You can be as careful as you like. Implement a consistent, relevant branding strategy, but when you send your brand out into the world you risk that not everyone will like what you do, how you do it or even what your brand stands for.
If your brand is the recipient of some bad press, social media backlash or review, all is not lost; there is still an opportunity to turn that negative into a positive.
The key to dealing with an attack on your brand identity is timing. As they say ‘ timing is everything.’ The sooner you identify, address and seek to resolve the negativity the better.
If you receive a bad online review, comment, email, or message – acknowledge it! The worst thing to do is to ignore the situation and hope it goes away. This ‘strategy’ can quickly escalate a possibly minor grievance into a public relations nightmare with potentially long-term consequences for your brand.
By acknowledging the problem and dealing with the situation upfront, you are not only protecting your brand, but strengthening it. While you should always try and handle these issues in a private manner, today’s digital world means that often grievances are aired in public first, on a public forum and there isn’t much that can be done about that except maintaining your professionalism and dealing with the issue in line with your company policy, culture,style and tone.
Top tips for dealing with negativity surrounding your brand:
- Have a clear policy in place that outlines how negative situations are to be handled, by who and when. Don’t wait for a bad situation to rear its head – plan for it.
- Look to your business first – did your service, product or experience not live up to expectations? If the failing is in your business – apologise, offer a form of compensation and follow up to ensure the subject of the negativity is happy. You do have a second chance to impress them.
- Don’t be overly concerned about the odd piece of negativity – you will never please all of the people, all of the time – deal with it and move on.
- Always separate the person from the problem. Never personally attach a person, regardless of the comments they make. If appropriate, thank them for informing you of their concerns.
- Never be flippant with concerns raised – there are certainly trolls around, but most initial negative comments/reviews come from an honest sense of disappointment about a service, product or experience. Don’t dismiss it out of turn – there is the potential to turn this into a genuine opportunity to help, educate and/or review internal processes.
- If the situation escalates or you believe serious, long-term damage has occurred to your brand, contact your brand agency Liquid Creativity, for expert advice.