By Adam Petrilli for Entrepreneur
Business reputation is the public perception of the brand, its products or services and its treatment of employees and customers. A good reputation serves a company well, but a lousy reputation inflicts damage and potential ruin.
That is not to say a company cannot come back from negative reviews or missteps. Reputation management is a tool to influence conversations and perceptions about a brand or enterprise. While useful for image repair, it is also an asset for well-established, clean image management.
Reputation is like currency; the better you manage it, the richer you are for it. Most business leaders understand the value of public image but are unsure how to harness and control it. They better manage tangible assets and operations than intangibles, like brand equity, goodwill and intellectual capital.
Still, inadequate reputation management has tangible consequences. Corporate and small business leaders must adhere to a proactive approach, committing to risk assessment and correction to avoid common pitfalls. Reputation management is an investment of time and money but creates the foundation for tremendous advantages and growth.
The brand image is its reputation, the public perception. Reputation managers and firms focus on correcting or bolstering perception by increasing consumer retention, improving trust through customer interactions and developing brand advocates to promote the brand through word-of-mouth campaigns.
Brand advocacy is a crucial element of reputation management focused on transparency and authentic experiences. Advocates are often real customers who share positive reviews. Businesses can encourage positive reviews by reaching out to customers and asking; it seems simple because it is.
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