How to Build a Positive Brand Reputation: Key Strategies

April 1, 2024 10 min read

Joe Manna

Joe Manna

How to Build Brand Reputation

Every business wants to be the top choice in their industry, attracting both loyal customers and the best talent. But achieving this coveted status relies on one crucial factor: a stellar brand reputation.

A strong brand reputation isn’t just a vanity metric. It translates into real business benefits.

It makes it easier to win over new customers, fosters trust and loyalty, and positions you as the go-to option in a crowded marketplace. A great reputation even attracts top talent who want to be part of a winning team.

This guide will equip you with powerful brand reputation strategies to cultivate a top-tier brand image. We’ll discuss key steps you can take to build and maintain a brand that resonates with your target audience and gives you a competitive edge.

What Is Brand Reputation?

Brand reputation is the overall public perception of a company, shaped by the experiences and opinions of its customers, employees, industry peers, and the general market. It encompasses a brand’s trustworthiness, reliability, and emotional connection with its audience.

Unlike brand identity, which is the set of characteristics a company intentionally projects, brand reputation is the unfiltered response to how a company delivers on its promises.

According to an Edelman survey, 81% of consumers consider brand trust a deciding factor in their purchasing decisions.

Businesses consistently exceeding customer expectations with product quality, customer service, and brand experience build better customer trust and positive sentiment, which, in turn, drives brand loyalty.

Why Your Brand Reputation Matters

Building a strong brand reputation is an investment in your company’s future. It offers many benefits that contribute directly to your bottom line and long-term success.

Here’s why a positive brand reputation deserves your full attention:

How to Build a Great Brand Reputation

Your online presence across every relevant channel significantly influences your brand reputation. Prospective customers will search for your business online before engaging.

Because review sites and social media influence people’s views, you need to take control of your online image. 

So, how do you build a rock-solid brand reputation online? Here are several ways to boost your reputation. 

1) Define your brand identity

Your brand identity is the bedrock of your online reputation. Think of it as your personality. What are your core values? What makes you unique? What kind of image do you want to project?

Developing a clear mission statement and a consistent brand voice are essential first steps. Are you playful and approachable or serious and authoritative? Let your brand voice resonate with your target audience.

Consistency is key here. A consistent brand presentation can increase revenue by a whopping 33%! Ensure all aspects of your brand, from your logo to your website design and social media messaging, reflect your carefully crafted identity.

Maybelline champions empowerment and self-expression through its brand identity. Their marketing campaigns often feature diverse models and focus on inner beauty alongside outer beauty.

2) Deliver quality products & services

To cultivate a positive reputation, you need to consistently deliver high-quality products or services. This means genuinely understanding your customers’ needs and exceeding their expectations.

Put quality control measures in place to ensure consistent excellence. Always be on the lookout for ways to improve based on customer feedback.

A PWC study found that a staggering 32% of customers would walk away from a brand they loved after just one bad experience. Quality is never an afterthought.

Online shoe retailer Zappos is legendary for its outstanding service. They offer a generous return policy, free shipping both ways and exceptional customer support representatives who go the extra mile to ensure customer satisfaction.

“If it’s something that creates a great customer experience, choose to do it, because we believe that in the long run, little things keep the customer in mind will end up paying short dividends”

Tony Hsieh
CEO, Zappos

3) Provide exceptional customer service

Think about your own buying experiences. Have you ever stopped doing business with a company because of poor customer service? Statistics show that a whopping 7 out of 10 customers have!

Make customer satisfaction your top priority.

Use an omnichannel approach and be present across multiple communication channels such as email, social media, telephone, live chat, etc., to respond to inquiries and complaints professionally and in real time. Customers contact you through different communication methods and you have to make the effort to reach them at every touchpoint.

Regularly seek customer feedback and use it to improve your service. Consider implementing a customer loyalty program to reward your most dedicated patrons. Exceptional customer service shows your customers you value them, fostering trust and loyalty.

Chick-fil-A consistently ranks high in customer satisfaction surveys. Their employees are known for their friendliness, helpfulness, and genuine hospitality. This dedication to exceptional service has made Chick-fil-A a favorite among fast-food restaurants.

Chick-A-fil core values
Via Medium

4) Engage with your audience

Get your marketing strategy right. Establish a strong social media presence on platforms your target audience frequents. Don’t just broadcast messages — have conversations.

Share valuable content, join discussions, and respond to comments and messages promptly. Encourage customers to leave reviews, testimonials, and feedback.

Build a community, not just a following.

Before diving headfirst into social media, pinpoint your target demographic. What platforms do they use? What kind of content resonates with them?

Actively participate in industry discussions to establish yourself as an authority. Consider hosting events, webinars, or live Q&A sessions to connect with your audience on a more personal level. This will help you build a loyal following.

MailChimp is a great example of social media done right. With nearly half a million followers across Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn, they’ve cultivated a community through fun content and informative tutorials. Their followers feel like part of something bigger than just a company page.

5) Be transparent and authentic

Transparency and authenticity are essential for building trust with your audience. Be upfront and honest about your products, services, and business practices.

If mistakes happen, own up to them and take responsibility. Make sure your actions always align with your stated brand values.

Consider sharing behind-the-scenes content to give your audience a glimpse into your company culture. Don’t be afraid to show your human side.

People connect with relatable brands. In a world of corporate jargon, transparency and authenticity are a breath of fresh air for consumers.

Dove’s “Real Beauty” campaign challenged traditional beauty standards and celebrated diversity. This authentic portrayal of women of all shapes, sizes, and ethnicities resonated with a wide audience and helped Dove build a strong brand reputation.

Dove's real beauty campaign
Via X

6. Collaborate with influencers and partners

Collaborations expand your reach and gain brand credibility.

Identify influencers and thought leaders in your industry and opportunities to work together. Collaborate on content, events, or product launches to tap into their audience and gain exposure.

Seek out strategic partnerships with complementary brands to cross-promote and reach new audiences. For example, if you sell outdoor gear, partnering with a travel blog could help you reach adventure enthusiasts.

In recent years, outdoor gear company Merrell has effectively used influencer marketing to reach a wider audience of adventure enthusiasts and strengthen its brand reputation.

Merrell partners with travel bloggers and social media influencers who share their passion for the outdoors and resonate with Merrell’s target audience.

These influencers create authentic content featuring Merrell’s products, such as blog posts, videos, and social media photos showcasing Merrell boots and apparel in real-world settings.

Merrell uses influencer marketing to reach a wider audience and strengthen its brand reputation
Via Merrell

This content allows Merrell to tap into the influencer’s established audience and credibility, promoting brand awareness and trust among potential customers.

7. Demonstrate social responsibility

People want to support companies that give back. So, if you’re passionate about a cause, whether it’s protecting the environment, fighting hunger, or promoting animal welfare, find a way to integrate that into your brand.

Here’s the trick: don’t just jump on a bandwagon. Focus on issues that align with your brand’s core values and resonate with your target audience. Maybe you can partner with a relevant organization to make a bigger impact.

For example: TOMS, the shoe company, built a whole brand around giving back. With every pair of shoes you buy, they donate a pair to a child in need. Pretty cool, right? People love feeling good about the brands they support, and TOMS nailed it.

TOMS CSR initiatives

8) Monitor and manage online reputation

Your online reputation is like your digital storefront window. Customers constantly check it out, so you want to make sure it looks good. Here’s how to stay on top of things:

Remember, almost everyone trusts online reviews as much as they trust recommendations from friends. So, focus on collecting those positive reviews.

Percentage of customers who trust reviews and ratings to make purchase decisions

9) Foster a positive company culture

The way you treat your employees can impact how customers perceive your brand. Think about it: if your employees seem stressed and unhappy, is that the kind of vibe you want to project?

Here’s how to create a work environment that fosters happy and engaged employees:

Google is famous for its awesome work environment. They offer free food, on-site gyms, and even cool perks like nap pods. Having happy employees translates into a positive brand image for Google.

10) Continuously measure and adapt

Building a strong brand reputation is a marathon, not a sprint.

Figure out what success looks like for your brand reputation and establish clear goals. Then, track key metrics like customer sentiment, engagement rates, and satisfaction scores.

Use reputation management tools to manage your online reputation easily from a single location.

Here’s an example of a reputation management platform in action:

Nextiva’s reputation management platform offers several features to help businesses measure and adapt their brand reputation, including social listening and PR monitoring dashboards, competitor analytics, channel and review analytics dashboards, customer sentiment analysis, CSAT scoring, and more.

These tools amplify customer engagement, nurture brand growth, and establish a vibrant online image.

You can also automate responses to reviews and send surveys to customers to quickly address negative feedback and improve customer satisfaction. A review dashboard with proactive management and strategies helps improve your online brand reputation.

Review management in Nextiva
Nextiva lets you easily monitor & respond to all your reviews from a single location

Tips to Improve Your Brand Reputation

Small business owners and startups are often smart with their brand reputation management strategy. Limited resources warrant creating a brand that first appeals to its target audience and then steers them toward growth. Here are some ways small businesses improve their brand reputation and everyone can follow suit.

Final Thoughts on Brand Reputation

Building trust is essential, and this guide equips big and small businesses alike with valuable strategies. However, the online landscape is crowded. To stand out, you need a unique story.

Don’t get lost in the noise by trying to be everything to everyone. Use the tips here as a springboard, but remember: your brand reputation hinges on what your customers say, not what you say yourself.

Here’s why a stellar brand reputation is critical:

The key is prioritizing customer advocacy and proactive online reputation management. A stellar reputation benefits everyone – you, your customers, and your entire team.

Technology That Propels Your Brand Forward

To put all the strategies above into practice, invest in the right communication technology that makes connecting with your audience hassle-free.

See how Spurs use Nextiva to modernize their communications system. From remote accessibility to tech flexibility — Nextiva helps the Spurs usher in a new chapter of the fan experience, enabling modern and creative ways to connect.

Photo showing Spurs use Nextiva to modernize their communications system

“With Nextiva, our team doesn’t drop calls; there’s amazing voice quality, and it’s been an incredibly reliable way to connect with our fans and create a better customer experience.”

Joe Manna


Joe Manna

Joe Manna was a senior content marketing manager at Nextiva. He blends his marketing acumen and deep technical background to improve people's lives with technology. His expertise helps companies large and small serve more customers. He enjoys a rich iced latte and a non-fiction business book when he's not pressing words.

Posts from this author
Call badge icon