Branding reputation: defending the brand name

Branding reputation: defending the brand name

The sixth and last step for a solid and unassailable brand

We've come to the end of this branding column but we still have one more topic to talk about: it's called brand reputation, also known as branding reputation, a neologism coined by marketing experts to talk about everything related to the credibility and authority of a business in the eyes of the public. A complex aspect, because it is linked not only to the identity of the brand (or brand identity) and therefore to the image of the company, e-commerce and so on, but also to its existence as an independent reality. In other words, a brand enjoys a good reputation to the extent that users speak well of it and, secondly, its distinctive features remain unique and original over time. The day a competing multinational were to replicate the Nike logo, the sportswear giant would suffer a severe blow to its image. This obviously cannot happen thanks to the safeguards adopted by Nike itself. But are we sure that only such prestigious brands have to defend their identity?

Not at all! On the web, digital thefts are multiplying year after year, affecting both people and companies. To be stolen, plagiarized or manipulated are the private data relating to credit cards, access passwords, various credentials, while for companies the thefts extend to the domain name (with black hat strategies as advanced as they are annoying), to the contents ( texts, presentations, ebooks) and even the logo and payoff. It takes very little to find out that on the other side of the world someone is impersonating us or is taking advantage of our hard branding work to offer a modern and attractive image to potential customers. If we have invested in branding, we must not forget that the resulting creations (from the name to the logo) are our exclusive property. So let's see in this article how to strengthen branding reputation and which attack and defense tools to adopt.

ONLINE WORD-MOUTH: HOW TO FEED IT…

A term that is very fashionable on the net and which can be useful for understanding how word of mouth around a brand works is buzz. In essence, buzz is the "noise" generated by user conversations on social media, forums and blogs (mainly these). Task of a company that wants improve your branding reputation on the web is to feed the buzz by first of all proposing useful starting points for discussion. At the opposite extreme of passive companies that don't expose themselves, there are virtuous brands that stimulate the exchange of opinions with simple and proven effective methods. Here are the best known:

  • Management of social pages: as it should be obvious and rightly so, social networks represent the virtual space par excellence in which to tell each other and share content with fans & followers. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and, on the business side, LinkedIn are excellent channels for spreading word of mouth and generating constant buzz about brand activities and initiatives, including events and promotions. It goes without saying that opening a page and waiting is not enough: you need to promote yourself actively, updating your fanbase and maintaining a constant dialogue with your following, be it large or small.
  • Posting content on the blog: optimal management of social networks cannot do without the publication of fresh and original contents within a blog or a news section. Publishing and sharing quality articles means providing people (and search engines) with a series of information more or less related to the sector in which the company operates, trying to involve and intercept the interests of the various target audiences. Two posts a month, or one a week, are enough to have content ready to spread on social media, in the newsletter and via push notifications.
  • Industry forums: a third additional space to the previous ones is that of the sector forums, which now exist for any topic (renewable energies, campers, electronics, cars, travel, etc.). It is clear that the company has rather limited room for manoeuvre: woe to pretending to be a user to praise the strengths and cover up any criticisms. The presence of a company in a forum - if admitted by the administrators - must be clear and can only be justified if it leads to a constructive and transparent dialogue, in which positive and negative voices are tolerated in equal measure.

 … AND HOW TO MONITOR IT 24/24

Feeding word of mouth is not enough if adequate monitoring of the voices (whether positive or negative) is not carried out. Letting out an enthusiastic review of a certain product or service means losing a precious opportunity to build brand reputation. Similarly, negative opinions must be kept under control, avoiding neglecting them and rather trying to understand why that person wrote that opinion about us. In this perspective it is necessary to configure at least reviews on the Facebook page and on Google Business, monitoring the feedback received over time. Equally useful is the sample search of the brand name on Google: often and willingly, thanks to this empirical procedure, results come to light that otherwise we would never have known, such as blog articles and portal news. Last but not least, when you grow up, it is advisable to activate the brand tab on Trustpilot, one of the world's most popular platforms for verified reviews. A high score is synonymous with a reliable company and maximum professionalism, exactly what is needed to convince other customers to buy, book a service or visit our store.

BRAND DEFENSE: TRADEMARK REGISTRATION AND PROTECTIONS

As we wrote at the beginning, a strong brand is capable of giving users an image that lives up to expectations, checking criticisms and responding to comments. On the other hand, it is indispensable protect this image also in legal terms, defending itself from attempts of plagiarism against its own brand. To do this, it is good practice to start with the filing of the trademark, an obligatory step that can vary greatly from country to country. In Switzerland, for example, the deposit system takes place through the e-trademark electronic portal, by completing an application and paying a fee of 550 francs valid for 10 years. In Italy, on the other hand, you must contact the patent office, either directly or through authorized agencies and intermediaries. In principle, the logo and the brand name will be protected, while for the domain name it will be good to plan for the purchase of the associated urls (not only .ch but also .com, .it, .eu, .org and etc). Another very important form of protection is that relating to contents: institutional pages and articles can be object of the attention of the inevitable scripts, with damage in terms of image and positioning on search engines. Here too there are valid tools (called "plagiarism checker") that allow you to easily identify duplicate content and request its removal.

FROM WORDS TO ACTIONS: YOUR BRANDING STARTS HERE

Our journey in branding ends here. We have dealt with brand positioning, brand identity, brand strategy, branding design, branding logo and, in this closing chapter, branding reputation. We hope we have aroused your curiosity and to have prompted a general reflection on what your brand offers in terms of image and what values ​​it transmits to the public of potential consumers. If our focus ends here, a new adventure made up of collaborations with web and graphics experts could start from here. Remember: it's never too late to invest in re-branding your business. Whether you are a small clothing ecommerce or an automation giant, you could discover the enormous benefits of an online and offline graphic design renewal process. We at Innovando can help you with the professionalism, passion and experience that distinguish us. If you want more information, all you have to do is send us your request without obligation with a simple click. Contact us to clarify all your doubts or to receive a free quote!