Brand reputation: 20 years to build, five minutes to ruin

“Your brand or your name is simply your reputation, you have to fight in life to protect it as it means everything. Nothing is more important” – Richard Branson.

The above quote by the famous English business magnate and founder of Virgin Group explains, in a nutshell, the importance and relevance of brand reputation. In other words,this intangible asset is how a company is viewed and perceived by its customers, stakeholders and the market as a whole. It is the aggregate of customer service experience, the emotions and ideas that a customer associates with the brand. This also includes the feel-good factor of after-sales service that the consumer enjoys after successfully endorsing the brand’s products.

Strategic communication rules the roost

There is always a raging debate about what is more important for the sustainability of a brand: visibility or reputation.  While brand visibility is important too since it allows the end-users to know about the existence of a brand, any misdirected or unplanned communication (for the sake of visibility) can mar the reputation of the brand. So we need to understand that visibility symbolizes “now” but the brand reputation, or goodwill, lasts for a lifetime. The PR and communication campaign trail aimed at the the visibility of any brand thus has to be well-planned and strategic, in order to enhance the reputation of the company in the long run.

Let us take the example of Amul, our own ‘Taste of India’ that has won the faith of its consumers for over five decades now. The success of the brand is based on quality, its ever-expanding product portfolio and a hyper-local focus. It’s witty, topical and extremely strategic mass-appeal advertisements featuring its mascot, the Amul Girl, has caught the fancy of both the urban and rural lore, with its regular appearance on the outdoor as well as the print media.

Even Cadbury as a brand has firmly rooted itself in the heart and minds of the Indian consumer through timely product innovations, expansions and clever campaigns. We will never forget the television commercial featuring the joyous images of a spirited young woman, chocolate bar in hand, dancing on a cricket pitch. With time, the ubiquitous chocolate brand has strategically occupied occasions of consumption like Valentine’s Day, Friendship Day and Diwali, among others, with its innovative products, complemented by advertising campaigns like ‘Shubh Arambh’ and ‘Kuch Meetha Ho Jaaye’. No wonder, today Cadbury has firmly established itself as the country’s most trusted chocolate brand.

An apt communication approach for a business vis-a-vis its right segment is also criticial to the success of the brand. For instance, any communication for a company that is selling writing pens has to be targeted at the masses to capture the fancy of consumers in the crowded and competitive pen category. To reach the highest echelons of success, the campaign has to be well thought-out and built to engage with the end-users and yet differentiate the product in a meaningful manner.

Goodwill and revenue go hand-in-hand

According to a study at the World Economic Forum, 87% of the participants believe that reputational hazards are more damaging than any other strategic business risks. Brand repute is thus a major contributor to sales. Here too, the market is full of examples. Louis Vuitton markets its products based on style and royalty, Apple has attracted the youth to buy its products highlighting on the look and appeal whereas Audi has sold its products for more than 40 years now through “Vorsprung Durch Technik” that roughly translates to ‘progress through technology’.

Going digital is the way forward

In today’s age of digitization, almost all top brands ride on the ever-changing landscape of digital marketing and online sales to enhance their branding reputation, visibility, trust as well as revenue. The easy accessibility of this forum has allowed businesses to interact with its targeted audiences in real time. This has worked as a major advantage for brands to establish the right connect with its consumers. What’s more, digital marketing allows you to reach out to customers who have visited your site, filled up their carts and logged out without purchasing. Of course, it comes with its own set of perils: a single negative comment by a consumer on any social media can play havoc with the reputation of any brand. Thus, in this space too, a dynamic digital marketing strategy employed by a team of vigilant and empathetic branding managers is the need of the hour. It is vital to create experiences and content to captivate the audience and bring to the forefront outstanding brand awareness.

The customer is king

Experts in the PR and communication industry opine that it is very important for brand owners to know their brands as well as their consumers deeply. It is important to nurture, celebrate and regularly refresh the relationship between the two. What differentiates top brands from others is how consistently and effectively this is done over time. Providing quality and winning the consumer’s trust is the key to success for any brand.

We are at your service

Being a strong and consistent player in the industry for over 15 years now, Communications 2.0 is your one-stop solution to enhance the visibility and overall reputation for your brand. We understand the needs of your business and communicate directly with your targeted audience. We help you leverage 21st century assets such as data analytics, artificial intelligence and the latest key performance indicators to do what PR and communication does best: influence perceptions, disseminate your news, educate your stakeholders, connect with your customers, protect and grow your brand, train your team as well as win you some new clients!

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