YAY! You’ve done the work, carefully crafting a brand from the ground up into something that truly reflects you and your business. It’s relevant to your customers, old and new. You feel good about the time and money invested in creating and promoting your brand.
The good news: Your revenue is on an upward trend and you are seeing more repeat or referred customers. You might have already seen an increase in employee morale and confidence as well. Fabulous!
The bad news: This brand you worked so hard to create is now extremely valuable…and vulnerable. It’s something that you need to protect and honour. Unfortunately, it’s relatively easy to tarnish your reputation. Make the wrong move, anger the wrong person, say something without taking a moment to think about how you might be interpreted, and you are liable to get knocked down a peg or two, maybe more depending on the severity of the “offence” and the reaction of the “offended party”.
While a few bad reviews aren’t the end of the world—I actually get a little suspicious when there are only 5-star reviews for a company or product—an article in major news publications, a feature on TV News or a viral post on Twitter, detailing the level of failure your company has achieved, is a different beast.
How can you prevent this from happening?
If you want to drive yourself mad, you could try micromanaging every interface between your organization and the public.
If you want to have a decent chance at mitigating the risk of bad press about your brand, you can put policies and measures in place in advance. In particular, I highlighted how important it is to educate and appreciate your employees in previous posts (links below).
Every person who works for you and interacts directly with your customers, prospects, and/or suppliers can communicate on-brand or off-brand. “Off-brand” can be a minor, “Oops, I used the wrong colour on some handouts.” Or, “off-brand” can be a harsh, “No, you can’t return that item, you dumb*ss!” So…
- Hire people who take pride in a job well-done
- Even better if they also care about the work you do
- Invest in and train each employee
- When they start working at your company, and
- Periodically throughout their tenure
- It always amazes me how many workplaces just throw new hires into the fray with little to no orientation whatsoever! Trial by fire sometimes burns everyone involved!
- Ensure that each and every employee understands your mission, vision, values, and brand promise.
- If an employee does not know or understand these fundamentals of your business, how can you expect them to deliver on it?
- In addition, educate your employees on precisely how they contribute to your company’s success. Show them what “success” looks like.
Ultimately, I’m a believer in ‘what comes around, goes around”. If you treat your employees with respect and empathy, 97% of the time, you’ll receive the same back.
© 2021-2022 Tracey Copeland, Rolling Sands Consulting.