Your brand reputation matters. With a better brand reputation, people will be more likely to make purchases with your company. Your existing customers will be more loyal, and your competition will be less threatening. Additionally, brand visibility may increase, which means you’ll have a chance to reach more people than ever before.
So, how do you measure customer brand perceptions? And how can you improve those perceptions to foster a better reputation?
Measuring Brand Perceptions
These are some of the most reliable strategies for measuring customer brand perceptions.
- Branded searches. How often are people executing branded searches for your company? Or for specific products you offer? Is the volume of these searches increasing or decreasing over time? What related searches do people make; for example, do they frequently look up your brand name in an effort to determine whether your business is a scam? Or do they ask if your business is as good as it seems?
- Brand mentions on social media. You can do something similar by evaluating the number and subjective qualities of brand mentions on social media. How often are people talking about your brand? Are they interacting with your brand directly? Are they offering praise and compliments, or are they warning people to never engage with you?
- Surveys. One of the most reliable methods to measure your brand reputation is through surveys. Conducting surveys with prospects, customers, and the general public can help you understand how people feel about your company and specific topics related to your company. Short surveys work best, with simple questions like “on a scale of 1 to 10, how satisfied are you with our services?”
- Shares and comments. When your company produces content or makes new posts on social media, does it tend to attract much attention? Do people frequently share your material and comment on it, or does it go relatively unnoticed?
- Reviews. How do people typically review your products and your company overall? Do you have a surplus of good reviews, or do people leave scathing indictments of your services? Star ratings make it easy to objectively analyze this.
- Customer retention. What is your customer retention rate? And similarly, what is your customer churn? Positive customer perceptions should lead to a much higher customer retention rate.
- Customer lifetime value (CLV). Customer lifetime value (CLV) is a measurement that incorporates several other metrics, helping you better understand the average value a customer brings your organization throughout their relationship to your brand. The higher this is, the better.
Brain perceptions and brand reputation are always somewhat subjective, and difficult to measure in numerical ways. Still, the combination of these measurement strategies should help you understand how people perceive your brand in general.
How to Improve Brand Perceptions
So, what steps can you take to improve brand perceptions?
- Acknowledge “root cause” problems. Before you do anything else, try to formally identify any “root cause” problems that might be holding your reputation back. For example, is there a specific practice that people typically complain about? Have customers articulated skepticism about the value of one of your products?
- Address key areas of concern. From there, address these key areas of concern. That could mean improving your product, changing your approach to customer service in this area, or submitting a press release announcing positive changes.
- Provide more customer support. Customer support is always a good thing. Provide your customers with more resources they can use to resolve problems and get more value out of the products and services they’ve purchased from you.
- Interact on a more personal level. People tend to think more highly of brands when they have a pseudo-personal relationship with them. Have one-on-one conversations when you can, and when you can’t, personalize your messaging as much as possible (even when it’s automated).
- Improve social media engagement. Step up your social media efforts. Social media platforms are your most powerful tool for talking to audience members directly, so take advantage of it. Address customer questions and concerns in real time and start discussions to keep people engaged with your brand.
- Offer more value. Note that you can offer value in more than one way. It’s straightforward to offer value in the form of free content, augmented service plans, or lower prices. But you can also add subjective value by practicing certain forms of corporate social responsibility (CSR).
In some ways, improving your brand reputation is simple. Do more for your customers and make sure those customers are happy, and a better reputation should come naturally. But it’s also important to take an objective, analytic approach to this topic; only through ongoing measurement and analysis will you be able to thoroughly understand existing customer brand perceptions and how to improve them in the future.