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23Aug2014

The Threats and Risks to Brand Reputation

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Reputation management entails the awareness or the mindset that threats will never go away. It is important to always be vigilant in maintaining your company’s reputation. It is important to be prepared and to anticipate the possible scenarios. There’s never certainty when competitors or overeager anti-fans would strike.

 

Social Media Viral Mockeries

 

The viral stories, photos, memes, and videos on social media may look light and entertaining but once a company’s name get mocked on social media, the association lingers. Take the case of Apple. The iPhones may have pioneered the smartphone era but Apple’s lack of new things to offer with their yearly releases prompted many on social media to start memes and mocking comments.

 

Well, iPhones continue to be popular strong contenders have already emerged. Samsung, for instance, sells way more smartphones than Apple in recent years. Even the iPad is losing its dominance.

 

Competitors Blatantly Attacking Your Products through Mainstream Advertisements

 

Going back to the Apple vs Samsung example, it’s safe to say that Samsung successfully carved its dominance off Apple’s soft flesh. Samsung craftily released commercials and other marketing propaganda that assailed the iPhone’s lack of features and allegedly inferior specs. Apple did not properly respond to the criticism. The new iPhones continued to come with relatively less features although they still claim to be more user-friendly and more efficient.

 

Now, Samsung is winning the market, relegating the iPhones to what is almost a niche, albeit a very big one. While profit comparisons may show Apple remaining strong, it is undoubtedly weakening over time. Until now, many still bite Samsung’s unapologetically anti-Apple ads and the emphasis on what competitors don’t have that Samsung phones have.

 

Because of the size of both Apple and Samsung, we don’t easily see one eventually overwhelming the other. If it were a case of smaller companies, though, doing something similar to Samsung’s aggressive offensive reputation management efforts would see a quick end, wherein the aggressive party wins.

 

Paid Fan/Supporter Attacks

 

Samsung was fined by a Taiwanese court for its unfair practice of hiring college Taiwanese students to attack HTC (a competing smartphone brand). Yes, there’s enough evidence to show that Samsung used underhanded attacks against its competitors. Something like this could very similarly happen to other companies.

 

It’s unfortunate for HTC that they weren’t able to properly respond to Samsung’s unethical attacks. As of June 2013, HTC trailed behind Samsung’s 27.7% market share (by dollar value). Apparently, the Korean firm succeeded in beating a popular Taiwanese brand on its own turf.

 

Paid attacks are not uncommon so it’s very important for every reputation manager to promptly detect efforts at discrediting a client’s own brand or products. The failure to respond to such typically silent attacks can be very costly.

 

Bad Publicity

 

Of course, bad publicity also factors in. If you made the wrong move of running a marketing campaign that carried a slogan deemed racially discriminating by the public, a reputation nightmare is bound to happen. Similarly, if your products make it to the news for being defective or harmful, you will have a hard time managing your reputation. It is very important to promptly address problems like these. There should be alerts about possibly defective products to stop them from getting released to the market or to compensate the disgruntled consumers before they can go to the media to vent their disappointment.

 

There are other reputation threats to expect but the four mentioned above are perhaps the most common. They are also likely to become the most immediate concerns for reputation managers. Knowing them can mean better preparation on the part of the company and its PR or reputation specialist.

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A definition of Reputation Management

e-Reputation Management is Sticky Web Media, Inc company located in the U.S.A.-and is a reputation management company servicing small, medium, and large businesses nationally. e- Reputation Management serves all areas nationwide including Alabama (AL), Alaska (AK), Arizona (AZ), Arkansas (AR), California (CA), Colorado (CO), Connecticut (CT), Delaware (DE), District of Columbia (Washington DC), Florida (FL), Georgia (GA), Hawaii (HI), Idaho (ID), Illinois (IL), Indiana (IN), Iowa (IA), Kansas (KS), Kentucky (KY), Louisiana (LA), Maine (ME), Maryland (MD), Massachusetts (MA), Michigan (MI), Minnesota (MN), Mississippi (MS), Missouri (MO), Montana (MT), Nebraska (NE), Nevada (NV), New Hampshire (NH), New Jersey (NJ), New Mexico (NM), New York (NY), North Carolina (NC), North Dakota (ND), Ohio (OH), Oklahoma (OK), Oregon (OR), Pennsylvania (PA), Rhode Island (RI), South Carolina (SC), South Dakota (SD), Tennessee (TN), Texas (TX), Utah (UT), Vermont (VT), Virginia (VA), Washington (WA), West Virginia (WV), Wisconsin (WI), and Wyoming (WY).