Brand reputation management is critical to growing a business. A positive brand reputation builds loyalty and increases customer confidence in your brand and product, ultimately driving sales and bottom-line growth.
In today’s cutthroat competitive environment, brand reputation management has become a bigger priority for companies, especially when online conversations about your brand take place on a 24/7 basis. On social media, online forums, blogs, news sites, search engines and other Internet sources, it’s important for your brand to be prominent and positioned as a knowledgeable, industry-leading resource and solution for your customers.
Somewhat ironically, the term "reputation management" doesn't have the greatest reputation. Many brands and business owners associate "reputation management" with "crisis management" aka it's not something they think about until there's already a problem.
The reputation management industry has long reinforced these negative habits of thought, stoking fear that our brands will be hobbled and our businesses shuttered by bad press or scathing reviews. As brands and business owners, we're made to feel desperate, whip-sawed by forces beyond our control. And rep management providers swoop in to sell desperate solutions to desperate buyers.
We don't have to go too deep into a Google search of "reputation management," for example, to find ourselves rubbing elbows with shady outfits peddling black-hat SEO tactics, offering to buy five-star reviews from workers in the Philippines, proposing to suppress legitimate content with fake content, legal action, etc.
But in a world where consumers have immediate and total access to information at their fingertips, there's a sea change afoot in how we think about our reputations, both personally and professionally.
Reputation, consisting of mentions, comments, recommendations and reviews across a buzzing, shape-shifting universe of online publishers and apps isn't a problem center but a value center for brands and businesses. Our online reputations are our key differentiator in the marketplace, whether we're selling doodads in Dallas or applying for a job in Jersey.
Increasingly, brands and business owners recognize this fact: every day, our reputations are bringing opportunities to our doors or diverting them to our competitors.
In today’s environment, it's no longer sufficient to think about reputation management like we think about crisis management. We need to think about our reputations as a constant, competitive advantage; a driver of growth and prosperity; and a strategic asset. We need to think about reputation marketing.