If you’re building a brand, credibility is key to how much faith your customers and potential clients have in you. Credibility is how much people believe a brand to be trustworthy and competent to deliver on their promises.
If people don’t trust a brand or business, or think they are unable to produce the goods or services they promise, you’re in big trouble. Sales will plummet, and your reputation will suffer. It follows that building and maintaining brand credibility should be a priority of any entity who hopes to succeed and grow.
It’s about reputation
Some experts refer to credibility as the sum total of past behaviors. In other words, your reputation. A person, product, brand, or business always has a reputation of some sort.
This means that people have particular opinions, thoughts or ideas about you and/or your brand. A good reputation can translate into sales, more business for a brand. A bad one, on the other hand, could bring disaster. So, credibility and reputation go hand in hand.
How can you build them and maintain them? From the beginning, make sure that people trust your brand to deliver quality services and products. And be consistent in ensuring quality. One bad product or service review can effectively cancel out hundreds of positive ones.
These days, every brand needs an online presence. Whether you like it or not, there’s bound to be something written about your brand, and it may not always be positive. Have a look at what people are saying online about your brand.
Word-of-mouth opinions used to spread to friends and family, but with the advent of the Internet, people can dash off an opinion about their experience with the brand and it gets seen by countless people.
Social media allows for instant reactions, sometimes overly emotional ones, to be spread. That’s the downside. The upside is that you do have some level of control over your online reputation.
Online reputation management is the key
This is where online reputation management comes in. It’s essential for every brand to actively and proactively manage their online reputation to remain relevant and in business. The problem now is that there is a limited amount that anyone can do to rectify a poor reputation, even if it isn’t deserved.
Negative reviews, even if there are only a couple, stick around the Internet for years. That’s why it’s important to actively produce positive content about your brand on as many platforms as possible. Don’t, however, be overambitious by attempting to cover all channels. Chances are it’ll become too onerous to maintain.
From the outset, take reputation management for your brand seriously. It starts at the front door of your company. Every staff member you employ needs to be trained on how to interact with customers and potential clients. A bad experience with a team member can mean lost sales and no future business.
On the other hand, positive experiences with brand staff are priceless testimony to the expertise and trustworthiness of your brand. Generate content about your brand to keep up interest and build your reputation and credibility. Take advantage of the tracking tools that are now available to help you track what people are saying about your brand online.
With a growing number of platforms and channels for comment, you need to monitor all online activity relating to your brand. Both free and paid tracking tools are available that give you the opportunity to see what’s being said and, most importantly, to respond.
Respond to every comment, negative or positive. Where criticism is justified, take a cool-headed approach and detail what action will be taken to rectify the situation.