Before the dawn of the age of the internet, big corporations and enterprises build their reputation through advertisements or press releases in print media like magazines and newspapers and digital media like T.V. and radio. The responsibility of this was in the hands of a public relationship manager who made sure that only a good word of mouth floats around the market by the companies. Now, this is done by the help of Online Reputation Management Services.
The importance of social media in marketing has increased manifold in the last decade. The launch of Smartphones have sparked a butterfly effect in every facet of life. There are so many online platforms like Facebook, twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, etc. that play an important role in building and ruining a brand. Erstwhile Reputation management has changed into Online Reputation Management or ORM. Companies can no longer control what kind of information is floats about them in the market.
Customers have become aware and their expectations have risen. They want best results with immediate effects. Enterprises can’t even speculate about the behavior of the consumer. A bad review about a product could lead them directly into an existential crises. New travels so fast that companies have no time to bring forth any measure to contain the impending disaster.
In 2015, due to the presence of high levels of lead in Maggie Noodles, a Nestle product, its net sales dropped down by 22.3% for the last quarter of that year. The net profit also dropped down to mere Rs 563crore from a whopping Rs 1,185 crores. The net sales decreased by 24% and exports by 2.2%. Had it all happened in 1980s or 1990s, there would not have been much hue and cry.
In July2019, an article published by Forbes claimed that there are more than 13000 law suits pending against Johnson and Johnson Company for not informing the correct composition of their baby powder. Plaintiffs alleged that the talcum powder contained Asbestos that causes a type of cancer known as Mesothelioma. According to a report published by Boomerang, the stock prices of Johnson and Johnson’s plummeted down by 4%.
But, according to the spokesperson of Johnson and Johnson’s, ErnieKnewitz, “Johnson’s Baby Powder does not contain asbestos or cause cancer, as supported by decades of independent clinical evidence. The implication that there has been a new development in this matter is flatly wrong,” as reported by Forbes in July 2019.
Although the outcome of those suits is unknown but, whole incident spread like wildfire and substantially damaged the reputation of the company. A similar instance is India affected its sales this April. Drug Controller of Rajasthan Raja Raam Sharma said, "There is a presence of formaldehyde, a chemical used as a preservative. Johnson & Johnson is now claiming they have not used formaldehyde in the product, but it's showing up in the test," in an interview published on website of NDTV.
It was alleged that the talc had traces of Formaldehyde, known for causing cancer. The percentage of the carcinogen was not ascertained and Johnson and Johnson’s spokesperson denied all allegations and refused to accept the outcome of the test conducted on 24 bottles randomly picked from two batches as told to Reuters.
In the legal language, the word reputation has an altogether different interpretation. If you go to a lawyer and say that a certain expression of fact has damaged your reputation, he will tell you to file a complaint under section 499 of the IPC, 1860 for damages and a lawsuit for damages. You see, reputation is considered as a property of a person and if the comment in question was damaged it, it becomes actionable. But, not all attacks require this action. That’s another story, totally.
But, big corporations can’t go on suing every angry and displeased customer when they express their displeasure online. They even can’t do anything even if a legitimate probe puts a question on their efficiency. The outcome of that investigation may turn out positive but good news doesn’t travel fast.
Reputation is an opinion held by everyone about your character as a whole. Your whole business depends upon the opinion that has been built by a positive word of mouth of your consumers formed by the services you provided. A positive image is imperative for a business to grow and flourish and it takes a lot of efforts and time to make it. A good image would always help you achieve new heights and targets by escalating sales.
And even a dent in that reputation could take a large chunk of sales and profit away like nestle and Johnsons and Johnson’s or bring a whole corporation down. Corporations lose credibility in the eyes of their customers and it becomes hard for them to trust you back again. Again, it is important for corporations to make sure that their customers are not feeling left out. A constructive criticism doesn’t hurt. It rather helps you to improve the quality of your product and services.
E-commerce industry in India is increasing at an annual rate of approximately 22%. Urban population relies on the internet for almost everything. So, companies need to spread a positive word of mouth about themselves by promoting themselves on all online platforms. It helps in promotion of the brand and hence boost the sales.
It is all about trust. Developing trust and faith about yourself as a company in the eyes of your customer is the key to success. It is a psychological fact that people always talk about their positive and negative experiences. All you need is to highlight positive reviews given by your customers. There would be some negative reviews also. You need to show your customers that those queries were entertained and resolved.
A person looking for a job prospect at a company might want to research about the corporation. So, good and positive facts should catch his attention when he looks. So, to get attract good employees, you need to avail online reputation management services.
Reputation of a business is like its food. If it is going to taste bad, customers might not want to do anything with that.