We live and die by our reputation when there is now so much choice in the world and customers make their purchase decisions based on trust. As a startup, building a reputation is crucial, but challenging as entrepreneurs have to focus on product, hiring, revenue, fundraising and so much.
“Repetition makes reputation and reputation makes customers,” goes the well-known quote from Elizabeth Arden.
Even when faced with this uphill battle it is crucial to find the time and resources to build and maintain your reputation. In this day and age, with the immediacy of social media and the shortening news cycle, any slip-up can have a catastrophic impact on your business.
Do you practice what you preach?
Companies are often guilty of talking a big game, but often falling short when it comes to actually putting their money and effort on the table.
Though you may not realise it, making bold claims without being able to back it up with action has a significant negative impact on your business. From employees feeling disillusioned to negative press about your company.
As an entrepreneur, what do you look at regularly when it comes to reports and gauging the health of your business? Is it mostly sales reports, product updates, revenue projections and such.
How to judge the newsworthiness of your startup brand story
Maybe you should consider adding things like sentiment tracking, social media mentions and employee feedback to understand where your brand stands in terms of reputation. By ignoring the issue, it doesn’t mean that it doesn’t exist, it just means that you’re not going to be able to handle it effectively.
What is your brand?
“A brand is a voice and a product is a souvenir.”
This Lisa Gansky quote is an insightful look into what your brand really means to a company. ]
Take Apple for instance – though they are known for the iPhone, they are best-known for their brand and this enables them to sell products to consumers and open up segments of consumer markets that did not exist.
Knowing what your reputation is amongst your stakeholders, is essentially what your brand really is all about. Are you aware of what your customers, investors, staff and even the media think about your brand?
Navigating this can be challenging, but is not impossible. You need to learn who you should be listening to and where you should have your ear to the ground. Regular employee surveys and catchups can be a great way to gauge how your brand is fairing and consumer feedback channels that are receptive and responsive, are crucial tools that help you understand consumer issues and give you a sense of how your brand is perceived.
How startups should measure PR success
Once you have all these set into place, you can actually start to quantify what it all means. You can set scores to your consumer feedback, track employee satisfaction to your brand mission and even use sentiment tracking to get a sense of how your wider target audience sees your brand.