Developing a brand is something a lot of businesses commit to these days. However, not every business is successful in developing a brand. The main reason is that a brand is more than just a logo for your company. As a matter of fact, a brand is a way for your business to showcase its core values and engage with customers on a more personal level. That being said, when developing a brand, a business must have their audiences’ best interests and preferences in mind.

Still, that’s not always enough to make a brand truly successful. Branding demands constant effort and dedication. You must build your reputation and maintain it at all times, so that you can ensure your customers’ engagement and loyalty. One simple misstep and you can greatly aggravate your audience. Moreover, once your reputation suffers, it’s extremely difficult to get it back on track and earn your customers’ trust once again. That’s why, when building your brand’s reputation, you have to do it the right way. Here’s a 101 guide on building your brand’s reputation.

Showcase your company’s values

One of the things that attracts consumers to a particular brand is its core values and mission statement. Online consumers aren’t just looking for brands that can offer them the best deals and exceptional service. In fact, they also look for a brand they can easily relate to. That way, consumers can bond with a brand, while building a personal relationship that will foster loyalty.

Your brand’s core values and mission statement will attract the right audience to your business. Those who identify with your brand will also more likely make purchases and return for repeat business. That’s why it’s important for your brand to showcase values through engaging storytelling and content. In addition, when consumers are familiar with your brand and its operations, it’s much easier to establish a good reputation, as well as it is to maintain it.

Meet customer expectations

Nowadays, online consumers are much savvier than they used to be. When it comes to purchasing products and services, consumers know what they want, in most cases. They also have needs and expectations when it comes to customer service. If you want your brand to be reputable, you must meet those expectations. That includes meeting customer demands on each step of their buyer’s journey.

Simply put, whether you’re tailoring your promotional message or delivering a product to the end users, you must focus on meeting, if not even exceeding their expectations. That way, you guarantee customer satisfaction. Not only that, but when customers find what they need with your brand, they won’t have to look for a better service elsewhere. Therefore, when trying to build a good reputation for your brand, you must focus on delivering exceptional customer service and support.

Value your own staff

One thing online consumers keep an eye out these days is how companies treat their employees. If you believe your internal affairs won’t influence your brand’s reputation, you got another thing coming. On the other hand, if you foster a well-developed company culture and treat your employees with respect, it will positively influence your reputation in the online world. In that case, don’t shy away from being transparent about your workplace and show your audience how you treat your employees.

Moreover, satisfied employees can also be brand advocates, promoting your brand and its work environment over various media channels. For instance, make a video about a day at your office. If you don’t have a permanent residence, you can find a shared space. Gather your employees and showcase what it’s like to work for your brand. That way, you can show your audience how your company culture looks in person.

Remain consistent

Each brand has a unique approach on how they engage with their customers. Small businesses that are developing a brand all use various strategies to build their brand’s reputation. No matter what works out best for your brand’s reputation, one thing is for sure though, and that is to remain consistent at all times. Consistency portrays your brand image and allows customers to engage with you. Customers can more easily rely on a brand when they know what to expect.

For example, your brand is actively engaging your target audience on social media networks. Your brand is always available for support, while you also constantly deliver relevant and interesting content to your audience. In other words, you’re building a relationship with your customers on social media platforms. Now, should cease to do so consistently, your audience will feel neglected and disappointed. The more you neglect them, the more it hurts your reputation.

Deliver on your promises

One of the most important things that greatly impacts your brand’s reputation is a brand’s promise. The essence of the relations brands have with their customers is the promises they’ve made. Therefore, if you want your brand to favor good reputation, you must follow a simple rule, which is “under promise and over deliver”. Whatever it is that you’ve promised to customers you must uphold, otherwise you’re risking a public scandal that will leave your reputation in ruins.

A good example is the German car manufacturer Volkswagen. The brand promised its customers vehicles that are environmentally friendly with low emissions. However, as it later turned out, Volkswagen manipulated the car software to cheat on the emission test, showing that it produces less toxic gases than it actually does. As a result, the company faced terrible publicity, a decrease in stock value and a ruined reputation that they’re still trying to recover.

Leverage customer testimonials

As mentioned before, happy employees can become brand advocates that will give a boost to your brand’s reputation. But, satisfied  customers can do one better for your brand. Brands focus on building relationships with customers that will inspire loyalty. Through good customers experience and service, as well as support, brands can ensure loyalty in customers. Loyal customers can also become brand advocates, promoting it further through referrals and word-of-mouth recommendations.

This is not only beneficial for your sales and bottom line, but for your reputation as well. Satisfied customers are the best portrayal of a brand’s value. If your customers are happy, it means you’re doing things the right way. Moreover, more consumers will flock to your brand, even those who weren’t initially a part of your target audience. That being said, customer testimonials can do wonders for your brand’s reputation. In fact, 84% of online consumers trust online reviews as much as they trust personal recommendations. Not only that, but 68% of consumers will form an opinion after reading between one and six online reviews.

Building a brand isn’t easy. It requires good planning, dedication and effort to develop a good brand. What’s more, building a brand’s reputation and maintaining it can be even more challenging. That’s why it’s important to have consistency in your branding efforts, as well as never to let your customers down in any way. That way, your brand will not just favor good reputation on the market, but also pride itself in having loyal and engaged customers.