In this present day and age, the success of any brand is based on the reputation it carries – hence the importance of “reputed brands” among the mass. Reputation, along with perception, drive about 35% of investment decisions and it is proved in innumerable ways that companies with strong reputations command a price premium. So, lets go through a few reasons, highlighting the importance of reputation in building a brand:
- Reputation provides an integral parameter for reliability in the eyes of those who ultimately power the business: customers and employees.
- A solid reputation equips the brand with the ability to build a strong bond of trust with customers, providing a competitive advantage in an overpopulated market—a factor that can be sustained over time.
- Reputation also has a decided impact on employees as employees tend to join organisations which have a reputed brand name to attract the brightest.
Yet, building a veritable reputation requires proactive action paired up with time tested insights into the workings of the market. Organisations can refer to the following “reputation building framework”, while embarking on the journey of garnering a positive image:
Phase 1: Assess Current Reputation
The foundation of a well-maintained reputation strategy commences with an examination of the current position and internal, as well as external perception of the organisation. This includes classifying perceived strengths and weaknesses, management’s views on the company’s strategic route, and the values eschewed by the company. Outer perceptions form an important part of the audit, pointing out the gap that needs to be bridged by the organisation.
Phase 2: Develop Reputation Strategy
With the fundamental reputation gap analysis done, the base for an organisation’s reputation strategy requires to be established. Specific objectives will be established for each prioritised section, including a definition of what the company should aspire to be in the future, using the business strategy as a definitive guidepost. It is imperative to understand how the reputational end goal stands in respect the company’s historical positioning, strategies, and values. This ensures a realistic plan to be developed for closing the identified reputation gaps. Channelising insights from various verticals, a constructive framework is developed that needs to be tested.
Phase 3: Monitor and Measure
The progress from planning to action necessitates a system under which reputation building and management becomes measurable. Procedures need to be developed, incorporating reputation into daily operations and decision-making. Post this; performance needs to be looped to operational change, execution, and results. Finally, metrics must be defined and performance measured frequently to track changes in perceptions. This is where Public Relations(PR) plays a crucial role.
Importance of PR in building reputation
PR is an important tool, when it comes to management of reputation, as it involves efficient and assessable measures to continue goodwill among all stakeholders in the following ways:
- It leverages implicit “third party endorsement” of the media, which helps in establishing the brand’s “thought leadership value”.
- It helps build credibility through various media interactions, awakening the interest of possible leads to be converted into clients.
- Editorial opportunities engineered by public relations, help garner relativity and keep the brand at constant relevance, in the eyes of both media and consumers.
- It generates awareness on the latest happenings and information, without veering on the obvious self-promotional route.