Brand credibility can provide significant value to businesses, which is why it's a key component of overall brand management and brand equity. Credible brands can enjoy increased chances of building loyal relationships, bouncing back from a crisis, and benefitting from less price-sensitive customers thanks to their favourable perception. Sometimes, credibility comes from how long a brand has been around, but for brands who don’t have a century of experience under their belt, here are 4 tips to get started and build on your brand image.
Better Media Analysis Leads to Better Coverage
Positive media coverage in well-respected publications are endorsements for our brand – and as such, they are a sure way of improving brand credibility. Today’s communications programs are about getting the right coverage from the right person (whether that person is a journalist, a blogger or a social media influencer) – and that means that we need to find the folks talking about the right things to the right people. With that in mind, building a media list isn’t about beat or publication anymore, but rather about how that person’s influence can move our brand story forward and enhance our brand perception amongst desired consumers. Figuring that out requires big data media intelligence using media monitoring tools or consumer intelligence platforms that can steer us in the right direction. For example, finding a journalist who’s written positively about our industry is a lot more powerful than finding one that works for X publication but doesn't have an interest in topics relevant to our industry.
In addition to finding influencers that can elevate our brand, we should also look at our competition to see what’s working for them from an earned media standpoint.
Here is an example of a competitive benchmark search analysing mentions of River Island and Topshop in the media. Marketing teams can take the analysis a step further to improve brand credibility by zooming in on the differences in sentiment and key themes via a conversation cloud. We then know what to avoid/ improve on in order to receive positive press.
(You can try a competitive benchmark for yourself using the free search engine on our homepage.)
2) Build and create quality content
There are a number of ways in which creating content improves brand credibility and the overall effectiveness of our marketing strategy. For example, content marketing can help position our brand as a thought leader, attract interest from desired publications, improve SEO and offers marketing pros a means of telling their brand story. Because of this, marketing teams should be getting involved in the below forms of content to improve brand credibility:
- Event speaking opportunities on topics relevant to the brand
- Run a blog or become a guest blogger with a credible PR partner
- Create and circulate white papers
- Use brand advocates and benefit from positive word of mouth via client testimonials and case studies
TIP: Marketing professionals should work with their corp comms and PR departments to make sure that everyone is aligned on strategy and tells the same brand story. Disjointed messages can do a lot of harm to brand equity as it confuses audiences, so it's wise to take a collaborative approach and build objectives that align.
3) Be (Consistently) Transparent
Honesty really is the best policy, both in life and in marketing. Trust and transparency are critical drivers of brand credibility that we must nurture and respect. One way we can increase brand credibility is by working on consistency. A brand relationship is a promise, and once that promise is broken it’s hard to put right as brand perception is often tarnished forever.
The most obvious case for building trust is truth in advertising: if we guarantee 16 hours of battery life in our advert, well, our battery better deliver that! It's worth bearing in mind that brand trust goes both wider and deeper than doing what you said you'd do, other elements such as what a customer expects from our customer service departments, what array of merchandise we might carry in any given store, or what sort of articles our marketing department is writing on our company blog all play their part in deciding whether we trust a brand or not.
4) Keep Your Ears Wide Open
Listening is about inviting engagement – and to do that, our brand needs to be approachable and accessible. Building brand credibility via social media listening can be as simple as showing that we care by acknowledging and replying to comments, or taking feedback on board. All good conversations start with listening: just like in real life, we improve our relationships with consumers when we understand their point of view. Consumers will talk about our brand whether they believe they're being listened to by the company or not, simply people their peers are listening to them - so their post has influence regardless. Brands need to take consumer influencer seriously. If your brand receives a lot of social media engagement, it can be difficult to find relevant conversations. Social intelligence tools can help us make sense of engagement by finding vital conversations about our brand, competitors and industry.
Hopefully, this blog has shed light on a few ways your brand can better engage consumers through enhancing its credibility. Brand perception is multifaceted and it's wise for your marketing team to first understand how your brand is perceived before setting out strategies that build on brand equity. We'd recommend taking both a qualitative and quantitative approach to find this research out.