Brand and reputation are two of the most important factors when it comes to your company. How does your company find its balance between the two? Let’s discuss the essential reasons behind each of these factors and the tools you can utilize to find your harmony.
Business Strategy Versus Brand Strategy:
Both business strategy and brand strategy play a role in your brand and its reputation. So what do business and brand strategies have to do with your brand and its reputation? Think back (or to the present) when your company was still in its beginning stages:
- What were the most important goals you wanted to reach within the first few years of growth?
- How did you approach the steps to achieve this?
- What is it your company stands for based on its success and failure?
“A strategy is a long-term plan that you create for your company to reach the desired, future state you envision.” - forbes.com
Your business is based off of a foundation of patterns which, in turn, are based off all the decisions that are made on a consistent basis. For the most part, you have control over this foundation.
A brand strategy is aligned with the goals of your business, which falls under the business strategy. What your company does, how it approaches its goals, and in turn, how your brand is connecting with your customers and motivates them to buy your brand are all part of your brand strategy.
How values align with your brand: Now that you know how each of these strategies supports each other and create the foundation of your business, what are the differences between brand and reputation and how do they both impact your business?
Think of your favorite brand: Consider how this brand markets itself. Is it successful? What makes it so? How does this brand connect with you?
- Successful brands have established their identity and are confident in what they stand for.
- Consider its history. How long a brand has been established also defines its success. Maintaining a stable brand without a constant state of change also creates the impression of a clear identity of what makes a good brand.
- How does your favorite brand reinforce your lifestyle and make you feel good about spending money on its product(s)? A successful brand will be able to connect with its customers on more than just a need-to-fulfill basis.
Your Reputation Precedes You: How Brand Reputation Makes or Breaks Your Business
Consider how one brand can lose a long-standing reputation: Brand loyalty means nothing if a business fails to uphold its brand identity and what it stands for in the eyes of consumers.
- In 2018, Colorado-based restaurant Chipotle had to shut its doors temporarily after a massive e-Coli outbreak. In a market-saving mission, Chipotle redesigned its menu and started a new campaign offering only quality ingredients. But the damage was already done.
- A company’s brand is tied directly into a consumer’s emotional needs. Not only does a consumer seek out a brand to fulfill a need, but also to form a long-standing relationship with as well. This is where brand loyalty is key, and your brand’s reputation is everything.
- While working with our client, Montucky Cold Snacks, their reputation as an established company who also enjoys the outdoors was a top priority. They’re a perfect example of a company whose reputation precedes them in the best way, and as a result, have gained a large, loyal following.
“Living up to the standards of your brand doesn’t guarantee a good reputation, but it’s an excellent place to start. Brands that are reliable, accountable, and customer-friendly will often have a positive reputation, but it’s no guarantee” - tedrubin.com
ORM = Online Reputation Management:
- Ensuring your company’s online listings are correct is crucial. If your information isn’t showing up as correct, you could lose potential customers.
- Utilize a locator tool for website direction and searches.
- Don’t ignore your online customers. Engagement is key. If a review is left, respond. The more you interact with your customers the better your reputation becomes.
- Monitor and be active on your social media sites. Posting isn’t enough, you have to engage with your audience to show you’re active and paying attention.
- Use surveys to analyze your company’s performance. A solid ORM will allow you the ease of accomplishing this.
The differences between brand and reputation are pretty simple, it’s the definitions of each of these two key components to a company that vary greatly and have the biggest impact on your brand and your company. Without one, the other doesn’t exist. Think of your brand as the face of your company and your reputation is ultimately what will keep your company as a solid, reliable icon in its industry.