Creating love for a brand is a mix of art, science and a whole lot of strategy right from the day one. Brand management for a startup is very crucial and can happen only after understanding what is unique about the brand. Then only you will be able to evaluate how consumers think and feel about it. As a startup, find the right connect between your brand vision and consumer, and then relentlessly delivering the brand promise and experience. It is true that the big brands can deal with occasional trolls here and there, but as a startup when you're just getting off the ground, it can cause a lot of damage and impede effective future business growth.
Veterans in brand reputation management have shared that for a good brand reputation, listen, engage and react. There is a paradigm shift and we are in an age where reputations get shattered in moments. The very famous quote, ‘Innocent till proven guilty’ has changed to ‘Guilty till proven innocent’ and that is why brand reputation management has become very critical. It is not a new concept and every business, whether a startup or a veteran has been following it religiously. From being named as PR in the early times, it has now evolved to Brand Reputation Management. It is very important for the startups as a loss of goodwill in the very initial days will impact you in the form of decreased revenue, loss of clients, suppliers and eventual loss of market share. Brand monitoring, social media, reviews and recommendations, customer service and culture, PR management are some brand reputation management imperatives. For a startup, the competition is the market is increasing. To be in the game for a long-time, working on Brand Management since day one is highly recommended by all image consultants.
Market specialists managing brand reputation for a lot of big companies have shared that, “Something that many startups are doing is concentrating on a content strategy plan to create and curate quality content and events. Such efforts help in creating a trust with your brand. Social media is acting as a great platform for the same. Startups can learn about the gaps in the existing market and reach out to the right customers. Marketing and branding go hand in hand when it comes to activating buyers and also make them your customers forever. A single unpleasant experience with the sales or customer service teams, does reflect on your brand. Successful companies have their branding and brand experience as their gatekeeper.”
Startup owners have added, “The market and consumers have grown. In a dynamic and rapidly changing environment, brand management is critical for startups and they need to have a 360 degree approach towards business. The customer today is spoilt for choice owing to diverse factors like multiple startups coming with extremely attractive value propositions and availability 24X7. So, it is very crucial for every startup to choose the right medium of communication and going beyond the norms of traditional business to create top of mind recall among consumers.
While your startup in the process of building its own reputation, it should make sure that the CEO’s and the leaders have an excellent reputation. Everyone notices a good reputation and good reputations are built by networking,and then networking some more. With the number of startups maturing, factors like awareness creation, eye on the competition, and market trends just cannot be ignored. Starting from the right investors to ensuring a good footfall; managing your brand image and ensuring perception management plays a significant role in deriving real value for the brand. It is not just about investing money, but a dedicated time and efforts ensure that the image management and perception-building campaigns achieve the desired results. Engage with the target audience through varied mediums both online and offline. Remember, brand management helps to make or break a brand.
In a nut-shell, brand management is a sum of every experience that a customer has with the brand and it is an on-going practice. A brand becomes a good brand only when it comes out of its logo and is available to the customers starting from the time of purchase till the long term of its usage.