We’ve all heard about the unfortunate companies who have been raked over the coals for an indiscretion or error in judgment. Think of all of the pharmaceutical companies who put medications out there without thoroughly testing them, and the huge recalls and lawsuits related to them. Although the big-pharm companies have more money than God and can survive a reputation discredit, other, less successful businesses most likely, cannot.
Here are some strategies to boost your company reputation quotient (RQ) and bring on the profit.
First, and probably most important is to remember “˜a good name is worth riches’.
Think about companies you choose to do business with first – most likely it is a name you can trust. That company took huge strides to get themselves a good name by handling indiscretions and mistakes honorably. Admitting you made a mistake, and going out of your way to remedy it can do wonders. By being forthright and honest, you can build a name for yourself as well.
This has a lot to do with branding and marketing, because it creates uniqueness about you and your company and leads to a strong reputation. Hiring a marketing guru is best to get you started branding and marketing your distinctiveness.
When presenting a project, product or service, above all, walk the walk and talk the talk. Do exactly what you claim you will do, in performance, promises and price. This is a very strong reputation building developer, and should be adhered to always. Coming off as a genuine company who always follows through will boost your reputation.
Never withhold important information from a client. Transparency can build immediate credibility because it shows that communication is strong, and the product, service or project is out in the open, and highly visible to all involved. There are no “˜hidden’ fees, or fine print that the consumer/customer is not aware of and they can trust that what you are selling them, is up front and transparent.
Surround yourself, and keep close, those contacts that can help you build your business reputation, as well as shield you from damage should an indiscretion or incident threaten to harm your brand and reputation. Handing these issues properly can build even more integrity. A good consultant can be invaluable to advice on dealings with customers, branding, marketing, and credibility.
Sustainable development adds a big boost to company reputation as well as responsible eco practices, which is something that the public is demanding of companies regularly. There are literally hundreds of methods you can take that will boost your sustainability, some are: reducing expenses, buying “˜green’ products that use fewer resources, recycling, reducing waste, energy, water and land, and many other eco-efficient opportunities will build respect and boost reputation.
Stay consistent in your actions, communications and even, at first, remaining single-minded. It builds a presence that proves you can do what you present, and your past record will speak for itself. Single mindedness keeps you focused on a couple of major efforts in service or products, whichever you are selling. Spreading yourself and your company too thin can create a chaotic presence and a huge margin for mistakes.
Start by building a message that is unique, consistent, promising, useful to clients, and offers what it says it offers. A good book on this topic is “Positioning” by Jack Trout and Al Reis. They are marketing gurus however, they are highly focused on building a winning company reputation.
A New York City based consultant firm, Reputation Institute, has determined by vote – that of all of the factors contributing to a company’s good reputation, citizenship is the strongest.
Citizenship can include many things, however the most prominent are environmentally responsible, supporting good causes, and a positive influence on society. You want the public to admire your efforts, and your company.
Think about all of the companies doing something for kids, animals and underprivileged people. They not only do terrific things, they tell the world about it through media and press releases. Yes, in society it is best to do them without blowing your own horn, however, this is business, and your PR people would be happy to help you look “˜great’ to consumers.
Having a knockout website is mandatory in business these days – and having one that actually promotes your business is essential. Do not scrimp on this item, if you want to have success, as well as a good reputation. Hire someone who can “˜showcase’ your plusses, your products, activism, sustainable products and/or eco-friendly activities. When it’s up and running, promote the heck out of that website – the more people who know about you, the faster your reputation grows.
Since you are the best representative of your company, how you communicate and present yourself does wonders for your company’s reputation.
Communicating in a reputable manner will win you more credibility with customers and clients. Designing superb press releases, writing content for your website, public speaking and every other type of communication you can produce, will not only put your product or service out to the public, in a big way, it will showcase you, as an effective and prolific communicator.
Above all, a great company reputation is built on credibility, doing what you say, being dependable and generous with your time to causes that are worthy. Everything you do should reflect the utmost class in building a reputable business. And of course, with a great company reputation, the cash follows.
About the author
Ally is part of the team that manages Australian Credit Cards, a free corporate credit cards comparison service in Australia. You can follow ACC on Twitter if you like to stay updated on their latest contents. Before joining ACC, Ally was a Media Planner with McCann Worldgroup Philippines, Inc., with award-winning executions, including the Levi’s 501 “Live Unbuttoned” global campaign.