The business world changes rapidly in the blink of an eye. To keep up with regularly evolving industry standards, customer demands, and more, a business needs to consistently up its marketing strategies. However, in the race to do so, numerous anomalies may arise.
You might lose your brand voice, advertise something you previously were strongly against, put out something offensive, or begin losing focus. There are several ways this could go, but what’s crucial to understand is the identifying and warning signs of such instances.
Only when you can identify that something has gone wrong can you determine what needs to be done for damage control. Let’s dive deeper into finding out the worrying signs which show that you’ve tarnished your brand image.
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Your sales have taken a sudden severe hit
If your company is being perceived in a bad light by the public, the very first thing that gets affected is your sales. One reason for this bad publicity could be your brand’s incompetence with delivering what was promised.
Let’s say that your website, push notifications, emails, product demo videos, and more claimed that your software product could help customers save time and boost productivity. Now, not just one, but several customers complain about your product being buggy and causing them to lose even more time than before.
Since you couldn’t deliver on what was promised, your credibility gets affected. If your customer doesn’t find you credible enough, they won’t trust your brand with their money. This will directly impact your sales.
The customer support department is slammed
In the general course of business, a company has to deal with loads of customer support queries on a daily basis. However, the volume and nature of these queries are of crucial importance. Are there multiple angry complaints stating severe problems? Do your loyal customers want to shift to your competitors? Are there multiple refund requests pending? If your customer complaints aren’t getting solved satisfactorily, you are in for a nightmare.
Your inbox is full
There’s a stark difference between a full customer support query list and a full inbox. Here we are talking about emails from distributed marketers or other such individuals. These emails usually request you to send them marketing collateral or branding guidelines. If such requests are increasing, it’s a sign that your brand image has lost focus.
You need to be able to provide such marketers the content they require before they even ask for it. Not being able to do so isn’t just problematic for them but also lowers your productivity. Eventually, they might begin to prepare content on their own, which wouldn’t necessarily be in line with your brand image or voice.
Social media handles are rampant with negative reviews
There’s no discussion required around the importance of social image for your business’s brand image. To be able to identify warning signs of bad brand image, your social media handles are a great starting point.
Whether it’s Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, or Twitter, look out for negative comments or reviews. These could be related to your poor customer support, malfunctioning products, buggy services, objectionable marketing copies, and more. You can look out for such signs either on your social media posts or your DMs. Also, consider looking for such bad reviews using any hashtags related to your brand.
Cleaning out your social media handles is the very first thing you need to do in this case. This doesn’t mean deleting such comments or reporting them. Address each of these complaints – whether big or small – and make sure that you are able to resolve them to some extent. If you can resolve the issues superbly, consider asking the customer to share a positive review clearly stating how well you resolved their issues.
Your marketing copies have inconsistent messaging
In an attempt to engage with a diverse target audience, companies often alter marketing copies strategically. However, there are several times when this tinkering can backfire. You might not even notice it, but your marketing copies might have inconsistent messaging. This directly affects your brand image since customers won’t know which message is your true brand voice.
The confusion and uncertainty around this can cause your leads and customers to lose trust in your brand. You must focus on long-term and consistent messaging rather than short-sighted ‘buzz messaging’ for quick gains. Refine your marketing copies and bring them in-line with what your brand stands for. If you are not able to target a specific audience without heavily changing your brand image, consider dropping that category altogether.
The company website has outdated content
Think back to when was the last time you updated content on your company website. Even a 6-month-long gap is considered to be outdated in today’s time. The world around us is rapidly changing every single second, and you need to stay updated with everything possible.
Even simple tweaks like easier-to-read fonts, a small social message around a current global or local situation, reasonable promotions without any deep discounts, and such, can do the trick. The idea here is to show your customers that you are proactive, agile, and are enthusiastic about assisting them in every way possible.
It’s crucial to note here that providing deep discounts during festivals or holidays isn’t the only way to put out updated content. This, in fact, is highly not recommended since it can cause you to look lousy.
Adding out-of-line or irrelevant products in your company’s product line
An important factor for a company to be successful is to sell products that they believe in. Your company’s mission, vision, and purpose are tied together to what you are offering your customers. Consider this:
An e-commerce company, PQR, sells organic cotton clothes. This company’s vision would heavily focus on the goodness of organic products and how environment-friendly they are. However, the economy isn’t doing well but has recently seen a high demand for leather handbags. In an attempt to boost sales and generate more revenue, PQR decides to add leather handbags to its product line.
This race to generate quick revenue is a sure-shot way for heavily tarnishing your brand image and must be avoided at all costs.