In today's ever changing business environment and with customers being more educated buyers than ever, there are so many ways a company's brand can be affected. With social media, consumers being more vocal, and people being less trusting of business, companies have to be prepared to maintain the value of their brand. In my masters program, this has been a hot topic and much of an emphasis as I approach graduation. What I find interesting is how the dynamic of social networking and blogging has impacted business.
Tools such as Twitter have provided a venue for consumers to express their feelings on a topic or a company to an expansive user community in real-time. As we all know, unhappy customers are more boisterous than happy ones. Along those same lines, people would rather read a customer's review than a company's thoughts on their own products or services because the thought is that customers are unbiased and open in their comments. One positive of these vast web 2.0 communities is that companies, by searching these sites, can get more feedback from consumers. This provides an opportunity for you, as a business person, to make your brand, product, or service better. On the flip side, a negative of social media is there is nothing stopping an angry or uneducated customer, a competitor, or someone having a bad day, from going to these sites and sabotaging your brand's good name.
In research I have been doing for a presentation, the point and dilemma became very apparent - how do you protect the value of your brand when "the creation of value is in the eyes of the consumers?" I believe it is possible for a company to research what information is out there about them, consider the feedback and how it incorporates into the long-term business strategy and intended vision , and become a stronger more trusted brand. What are your thoughts?