Two focuses of my blog are Financial Literacy/Money and Business/Entrepreneurship. A critical piece of any business is its branding. Interestingly branding isn’t something that’s entirely static. There are some elements of branding that are fluid which must evolve over time. The following contributed post is entitled, Changing Brand Perception With The Right Story.
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Brand perception goes a long way in business. If people have a general mistrust or misliking of a company, their reputation can start to permeate all of their dealings, making it harder to keep customers loyal and to make the right first impressions. However, stories can change over time, and there are ways that your business can help them change sooner.
Respond to the perception
If there has been a negative reaction to some part of the business, whether it’s how it handled some marketing or support issue, or a misconception around an aspect of the product or service you provide, ignoring it only works sometimes. If that perception is too widespread, it’s best to know how to get ahead of it and to respond appropriately to criticism. The best way in the majority of cases it to welcome it and accept it with humility. If you can end up entirely solving a customer concern and publish the results of how you did that, it can win your business a much better reputation.
Do some good
There are some elements of your business you can’t change. For instance, some industries and products have a reputational bias they have to fight, often due to people simply misunderstanding how they work. For an example of how to handle that, look at how charitable CBD companies use cause marketing to not only do good and live up to their brand values but to shine a spotlight on aspects of their industry that customers might understand. Don’t try to use social corporate responsibility to distract from criticism, but rather to keep a platform that allows you to better inform and assuage customer concerns.
Make sure your selling point gets through
Sometimes, the “bad” parts of your company’s reputation and the audience’s perception of the brand isn’t all that damaging, but you simply haven’t provided enough of the good to balance it out. Make sure that you’re using brand messaging to your advantage by investing more in your online marketing campaigns. By making sure that customers are hearing the right message about your business, not only the wrong message, you can slowly shift perceptions in your favor.
Be authentic and consistent
If you want to boost another message about your business, whether it’s the good your products and services do, the way you handle negative criticism, or the good that your company does, you have to make sure it stands up to scrutiny. Do what you can to keep your branding consistent by, for instance, publishing the story you want to tell as part of the company’s core values. This is more than public signaling, this also helps the team ingest and integrate those values by acting as a constant reminder of the ideal they’re supposed to aim for.
If you’re finding that the perception and reputation of your brand have been taking a hit as of late, then consider ways that you change the story that’s told about it. Consider the tips above and put a genuine effort into showing the good side of your business.