Think of a brand that you love. Which brand is it and, more importantly, why do you feel that way? Do you consider yourself loyal to that brand? It may just have something to do with the company at-hand’s good reputation.
Brand and reputation matter
Frequently, consumers place more trust in brands that are associated with positive reputations fostered by customer satisfaction, company and community goodwill as well as trust. This doesn’t just occur overnight but is the result of intensive brand and reputation management efforts.
According to the 2019 Edelman Trust Barometer Special Report, 67 percent of respondents agreed that unless they trust a company behind a product, a good reputation only goes so far and they will soon stop buying a product. Now more than ever, consumers are taking into consideration the brand and reputation they are loyal to.
At the same time, brand and reputation management strategies have been on the rise, with brands working to maintain their public-facing reputation. Consider this – the status of a brand and reputation are indicative of the hard work required to maintain public trust.
What makes present day brand and reputation management different
Methods of the past just don’t cut it anymore. One of the biggest differentiators between brand and reputation management efforts of the past versus those of the present? The tool that connects us but in the blink of an eye deteriorate a positive brand and reputation – social media.
How to protect your brand from social media
Social media has made brand and reputation management more of a full-time focus for companies thanks to the newfound reach that continues growing each day. The same platforms that have people showing their brand loyalty can consequentially be the ones that destroy a good reputation or trust.
In the age of social media, there are no secrets. Consider the behavior that gets caught on camera and posted to social media websites.
Such platforms mean that there is no more being able to sweep events under the rug, including incidents like irresponsible or rude driving behavior as well as fatal vehicular incidents.
The shelf life doesn’t expire anymore with items on the internet. Social media is cyclical, allowing for any topic to be brought up, focused on, forgotten about and eventually rehashed.
What people once deemed “simple and forgettable mistakes,” like momentary negative behind the wheel action, misstep from a brand or poor wording from a spokesperson, now have the potential to live in infamy thanks to social media.
The accessibility of such consumer-focused platforms only highlights the need for thorough brand and reputation management. For companies who employ drivers, it’s integral to have the best representation of positive employee behavior behind the wheel, as they directly represent and impact your brand and reputation.
Brand and reputation management, while daunting, is needed given the amount of people potentially watching your company’s moves at any time. With more than 4.33 billion active Internet users worldwide and 81 percent of U.S. adults going online on a daily basis, now more than ever it’s pertinent to remain proactive in your brand and reputation management efforts.
Avoid being part of the many negative newsworthy stories
It feels easier said than done, right? Newsworthy stories can cover both the positives and negatives of company happenings. This can be anything from a feel-good piece on community volunteerism or a shocking, breaking news five car pile-up caused by a driver from your fleet in a branded vehicle.
Think about the ramifications such a story for your brand and reputation. Staying out of the news in a negative manner translates to something meaningful for your company, including enhanced brand and reputation trust. To make it easier, we’ve pulled together a list comprised of five steps on how to do just that.
How to protect your brand and reputation in 5 steps
Monitor social media vigilantly
Keeping an eye on the conversation will only help you better understand what people are saying about your brand. When you gain a grasp on the conversation or see trends heading in a negative direction, you can work to change the tide.
Turn on those mention alerts
Receiving mention alerts, offered by many common search engines, will let you know any time your brand has been mentioned in a media-facing capacity. Whether it be good news or bad news, oftentimes pertinent stories you need to know about can fall through the cracks.
Make the most out of public relations efforts
Capitalize on that positive press! If there’s an awesome story, there’s truly no shame in boasting about it. Post it everywhere – company social media, emails to your customers, your personal social media. Let your customers see the great things you’re doing.
Engage with negative reviews
Engaging with negative reviews showcases a level of willingness to interact with less than satisfied customers. It also displays your ability to be transparent. Organic interactions such as these create the ability to turn dissatisfied customers into brand loyalists.
Keep your employees happy
Happy employees are the best brand advocates you could ask for. They often play a big role in the portrayal of your everyday reputation and can make or break such a status easily.
Driver risk management matters to protect brand and reputation
Tying your company’s brand and reputation management alongside your driver risk management efforts is key in keeping bad news at bay. To help you get started, we’ve pulled together three ways to marry both endeavors together.
3 ways to marry your driver risk management & brand and reputation management efforts
Hire those who represent your brand accurately
We’ve all scrolled through social media and found videos of drivers behaving badly, whether speeding, absentmindedly running stop signs or driving distracted. Typically, videos like these catch your eye and soon enough, you realize in watching the news that they’ve leapt from your newsfeed to the newsroom.
You never want your company to be in such a situation, but in the off chance you are, you’ll quickly realize that your brand and reputation are hanging in the balance.
By hiring those who represent your brand accurately and are the safest drivers, you’re more likely to avoid the headache and pain that small and large crashes bring. Your bottom line, company and community will all thank you.
Know who’s driving on behalf of your company
Technology like driver monitoring doesn’t occupy space in your company cars, allowing you to proactively know who is getting behind the wheel of your vehicles and whether they even should be in the first place. Any company that has drivers knows the inherent risk and fear that exists surrounding putting the wrong driver on the road.
That’s why tools like driver monitoring are important – by letting you know any time a negative violation is received, you can pivot at a moment’s notice, pulling those who could be suddenly putting your brand and reputation at-risk out from behind the wheel.
Talk about your safety efforts
We at SambaSafety encourage you to shout loud and proud the safety initiatives undertaken as part of your larger brand and reputation management strategy. Highlighting the steps your company takes to keep your employees and community safe only adds to the positive brand and reputation, enhancing trust along the way.
Publicizing your safety efforts isn’t an admission that you weren’t taking on those efforts before but instead highlighting the ways in which your business is continuously improving. After all, you are your own best brand and reputation advocate.
Negative brand and reputation aren’t conquered overnight
Instead, brand and reputation management efforts take time, resources and energy. The end result? Positive effects of increased brand and reputation perception that will be widespread and felt throughout your company.
One of the best places you can begin in tackling your brand and reputation? By understanding how you can avoid the brand impact crashes bring with tools like driver monitoring. Download our white paper to learn more.