Every company, big or small, business-to-business or business-to-customer, global or local, has a brand. Sometimes branding is done through the company name, sometimes through a logo or slogan. However, for all companies, your brand is a message, images, good and bad; all elements come together to create excitement and acceptance. Brands can be created by working with a branding agency or default as the business moves through customer and supplier relationships and the business landscape.
On the path of any business, there will be optimal moments filled with shining glory and rave reviews and then not-so-optimal moments with disgruntled customers or suppliers, negative press, or rampant social media hype. Branding agency experts agree that having a crisis management plan that embraces and protects your brand is essential. It can save you money and working time not only upfront but also in the long run. Successfully handling a crisis of any size can often save a business in the eyes of existing customers and attract new ones.
Threats to a company’s brand can come from both inside and outside. In today’s social media culture, people hear stories or watch videos of employees engaging in questionable activities at the expense of the company’s time or money. These stories can go viral and lead to a backlash against the mega-corporation or serious damage to the reputation of a local business. Establishing social media policies and guidelines and communicating them to employees is a key step in protecting a company’s brand. But to protect the brand, the company must know exactly what the brand is.
Brandwell branding agencies help businesses of all sizes build their brand based on the company’s philosophy, goals, and objectives, as well as satisfying the wants, needs, and preferences of their customer base. When companies are seen as hiding or ignoring any crisis, reputational damage begins. The most important action in any crisis is to resolve it immediately.
Reacting to the crisis immediately, the company owns the content and message from the very beginning. In addition, the first steps are being taken to restore public confidence by presenting the company as having little or nothing to hide. Maintaining and restoring trust is essential to brand integrity and reputation. Make sure you monitor social media sites and have a social media crisis response process in place. Then make sure that reputation management and brand protection are top priorities not only during the crisis but also in the coming weeks or months, depending on the scale of the event.
It can be overwhelming; one solution is hiring a branding agency. By having an ongoing relationship with an agency that understands the brand, the company has a reliable partner and resource on sunny and cloudy days.