Businesses spend billions of dollars each year on marketing and advertising. Much of this effort is to build their brand. What is important for your business reputation?
Today we have a service economy unlike any other time in modern history. Media and connections often form our first impressions. What matters most?
Most businesses believe that they shape and control their reputation. They believe they do it from clever and impactful marketing and advertising campaigns, and ultimately what their product or service delivers. All of this is important, but it isn’t the whole picture.
Clients, customers, and your market will always enter the scene with bias from past experiences or what they saw in their social feed. In a sense, most businesses, like books, are often judged by their cover.
This is true for individuals, as well as businesses. It is true for sales and marketing professionals, the front line, and the C Suite.
What Happens First
First impressions are powerful, and many experts talk about the moments you have, measuring them in the number of seconds.
Ultimately, your reputation may be influenced in not only those first few seconds, but also what you become known for.
The person with the muscle car speeding through the parking lot is a motor head. A person in professional business attire is a corporate executive, not a well-respected (brick layer) mason. The college math professor giving a presentation about social media is not a professor, but a social media expert.
The 5-star restaurant that caters the upscale wedding runs the risk of becoming known as a caterer, not the best dinner spot in town.
True for individuals, true for businesses, we should know by now that perception is reality.
Your Business Reputation
You can try to buy your brand and your reputation through a marketing budget, but conflicting with every dollar spent is what lies under the surface.
The business who says they have exceptional customer service but doesn’t deliver will eventually be found out.
Perhaps the best way to build your business reputation is to become it. It isn’t an image you buy. Authenticity matters more than dollars spent.
What you do first may be what you become known for, all the while remembering that bias, stereotypes, and media influence will help your target market decide.
Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a five-time author and some of his work includes, #CustServ The Customer Service Culture, and Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.