Is brand management a myth?


Brand management encompasses a lot of things, and one definition is: “defining the brand, positioning the brand, and delivering the brand.”  But in the age of social media, you’re not always the person defining the brand.  If your customers are talking about you online, they may have a big say in it too.  So while brand management hasn’t yet attained mythological status, the implication of control is slipping.

You may not be able to control what your clients are saying about you, but you can respond.  It’s helpful to think about how you’ll react in advance, so you don’t shoot off an inappropriate post in the heat of the moment.  For example:

  • A client has just raved about you on Facebook.  Do you… thank them?  Turn it into a sponsored story?  Do nothing?
  • Someone has Tweeted a complaint about one of your products.  Do you…  Tweet back, saying you don’t want to come across as a stalker but you’d like to make things better?  Respond with an apology?
  • Someone is making sarcastic jokes about your business.  In this case, it’s probably best just to monitor it and say nothing.
  • Someone has said something totally wrong and unreasonable about your product.  Here a polite correction would probably be in order.

How do you respond to positive or negative customer comments online?


2 responses

  1. Whether it’s showing gratitude for a raving review or making good on a bad experience, social media is a great platform for small businesses to listen and engage with consumers. Hopefully you will be able to learn from the feedback (both positive and negative) to grow your business and build a better, stronger brand.

    As far as responding to comments online, I think it’s important to know that respect and kindness (and maybe a little humor) go a long way. While you may not be able to make everyone happy, a respectful and timely response will show other customers that you are trying to run a great business.

    Brittany Morse | Sprout Social

    • I agree, Brittany!

      And I think in some ways, small businesses have the advantage here — there’s less bureaucracy between the client and the business owner, and business owners are used to dealing more directly with client feedback.