Successful companies deliver more than great products and services. They also maintain a credible reputation for customers, employees, and the general public.
The importance of reputation in business can’t be overstated. While a positive perception is vital, a negative reputation can do significant damage to your company.
The art of building, earning, and maintaining an excellent brand reputation can be complex and sometimes challenging. This guide to building and managing your brand’s reputation includes helpful information about the importance of company reputation and the benefits a good reputation can offer, plus lots of tips and best practices you can use, starting today.
Brand reputation defined
Why is reputation important in business? Before we dive in, let’s start with the definition of “brand reputation.” Brand reputation — also referred to as company reputation — is the public perception of your organization. It’s not limited to what the public thinks of your products, services, or business practices; it’s how they feel about them.
Arguably, thoughts are easier to change than feelings, especially when those perceptions are negative.
Nowadays, there are many different ways people gather information that shapes their thoughts and feelings about your company. That’s why the most significant components of building a solid brand reputation are about controlling what’s visible and taking proactive steps to shape perceptions.
Why is brand reputation important?
In today’s competitive market, you need every edge you can get. Company reputation is often the first impression you make on consumers and job seekers.
This is especially true in the internet era when people research companies and read online reviews before making a purchase decision. An educated audience is just one reason why promoting a positive online reputation is critical for your organization.
A recent report by Reputation X revealed that three out of every four consumers trust a company more if it has positive online reviews. Similarly, three out of every five consumers are dissuaded from using a business with negative online reviews.
Because of their wide availability and the fact that consumers tend to trust what other consumers have to say about a company, online reviews make up a significant portion of your brand reputation. This points to the importance of reputation in business, specifically your online reputation.
Your brand reputation doesn’t just depend on how people perceive your products, services, or business practices, either. Your company CEO also plays a vital role in the importance of reputation in business. For example, Tesla’s stock dropped significantly, and two execs quit after its CEO, Elon Musk, smoked pot live during a Joe Rogan podcast. The chief executive represents the brand to the public more than anyone else. And when their reputation comes into question, so does your company’s reputation.
Benefits of a good business reputation
Many different benefits result from a positive public perception. Some are obvious, while others are not. Simply put, a good reputation is good for business. It can help your company to:
- Drive revenue
- Improve employee retention
- Lower marketing costs
- Attract top talent to your company
- Gain a competitive edge
- Strengthen customer loyalty
- Build company value
Factors that impact a company’s reputation
Now that you know the importance of reputation, you’re probably wondering how companies can build and maintain their own. The first step is to assess your organization’s current standing.
To do that, you need to know the factors that impact a company’s reputation. The most significant include:
- Online reviews and star ratings
- Customer experience management
- Social media presence
- Search engine results
Managing company reputation in today’s business climate is centered around the internet. However, additional aspects of company reputation management take place in the real world, namely in the office. For instance, maintaining a healthy, people-first workplace culture plays a significant role in maintaining a solid brand reputation.
Building your company’s reputation
There are many ways to build a strong brand reputation for your organization. The first step is recognizing the importance of company reputation and then allocating the time and resources needed to assess, manage, and monitor your organization’s reputation.
How do you do that? Your products and services have an apparent, significant influence. In addition, consider these proven strategies:
- Focus on customer experience and exceeding expectations
- Encourage positive reviews
- Reverse negative reviews through improvement
- Maintain a policy of openness and honesty
- Use reputation management tools
- Consult reputation management experts
- Give back to your community
- Develop a strong workplace culture
- Earn credible recognition as an employer of choice
- Build strong industry relationships
Do everything you can to inspire a good perception of your organization well before a purchase is made. You can have an ongoing influence on your company reputation too.
Monitoring business reputation
It’s good to understand the importance of reputation in business. But it’s equally essential to assess that reputation.
Carefully monitor the public perception of your organization, online and offline. Reputation monitoring systems offer a clear picture of your company’s online visibility, what’s being said, the effectiveness of marketing campaigns and SEO campaigns, and more.
Consider tools such as SEMRush, Review Push, or Google Alerts to get data on your reputation management endeavors to gauge efficiency and success.
Who is responsible for building and managing business reputation
Everyone from your executive board to your entry-level employees is responsible for maintaining a strong company reputation. It’s essential for everyone to be aligned and to set an example for your company through their actions.
Your workforce and your executives alike speak highly of your organization whenever they get the chance, to make a great example of what your company represents with everything they do, and to know the answer to the question, “Why is brand reputation important?”
Designating a specific team tasked with maintaining a positive perception of your organization is effective. In addition, you can consider a reputation management service. These companies understand the importance of reputation in business, and they know exactly how to improve the perception of your organization in the public eye.
Build your employer brand with Top Workplaces
Don’t underestimate the power of company reputation. Employer recognition awards offer third-party credibility as an organization of choice. When you build your employer brand with Top Workplaces, you also:
- Grab the attention of job seekers as a people-first company.
- Attract new customers, partners, and investors with a seal of approval.
- Boost employee pride and morale as an award-winning workplace.
Take the first step toward a positive company reputation. Nominate your organization for Top Workplaces, the program that offers regional recognition in 60+ markets and national awards for culture and industry excellence.