When it comes to the world of business, the old adage of ‘it matters not what others think of you but what you think of yourself’ is simply not true. Be able to craft a good reputation is different to simply leaving it to the opinion of others. Although you cannot control the personal bias of individuals, you can take action to nudge opinions in a more positive or negative direction.
Everyone has a reputation, either good or bad and nowadays this perception occurs in real life and online. Contrary to what you’re told, it does matter what others think, as businesses don’t survive without the opinions of society. We are a social species and as such, are hard-wired to really care about what others think..
The quickest way to gain a positive reputation, be it a personal or business one, is to behave in a manner that provides benefits to those closest to you. These include positive traits like kindness, honesty, generosity, charity and integrity. These traits can pay dividends for businesses, in particular. The psychology is simple. The threat of social exclusion is enough to prevent us from doing the wrong thing, even when we could easily do the wrong thing. In human history, exclusion could mean suffering and even death, so that’s why we are hard-wired to do the right thing to protect our reputation.
Brand reputation involves three elements – how people view the business, who is the business and how does that business communicate about itself. Even if one of these factors is misaligned, it can affect the whole reputation.
The factors that make up a brand reputation include the visual cues, such as logos, name and other imagery associated with a business. It also includes the values, mission and philosophy of a company. The way that staff behave also affects brand reputation. What they are saying, writing, posting on social media and reviewing online.
Brand reputation is a fluid and often complicated thing to pin down. The responsibility for maintaining a reputation is often a shared one, with marketing and communications departments, human resources and outside agencies pulling together to foster a positive image. Professional public relations companies have expertise in reputation management. For PR Cheltenham, visit the Target Group, a top PR Cheltenham company with many years of experience.
Creating and maintaining a good reputation for businesses is not an easy job. Consistency is key and many experts advise a slow and steady approach. Customers appreciate feeling comfortable and that they can trust, so a business which is too quick to make changes to their identity can lose custom in the long run.
Reputation can make or break a business and a positive one signals social inclusion, while a negative one results in feelings of being ostracised in society. Such negativity can lead to loss of profits, staff lay-offs and employment issues. Reputation is far-reaching in the corporate world, having an impact on many groups, including stakeholders, executives, customers and the local community.