For Zimbabwe’s businesses, the unpredictable environment of recent months has brought its challenges. Along with this, threats to brands’ reputations have surfaced as companies struggle to navigate to every change on the market. For some businesses, reputation management has been totally forgotten or has even been viewed as impractical and unnecessary as businesses try to stay afloat. In reality, there is always something a brand can do to safeguard or even improve its reputation despite uncertain conditions on the market. The foundational principles of building a great reputation remain unchanged. Keep in mind these three foundational principles to help your brand’s reputation weather the storm:
Deliver on customer experience.
Just because the environment on the market is challenging, does not mean your customers suddenly don’t appreciate or expect a great customer experience. Your brand may be engaging in many varied reputation management activities, but if customers don’t have a good experience with you, your reputation is at risk. Remember the warning to avoid overpromising and under-delivering. Looking after the little things to take care of your customer’s experience will do more for your reputation than addressing surface level issues without doing the deeper work. Your customer is aware that the environment is tough, but they will remember the ways that your brand goes above and beyond to address the new pain points that come up as a result.
Be the authority in communications about your brand.
As consumers try to navigate daily changes on the market, they are hungry for information. This means that fake news quickly and easily circulates, whether by word of mouth or on social media. When your brand comes up, do not let anyone else be the authority about anything concerning it. Pay attention to your communications strategy and how you inform the public of any changes. Also make sure to be present on all relevant online and offline platforms so that you lead to conversation proactively.
Keep your ear to the ground.
As you take the reins concerning your brand’s communications, always remember that the public is generating its own information. This includes user-generated content on social media. It’s not enough to issue your own messages about your brand. Instead, engage fully with social listening and media monitoring. Gauge all conversations about your brand. Nip incorrect information in the bud, and watch for threats that could escalate into a crisis for your brand. Opportunities presented by the environment will also present themselves, and you need to ensure you are abreast of the conversation.
Stephanie Taderera is a Content Executive at Magna Carta Reputation Management Consultants. For more information and business enquiries, contact us today.