by Patti Rowlson
How do people describe you and/or your business when you’re not around? Do they use words like friendly, warm and inviting? Or, do they use words like arrogant, frustrating, swindler?
Your reputation impacts how much money you must spend on marketing. Have a good reputation? Pay less. Have a bad one? Pay more.
Similar to choosing the right location for a retail storefront, building a positive reputation can save you a ton of money on marketing and advertising.
Example: If you pick a storefront location that is off the beaten path, you may have cheaper rent, but you’ll have to spend much more on advertising and marketing to get people to your door. You may have to offer discounted prices to get consumers to go out of their way to visit you. The $400 more you’d be spending per month on a super visible space is nothing compared to the real cost of choosing the lower rent location.
The same can be said for reputation management. If you have a bad reputation, you’ll have to spend more on marketing and advertising to offset that damage.
You may need to hire a PR consultant or expert marketers to help generate positive reviews and manage negative ones.
By the way, this is not recommended as a quick-fix solution, and I’d never recommend paying for fake reviews! You can partner with a public relations pro to help identify issues, work to improve communication and messaging or change your operations and style to better align with consumer expectations.
On the flip side, if you have a great reputation, your customers will turn into loyal brand advocates. They’ll do a lot of marketing for you for free. Everything is easier when you have built a positive reputation.
Here are two examples, one of a business that has a bad reputation – earned over time – and one of a business that is quickly building a good one.