One of the latest buzzwords in business communication is ‘reputation management’ and, in fact, it’s an important tool for companies in any industry. What is this tool?
In reputation management, you work with an image consultant to develop a story or brand around your company or product. This can be done online or offline and is often called ‘branding’. The branding and image consultants work to develop a ‘story’ that describes your company’s culture, products and services.
Having a good story about your company and its products means that the business people can trust what you say. More importantly, they know they can trust what you say because it comes from someone who has more experience in doing business.
A good story about your company will include a business plan, including goals and strategies, which show how you intend to achieve these goals. This is where the reputation image and impression management come in: the reputation image and impression consultants will provide new information to help you develop your story.
Their role is to ensure that your new story is credible and that everyone believes it. If they find that you don’t have enough evidence to support your story, you won’t get much support from others. They may ask you to explain or re-explain your story.
Developing a good reputation image and impression management means that your product is also a good story. For example, if your product involves health benefits, the marketing experts should be talking about what those benefits are and why they are good for the consumer.
But, if you’re selling health supplements, for example, you’ll need to know how that product helps people. The story should also tell about the positive effects of your product.
Your team should be discussing the product and its effects, and they should be discussing them in terms of good news and bad news. People understand that the bad news comes out first, and so they are more likely to take action. It’s not always easy to convey good news, but your reputation image and impression management team are training to do just that.
Effective reputation management means that your story is believable, and that all your points are given due consideration. It also means that your story is supported by all the facts. And lastly, your story should not be false or misleading.
More importantly, effective reputation management means that the people who buy the products or services you sell trust what you say. If your story is credible, it is going to be much easier to make customers believe what you say. And, they will be happier when they have purchased your product or service.
Selling a product or service involves learning the language of your customers, and understanding what their needs are. Learning the language also involves developing ways to communicate the right messages to your customers.
When you are presenting your customers with a good story, you should be able to generate a stream of positive feedback and success stories. And these are the messages that your reputation image and impression management team will work on for you.