Opinion: Enhancing brand credibility through online reputation management

Brand Credibility

Sachin Karweer, Business Head, HGS Interactive shares his thoughts on why ORM is important for a brand and how it can help build credibility.

Warren Buffet has very rightly said that a great brand reputation takes years to build, and seconds to destroy. Whether you are an individual, a small business, or a multi-national corporation, the lack of robust Online Reputation Management (ORM) can leave you in a weak position. A brand that has been carefully structured can come crashing down like a house of cards in today’s highly connected digital landscape without the help of ORM.

Since online reviews drive the majority of purchase decisions, brands need to pay close attention and listen to what is being said about them, real-time. The fact that 85% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations should be quite an eye-opener.

Reputation is the new currency and is the most prized possession for brand success today.

In these times of the ‘cancel culture’ where one can silence a brand or a public figure at an opportune moment, ORM is a necessity.

It works as a key driver for almost all brands, taking it to new heights of growth.

ORM for the Hyper-engaged World

In 2020, with the entire world witnessing unprecedented changes during the COVID-19 pandemic, the industry observed a flurry of activity, with ORM managers working doubly hard for various brands that they cater to in the hospitality, travel, tourism, and FMCG sectors. 

With news going viral in seconds, you can understand what a spiteful tweet, a notorious Facebook comment or an email can do. A recent study has found that nearly 3 out of 4 consumers trust a company to a greater degree if the reviews for that company are positive.

ORM lessons to take note of

A brand that was caught in the eye of a Twitter storm was a reputed healthcare company because of their anti-maid advertising. It led to netizens asking for a collective boycott of all the goods manufactured by them. 

Such incidents must serve as a learning experience for everyone in the industry and one must tread carefully, calculating every move in order to retain old customers and gain new ones. A mix of the right strategy with a powerful ORM can help a brand project itself in a positive light and curb a corrosion before it spreads too far, in fact, even change a crisis into an opportunity! 

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Visitors on the brand’s social media channels often ask for colour suggestions for their homes. If properly guided, they partner with the brand for their home painting needs. Online conversations help us to know the pulse of the users and their sentiments. Whenever visitors tag competitor brands, if the ORM managers are prompt and quick enough, they connect and convert these visitors into customers, reinforcing the popular belief that the early bird catches the worm! Some of the country’s most popular bloggers have been converted into loyal customers of the brand as well. 

During the worldwide lockdown, people resorted to social media, asking for specific channels and movies on OTT platforms. ORM managers have pitched them useful subscription plans, leading to an increase in OTT viewership and revenue.  

To wrap up, keep in mind that in the digital arena, when things get tricky, ORM can be your knight in shining armour, fully armed to save the day if you make the right moves!

This article piece is authored by Sachin Karweer, Business Head, HGS Interactive.