As someone who is employed–whether you’re an owner or an intern–you want to be proud of your company’s name when you tell others where you work. In order to protect and promote your name, you need to make sure your business is taking three basic steps as a safeguard.
PROACTIVELY SOLICIT AND MONITOR REVIEWS
These days, almost all consumers read reviews before choosing a business, whether it’s a doctor’s office or a restaurant.
We’ve all been in this position before. Last week, my boyfriend and I were deciding which ice cream shop to visit. We buy ice cream every two weeks or so from a store within walking distance from my apartment but this time, we wanted to switch it up. After a quick search on Google Maps, we were both reading reviews for ice cream parlors within 2 miles of us. Before hopping in the car, we never checked a website, we never looked at their social media, we relied purely on reviews before making our decision.
Reviews are a direct line of communication between consumers, but they also act as direct feedback to your brand and should be seen as a way to improve. During our ice cream search, we were automatically turned off if someone posted about a less-than-helpful employee, but the mediocre review could be improved if the company had responded to it and apologized.
It’s paramount to solicit and monitor reviews consumers post. In order to protect your name, you need to understand public perception of it and actively seek out feedback. Why wouldn’t you make it your top priority to ensure one of the most visible forums to discuss your business is in tip-top shape?
KNOW HOW TO HANDLE CRITICISM
Flashback to September of 2018 when Starbucks ejected two black men from their store in downtown Philadelphia. They faced widespread criticism for their handling of the situation–it was plastered all over the news and people were rioting on social media. You better bet that sweat was dripping down their foreheads in Seattle.
Now, if you’re an avid Starbucks drinker, you know how they handled it. They wiped their brows and closed down a majority of their stores for mandatory sensitivity training. By responding this way, they demonstrated that they are responsive to problems and working to improve.
In this case, Starbucks took the high road and doubled down on protecting their name. By taking the situation seriously, they avoided what could have been years of backlash, and they managed to maintain a good reputation. While this example may be extreme, taking the high road when dealing with criticism is always the best decision.
GO BEYOND THE BASICS
If we can create a brand that connects with consumers’ values and worldviews, they are more likely to positively remember your name.
For example, the outdoor clothing brand Patagonia does an excellent job at clearly communicating its values to consumers. While their primary goal is, of course, to sell outdoor goods, they also connect with consumers on another level by donating to initiatives that protect the environment. Through these donations, they open up an avenue to promote their values.
As consumers connect with Patagonia online, they are more likely to consider purchasing from the brand because they relate to the initiatives that Patagonia supports. Patagonia’s name is not just related to a trendy outdoor clothing brand but also saving the environment.
Cultivating a positive connection to your brand’s name is more important than any accolade or award it may receive.
All in all, if your name is your company’s most important asset, how are you protecting it? To start, you should be soliciting and monitoring reviews, taking the high road when receiving criticism, and determining how, if possible, you can connect with your consumer base on a deeper level.