Using Data for Company and Brand Reputation Management During Crisis

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Using Data for Company and Brand Reputation Management During Crisis

Have you ever seen a company's reputation tarnished by negative reviews, counterfeit products, or social media backlash and thought, "How do they even begin to fix this?"

And then, almost miraculously, you see them turn things around and restore their good name.

The secret behind these seemingly miraculous recoveries? An effective brand reputation management strategy, backed by detailed data collection and analysis.

In this article, we'll tell you all about how data can be your most powerful ally during a reputation crisis. We’ll also provide you with some actionable, data-driven strategies to manage and recover from such crises.

Let’s begin!

1. What is Brand Reputation Management?

Brand reputation management involves making sure that your customers, partners, and the general public hold a positive perception of your brand.

To manage your brand's reputation, you must keep an eye on what people are saying about your brand, respond to their feedback, and handle any negative mentions or issues that pop up about your company.

Essentially, you have to scan a wide range of online channels for any negative mentions of your company, including:

- social media

- review sites

- e-commerce platforms

- search engines, and even

- niche communities

Then, you must address all the complaints you've encountered quickly and effectively to prevent them from escalating.

Because if you don't?

A few bad reviews can quickly escalate into a full-blown social media backlash. And that? That can make potential customers think twice before buying from your brand.

Don't become a cautionary tale like the Johnson & Johnson baby powder crisis. Do better.

2. How Data Collection Can Help With Brand Reputation Management

A reputation crisis is always easier to avert than to manage.

The thing is, people tend to remember negative events more vividly than positive ones. This means that, once your brand image is tarnished in the minds of your customers, it'll be exceptionally hard to change their minds and have them believing in your brand again.

It doesn't help either that negative news spreads faster and wider than good news – especially on social media.

If your brand has been a victim of a brand reputation crisis, know that there's still a way to salvage your revenue and your partnership. Heck, you can save your stock value too!

That ‘way’? Its name is data collection.

See, there are tools available that collect and analyze data in real-time, alerting you to negative mentions or issues as they arise. Meaning, you get to respond to them and take them down just as quickly as they appear.

Not only that, but these tools can also help you identify patterns in customer feedback, and show recurring issues (e.g., fake products from unauthorized sellers) that need to be addressed in a more severe, legal way.

Ultimately, the best thing about tools like Reputeo is that they can help your company identify potential problems before they become major crises. That way, you can prevent a full-blown reputation crisis and avoid having to rebuild a broken trust with your customers, which is in itself a nearly impossible quest to take on.

3. Identifying and Analyzing Harmful Brand Data with Reputeo

Reputeo uses web scraping techniques to collect data from various online platforms, including social media, forums, blogs, and news sites.

This data includes any mentions of your brand and its products, as well as online reviews about your brand across multiple online channels.

Using advanced natural language processing (NLP) algorithms, it then analyzes the sentiment of these mentions and reviews and classifies them as positive, neutral, or negative based on the context and wording.

Now, here comes the cool stuff:

You can set up Reputeo's system to track specific keywords and phrases commonly associated with negative feedback, such as "poor quality," "bad service," "not recommended," etc.

And, since we train our machine learning models to understand the context in which others mention your brand, you won't have to worry about them incorrectly interpreting sarcasm, irony, or slang.

Impressive, right?

If you think so, you'll be happy to hear that that's not all there is to this AI-powered data engine.

Besides being able to identify negative brand mentions and fake reviews, Reputeo is also trained to recognize fake products associated with your brand – and more!

By using image recognition technology to compare product images from different listings with authentic product images, and analyzing product metadata, our tool helps identify counterfeit products, information about their sellers, and even price discrepancies in products.

Pretty nifty for a brand reputation management tool, huh?

4. Indirect Insights from Reputeo's Data Collection

In the section above, you've seen how Reputeo identifies negative brand mentions, online reviews, and fake products.

Now's the time to tell you about how our tools also provide companies with a wealth of indirect insights. These insights help them understand market dynamics, improve their product offerings, engage with customers more effectively, and manage potential risks to their reputation

First things first: Analyzing reviews and brand mentions can reveal a lot about changing consumer preferences and emerging trends.

It can also analyze the data on your competitors' products and brand mentions, providing you with insights into competitors' strengths, weaknesses, and market strategies.

Apart from this, Reputeo's detailed feedback will help you identify which products are performing well and which need improvement. You can use this data to make informed decisions about future product developments.

Similarly, you will gain insights about geographical areas where your brand is particularly popular or faces significant challenges. This helps you tailor your marketing strategies to better meet the needs of customers in those regions.

With these insights in mind, let’s move on to our proposed data-driven crisis response plan for you.

(You didn't think we'd leave you without some actionable brand reputation management steps, did you?)

5. Crafting a Data-Driven Crisis Response Plan

Whether you're looking to avert a crisis or manage one, having a solid crisis response plan is a must.

Without further ado, here’s how to create one using data insights:

The first step is to identify potential issues early using tools that can help you spot trends and recurring complaints.

Just go ahead and ask your provider about how to configure the monitoring tool of your choice to send you real-time alerts for critical keywords. This is the best way to never miss out on negative mentions of your brand or any brand name misuse.

Once you've done that, focus on the most damaging issues first.

Are your customers raising concerns about your product's safety or quality? Address that issue before any others.

Is someone making allegations about your brand using unethical labor practices or not adhering to sustainable practices? Make it your priority to demonstrate commitment to ethical standards.

Are there counterfeit products of your brand circling the market, damaging your brand's exclusivity and customer trust? Take immediate legal action against them.

While tools like Reputeo are helpful in this regard, don't forget to:

a) hire legal experts to handle any potential legal issues that may arise from negative feedback, trademark misuse, or online defamation.

B) train your staff to handle negative feedback efficiently as well.

Also, generally speaking, it's always a good strategy to communicate openly with your customers about the steps you’re taking to resolve issues.

Suppose the results of that strategy aren't fully to your liking. In that case, you can always supplement it with additional actions and incentives, such as refunds or discounts. You can also collaborate with industry influencers to rebuild trust with your customers.

By applying our tips and leveraging data collection tools like Reputeo, you'll have yourself a bulletproof plan for managing brand reputation crises effectively.

6.Brand Reputation Management in Action: Volkswagen’s Success Story About Crisis Recovery

In 2015, Volkswagen faced a severe backlash when it was revealed they had installed software to manipulate emission tests in their vehicles.

This "defeat device", installed in their diesel engines, could detect when the car was being tested in a laboratory setting. During the testing, it would activate a safe mode, where the engine ran below normal power and performance and emissions were artificially reduced to meet regulatory sales.

Their diesel dupe manipulation, intended to boost Volkswagen's sales, ended up having huge financial implications for the company. VW recalled millions of cars across the world and set aside almost €7 billion to cover costs.

You'd think that such deception, where one brand's commitment to environmental standards and consumer trust had been called into question, would be impossible to recover from. However, that wasn't the case.

Yes, customers felt betrayed. And yes, that did lead to a significant drop in VW sales and the overall brand value.

But, Volkswagen didn't let this one incident drag their entire company down.

While this might not be as obvious to an Average Joe as it is to anyone familiar with data-driven business strategies, it is apparent that VW conducted an extensive internal investigation and brand audit after this incident. These audits helped them understand the depth of the issue and what needed to be done.

This can be inferred through environmental practices that have since been adopted and promoted by the Volkswagen Group. Even more prominently, this can be deduced through the company's massive investment in electric vehicles.

All of this, along with the resignation of VW's CEO Martin Winterkorn, helped the company rebuild trust both with its consumers and stakeholders.

If that didn't convince you that data collection is the key to managing brand reputation crisis, we don't know what will!

Conclusion

As consumers become more selective about the brands they trust and cancel culture grows more prominent, maintaining a positive brand reputation has never been more challenging—or more important.

If not managed effectively, those negative mentions of your brand, as well as the counterfeit products copycatting yours, can quickly leave your company experiencing a full-blown crisis.

So, don't wait for a crisis to damage your brand's hard-earned reputation. Be proactive and make sure your brand remains resilient thanks to data collection

Book a demo with Reputeo today and discover how our solutions can help you respond swiftly to any threats your company is facing.

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