What is the difference between a successful business and a company that, despite selling the same products or services, can’t quite manage to cut the competitive edge? If you’re in the marketing branch, you might argue that the SEO strategy can make or break a business. If you work in accounting, you’ll naturally assume that budget management is what successful companies are built on. If you work in IT, the appropriate use of the latest technology is a sure factor in success. If you’re in HR, you’ll be thinking that a failing business doesn’t manage to hire or retain the best talents for its sector. In reality, your area of expertise will define how you perceive success and consequently what you consider to be essential to the growth of a company. But you’ll be missing one vital element which is the market’s opinion. Indeed, the way customers and employees perceive your brand has a significant impact on your business growth. A brand is the combination of a variety of factors, some internal and other external to the business. The way you manage some of these can cost you your business reputation. Discover the top five mistakes to avoid if you want people to love your brand.
#1. Bad workplace culture
Your employees are your best assets, and consequently, your workplace culture will affect your overall growth potential. Keeping your staff happy is not a matter of moral duty: It will keep your productivity and your service quality high. Companies with poor customer services tend to create a negative circle by treating their employees poorly in the first place. Establishing a toxic workplace culture through the wrong hiring process or managing strategies is the equivalent of driving your car directly into a wall. If you want your employees to share their enthusiasm about your brand, you need to give them something positive to celebrate.
#2. Damaging content about your brand
In the online world, everyone can create and publish content. The content is then indexed and ranked via search engines, such as Google, and become part of a knowledge base. However, it’s important to consider that search engines, while they index various pieces of knowledge, are not able to define whether the published content is true or not. Imagine you’ve dealt with a difficult client who you’ve had to let go. This client is disappointed and decides to publish a defamatory article about your company. Now the question is: How do you remove search results that harm your brand reputation? You can, of course, get in touch with the client and discuss the matter with them. But should this not work, you can refer it to Google for complete removal if the information published fall under the following categories: Frauds, sexually explicit content, copyright infringements, and DMCA.
#3. Poor customer personalization
Every business loves to use personalized automation, such as at the top of customer newsletters for example. However, while customers like personalized content, they cringe when this content has not been carefully prepared. We’ve all received a Hi Firstname kind of email that showed the automated source code, or even your surname instead. The result? You probably didn’t bother reading the newsletter. Similarly, personalized content that isn’t built using the appropriate audience segmentation or that oversimplifies the audience behavioral patterns can fall short of meeting the approval of your customers.
#4. Anti-mobile behavior
Does it need repeating? Over 50% of web visitors rely essentially on their smartphones or tablets to engage with the brands of their choices. Today is not a good time to ignore the importance of responsive websites. Websites that have not yet implemented a pro-mobile layout need to be aware that 40% of users will choose to engage with a competitor’s website that is mobile-friendly instead. In other words, you could be losing 40% of business. Additionally, as of April 2015, Google has indicated that responsive websites will be treated favorably in search result rankings, which, put in other words, is the equivalent of saying that anti-mobile website will be downgrading to a lower search ranking. And that means less visibility, fewer clicks and less revenue.
#5. Headless chicken strategy
Have you ever heard the story of the headless chicken? It runs at random until it collapses of exhaustion. Businesses that lack a strategic direction follow the same pattern. Without the implementation of a clear plan, a business cannot focus on growth, but instead, focuses on day-to-day activities without knowing which are valuable for its future.
How others perceive your business depends on many factors. External opinions, workplace management, careless personalization strategies, lack of mobile tech access and lack of business vision can dramatically affect your customers and your overall growth potential. So do yourself a favor: Get ahead of your business issues to manage your reputation on the market.