Almost every brand utilizes the internet to enhance their reputation and increase recognition. However, this begs the question, "how do I protect my brand name? What does it mean to protect my brand name?"
To achieve this, you must use a mixture of software and company policies. It doesn't matter whether you're a big or small company - you have to do it.
You can read our previous post on How to Maximize your Brand Potentials here
How To Protect Brand Name and Logo
Figuring out how to protect a brand name, is tough, but these strategies will help you learn how to protect brand name in the UK.
Reputation Management Methods
The World Wide Web is a massive place, so it's hard to know where to start when it comes to protecting your brand. It's not as if you can stop people from using your logo on forums and review sites, even if you are aware of it.
This is worrying when you realize that a single misuse of your branding can cause a 22% drop in customers. Fortunately, you can implement several tools and strategies to limit the damage and ensure your brand is viewed in a positive light.
Brand Protection Programs
ReviewTrackers takes reviews from the likes of Google and Tripadvisor and scrolls through for brand mentions. Once it finds one, it notifies you so that you can keep tabs on how your assets are being used across the internet. Also, a direct impact of this is that you can respond to comments in real-time. Whether they are good or bad, you can instantly engage with customers and audiences to ensure your standing is unharmed.
Brand protection is about being proactive and interacting with the right people at the correct time. Cision lets you do this in several ways. From a brand protection perspective, it provides a single dashboard from which you can monitor social media mentions, such as tags, posts, and shares. More importantly, it allows you to reach out to PR agencies and influencers to communicate directly. By doing this, you can maximize positive PR and spread your message via diverse and popular online mediums.
Inconsistency is a killer. Brands that highlight the wrong or differing messages are confusing, and audiences aren't going to wait around for you to explain. Once it gets complicated, they bounce to a competitor who is consistent and reliable. With that in mind, you must make sure everything from your messages to business info is correct across all your platforms. Next Reviews highlights errors and enables you to fix them to boost your business' SEO strategy.
Brand Protection Methods
Brand protection software only goes so far. If you're going to protect your brand online, you'll need the following.
Conduct A Brand Audit
All of your current channels should reflect your values. That means your logo, mission statements, and descriptions can't be out of date. Audits flag potentially outdated features that are harmful to your company. During a review, you will want to connect with third-parties and outsourcers, too. They use your brand, which means they can impact your reputation if they don't utilize it correctly.
Set Clear Guidelines
People who use your brand without permission will rely on a lack of clarity as an excuse. Therefore, you must develop concise guidelines that aren't vague. A fantastic place to begin is to explain what businesses and individuals need to do before corporately using your brand. That way, you can refer to them during a dispute. You should make sure the language isn't jargonistic and is highlighted on your website and social media channels.
Respond To Negative Feedback
Whether the criticism is justified or not, responding to negative PR can save your reputation. In some instances, it can even improve your brand as nearly 50% of people say they visit corporate sites that react to negativity. The key is to avoid making excuses. If your brand was misused, you should apologize for the confusion and set out the steps you will take to ensure it doesn't happen again. Customers want solutions, so you must do your best to meet their requirements.
Professional & Personal Branding
Your employees represent your brand, which is why their personal views and the company's opinions must be separate. Errors are human, yet lots of mistakes are easy to eliminate with the following policies.
Social Media Policy
If the people operating your social media accounts don't know what they can and can't post, there's bound to be an overlap of personal and professional principles. Building a policy defines what you expect from your employees, meaning there is a reference point for them to analyze when they're stumped.
Make sure you address these topics:
Your vision and voice
The organization's social media targets
The roles of the departments (which ones can and cannot post)
Privacy rules and regulations to follow
Potential consequences and legal risks of negligence
It's easy for mistakes to fly under the radar, leaving the brand exposed. Creating an approval team for quality control purposes should prevent 99% of basic errors. With a little autonomy, they can make quick decisions based on the brand goals of the company. A smart move is to get consent from the social media manager and legal team before going live.
Gauge Workplace Morale
How employees feel can determine what they tweak on Twitter or post on Facebook. Of course, they must remain professional in a corporate setting, yet they decide what they publish on their personal accounts. Although you can't control or censor their private lives, you can encourage them not to be active on social media. If morale is low, it's better not to push social media on them to avoid controversy.
Use Listening Tools
While this sounds Orwellian, it's common practice in the business world. Keeping tabs on how your brand is viewed is imperative if you're going to react in real-time and nip problems in the bud. The likes of Awario and Agorapulse are excellent at locating and managing negative feedback from customers or employees.
Content and terms can quickly cross lines without employees understanding they are problematic. Therefore, it's important to craft pre-approved content that workers can share without worrying about breaking the rules.
Have A Backup Plan
The best plans often go awry. Without a backup plan, you run the risk of letting controversy escalate out of control. As a rule, crisis management should include addressing the problem so that the storm dies out as quickly as it formed.
In summary, it is important you put most (if not all) of these points into practice if you want to ensure the safety of both your employees and your brand online.