate social responsibility that reduces the risk of poor brand reputation, according to 76% of global companies. You can incorporate CSR into your brand reputation management strategy in the following ways:

  • Integrate your reputation management marketing with a social cause
  • Use sustainable packaging throughout your products
  • Run social media campaigns to raise awareness about social issues
  • Arrange fundraisers and donate money to charities, non-profit organizations, or deserving individuals
  • Foster a healthy work culture, free of discrimination and harassment
  • Offer fair wages and incentivize your hardworking employees
  • Utilize renewable energy sources in your outlets, like solar energy panels, for electricity

You can simplify the process with valuable AI tools such as FeedHive. It allows you to collaborate with your team to discuss and explore ideas for improving your CSR strategies. Also, the AI suggestions help you build content relevant to important dates, such as holidays or festivals, helping the audience feel more connected with this inclusive approach.

Top 5 Brand Reputation Management Strategies

Apart from the prerequisites discussed above, you can use several other strategies to uplift your online brand reputation. Let’s take a look below to understand the notion and how you can use it for your brand’s well-being.

1. Stay Ahead of Your Competitors

More than 85% of Fortune 500 companies practice competitive intelligence to stay a step ahead of their business competitors in performance. You can also adopt this method to elevate your brand image. Just follow the steps discussed below and witness the improvement!

  • Stay up-to-date on market trends and search for your competitors
  • Sift through their online profiles to grasp their market approach
  • Read online reviews and comments on digital forums
  • Assess what the media outlets are talking about them

A thorough study of these factors will allow you to compare your brand management standards with your competitors. It will help you evaluate the issues or complaints their clients face so you can keep them from arising beforehand. Furthermore, you can draft a blueprint of first and second-hand priorities to manage the brand reputation strategy as you see fit.

2. Create a Division of Labor

As a business owner, you can’t handle the do’s and don’ts of the reputation strategy on your own, as there are too many. Hence, intelligent division of labor among your teammates is your best bet to achieve maximized results. Scatter your team according to their expertise and assign individual or group tasks to keep track of the progress.

For instance, you can allocate the following roles based on everyone’s interest area:

  • Reputation managers for managing feedback or reviews
  • Communication experts for interacting with customers
  • Social media experts to handle your online presence
  • PR professionals to address public inquiries
  • Data analytics experts to administer the data for improved solutions

Through this distribution of work, you can easily chart your company’s direction and ensure that related professionals are held accountable in case of inconvenience. It will foster a fast-paced and healthy working environment, which is essential to stay ahead of your competitors in the corporate world.

3. Choose a Safe Space for Brand Advertisement

Promoting your brand for a better reach is critical to a successful business, but incautious advertising? That’s a sloppy road with tendencies to damage your brand’s reputation for good. If users see your brand name pop up on low-quality forums or next to offensive content, they can develop a skeptical attitude toward your brand’s credibility.

To avert these reputation risks, always buy ad space from trusted sources. Choose the publishers known for their premium work ethic and high-quality content preferences. By doing so, customers will attribute value to your business, benefitting your brand reputation in the long run.

Some of the reliable sources to promote your online business are:

  • Google Adsense
  • Meta
  • Microsoft Bing
  • News Sites
  • Blogs

4. Develop a Crisis Management Strategy

Almost all global businesses are equally vulnerable to experiencing a crisis because it is something we can’t predict. However, a survey suggests that only 45% of businesses have a well-documented plan to counter such situations. To ensure that you are a part of this figure, consider hiring crisis experts and seek a strategy that helps you solve the possible issues.

For instance, work out a communication plan to deal with unsatisfied clients if they ever confront your business credibility due to unmet personal demands. Another example would be to propose rapid adaptations such as changing the staff or making policy changes to suit customer preferences. You can gain a broader understanding of dealing with a business crisis by:

  • Reading research papers or books on the topic
  • Engaging in discussions with experts
  • Fostering a culture of communication with your audience
  • Taking your team in confidence and asking for suggestions

Following these steps, you can successfully frame a head-on strategy to deal with any crisis, ultimately saving your brand from poor public perception.

5. Leverage the Power of AI Tools

Artificial intelligence is the heart of an online business in today’s digital landscape. According to the latest survey, marketers’s usage of artificial intelligence has surged to 84% in the last two years. It indicates that AI tools provide a trusted way for business owners to improve their brand reputation management strategy.

AI tools help you by:

  • Offering data analytics to keep track of public sentiment
  • Detecting reputation issues through in-depth brand analysis

Syed Hassan Zaman

Lead Content Marketer

Content writer with a focus on SaaS products and services. Constantly staying up-to-date on the latest digital marketing trends.