What is Brand Reputation & How To Build It

Last Updated on June 19, 2024

brand reputationDo not undervalue the power of a strong brand reputation. In a world where 40% of consumers distrust traditional advertising, businesses rely heavily on social proof and reputation (Forbes). With 87% of executives citing brand reputational challenges as a top priority, don’t let your business fall behind. Read to learn everything you need to know about brand reputation: the importance, benefits, and strategies to build it.

Brand Reputation, Defined

Brand reputation is the collective impression that customers, employees, partners, and the public have about an organization. It comprises opinions people form based on actions, communications, interactions, and overall market presence. Various factors influence this perception, including:

  • product/service quality
  • customer service
  • marketing efforts
  • social responsibility
  • public relations

Reputation affects every aspect of your organization, including your ability to withstand crises. Brand reputation protection requires continuous effort to maintain a positive brand image.

what is brand reputation

Many consumers do not trust traditional advertising methods. Most businesses need a positive brand reputation in order for audiences to be receptive to their marketing efforts.

Brand vs Reputation: What Is The Difference?

The differences between your brand and your reputation are subtle, and these concepts overlap in many ways. However, here are the key differences:

Your brand is how you present yourself to the world. It encompasses everything you produce and put out into the world that you have control over. Your brand should be stable and enduring throughout time.

Forbes contributor Glenn Llopis writes,

“Your personal brand should represent the value you are able to consistently deliver to those whom you are serving.” 

Your reputation, on the other hand, is how others perceive you collectively. The public decides what your reputation is, because it is their experience of your brand. This can fluctuate over time as public opinion about you shifts. Brand vs. Reputation: What is the Difference

The Importance of Brand Reputation 

On the internet, news about brands spreads quicker than ever before. This means a positive brand reputation is not just a “nice-to-have”, but essential to thrive in today’s market. Building a strong reputation can be your most significant asset, while neglecting it is your biggest risk.

If you aren’t building your brand reputation, your business can face the consequences:

  • Loss of consumer trust and brand loyalty. 71% of customers lose faith entirely in businesses that appear to value profits over their customers. (Edelman Trust Barometer 2023). Meanwhile, 90% of consumers remain loyal to businesses that share their values (Status Labs).
  • Lack of awareness. On average, it takes about 5-7 impressions for people to even remember a brand (StatusLabs). First, you need to make an impression. Second, you need to ensure that impression is memorable enough for people to make a purchase. 
  • Reduced sales. 90% of consumers will not frequent a business with a negative reputation. 87% will even reverse a purchase decision after reading negative news or reviews about businesses online (Status Labs).
  • Recruiting challenges. A bad reputation costs companies at least 10% more per new hire (Harvard Business Review). Plus, 70% of prospective employees reject offers from companies with bad reputations. This is true even for those that are unemployed at the time (StatusLabs).
  • Higher turnover rate. 92% of employees would leave their current job to work for another company with an excellent reputation. (TestGorilla)
  • Higher marketing costs. The cost of reputation management can be higher if you have to do damage control.
  • Decrease in stock value. Corporate brand reputation accounts for 35.3% of the market capitalization of the world’s top 15 equity market indices. This equates to $16.77 trillion in value for stakeholders (AMO Global Reputation Value Drivers Report). A negative reputation means investors will overlook or withdraw from your business.
  • Negative word-of-mouth. 92% of customers trust earned media (such as recommendations from friends/family) over all other forms of advertising. Moreover, word-of-mouth is the primary factor behind 20-50% of all purchasing decisions (The Social Media Hat). Brands should focus on word-of-mouth marketing as a key part of their marketing strategy.

On the flip side, when you are working to improve your brand’s reputation, you can experience these benefits:

  • Better brand awareness
  • More online visibility and organic traffic to your website
  • Social proof assets, including a strong social media presence and loyal social media
  • Higher revenue and long-term growth based on customer trust
  • Attract and retain top employees in your company
  • Foster business partnerships
  • Find new investment opportunities
the importance of brand reputation

Brand Reputation is the mot important asset for any company, and there is a ton of data to support that.

6 Brand Reputation Strategies To Leverage

Having the right brand reputation management strategy is critical for businesses to thrive. These days, businesses need to have a unified online and offline presence to succeed.

How can companies and organizations improve their online reputation? Here are a few ideas to consider – think of these as your company brand reputation must-haves!

Strategy 1: Understand your customer

Businesses only gain satisfied customers when they try to understand their target audience. When your customers feel like you know them, they inevitably become loyal. Loyal customers promote your brand organically, leading to increased sales and long-term growth. Use these tips to learn about your customers:

  • Conduct market research through surveys, questionnaires, focus groups, or interviews. This gives you insights into their preferences, behaviors, demographics, etc.
  • Encourage customer feedback through reviews, ratings, and feedback forms.
  • Monitor your business mentions. Use social media listening to track mentions on social platforms in real time. Set up Google Alerts for your brand’s name to track new mentions across the online world.
  • Gather sales data and website analytics for insights into customer behavior. This includes buying patterns, popular products, seasonal trends, most visited webpages, and more.
  • Use a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system to manage and analyze customer interactions throughout the customer lifecycle.
  • Analyze the competition. Benchmark yourself against competitors to identify where you can improve.
  • Use customer journey mapping to identify touchpoints a user has with your brand. Use this map to address issues and enhance interactions.
  • Leverage emerging technologies, such as integrating AI into your SEO strategy.

Strategy 2: Run marketing campaigns

Marketing online is an effective way to communicate your brand’s message. Digital marketing channels like social media , search engine marketing, and content marketing help you reach your ideal customers. Use these tips:

  • Segment your customers (based on the data you collected about them in Strategy 1). Customer segmentation allows you to create more tailored and personalized marketing campaigns.
  • Ensure you have a clear and concise brand message. Communicate to your audience who you are, what you do, and why it matters. Embed your core values throughout your marketing efforts.
  • Maintain a unified brand voice and visual identity across all your marketing channels. Presenting yourself consistently across platforms can increase revenue by 23% (StatusLabs).
  • Use storytelling that evokes emotions and resonates with your audience. Share stories that make you relatable and memorable.
  • Include a clear call-to-action in your marketing campaigns so your audience knows what to do next. Highlight the benefits they get from taking this action.
  • Clearly communicate the unique selling points (USPs) of your products/services that make you different from others.
  • Become an authority in your industry by offering your audience educational content about your industry, products, and services.
unified brand voice

You can increase your business’s revenue by up to 23% simply by presenting your brand consistently across all platforms, such as your website, social media profiles, emails, and print media.

Strategy 3: Engage in corporate social responsibility (CSR)

Engaging in social responsibility is important for every organization these days. Consumers make decisions based on how closely a brand’s values align with their own. When these values do align, customers tend to trust a business more. In fact, 92% of consumers are more likely to trust a company who supports social or environmental issues (Forbes).

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) doesn’t just matter for trust, but for your bottom line as well. 66% of customers will actually pay more money to support a brand committed to CSR (MarketingCharts).

When you need PR crisis management, CSR can help you there too. 63% of the public would give socially responsible businesses the benefit of the doubt during a crisis (Prowly).

To engage in CSR, consider causes that align both with your brand’s values and what your audience values the most. CSR initiatives should make sense with what your business is all about.

how CSR benefits businesses

Engaging in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) isn’t just good for the world, it’s good for business too! CSR can actually increase revenue, and it makes your brand more able to weather a crisis.

Strategy 4: Provide excellent customer service

Focusing on customer service helps create a better online user experience and overall customer experience. Customer service directly influences how customers perceive and interact with your brand. When done right, it can even turn a negative experience into a positive one.

Whether in-person or online, use these tips to create a memorable, positive experience:

  • Provide your team with comprehensive training about product knowledge and soft skills like communication, empathy, and problem solving. Empower them to make decisions to resolve customer issues effectively.
  • Be accessible to your customers by offering multiple communication channels. This includes phone, email, live chat, social media, and in-person support.
  • Keep customers informed about the status of their inquiries or issues. After resolving the issue, follow up with the customer to ensure satisfaction.
  • Look for opportunities to go the extra mile with small gestures of appreciation or unexpected benefits. Regularly thank your customers for their business and loyalty.
  • Implement loyalty programs to reward repeat customers.
  • Anticipate your customer’s needs and address any potential issues before they become a huge problem.

Strategy 5: Be proactive about negative reviews

Potential customers rely on review sites when making purchasing decisions because positive reviews  build trust. However, negative customer reviews are inevitable at some point. The important thing for businesses is to respond to them proactively. For this, you have two choices:

  1. Respond to negative reviews in an empathetic way and try to resolve the problem. Responding to negative and positive online reviews  professionally is key, since everyone can see your response.
  2. If you suspect the review is fake or spam, you can try to remove the negative review.

Strategy 6: Launch a rebrand (if all else fails)

Launching a rebrand is a massive undertaking. But, for businesses struggling to connect with customers, it can be a good option. A rebrand can signal to the public that your company is adapting, growing, and staying relevant. A rebrand could involve:

  • Revisiting your brand’s message. Ensure your values, mission, vision, and personality align with the goals of the rebrand.
  • Updating your visual identity to align with your new brand. This is more than a simple edit to your logo; it’s a complete overhaul of every design element. This must reflect your overall new identity. 
  • Updating all customer touchpoints. This includes both digital and physical assets such as your website, social media platforms, emails, packaging, signage, etc.
  • Launching a new marketing campaign to communicate the rebrand to your audience. This should highlight the benefits of the rebrand to consumers. Remember, your rebrand needs to reflect a genuine improvement in high quality products or services, company ethos, etc.
  • If you are an executive, consider revisiting your personal brand as well.

Conclusion: Control Your Brand Reputation

Don’t wait until you have a negative brand reputation before you take action. Use these strategies to build and promote your brand’s reputation for the long-term.

Reputation damage can happen when you least expect it, but you can start taking preventative steps today. 

free reputation consultation

The team at Reputation911 can help your brand get back on the path to success. We address negative or false reviews, news stories, articles, and other forms of content that can damage your reputation. Schedule a free consultation with us and learn more about how we can help you.

About The Author

William DiAntonio is the Founder & CEO of Reputation911, a reputation management firm he founded in 2010 that has earned the trust of its clients for over a decade by helping individuals, businesses and brands control their online search results.

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