There are countless examples of companies who have spent a lot of time, money, and effort to make their branding the best it can be, only for it to collapse in an instant due to losing the trust of consumers. Without trust, they have no customers, and without customers, there is no business.
The first area you can ensure your brand is seen as trustworthy comes not from your marketing or advertising but in your day-to-day dealings with your customers. It beggars belief that a company will spend a fortune on developing and marketing a product, but then scrimp on its customer service. Nothing kills the trust in your business and its brand quicker than not looking after customers once they have bought your product or service.
People who feel they have been given shoddy service or worse, been ripped off will literally shout it from the roof tops. In the age of the internet, this includes across social media, in forums and even on your own website if there is a review or comments page. Never put your brand at risk due to poor customer service. Consider the difference in cost of refunding them, sending them a replacement, or both, compared to the cost of having to rebuild your tattered brand?
A second area where brands can be demolished is advertising and in particular, hyped advertising that borders on lying to potential customers. If your product is good enough there will never, ever, be any justification for making false claims about it in your marketing. Naturally, it can be tempting, especially in a very competitive marketplace, but any short-term gain in sales will be more than wiped out in the long term by the damage to your reputation once your customers start to realise they have been misled.
Once you have lost their trust, at best you will lose them as a customer, but worse they could raise claims against you for false advertising which depending on the severity can lead not only to losing your brand’s reputation but also have the business authorities knocking on your door.
Another way we see businesses trashing their reputation is a more modern phenomenon and it is via the misuse of social media. Social media is a great medium for all sorts of reasons, but often a business owner will forget that the entire world can see what they are posting on certain social media sites.
The danger lies in getting involved in a thread or conversation which goes off into areas that as a business owner you should stay clear of. These include politics, LGBT rights, race issues, gender equality and others which people feel passionate about. If you have strong views on any of these subjects you are entitled to have them, but broadcasting them on social media using your business account can only create problems for you and your brand.
You will have people who are offended, others who will attack you for your views, and there might just be customers who don’t think it is appropriate for a business to share views on these sorts of subjects. So, when posting on social media under your business profile, stick to business matters if you want your brand to remain respected.