Today, entrepreneurs have reached a new level of celebrity, think Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg and Jack Ma. All of these entrepreneurs have managed to successfully craft a company image that is sustainable and respectable. Startups, MNCs and even individuals (let’s face it, social media has allowed us to create a brand for ourselves whether we like it or not) all need to manage this delicate challenge wisely and strategically. A brand is more than just a logo, tagline or advertising campaign, it is also a personality and connection. Here, we list a few tips for companies, large or small.
1. Define your brand
Begin by doing a detailed assessment of your brand, what problem(s) it solves, understand the emotional and rational concerns of your target customers and identify what makes your brand unique. Present a clear understanding of what you can offer the world and inform people of your vision and purpose. This is the very first step which companies should drill down on before moving on to other areas. See how Elon Musk does it.
2. Build an amazing website
What is the first thing people do when they want to learn more about something? Google. Your company website has currently become the place where people get their first impressions of your brand. Even Google, our favourite search engine is putting in the effort to make our experience less monotonous with Google Doodle. If you are not a techie, rest assured, popular platforms like Wix.com , Squarespace , Weebly , Jimdo are simple drag and drop website builders. These websites enable you to build a website at a relatively low cost while offering tips and tricks on how to use their sites. Also vital is the choice of a domain name that is catchy, marketable and professional . Of course, having an amazing website is just part of a larger picture, but nonetheless an important representation of your brand.
3. Value your employees and establish a healthy company culture
With social media being an ubiquitous part of our lives, all your employees now play a more significant part in enhancing/diminishing the company’s reputation. Employees can choose to rave or grumble about the company online, but remember that companies have the power to influence that.
Firstly, companies can begin to eliminate any discriminatory hiring practices within the organisation by employing people on the basis of ability and potential. This can begin anywhere from the recruiting process and interviews to the workplace culture and employer remunerations. There are clear guidelines how to do that on the Tripartite Alliance of Fair & Progressive Employment Practices (TAFEP).
Secondly, protect and value your employees by implementing progressive employment policies. As employees, we hope to be more than just individuals who help companies get work done, but part of a community that looks out for us. Companies may look to invest more in HR management solutions to boost their image. If your company has never given this area any thought, DecodeHR provides HR reviews, advisory and solutions. Another avenue where companies can take their first step into HR is with Bandboo, a Singapore insurance technology platform. It provides transparent, ethical and affordable retrenchment benefits which can be used as an effective and progressive part of a HR strategy. Undoubtedly, this practice should not be something that companies do right before retrenchment to cut costs, but as a practice to show that they value their employees.
Certainly, actions taken to improve the company and employment culture should not be based solely on the purpose of boost the company’s reputation but should be part of an ethical way of treating your employees.
4. Recycle, Reduce, Reuse
Many corporations encourage environmental protection and conservation as part of their CSR efforts, and your company can do so too. You can bring in recycling bins, switch to more energy conserving appliances, encourage people to switch off appliances not in use and most importantly, involve your employees to make a real impact. Such practices can improve not only workplace satisfaction and company reputation but also help with lowering costs in the long run.
5. Implicitly express your company values
Popular social movements that stand for anti-racism, feminism, LGBTQ+ rights have become so significant that it has become difficult for even large organisations to ignore. Your company can choose to support movements that are in line with the organisation’s values and principles. Actions speak louder than words. By backing causes/movements the company believes in, the company implicitly expresses its values to the world instead of just conveying your values and missions on the company webpage.
6. Build trust and authenticity between your clients and your brand
Especially for growing companies, reputation is a great priority. To establish that, start listening more to your clients and their feedback. Treat your clients with utmost respect, go above and beyond to serve them and be mindful of the impact of each interaction with the clients. Just as you would attempt to create trust between any relationship, be honest, dependable and consistent in your interactions, products and or services. Additionally, feel free to give your customers some perks once in a while, because who doesn’t love being rewarded?
7. Focus on creating high quality products or services
One of the best ways to grow your company brand is to bring value to your consumers. When customers recognise the merit of your products or services, your brand credibility can be established through word-of-mouth. Great brands like Rolls-Royce, Krispy Kreme and Zara do not spend money on advertising. Instead, they devote their time into providing quality goods and services that people trust and would willingly create buzz for it.
8. Sharing your company story
Everyone enjoys a David and Goliath story demonstrating the struggles, obstacles that the company has faced and overcame. Speak of the experiences that your target audience will be able to relate to and connect with. Don’t forget to convey all of these messages in an authentic and relatable way to help clients form emotional connections with your brand. An example is Jennifer Lawrence, whose personality is successfully branded as unpretentious, down-to-earth, spirited and imperfect just like any of us, even though she is a wildly popular Oscar winning actress . Having an inspiring and relatable company back story can not only attract people to your company, but also the founder’s personal brand, both of which are incredibly important in the long run.
10. Bring value to your clients.
Last but not least, the best way to improve your company image is to build a company that aims to solve the problems that people face. Instead of just advertising and trying to promote a successful and well received brand image, bringing value to your clients and the society is the best way for a brand to remain sustainable and marketable. Make sure to have a good understanding of your audiences’ needs, wants and how you can offer them value.