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Brand management is everything. Especially in the coming year, in a world where consumers make split-second decisions on their opinion of a company based on whatever information is immediately accessible, the manner in which companies are able to portray themselves to the public will greatly influence the public’s view of them. In fact, in many cases brand and image are equally (if not more) important than product. It has been shown that a company’s ability to successfully market itself effects sales more positively than product quality or any other asset. In 2016, many businesses will fail or succeed depending on their ability to successfully brand themselves.
When it comes to brand management, customer reviews are huge. In fact, 89% of consumers believe that service and product reviews online are reliable and trustworthy. To reinforce this point, 80% of consumers have admitted to neglecting to purchase an item because of a bad review they read about it. While they can hurt a company if they are bad, reviews can help a company if they speak positively about the company. The stats are there to show it. 85% of people interviewed claimed that they would more likely purchase a product if other customers had provided good reviews. This exemplifies the power of the unbiased opinion. Customers are getting smarter than ever before, and thus marketing and advertising don’t have nearly the power that they used to have. In past years, advertising could effectively sway the opinion of a buyer by presenting him with marketed content about the company. In 2016, however, consumers are much more aware and skeptical of advertisements. Buyers are well aware of companies’ intentions, and are less nave than they used to be. Because of this, buyers don’t trust companies, and they especially don’t trust the fabricated claims that companies make about their products. What consumers do trust, however, is other consumers. When a consumer posts a review or statement about a company’s product, the assumption is that the claim is unbiased and therefore truthful. Thus, consumers are much more likely to trust other consumers than they are a company, which is why consumer reviews matter so much. The first step is to care about your customers, and then follow to make sure your receive positive reviews.
Image is everything
If you have bad branding, you have poor sales, poor client retention, and weak growth. Branding defines how you are viewed by customers and by the industry. The true value of your product or service is unfortunately hidden underneath misguiding layers of press, media, word of mouth, publicity–all which make up your unique brand. If you want to stand out in the market in 2016, you need to focus on branding more than ever. Look at tools like RepRevive to boost your brand. Companies like this are hugely helpful for building brand and establishing consumer trust by enabling businesses to manage online reputation before review sites. By providing online reputation management software and feedback tools for businesses, ReRevive successfully helps businesses overcome bad press and achieve loyalty and respect from customers. In effect, the platform helps small businesses improve customer experience. The platform provides customers with a survey to rate their experience and then deliver their feedback to the ideal location for the company. If the feedback is good, the company will want it posted on Yelp or Facebook. If it’s bad, the company will want to keep it internal. If it’s somewhere in the middle, the company may want the consumer to connect through social media. If you have good reviews, business will improve and so will revenue.
Consumers Trust Consumers Not Businesses
If you want a new customer to like you, you need him to follow the appraisal from a previous happy customer. However, for new businesses this introduces a chicken-or-the-egg scenario. If good press reviews entirely on previous good reviews, how do you get the initial good reviews? The answer is by over-delivering on quality. If you want your customers to love you, there is no substitute for quality products and services. This will help your ratings increase initially. For service businesses in particularly, ratings are especially important. The difference of one-star in a restaurant rating can impact the company’s revenue by up to 10%. You don’t need to be an expert market to understand the importance of online reviews, but you do need to do everything you can do to improve them and keep them positive.
Source: Inc December 24, 2015