“It takes many good deeds to build a good reputation, and only one bad one to lose it”
The first and foremost thing about branding which most business owners don’t emphasize on (unfortunate for them) is the creation and preservation of a unique business identity. Business identity is a sum of a number of factors including your logo, tag line, business card, brochure, website Etc. The idea is not to surprise yourself or the customers but to perfectly represent the brand. There has to be something different about your brand if you want your business to be viewed and reviewed online.
A PERSONAL EXPERIENCE
A couple of years back I was called in for an interview by a firm. I thought I should go online and see the company’s profile before I show up for the interview so I Googled their business name in order to go to their website but there were a number of companies with the same name providing different kind of services. So in the end I had to scan every single website thinking it could be anyone of those.
When I appeared for the interview I was asked if I had done some preliminary research about the company and what they do and if it interests me or not. What I told them was I couldn’t find them on the web. Not because I didn’t do much to track them but because they did not have a unique identity which could help me track them on the World Wide Web.
Now if a potential customer is trying to look you up on the web in order to buy your services you wouldn’t want this to happen because if it does it’s a safe bet that you are losing that customer because he couldn’t identify you or your services since there were a number of businesses using the same name as yours and to make it worse they might be your competitors.
THE NEED FOR UNIQUE BUSINESS IDENTITY
That’s where a unique business identity comes in. You can build your very own identity using a business logo or an exclusive and memorable tagline which can help you stand out in the crowd of monogamously named businesses. Let’s take the example of famous sportswear NIKE who has this famous tick mark logo. As soon as you see this tick mark you will recognize it as NIKE even if you put it among a million other businesses with the same name, the tick mark logo will serve the purpose.
UNIQUE BUSINESS IDENTITY AND ONLINE REPUTATION MANAGEMENT
Once you establish one such unique and exclusive identity you will be able to track all that is being said about your business or your services anywhere on the web with the help of numerous web tools, be it in a good way or the other way. You will be able to evaluate this data to formulate the counter strategies and the future strategies to better manage your online reputation, walking your customers to your website at the same time.
HOW “DELL” USED IT
Back in 2005 DELL faced an awful crisis when their customer support department denied any kind of hardware help to a famous blogger Jeff Jarvis and triggered his temper so much that he wrote directly to the owner and the marketing manager of DELL along with a series of articles all over the internet, badly hurting the face value and the bank accounts of DELL corporation.
DELL was spending a lot on customer research, surveys, and think tanks to know what people are thinking but they couldn’t maintain their online reputation. After this incident they rechecked their reputation management strategies based on the data they had collected from the web using these web tools to better understand what went wrong and what people are saying and plan what they need to do in future to avoid such incidents. i.e. ONLINE REPUTATION MANAGEMENT.
The next article will be a detailed explanation of online business reputation management tools. So, stay tuned.