Online reputation repair represents a credible image of your business. Customers can not touch or see your products in real terms and have to shop online so it is only their trust in brand that pushes them to pick one thing rather than the other. The word brand can be defined absolutely but the branding concept has no definite definition; it is a relative idea and a much comprehensive one too.
Many people see your brand as a representative of a particular product characteristics while other perceive it to be as an overall image of your business. Stakeholders attach a great value to your brand too since it is everything that they think is coming from you to them. For customers, brand speaks for quality, loyalty and trust and for other stakeholders it portrays your credibility and your ability to generate continuous stream of profits. Hence, brand plays a vital role in developing and leading your business to success.
Online world is the most vulnerable one and bad name spreads at a warp speed on the internet. Social networking sites, blogs, ads, search engines play an important role in this regard and your competitors, who are well aware of the importance of branding, may use this fact to spread your negative publicity. So, if you haven’t called for any brand management services you may have left your success open to these grave threats;
Negative publicity—negative word about your business can appear on various online platforms including forums, blogs, social networking sites and search engine results. This can really deteriorate your online image.
Reduced customer loyalty—the worst thing that happens because of negative publicity is that you lose your consumer loyalty and trust they put in you. Consequently, you lose your customer base.
Competitors make use of it—when a bad thing about you is spreading, your competitors make full use of this opportunity and highlight things further to harm your name and to gain advantages for their own business.
Lost identity—brand is your unique identity and if it gets tarnished you lose your image and a positive online presence.
Reduced growth—all the potential threat results converge down to one point; reduced profits for the business and hence no growth for the organization. This will ultimately lead the business to failure.
Lost goodwill—businesses can not be run in closed environment; the complete business cycle includes the entire stakeholders like investors, debtors, creditors and employees. Your brand is a symbol of security and credibility to all these people. If the brand gets flawed you will lose your goodwill.
Cyber squatting—cyber squatting is about building another name too similar to yours that it starts deceiving people. This misleads the stakeholders in believing that it is your brand.
The true goal of online reputation repair is achieved when brand becomes equal with the product. Managing brand can mark your success in the world of internet but leaving it unprotected will have dire consequences for your business.