Five Steps for Protecting Your B2B Brand Reputation
When it comes to brand reputation, your B2B organization has just as much to protect as consumer brands. The key is understanding your stakeholders and how they perceive your brand. Do you know to what extent they trust and support you?
Trust is at the heart of a strong reputation. Just as large, consumer-facing brands measure the extent to which stakeholders trust their products and services, so too must B2B brands that rely on a variety of constituents for support. Why? Because you can't manage your brand’s reputation if you can't measure it.
Here's a five-step, fact-based approach to protecting your B2B brand reputation:
1. Identify and prioritize your most important stakeholders - start with your customers and employees, then broaden to others like prospective clients, regulators and investors
2. Measure the extent to which stakeholders support your brand - I've had success doing this easily and inexpensively via SurveyMonkey
3. Develop strategies to align stakeholders with your brand - amplify what's working and fill reputational voids to strengthen the emotional bond of trust
4. Communicate up, down and sideways - make sure all your stakeholders have a clear line-of-sight to the brand's purpose, vision, values and goals
5. Measure the impact of your brand-building efforts - regular and consistent reports will help align stakeholders with the progress you're making
Protecting your B2B reputation starts with understanding how your most important stakeholders perceive the brand in terms of trust. Strengthening the emotional bond of trust in your brand provides a competitive advantage for any B2B organization today.