In the process of making a brand, having strategies to prevent various forms of crisis is important. Ranging from reputation crisis to severe environmental hazards, every big brand or smaller one with plans of getting bigger should have measures in place to prevent such crises. As a result one cannot be too careful, still those sometimes happen. This is usually due to negligence of duty or an unforeseen situation and as a result puts the brand in trouble.
As a brand, you want to avoid any issue, but you especially want to avoid any crisis that affects your reputation. Brands are built on reputation and anything that can or will ruin that should be avoided by all means. Unfortunately, crisis cannot be completely avoided.
In this article, we are discussing how to rebuild your brand reputation if damaged. But first, we have to explore what makes 2021 different.
2021: The Effects of 2020
Its predecessor 2020 was known for various disasters that affected different countries and one disaster that affected the world. Named the coronavirus, the disease spread like wildfire from China, its origin country to most parts of Europe, Asia, Africa, South America, and even Australia. It affected schools, job and took lives. This made going back to our regular lives difficult.
But from a brand reputation point of view, 2021 is a tough place because; It is very easy to offend the public .As a brand in the early 2010s, all you had to worry about was making sure your products were safe and of high quality. The moment it is discovered that your company was cutting corners or your products weren’t safe, that was where the problem starts and ends.
Furthermore, the internet is filled with false information and information doctoring. It doesn’t take much for someone with access to a computer to easily fake some evidence against your brand and create a public scandal. On the bright side, the same way the internet can work against your brand, it can also work in your favor.
Brand Reputation Rebuilding Strategies.
1.) Act Quickly:
When you begin to sense or see the signs of an imminent Brand Reputation crisis, the best thing to do is start making plans to stop it as quickly as possible. Situations like this never goes away without consequences .So best you start taking actions to prevent it from escalating as much as possible.
This involves you analyzing and understanding the situation you’re in. You also need to find out the nature of the crisis; was it as a result of a bad Press conference or a harmful substance in the products. Information like this helps you prepare the kind of response needed immediately.
Furthermore you need to identify the source of this crisis within your brand. Be it an executive or a brand entity, you need to find out who was or what was responsible. More importantly, in your quick action process, you need to get in touch with stakeholders and investors as quickly as possible.
2.) Keep track of the severity of the damage:
Knowledge of how dire the situation is important as it is vital in the planning of the response. The extent of the damage reflects vividly on social media and financial indicators like sales and shares prices.
From the previous point we spoke about getting in touch with stakeholders, they are vital in terms is assessing the damages. Keeping track of Google search results is another way of keeping track of the damage and severity of the situation.
3.) Admit your fault:
Admitting faults doesn’t always mean you’re completely on the wrong, sometimes it means you are willing to take responsibility for the situation and correct whatever went wrong. This is important as the public loves this sort of attitude and it is a great step in rebuilding brand reputation.
Also, let the public know that you’re putting things in place to prevent the situation from repeating itself.
4.) Internal Communications:
Getting your team and employees in line is also very important. Letting them understand the task at hand and getting them all on the same page helps a lot. As a result, you have everyone in the right state of mind to restore the brand’s reputation
Take obvious steps to try to rectify the situation. The audience you want to impress has to see these steps.
You then need to adjust your social medial plan. An important aspect of this would be a less aggressive approach to customers in general. This will also show that your brand’s apologetic stance and buttress your stance on taking the blame.
6.) Long-term plans:
From the current debacle, you should be able to draft new plans and procedures to prevent similar situations and also how to handle them as quickly as possible.
Examples of Brand Reputation Cases
In 2019, the social media company Twitter had an incident that lead to users losing their money. With the knowledge of the extent of the damage, their first action was to apologize, before warning other users on what was going on. Then they proceeded to work on rectifying the issues. As a result, they killed any attempt to ridicule their reputation while also impressing users with how well they handled the situation.
Nestle is an example of bad reputation management. For some years now, the internet meme community has constantly bashed them for their expensive but not very clean water. This became worse in 2011 as they had an online argument with some customers who criticized them online
Soon, their outrage and inability to change the mind of the internet will become a big problem. If nothing is done, their profits may start to feel its effects
In the words of Benjamin Franklin, “it takes many good deeds to build a good reputation but just one to destroy it”. This saying still applies in today’s branding environment but there’s something extra. These days, we now utilize the internet and other means to restore damaged brand reputation. Especially with proper planning and execution.