Corporate reputation management is a combination of strategies that are used to shape consumer perception of your brand.
Today, consumers rely on current customers to tell them whether or not a business is worth their time and money. Consumers look at feedback from online reviews and social media to use in their decision making when selecting a business.
Why Corporate Reputation Management?
There is only one way a customer can start a journey with your brand. And that’s by interacting with your brand in some way. Under corporate reputation management, there is a constant cycle, a loop of the different ways in which a consumer will interact with your brand.
We’ve got the main touch points for customer interactions with a brand, which are public relations, advertising, media coverage, website, and online reviews and social media. The other touch point is local search.
A local search is performed by a customer right after the customer hears about you or when the customer will search for a business related to yours. The customer then finds out that not only does your brand exists, but also can look at what customers have to say about your brand. So if a consumer is searching for a restaurant to go to on Saturday night, they might type in “nice restaurants in Chicago.”
Where you end up in search results will be determined by how effectively you manage your corporate reputation.
Does Employer Brand Matter?
A strong employer brand affects overall corporate brand reputation. Customers and even investors are looking at your employer brand and making decisions based on your company culture and what employees have to say about you.
Also, if you are looking for more applicants, companies with a positive employer brand will see twice as many applications come through as companies that have a less-than-desirable reputation. And employer brand includes the interview process.
Example of Negative Corporate Reputation
Remember Uber in 2017? We heard a lot of negative news about them. Like this: According to Business Insider, Uber fired more than 20 employees on June 6, 2017 after 215 claims of sexual harassment were uncovered during after a workplace investigation. Uber’s investors demanded that Travis Kalanick, the company’s CEO, resign later that same month.
This type of news is obviously not good for Uber’s brand reputation. Former drivers and passengers of Uber have been opting instead for Uber’s rival, Lyft, in the last year. Fortune reported in July 2017 that Uber’s share of the ride-sharing market declined to 75 percent from 90 percent.
Wired reported in June 2017 that Lyft was expanding services and getting new partners and investors, all while Uber’s reputation took a negative turn. In December 2017, Lyft announced its most recent round of funding increased to $1.5 billion, up from the original $1 billion.
Uber is still doing well, according to the Motley Fool. Lyft still has a lot of work to do to catch up, but the company was able to jump ahead while Uber’s brand reputation sank low. Uber is now a company that people love to hate.
Example of Positive Corporate Reputation
Microsoft is a great example of a company with a positive corporate reputation.
Microsoft’s employee empowerment culture and philanthropy initiatives have put the company in a positive light in recent years. In 2015, Microsoft announced the launch of Microsoft Philanthropies to expand its commitment to corporate philanthropy around the world.
As an example, let’s take a look at Microsoft’s employee giving program. Microsoft matches employee donations to nonprofit organizations in both money and time. This program motivates employees and keeps them engaged in the company. Microsoft is committed to its mission: “Empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.”
How Do You Improve Corporate Brand Reputation?
The best way to improve your corporate brand reputation is to listen to the people who support your business – employees, customers, and local communities.
The best way to listen to customers is by analyzing feedback in online reviews on sites like Glassdoor and Google. It could be that you find several employees suggest that your company offer a volunteer opportunities. Or maybe you find that interviewees say the questions you ask need to be more direct. No matter what the feedback is, you should take it seriously because only then will you improve your corporate brand reputation.