When we go to the grocery store we always have products that we are loyal to. Like your favorite laundry soap, your toothpaste, etc. We grab them from the shelves almost without thinking. This is because that brand has already gained our trust. We believe that it works and we’ll always choose it over any other brand.
It’s the same with our personal brand. We want to gain connections who trust who we are and the work that we do. It’s not easy because before you can have a reputation, you have to make an impression and consistently prove that to everyone. As a direct seller and those in the party planning business, the brand and reputation associated with the company that you represent and the products you market associate and impact your brand.
What are the dangers of trusting another’s business reputation? The truth is that, part of a risk are the unforeseen circumstances that can arise anytime that may destroy brand reputation. It can be anything from having endorsers that suddenly gain a bad reputation or customer service faltering in providing good or timely service. If a brand doesn’t address the problem and provide a solution, word will spread and they will gain a bad reputation that will lead to loss of customers.
You’ve heard the phrase “guilt by association.” I would take that one step further and say that your brand is “built by association.” A recent #brandchat conversation discussed the effects of being associated or a part of another brand and what that means for your brand. Consider:
Check appropriate brand placement– what causes, events, venues and celebrities that your business brand associates with. Are they aligned well with the business? Do the business brand values align well with your values? For example, M&Ms pulled out its sponsorship after a NASCAR driver hit another driver’s car and crashed. The driver, Kyle Busch, was put under probation due to the accident. M&Ms moved to distance themselves from what they perceived as an incident that would reflect badly on their reputation.
Do social media background checks – social media is a great place to do research for your business prospects. If you want to hire an employee or associate and co-present with a colleague or a fellow distributor you can check their social media profiles to get a general idea of who they are.
Review online videos already posted by other distributors – because it’s easy to make and upload videos nowadays, you have the opportunity to be that proverbial “fly on the wall” and peek in on events, activities and opportunity meetings to get a feel for the interaction, tone and environment of a company/organization before you even associate with them. Videos are great content that you can add on your social media or brand website.
Ask – Do they take care of their online brand reputation – review the company’s sites. Do they have any? Are they engaging? Do they diligently manage their brand online or do they default to letting the web create the reputation of their brand online?
If you’re not sure about another brand’s reputation, do your research. Lessen the risk of damaging your brand’s reputation in the future by knowing what’s there now. You, personally, need to have a baseline of where an association with a brand begins and what they bring to the table.
Maria Elena Duron, is managing editor of the Personal Branding Blog, CEO (chief engagement officer) of buzz2bucks.com – a word of mouth marketing firm and Director of Client Communities of Momentum Factor-focused on the direct selling industry. She helps create connection, credibility, community and cha-ching through mobile marketing and social commerce around your brand. She is co-founder of #brandchat – a weekly Twitter chat focused on every aspect of branding.