What’s your business’s most important asset? Is it your equipment? Your employees? Maybe it’s your products. One can argue for and against these, but your brand is your most important asset.
Your brand is how the public recognizes you. It’s how people perceive your business. It’s what you spend your entire career building and maintaining. But one careless move and your reputation can be ruined.
The Effects of Ruining Your Brand’s Reputation
One employee discriminating a customer, not speaking out when it comes to important issues, rude comments on social media—with today’s instant access to the internet, all of these misfires can be easily seen by customers, thus ruining your brand’s reputation.
Take for example what happened with United Airlines in 2017. After the video of three security personnel dragging a bleeding and unconscious passenger who refused to be involuntarily removed from the flight spread on social media, the airline’s stock dropped $1.4 billion.
While smaller brands might not suffer as much for blunders, a bad reputation can have a lasting effect on your business. You might lose your customers’ loyalty, as well as partnerships with other brands or influencers, if you have some. What’s more, bad coverage and reviews can trump positive ones, further driving potential customers who look you up away.
Fortunately, it’s not the end of the world if your brand’s sparkling reputation is tarnished. Follow the steps below and see your reputation restored.
1. Survey the damage
Before doing or saying anything in response to the negative press you’re getting, assess the damage first. People’s reactions, especially your customers’, can give you an insight into how to best proceed.
2. Own up to your mistakes and apologize
In plenty of cases, it’s not the mistake you make that can make people lose trust in you, but what you do afterward. An awkward, fumbling apology can turn people away for good, but if you own up to your mistakes, apologize, and present concrete steps you’ll be taking to avoid them in the future, your brand might still be salvageable.
3. Make way for changes
If your business’s reputation is in the gutter, turning to a company that offers brand consulting can help you bring it back to its pristine condition. Brand consultants can help you create a plan to change how you do things so it reflects positively on your organization.
4. Use social media wisely
Social media is a landmine, especially when your reputation is under attack. If you let emotion rule you when using your brand’s social media, you might end up replying inappropriately to customers’ comments, further alienating them from your brand. This is why you should have a competent social media manager who knows how to use your platforms the right way, even in a time of crisis.
According to Warren Buffett, a renowned businessman and philanthropist, “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it.” Don’t let all the years you spent keeping your brand’s reputation pristine go to waste. Follow our techniques above to restore your brand’s reputation.