7 Ways to Rehabilitate a Struggling Brand

2021-06-01 by Ronn Torossian

The online reputation of a business is of critical importance today. It takes steady effort to build up a dependable presence online but it only takes a couple of unfavorable reviews or mentions to knock it down. With little or no control over what is being said about organizations on digital platforms they can improve their reputation when something threatens their standing.

1)      Values – Each organization has a set of core values that set it apart from other organizations. It adds clarity to its identity and serves as a forum for its employees. Meaningful corporate values such as integrity, customer experience, and trustworthiness stem directly from the character of their founders. During such challenging times, representatives of an organization can share sincere values that customers can seek assurance from.

2)      Brand ambassadors – Social media and digital PR can be productive tools for a company. At Mastercard, the VP of human resources joined forces with the VP of communications and created a social media listening program called Conversation Suite. This program accentuates millions of conversations on Mastercard all over the world. Posts, tweets, and related blog comments are displayed in real-time on a large LED monitor at MasterCard headquarters in Purchase, N.Y. This is an instance of not only monitoring social media but also giving importance to what people are saying which would positively affect business decisions.

3)      Legal issues and policies- While managing a company’s brand online, there should be some firm and flexible social media policies. The challenge comes from creating policies that balance companies’ interests with the employees’ rights to express themselves. For instance, NLRB (National Labor Relations Board) protects the rights of employees when they engage on social media channels which include discussion of topics such as hours, working conditions, or wages on sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and the like.

4)      Building customer loyalty –  In order to retain customers at a higher rate than others, a company should create a sense of customer loyalty. It may be stating the obvious, but great service is a must as it ensures that the customer will continue to do business with the company. Having an accessible phone number can be a very helpful tool, as sometimes conflicts can only be resolved by talking to a real person. Outlining policies clearly and having accessible customer support staff also go a long way to make the customers feel important.

5)      Have a cause – If a product is associated with a meaningful cause, it succeeds in building a strong connection with a customer. For example, some eateries feed the homeless on special occasions. This together with being an act of kindness also helps a company’s reputation by demonstrating its altruism.

6)      Acknowledge mistakes –  In this digital age, where everything is public, it is beneficial to be honest and admit mistakes. Honesty truly is the best policy as it demonstrates that a company has courage and strength. It also displays a type of maturity that their competitors might not possess.

7)      Regular engagement with customers- Engaging and connecting with customers fosters brand loyalty. One can monitor engagement with customers through social media pages. Customer surveys can be sent regularly, they are important indicators that show how engaged customers are.

Ronn Torossian: Insights from a Native New Yorker and CEO of 5WPR

Ronn Torossian is the founder and CEO of 5W Public Relations, one of the largest independently-owned PR firms in the United States. With over 20 years of experience crafting and executing powerful narratives, Torossian is one of America's most prolific and well-respected Public Relations professionals. Since founding 5WPR in 2003, he has led the company's growth, overseeing more than 200 professionals in the company's headquarters in midtown Manhattan. With clients spanning corporate, technology, consumer and crisis, in addition to digital marketing and public affairs capabilities, 5WPR is regularly recognized as an industry leader and has been named "PR Agency of the Year" by the American Business Awards on multiple occasions. Throughout his career, Torossian has worked with some of the world's most visible companies, brands and organizations. His strategic, resourceful approach has been recognized with numerous awards including being named the Stevie American Business Awards 2020 Entrepreneur of the Year, the American Business Awards PR Executive of the Year, twice over, an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year semi-finalist, Metropolitan Magazine's Most Influential New Yorker, a 2020 Top Crisis Communications Professional by Business Insider, and a recipient of Crain’s New York 2021 Most Notable in Marketing & PR. Torossian is known as one of the country's foremost experts on crisis communications, and is called on to counsel blue chip companies, top business executives and entrepreneurs both in the United States and worldwide. Torossian has lectured on crisis PR at Harvard Business School, appears regularly on CNN & CNBC, is a contributing columnist for Forbes and the New York Observer, and has authored two editions of his book, "For Immediate Release: Shape Minds, Build Brands, and Deliver Results With Game-Changing Public Relations," which is an industry best-seller. A NYC native, Torossian lives in Manhattan with his children. He is a member of Young Presidents Organization (YPO), and active in numerous charities