Did you ever wonder how important brand reputation management is? This article elaborates on describing 5 brand reputation management tools that every entrepreneur needs to know, by taking into account the new trends and future challenges of the social media era. As new online services are continuously introduced, the following questions are usually raised, regarding the importance of brand reputation for every business.
Is brand reputation monitoring a key component for every business? Apart from services offered by businesses and taking care of every other aspect from designing taglines, slogans, etc. all the way down to customer relationships, what role does brand reputation management play and how it benefits the company? How do one’s views, opinions, and perception about a particular brand, reach the parent company? Do people care about voicing their opinions and experiences?
Getting to know the perception of majority of public has not always been the easiest of tasks while extracting vital metrics, it is even more difficult. This is where brand reputation management comes into the picture. Humans love to share their experiences with others. It is an inherent nature. Also, having the advantage of anonymity in the online world, people easily share their views and opinions about anything without inhibitions.
All products are aimed to fulfill the needs of their customers. But since people always have a different level of expectations, some will have their heart emphasized on the positive aspect of a service/product, while the others on the negative one. How to find the traits or characteristics of a brand, eliciting a strong response from people, which may forecast its rise or fall in the future? This is where brand reputation management plays an important role [Forbes].
What exactly is brand reputation management?
It is a process of monitoring every aspect of a brand in the online world (like conversations, tweets, likes, dislikes, shares on social media including Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc.), while also keeping a tab on its perception in the eyes of people in day to day life. The online reputation of a brand carries now far more weightage than ever before. Corporate branding management is different in the way that the image of the corporate or organization is much broader and global than with the brand image of services or products offered under it. Various aspects of a brand, which stamps its perception on the mind of the general user include [Brand New]:
- Pricing policy in comparison to its peers in the market
- Quality of services
- Staying congruent to its promised values in the long run like affordability, durability, good customer care services, etc
- The intent of improving the quality of life on a mass scale in exchange of affordable/justifiable prices from its beneficiaries vs the sole purpose of earning financial returns at any cost without heeding the requirements of consumers on a large scale [Trackur]
Why brand reputation management is important?
Whenever a product is launched in the market, although it is a real physical entity, its perception is always virtual and it is subjected to change. Businesses spend considerable time and effort to set up brand identity guidelines (i.e. values that people associate with the name of the brand). People are more accustomed to gaining trust and believing in brand recognition from others’ experiences and reviews. How well the product is perceived by the people dictates its reach and success among the masses. Since perception varies among people, it is important to place significant value on it from a business perspective. Brand reputation management work is to bridge the gap between the brand image of the company and the brand image perceived by the people and this painstaking work is forever ongoing. This is why brand reputation management is important [SemRush].
Brand reputation management provides the following:
- It gives a fair accurate estimate of public perception of the brand through data from social media and day to day life of people.
- It helps an organization to be aware of any misinformation, circulating which might be hampering the image of a brand.
- It helps people to resolve any issues regarding their services. People these days are more inclined to throw their opinions and reviews on the Internet and social media first than to let the company know regarding their product issues.
- It is able to forecast the success or failure of a product in the long run.
- It helps to bridge the gap between actual information about a product and half-knowledge about it in the minds of people through online and social media.
Future of brand reputation management and its challenges lying ahead
Brand analysis will be adopted by every form of business in the future since it provides such paramount data. Analyzing the data enables the business to rectify/improve its services and marketing strategies, which will only help it to compete with others in the market. As for the challenges, the data will keep on increasing which will make it difficult to organize and deduce useful analysis from it. Also, the corporate branding will require painstaking effort since its theme has to be universal across the diversified culture around the world.
Brand reputation monitoring tools
These are tools, which aid in building an effective brand strategy. Most of them work online. Some are available as an application, providing statistics from a plethoric amount of online data in an organized manner, thereby making it easier to analyze and form future strategies. A decade ago, the primary focus was on brand marketing, which relied heavily on mediums other than the Internet. But now with the growth of social media, brand monitoring tools are inevitably going to be a vital part of online branding. In the following section, five such tools are described, which invariably help in defining brand identity guidelines.
Facebook may have the reputation of a leader in the social media world, but the value of Twitter cannot be undermined especially from a business perspective. Facebook helps people to get in touch with their friends, family, and acquaintances, while Twitter’s model subtly provides emphasis on connecting with new people. The conversation provides insights into public perception and awareness of that subject. Short, straight-to-the-point tweets allow easy extraction of data, like public likes, dislikes, opinions, lifestyle, etc. The online reputation then can be measured from it.
Review Buffer is a plugin, which can be installed on a business site. It is quite unique in the sense that it reroutes the bad reviews to the business owner and only allows the good ones to be shared online (Facebook, Twitter, Yelp, etc.). It may be considered as an effective strategy to curb the bad reviews so as to project the brand image in a positive light. The business managers or owners then get a hold of those bad reviews and try to resolve them. However, they might not make the effort to handle each bad review. Although the plugin is great, its major con is, it does not allow pure, uncensored constructive criticism to be shared online with the rest of the world.
This is a tool, which is powerful and affordable for medium-scale business owners and even startups. It allows business owners to track conversations on social media relevant to their specific products/services. It tracks real-time comments, tweets, shares, likes, dislikes, etc., and provides useful stats from them. The interface is great. They allow free trial of their services. The Slack integration is fully customizable.
BrandsEye stands out from the rest in the fact that conversations about a subject can be traced back to its originating tweet or post. It provides email notification, whenever the brands are mentioned. Build-in analytics helps to compare the various data and provide useful analysis. The plans are on the expensive side though. It seems a perfect tool for monitoring corporate reputation.
It is a search engine service, which uses its algorithm to track the subject across the Internet and social media. Unlike many tools, this is totally free and although is not equivalent to other tools in terms of crawling capacity, data presentation, and in-depth analysis, it still provides a lot of vital information for monitoring one’s web reputation and can be used by startups that are not able to afford paid subscriptions. The search results can be narrowed to be more specific like blogs, microblogs, images, videos, and questions. Additional features are available in the “Advance Search “option like results from “Last 12 hours” or “Last week” etc.
There are several brand monitoring tools available on the Internet and more will arrive on the scene as time passes on, for enabling effective brand reputation management in the upcoming social media era. However, only a few are able to provide a satisfactory analysis of the vast data collected from social media platforms and online resources. The world is getting digitalized at an exploding rate and those thinking about getting by without the use of such tools may fall way behind in comparison to others.
 Brand New: How Entrepreneurs Earned Consumers’ Trust from Wedgwood to DellBy Nancy Fowler Koehn