The Evolution of Brand Communication
Brand communication in marketing has changed dramatically in recent years. According to Hubspot, 70% of business-to-consumer marketers have acquired customers through Facebook. 52% of online adults use two or more social media sites (Pew Research Center). It used to be a one-way medium, where companies told customers about themselves through advertisements. Now communication is a two-way process where customers can research and interact with companies with whom they choose to do business.
When communication was one-way, companies did not have to worry about what customers had to say about their brand. Customer opinions died with only the few people they knew and wanted to tell. Now, companies must continuously monitor what is being said about their brands because there are endless forms of communication available between consumers.
Without knowledge about what is being communicated about your company and brand, you could be losing customers based on word-of-mouth interactions or previous customer reviews. Many of today’s customers trust these forms of communication more than traditional marketing tactics, such as advertisements. If you are not monitoring every channel of communication, your brand’s reputation could be at risk before you even realize it.
Risks of a Damaged Reputation
Building a reputation from scratch can be easy – no one knows who you are. You can build your brand up to be anything you want it to be. But a damaged reputation is much harder to rebuild. Customers are more likely to remember and discuss bad experiences over good experiences. In a survey done by American Express in 2014, 60% of people said they always share their bad experiences and tell nearly three times more people about a bad experience than they do about a good one.
If your brand reputation is in jeopardy for whatever reason, here are a couple suggestions to help you begin the process of rebuilding.
1. Take Responsibility
The first step is admitting that something is wrong. If a customer writes about a bad experience with your company, apologize to that customer on the same review. By doing this, the customer – and other consumers – will see that you are serious about fixing your mistakes. This alone could start to re-shape the customer’s opinion about your company.
2. Don’t Ignore the Negative
Learn from customers’ negative reviews. After all, reputation is based on what customers perceive to be true about your company. Understanding the source of negative perceptions can assist you in repairing possible weaknesses that actually exist within your systems and processes .
Proactive reputation management will help you to protect this most valuable of assets.