Reputation is everything in the business world, and that has never been more apparent. We’re living in an age where a single misguided tweet or commercial can incite the social media mob and lead to a complete brand boycott.
Reputation management is one of the ways that brands can get ahead of these issues. It involves monitoring media (social network posts, comment sections, blogs) to see what people are saying and get a read on everything from new product reception to customer support issues and more.
Failing to implement proper brand reputation could have some seriously negative consequences, including:
Your Competition Could Get Ahead of You
It doesn’t matter what you sell or what industry you’re in, it’s essential to know what your competitors are doing.
If they release a new product and target an unserviced area, you should consider whether you can launch at the same time, target the same area, and stop them from beating you to the punch. If a new store opens opposite you or a new online company targets the same demographic, you need to know so that you can prepare and adapt.
Your competitors won’t tell you that they’re planning to launch a new product. A company won’t warn you that it’s about to muscle in on your area. You need to learn this stuff yourself, and that’s where brand reputation and media monitoring can help.
Your Customer Support Could Rot the Company From Within
When was the last time you called your own customer support line or asked a customer what they actually thought of the process? Probably never. If you’re like many business owners, your only knowledge of your own customer support concerns turnover rates and satisfaction surveys. But that’s not good enough.
Customers won’t always tell you directly when they have had a terrible experience. And if those experiences are frequent, it could signal a major issue that is damaging the core of your business. What’s more, you won’t always know if your staff is happy, and yet employee discontent can get very expensive and messy for your business.
Happy employees are at the heart of every successful company. They are the lifeblood of that brand. A happy employee is less likely to quit, which means you don’t need to pay to find and train someone else. They are also more likely to give their heart and soul to your business, working hard to achieve your goals.
Your Loyalty Levels Will Drop
Online marketing can get expensive if you don’t have repeat customers. If you use Google Ads, Facebook Ads, and other major digital platforms, you’re paying for every customer that visits your site and makes a purchase. Unless your advertising is spot on, you could even be spending more than you’re earning.
And that’s fine…if those customers are loyal. It’s okay to spend $100 to acquire a $50 sale if that same customer spends another $50 per week for the next year. But if you don’t have that kind of customer loyalty, you won’t get those benefits, and your company will suffer.
Brand reputation management isn’t a simple metric like Return on Advertising Spend (ROAS). It’s qualitative, not quantitative, so it looks at the reasons behind those metrics. For instance, it could tell you that people aren’t returning because your shipping is too slow, your employees are unhelpful, or your product just isn’t very good.
Once you have this information, you can make the changes needed to improve brand loyalty and increase profits.
You Won’t Give Your Customers What They Want
The world of big business is littered with stories of brands that missed the boat on major trends. Blockbuster is one of the most famous, as it failed to see the rise of the streaming revolution, dug its heels in, and then capitulated as a result.
If it had understood what customers wanted and paid attention to the direction that media was moving, it could be dominating an industry that is now worth billions, as opposed to being little more than a footnote in history.
Your customers won’t always tell you directly what they want to see from your company, but a good brand reputation/media monitoring strategy will give you that information. It captures the conversations that people are having about your brand and competing brands, including requests/demands for products and chats about the hottest items.
You Won’t Notice Big Flaws
It doesn’t matter how much testing you do; mistakes can always find their way into the final product. It’s like the novelist who edits their book 10 times over, pays for a copy editor and a proofreader, checks with several beta readers, publishes the book, and then notices a mistake in the first paragraph. It happens, and if you’re releasing a lot of products, there’s a good chance it will happen to you.
Fortunately, brand reputation can highlight these issues quickly and allow you to deal with them before they spiral. It could be a game-breaking bug in a software program. It could be a minor flaw in a retail product. It could even be the result of something that you didn’t account for, such as your product being used in unexpected ways or places.
Whatever the cause and regardless of the issue, it doesn’t have to spell the end of the product’s life cycle, and it definitely doesn’t need to be the end of your business.
Take for instance the recent case with the HBO intern who accidentally sent a blank test email to HBO’s thousands of subscribers. Mistakes happen. But as an employer, it is important to know how to handle difficult situations and guide your employees through and turn each mistake into a lesson. Taking adequate measures while handling challenging situations is essential as it can positively influence your brand reputation and shift the perceptions of your company.
Summary: Monitoring Your Brand Reputation
In the old days, you put a product out into the world, kept a close eye on the sales figures, and then maybe conducted a few surveys or focus groups to understand public opinion. It was slow, unreliable, and expensive. These days, monitoring brand reputation is nearly entirely automated and can be conducted using the right tools, a tailored approach, and the latest state-of-the-art technology.
That’s where we come in. At A Data Pro, we use innumerable data points and the latest technology to help you manage your brand’s reputation. Our media intelligence services are second to none and include reputational analytics, editorial services, and more.