For most business leaders, there are many more assets than a brand to think about when it comes to protection. Whether it’s the human capital that powers the company forward or it’s the physical building in which the value generation takes place, there are lots of assets that need to be invested in and looked after in order for a business to grow. However, the brand should never be forgotten about: a good brand is often what’s needed to ensure that a company can develop and grow, and there’s no reason to skimp on protecting it.
How can a firm’s brand be looked after – and what sort of problems can it face?With everything from hacking and fraud to reputational damage to worry about,the consequences can be severe if your brand isn’t properly looked after. Thisarticle will explain how your company can do its best to prevent such problems fromarising.
The first thing to do if you’re looking to protect your brand is to act ahead of time. All too often, companies wait until their brands are hit by problems before they make the decision to act – but this kind of reactive behavior can often be futile. Instead, it’s best to act now by setting up some positive brand campaigns: gentle, long-running advertising of new products and services makes sense, as it means that if there is a brand crisis further down the line, then most consumers will hopefully already have a positive perception of your brand.
Reputation management, meanwhile, isalso something that shouldn’t be reserved for moments of crisis. Instead, youshould be actively preparing reputation management boosts all year round, as itallows you to build up a bank of consumer goodwill thatmay be needed duringtougher times. You could start today by preparing an industry thoughtleadership article by your CEO and pitching it to a newspaper or an industrypublication, for example. Or you could arrange to place a member of the team onan interview at a local or national radio station in order to increase namerecognition and build legitimacy as a respected, authoritative brand.
No knee-jerk reactions
In the event that your brand does fall victim to some sort of problem, it’s never a good idea to assume that yourfirst suggested response will be the right one. In reality, it’s best to think carefully about any suggested statement before releasing it. Does it tie youdown to any future commitments that you can’t honor? Or does it make you appearlike you’re avoiding action, or blame?
In the event that your brand is facingaccusations that could leave the organization exposed to legal problems, alwaysrun any statements by a lawyer prior to releasing them. While PR departmentsmight be media-savvy, they could inadvertently cause legal problems if theirstatements are not checked before they are released to the wider world.
Monitor for crime
Unfortunately, even the most organized of companies can experience problems from crime sometimes. While your brand might seem intangible and therefore immune to crime, that’s not necessarily the case. Sometimes, brand assets can be directly affected by crimes of one kind or another: perhaps your firm has a social media account, for example, which could be compromised by hackers. Or something that is seemingly not brand-related could end up being a big brand issue: your customer data, for example, could be accessed by malicious forces and then publicized, which could lead to negative press coverage and loss of brand authority.
Luckily, there are steps you can taketo reduce the risk of damage. In the short term, you can take immediate action:you could, for example, ensure that your company social media accounts usetwo-factor authentication in order to reduce the risk of a damaging hack. Froma more strategic perspective, you could use the services of a specialist todevelop an anti-fraud strategy or similar. Amazon fraud protection services canhelp you protect against fraud if you’re in e-commerce, while social media specialistscan explain more complex login protection functions if you operate a high-profileFacebook page or Twitter account.Insum, your company’s brand should never be treated as something to ignore.Instead, protecting it from problems by being proactive is a wise idea. Withconsequences as severe as significant loss of revenue in place if you don’t,it’s wise to consider the steps outlined above in order to preserve your firm’sreputation as much as possible