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Brand Reputation Management: Your Seven-Point Game Plan

by Lorna Walkden  |  
June 19, 2013

Despite its current popularity, brand reputation management (BRM) is not a new concept. Most credible organizations have always taken their reputation seriously. It used to be called PR and word-of-mouth marketing.

However, the arena has changed fundamentally since then. User-generated feedback via social sites and review networks is now commonplace, and such instant feedback means new challenges and opportunities for every business.

Today, BRM is about actively managing the references, conversations, and feedback on your business. Typically, those occur online, but being mindful of what happens in the offline environment is equally important. An in-store complaint that is not dealt with properly will invariably make its way through the virtual grapevine; therefore, it shouldn't be ignored.

So, what course of action should you take? Basically, having a good defense as well as attack strategy is required. Here are seven key areas you should address:

  1. Search engine dominance
  2. Brand monitoring
  3. Social media PR
  4. Reviews and recommendations
  5. Customer service and culture
  6. Negative-PR management
  7. Brand advocacy

1. Search Engine Dominance

When users type your business's name into a search engine, your company website should be the first listing they see. The remaining listings will vary (according to device, geography, etc.); however, they will typically include social profiles, entries for Google Places, and news stories. Wikipedia pages and review sites can also make the front page, so check that any facts printed there are correct.

Your aim should be to dominate the first page results with listings you control. Set up key social profiles (if you haven't already)—and, crucially, make sure you have a Google+ page. Google will include Google+ updates on the right-hand side of its desktop search results, so being active on this channel is a great way to push positive news and information.

To exude authority, you should also aim to appear prominently in search results for key search terms within your industry. The more a customer sees your brand in search results, the more they will regard you as an important player.

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Lorna Walkden is content writer at Ellenell and has over 10 years' marketing experience. Follow her company tweets @EllenellPromo

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  • by Art Savitt Wed Jun 19, 2013 via web

    Brand monitoring should go way beyond merely tracking conversations. I would submit that solution #2, Brand Monitoring, as described here, is sorely lacking in terms of the monitoring options suggested. Traditional quantitative survey brand tracking, when properly conceived and executed, does not have to be overly expensive and can be incredibly potent at informing brand assets, vulnerabilities, new opportunities and emerging competitive positionings that may affect your own brand. When conducting traditional quantitative tracking, you can also include the perspectives of solution #7: brand advocacy. You can make sure to include a sub-sample of your advocates in your tracking program to monitor that you are still 'cost of entry' with this important group.

    Parties interested in brand tracking can contact me at

  • by Gracious store Wed Jun 19, 2013 via web

    Every brand cares about is reputation, and will do all that it take to uphold or build a very good reputation.

  • by Samantha Thu Oct 10, 2013 via web

    Speaking of bad PR management - Check this out - @Heineken handles 2nd round of brand misstep

  • by ReputationStation Sat Nov 30, 2013 via web

    Great article! We are finding that many business owners are starting to realise that reputation management is something they have to do whether they want to or not. It all relates to point 5 that you make. If the customer service and culture is great they have less to worry about, but this is the first thing that has to be looked at if they are to really protect and maintain a good reputation.

  • by Robin Williams Tue Feb 18, 2014 via web

    I like your article which is associated with brand reputation management. It is very crucial to analyse and evaluate the reputation of the brand available in the market whether it is making good positive image or negative one. As it is common known fact that once image become diluted then it is hard task to rebuild in right way. Basically seven important factors are mentioned which all has their own importance with respect to brand management particularly for online businesses.

  • by Sameera Khan Fri Dec 5, 2014 via web

    Very impressive article. These are the ways that you can use to keep a check on your brand reputation. The other thing you can do is to keep on adding good information on your blogs, social media and other profiles about your brand so that negative information if added could not affect your brand reputation.

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