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As a result of the e-commerce boom, brand perception is everything. So, what are the best ways you can keep your reputation competitive amidst online growth?

Being a brand with a positive reputation is critical in today's ruthlessly competitive business landscape. It's a great way to increase customer loyalty, build confidence in the market and position yourself as a leader in your space.

But a good reputation is fragile. On average, consumers will read around 10 product service reviews before making a purchase,1  and research shows that just one negative review could drive away as many as 30 customers.2 

Brand perception is crucial to a business' success, but it's volatile. There are things you can do, though, to stay on the right side of the whingers...

Create meaningful online content

82% of consumers feel more positive about a brand after reading customised content.3

Shoppers want helpful solutions and clear information, both of which can be achieved by generating meaningful content. Customised content is even better; bringing a consumer closer to your brand so they feel comfortable buying.

Amazon is arguably one of the best examples of content personalisation. When you visit their site, the homepage is completely personalised for you. Users can easily navigate from previous ratings for sellers and products to viewing their own search history and past purchases. 

When a buyer feels personally addressed, it's likely they will begin forming a positive relationship with your brand.

Be proactive about customer feedback

73% of consumers love a brand because of helpful customer service.4 

It's impossible to avoid negative reviews. But when they do arise, it's advisable to deal with them quickly.

Many brands use dedicated social media channels to be as proactive as possible about customer feedback. Nike has a separate Twitter account known as @NikeSupport, purely for handling customer queries.5  Likewise, the social media management platform Hootsuite recently launched a 'Hootsuite Helpers' program via Twitter. With this service, they're able to reach out to customers experiencing problems immediately.6

Shoppers' negative experiences don't always need to mean a negative reputation for you. Conscientiousness and care should be deployed to turn those experiences into a positive brand perception. 

Be responsive

90% of brand marketers surveyed said responsiveness is critical to a good customer experience.7

More and more consumers are shopping with brands whose values align to their own. These same shoppers, though, can be easily influenced. For this reason, responsiveness is critical.

Following the publication of books like 'Fast Food Nation' and 'Chew on This', the McDonald's brand suffered. Rumours that their nuggets were made from beaks and feet certainly did no good for their reputation. So, they had to be responsive. Rather than gloss over the allegations, they decided to tackle them head on. They cleaned up their act and launched the 'What Makes McDonalds?' campaign to promote the authenticity and provenance of their food.8

Responsiveness allowed McDonald's to emerge from a potential large-scale PR disaster with their reputation (mostly) intact.

Partner with the right people

To protect your reputation, it's imperative that you always partner with trusted brands that share your vision and values. 

There are plenty of creative examples of co-branding partnerships. 'Styled by Levi's' is an initiative between Levi's and Pinterest that offers a "personalised denim styling experience" tailored to each Pinterest user's tastes and preferences.9

IKEA collaborated with LEGO to introduce a sense of playfulness to storage solutions. Everyone has fond memories of building things with LEGO, ever noticed how the process feels similar?10  

When brands with similar values work together they can offer significant value to their customers.

Did you know 75% of consumers say a negative shipping experience impacts their perception of the retailer more than their perception of the carrier?11  In many ways, the delivery and returns experience is the face of your business. Partnering with DHL means customers will trust that their orders are being handled by a reputable brand.

Here's what our customers had to say...