Public perception can make or break your company's bottom line. No matter how clever your marketing campaign is, you may still have a tough time winning customers over to your side if your reputation in the community is tarnished. Though transforming your organization's public image may be challenging, it can be done with the right tools and mindset. Here are two tips for changing your company's public image for the better.
Acknowledge Past Mistakes
The Internet makes it impossible for anyone to hide or run away from past mistakes. In fact, 58 percent of customers research products and services online before making a purchase. Therefore attempting to change your company's image while failing to address past mistakes is a little like whitewashing a rotten fence. It may look good on the outside, but a small scratch on the surface will expose the moldy bits hiding underneath.
For many people, it's not that your company made a mistake that they take issue with but how you reacted to or handled the problem that influences their opinion of you. Instead of trying to sweep issues under the rug, publicly acknowledge them and then take steps to correct the problems. This may require you to make personnel changes or alter company procedures to ensure the problem doesn't happen again. However, when customers see that you're making a sincere effort to change, they may be more willing to give you a second chance.
Get Better Friends
For better or worse, people often judge others by the company they keep. If you hang around ne'er-do-wells, then people who see you in that crowd will often judge you to be one too, even though you may be an upstanding citizen who volunteers at a no-kill animal shelter and gives money to the homeless.
You can use this psychological tendency to help bolster your company's reputation, however, by associating yourself with people and companies who exemplify your company's new values. For instance, if you want to become known as an environmentally-friendly company, engage in dual marketing campaigns with other businesses that are known to be Earth friendly, and have public meetings with well-known environmental activists.
Be aware, though, that your company must have the systems in place to back up the reputation you want to have. If you want to be seen as Earth friendly but your company is dumping toxic waste into the water, your credibility and trustworthiness will instantly be destroyed when people find out, and it will make it that much harder for you to change your company's image.
There are a variety of things you can do to change the public's perception of your company. Connect with a marketing expert at X Plane or elsewhere for more tips or assistance with this type of organizational transformation.