How solid is your employer brand reputation?
Now more than ever, brand reputation is critical to business success. Why? Because a positive brand reputation builds a solid foundation of trust and loyalty for employees and customers, which are qualities beneficial to driving revenue and remaining competitive.
Company reputation is the public perception of your organization. It’s how the company is viewed by shareholders, employees, and customers. That’s why paying attention to company reputation – and especially online reputation management – needs to be an everyday priority.
There are two different approaches to brand reputation management: passive and active.
Passive brand reputation management is subtle and practical. It involves:
- Placing your brand where customers and job candidates are looking.
- Creating an online presence.
- Relying on word of mouth.
Active brand reputation management is deliberate and persistent. It focuses on:
- Intentionally engaging with your demographic.
- Targeted promotions and paid-search advertising.
- Proactively promoting company ideals and values.
Both approaches have their merits, and the best option for your organization will depend on its specific needs. However, the active approach to brand reputation management is becoming more popular as the need to drive public perception.
A solid company reputation has several benefits for your company, including:
Building trust: A good reputation means the public trusts you, which means they’re more likely to become customers or job candidates.
Building loyalty: A positive reputation is likely to instill a sense of commitment in the customers and employees you already have, meaning they’ll consistently choose you over your competitors.
Employee engagement: People are proud to work for a company with an excellent reputation, which also helps to improve employee retention.
Increased sales: A strong brand reputation helps companies drive revenue because customers trust its products and services.
Reduced marketing expense: Companies with a positive brand reputation have customers who act as brand ambassadors.
Effective recruitment: A good company reputation is helpful to attracting top talent.
What happens when your brand reputation suffers a hit and public perception becomes negative? Don’t panic. In today’s climate, negative conversation and less-than-glowing reviews are almost inevitable. Reputation management is not a matter of avoiding negativity entirely. Rather, it’s knowing how to react to it. Some tips for improving your company’s reputation include:
- Addressing negative reviews and using them to improve
- Displaying and living company values whenever possible
- Owning past mistakes with honesty
- Maintaining a level of consistency
In some cases, it may be best to consult with a branding expert. They can help you identify where your weak points are and help you to strengthen them.
Laura Brinton is content marketing director at Energage, a Philadelphia-based employee survey firm. Energage is The Washington Post’s survey partner for Top Workplaces.