The Hotel Inspector was on the other night and Alex Polizzi had quite a job on her hands.
Not so much in reinvigorating the hotel but getting through to the owner that the word ‘profit’ wasn’t a four-letter one. She was visiting the Godolphin which had a large occupancy, but the owner, Muff, was too generous with her prices.
Alex had to get through to Muff that running her own business didn’t mean that she was profiteering. That to be a success and earn a crust she didn’t have to feel guilty about charging people for a top-quality service.
The owner’s behaviour had a knock-on effect on the hotel. Her worry of charging people what she thought was fair had left her a run-down old-fashioned looking hotel, which was a shame as Muff seemed a lovely person.
She was, subconsciously, reflecting her generosity negatively onto the business and running herself into the ground until Alex sorted her out.
And Muff isn’t alone. There are a number of people starting web businesses out there that need to concentrate on how their brand’s personality comes across.
How do you get your personality across in your business to let people know what your brand’s all about? Let me know in the comments section below.
The personal touch
A report by Econsultancy published in conjunction with Redeye has found that an astonishing 38 per cent of marketers aren’t using personalisation.
It’s an incredible statistic because there are so many channels to personalise when it comes to outreach. Your website, your search strategy, social media, email marketing, paid search, and much more besides.
And not just personalising to show people what your company’s all about, but personalising for the sake of your target audience. To communicate with them on a personal level, to generate data, attract leads, and other reasons.
The report also highlights that brands that have implemented some form of personalisation across their channels have seen an uplift in conversions.
But how do you create a voice for your brand?
It starts at the top and must be consistent with the owner and their intentions. It’s one of the first things to consider in your overall strategy, but it’s not too late to implement a voice partway through your campaign.
Ask yourself what it is your company is looking to achieve. How far are you going to go for your customers, what kind of prices are you going to be offering, who are you selling yourself to and why…
And one of the best ways to do that is with clever, creative content marketing.
Stella loses its fizz
Let’s take a look at Stella Artois as a case study. Despite the beer being far and away from its competitors in terms of its reputation, Stella also has a negative connotation connected to it; the moniker ‘Wife Beater’.
No-one really knows why. It’s a term that’s just wormed its way into popular culture. Theories are abound that it was because of its strength and was associated with ’90s binge-drinking culture.
One thing’s for sure, it’s a tag that the brewer certainly doesn’t want and could do without. The Wife Beater took a battering last decade because of it.
So, a beer with a lofty reputation amongst consumers who also associated it with domestic abuse. In their desperation the owners, AB InBev, hired a company in North America to try and remove the Wife Beater association with Stella on Wikipedia, only to be caught out.
The Wife Beater saga has hit the brand hard, but has also shown the brand could listen. Since the ‘80s Stella Artois found phenomenal success with its Reassuringly Expensive campaign to differentiate it from other lagers on the market.
It helped turn its perceived negative high price point into a huge positive and gave a luxury quality to the product through further advertisements. It was dropped in 2007, though. The company listened to concerns and released a lighter version of the beer and tried new opportunities.
One of those was with a new campaign that stayed close to the brand’s classy continental roots and the original advertising intentions of being different. A chalice was introduced and content was created to show the perfect way to craft a pint of Stella Artois and how to consume it.
The brand challenged bartenders across the globe to see if they could recreate the perfectly sophisticated pint which snowballed and helped to create its own shareable content. Stella Artois’ reputation in the last few years has firmly been back on the up.
What are the most creative tips and tricks you’ve seen for reputation management? What does 2015 hold for the medium? Let me know below!
The importance of strategy
Stella Artois could have cowed to being associated with fuelling hooliganism but stuck to their reputation for quality, the audience they targeted in their strategy, and made a few tweaks when things were at their worst.
Muff at the Godolphin Arms hotel had an existing business and lots of customers, but it just wasn’t working for her. A big tweak was needed for peace of mind and her reputation has vastly improved.
But you need to make a real concerted effort to identify your customers, research your market, identify the most effective channels to reach people, and personalise.
You need to think of your brand’s voice and what you want it to say on a number of levels. How will it react to people from a customer service perspective via email and social? How will it entice people through social advertising and content creation? And how can you keep that voice consistent?
It’s easier than it sounds and a lot of it boils down to confidence in your product. Once you’re confident enough in you plan and can talk about it to your customers, then they’ll be more inclined to stick around for the long-term.
If you’d like to know more about reputation management online and how to reach your target audience contact the Webpresence team today!
(Image credit: Stella Artois)