Many experts believe that consumer behavior will never be the same as it was before 2020. After braving the COVID-19 pandemic and the ensuing economic turmoil, not to mention the social justice issues triggered by the Black Lives Matter movement, we’re likely to see a significantly changed consumer.
Maintaining a strong brand reputation as a new normalcy emerges could be the key to helping you bounce back successfully. Read on to find out why brand reputation matters more than ever before in this new economy.
What’s Brand Reputation?
Brand reputation refers to how the public views a brand, whether it be an individual or organization.
A good reputation shows that consumers trust the organization and are confident to do business with you. They’re proud to associate with the brand and share with others. On the other hand, a negative reputation means that consumers lack confidence in your products, services, or character, thus, aren’t excited to do business with you.
A Sharper Focus on Corporate Ethics
According to Raconteur Media, London, there are “sharpened consumer attitudes towards poor corporate behavior.”
“The ethical or moral aspects of leadership decision-making, such as how organizations are treating their staff and whether a company has accepted public funds are fundamental to the perception and therefore the reputation of the brand,” concludes a recent survey by the Non-Executive Directors’ Association (NEDA) on the impact of the covid19 pandemic on corporate reputation.
Indeed, many NEDA members say they are consulting more on reputational issues over the past year. Two-thirds have contributed to boardroom discussions on brand reputation during the pandemic.
Importance of Maintaining a Strong Brand Reputation
The importance of a positive brand reputation is crucial, especially at times when consumers are facing uncertainties socially and economically.
A positive reputation breeds trust
When consumers are shaken up like during COVID-19 restrictions, more uncertainties could push them to the edge. As such, people tend to turn to organizations they can trust. Trust is built over time using the honesty or integrity of a person or entity. It is the firm belief that a consumer can rely upon the organization, and that they will be good. It is much easier for consumers to trust a brand with a positive reputation.
The experiences of 2020 mean consumers are reassessing their priorities and realigning their identities. Everyone is rethinking their loyalty and examining brands more closely to align themselves with organizations that share their values. They’re taking a closer look at how you treat your staff, and if it doesn’t align with their ethos, you’re out. They are also closely looking at prices and whether you’re empathetic enough to the current economic realities. Brands that demonstrate care and empathy now are more likely to win long-term customer loyalty.
Boosts the bottom line
According to Morning Consult, consumers feel corporations should take greater responsibility in tackling racism and discrimination. As well as addressing equal employment issues, taking care of employees, and positively contributing to society. Brands and organizations that align their goals with these changing consumer expectations are guaranteed higher sales, increased revenues, and ultimately more profit.
More consumers than ever before now expect organizations to do the right thing. In fact 87% say it is crucial for them that the companies they buy from care about society. Another 82% say contributing to society is a must, while 82% want their favorite organizations to stand for something beyond profit.
Lead with empathy, make diversity and inclusion a priority, and, most importantly, be an organization that looks at issues and situations from the customers’ perspective. This can begin with content on your website and can extend to social media posts and your email newsletters. You’ll find you are able to build and maintain the trust consumers have in your brand.