It's the company's responsibility to build a brand reputation by consistently living the brand promise and creating messages and experiences that enable consumers to develop their own perceptions of that brand reputation. In Part 1 of the Building Brand Reputation series, you learned how to define your brand reputation. Now, it's time to learn how to successfully develop that brand reputation.
Brand reputation development starts with offering products and services that deliver on your brand promise. As you learned in Part 1 of the Building Brand Reputation series, brand reputation and promise go hand-in-hand, but they are two different things. You can't develop a reputation if you don't have a foundation based on a targeted brand promise and products and services that can bring that promise to life.
Developing a Brand Reputation
You can develop your brand reputation through every customer interaction, brand experience, and message that your company releases. From your advertising to event sponsorship and from customer service to social media activities, everything published, shared, spoken, or delivered with your brand name attached to it must consistently reflect the brand reputation you want to develop.
Much of brand reputation development can happen online today. Consumers are actively seeking information about brands and products to make purchasing decisions. Word-of-mouth marketing is powerful on the social web, and it can make or break a brand. Getting involved by publishing branded content on a brand blog, Facebook Page, Twitter profile, Pinterest profile, YouTube channel, and so on are essential steps to build a brand reputation, because that's where consumers are actively looking for information.
Combine your online activities with your offline brand building efforts to surround consumers with branded messages and experiences that consistently deliver on your brand promise and reflect your desired brand reputation. In time, you should see your reputation develop, but your efforts must be continual. A brand reputation could be damaged in an instant, and it's your job to be prepared to respond when necessary. You'll learn more about this in Part 3 of this series.
The Importance of Brand Reputation Development
Consumers value brand reputation very highly when they're making purchase decisions, so its importance should not be underestimated. For example, according to a 2012 study by J.D. Power and Associates, nearly one out of two car buyers will not purchase a particular automobile model due to quality concerns based entirely on common knowledge. In other words, their perceptions of the brand reputation are so meaningful to them that they'll discard brands based solely on those perceptions.
Jon Osborn, research director at J.D. Power and Associates explains, "The fact that so many new vehicle buyers may be basing their opinions about quality and reliability on preconceived notions rather than concrete information or data demonstrates how important it is for automakers to promote the quality and reliability of their models."
A bad reputation can destroy a brand, and that's why brand reputation development and monitoring are so important to a brand's ultimate success or failure. Remember, consumers are fickle and will turn away from your brand in an instant if it fails to meet their expectations. Confusion is the number one brand killer, and those consumer expectations include expectations related to your brand reputation. Don't forget, as I said at the beginning of this article, "It's the company's responsibility to build a brand reputation by consistently living the brand promise and creating messages and experiences that enable consumers to develop their own perceptions of that brand reputation."
Stay tuned for Part 3 of the Building Brand Reputation series where you'll learn how to monitor your brand reputation to ensure it stays on track to meet your goals. And if you missed Part 1 of the series, follow the preceding link to read it now.