The stock of United Airlines had plunged 10% a few weeks after they damaged and refused to pay for guitarist David Caroll’s guitar – it shows the significant impact that reputation can invoke. Guarding and monitoring the public perception of your brand is arguably the foundation for developing a robust, credible, and reputable brand in the long run. Therefore, investments that you make towards protecting your brand and managing its reputation can be thought of as investments towards improving the quality of the brand itself.
That being said, reputation management methods differ based on the industry, goals, and values of different companies, so it’s a given that unique approaches will have to be taken to generate the most optimal results for branding. When we focus on the reputation and brand management for eco-friendly brands, we’ll want to employ a set of strategies that involve staying consistent to environmental conscientiousness and certain values associated with conservation. Locating this particular set of values associated with the public’s perception of an eco-friendly brand will be vital to preserving company reputation.
Don’t Promise Unrealistic or Drastic Changes Immediately
Black Sabbath’s Ozzy Osbourne once cautioned: “You gotta be really careful what you bite off. Don’t bite off more than you can chew. It’s a dangerous world.” The worst thing that your company can do when diving into a set of eco-friendly initiatives and goals is to overextend itself, resulting in the loss of both customers and invested capital.
Evaluate The Financial Feasibility of an Eco Brand
The undesirable situation and concern here is that your company will invest too much money into eco-friendly changes that it can’t completely finish. Not being able to fulfill its brand promises to consumers will tank your company’s reputation depending on the severity of the issue. Running effective branding campaigns is very expensive, and expenditures frequently run into the range of tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Keep It Real
Researchers at Yale University have characterized consumer purchasing behaviors surrounding green products, and note that consumers can distinguish between genuine and superficial efforts: “When a company makes a product that is better for the environment, consumers are actually less likely to purchase it if the environmental benefit is perceived as intentional rather than the result of some other effort.”
Align Your Company’s Actions With its Purported Values
It’s incredibly important to ensure that the “eco-friendliness” associated with your brand or company should not feel overwrought or contrived to consumers. It will affect of driving away rather than attracting consumers if consumers believe that a company is putting up a front regarding their concern for the environment to artificially and falsely boost their company’s image. Research from Northwestern University notes that: “...giving customers credit for altruistic purchases can backfire.”
Have a Good Grasp Over Your Company’s Social Media Image
Your company should have a public relations department that is relatively tech-savvy and in charge of managing your company’s presence across a variety of popular social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Google+, and so forth. Interacting frequently with customers over social media and answering their customer service needs using social media platforms can aid in humanizing your company. You’ll want to begin floating eco-friendly messages to test the waters if your company is transitioning and measure the engagement of visitors to see the impact of your eco-branding campaign attempt.
For companies aiming to capture the reactions and feedback of their customers in response to their brand’s eco-friendly image, the use of well-placed, directed, and meaningful surveys are a crucial tool to use. Key metrics such as brand awareness and recognition, customer service satisfaction, customer loyalty, and the overall effectiveness of your branding campaign can be gleaned from survey participation.
Hire Professional Reputation Managing and Directing Services
So far, we’ve discussed methods that center around doing things to avoid common branding pitfalls. Consulting with a reputation management company is a more active approach to identify, regulate, and control negative reviews before they even begin to catch fire. Profile Defenders is one such service that offers extensive expertise in reputation management tools along with professional advice and strategies to identify a business’ reputation liabilities. Allowing for businesses to stem the spread of negative reputation and repair existing reputation through a unique and personalized blend of SEO techniques.
Run Positive Reputation Management and Promotion Campaigns
While most of the above methods talk about preventative measures and avoiding big pitfalls when creating an eco-friendly brand, you can also take an active approach by creating your positive reputation on the web through targeted, systematic approaches. Working with consumers and social media influencers as part of a word-of-mouth campaign can be a potent approach to remedying a negative press event or boosting your company’s reputation and brand from a neutral position.