What is brand reputation and how to manage it online

Brand Reputation is the perception of the brand by all those involved in the company and interested in its success, such as consumers.

Consumers are paying increasing attention to details, the values a brand expresses, how it relates to them, and corporate social responsibility (CSR), which is the company’s stance on social, political, and environmental issues.

Caring for Brand Reputation online and offline is a duty of the company, especially in today’s era where content sharing and virality on the Internet act as amplifiers. This is why in the following article, I will explain:

  • what Brand Reputation is;
  • why it is important to manage corporate reputation;
  • how to improve the Brand Reputation;
  • how to monitor it online using specific tools.

For both large companies and small businesses, it is crucial to maintain and manage the Brand Reputation. To do so online, it is necessary to rely on a public relations expert: the Digital PR, a professional specialized in monitoring online conversations, managing the company’s web reputation, building relationships with influencers, and overseeing public relation campaigns. To acquire the necessary skills, I recommend the Digital PR Specialist course, a theoretical and practical program entirely dedicated to training in the field of digital PR.

Brand Reputation: Meaning and Definition

The term Brand Reputation refers to the set of expectations, evaluations, and perceptions that stakeholders have towards a company or brand.

Corporate reputation depends not only on its image but also on numerous factors such as history, public relations, the company’s conduct over time, and consumer reactions. Therefore, Brand Reputation represents a strategic asset to be valued and protected.Brand reputation strategy

It consists of 3 components:

  • Brand Identity expresses the image that the company wants to portray to its stakeholders, conveyed through its name, logo, mission, vision, objectives, and website;
  • Brand Awareness encompasses the level of recognition and familiarity of the company;
  • Brand Positioning, refers to the company’s positioning in relation to its competitors (do customers see the brand as a point of reference when they need a product or service?).

What’s the difference between Brand Awareness and Brand Reputation?

Brand Awareness and Brand Reputation are two interconnected key concepts that every business must consider if it wants to succeed.

Brand Awareness measures the company’s recognition and familiarity in the market, indicating the users’ ability to recognize the logo, brand, and the overall values associated with the company. To increase brand awareness, it is necessary to advertise it using various types of advertising, from traditional to digital.

Once a company has successfully positioned itself by increasing its coverage and recognition in the global market, it is judged by consumers. They begin to evaluate the brand and have expectations from it. Therefore, Brand Reputation, by definition, comprises the elements and differentiating strategies (Brand Strategy) adopted by the company to influence the perception of the brand among stakeholders, starting from Brand Identity to its actual behavior.

Hence, Brand Awareness and Brand Reputation differ in the following way:

  • Brand Awareness measures the company’s recognition in the market;
  • Brand Reputation measures the regard that a brand or company enjoys, which stems from the overall evaluations, impressions, and expectations of the public based on the values it expresses and the social responsibilities it takes on.

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Why is managing corporate reputation important?

Caring for Brand Reputation means standing out from competitors. Managing corporate reputation is important because it imparts reliability, credibility, and esteem to the brand. It’s important to remember that a brand is not just a label but a set of values, behaviors, and beliefs.

A determining factor that affects purchasing decisions and the credibility of a company is social responsibility or Corporate Social Responsibility. It refers to the commitment a company makes towards social issues such as waste, sustainability, and equality. When a company demonstrates ethical behavior, its reputation increases. Conversely, when a brand fails to deliver on its social promise to consumers, corporate reputation diminishes.

In the digital age, the damages of a poor reputation can spread rapidly, making it challenging to remedy. That’s why it’s necessary to manage both Brand Reputation and web reputation (the reputation of the company’s brand on the web), which is a crucial factor for every company in order to mitigate or prevent a potentially viral reputational crisis.

Brand reputation: strategies for managing and improving your own business

How is corporate reputation built? To do so, it is important to start with 7 factors that contribute to its formation and consolidation:

  • Performance, which encompasses everything that affects the company’s success;
  • Products and services, which must be of high quality;
  • Innovation, the company needs to be capable of adapting to changes;
  • Positive corporate culture and work environment for employees;
  • Leadership, the reputation of the leaders influences that of the corporation;
  • Governance, which refers to ethical management and corporate transparency;
  • Citizenship, the company’s social responsibility (Social Responsibility).

Secondly, it is important to know three modes of corporate communication that impact Brand Reputation:

  • Actual communication, which is inferred from the company’s relationship with employees, customers, and Social Responsibility;
  • Signs, which refers to everything related to advertising;
  • Network of relationships, the word-of-mouth generated among customers, influencers, the press, and employees.

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How to Improve Brand Reputation Online

What is Online Brand Reputation? Online Brand Reputation refers to the way in which a company is evaluated on the web. It corresponds to the consideration that web users have towards the brand, based on how the company interacts with them.

The set of strategies aimed at increasing the consumer’s judgment of the company is defined as Brand Reputation Management, which is a strategic plan for managing the brand. Managing corporate reputation no longer means focusing solely on corporate communication, as it was before the advent of digital marketing. Now, in an era where virality and sharing are paramount online, it is the result of a collective process in which all stakeholders of the company play a fundamental role.

To improve the company’s online reputation, you need to focus on 5 strategic areas:

  • Digital PR: nurturing online public relations;
  • SEO (Search Engine Optimization): employing SEO measures to ensure the resource is indexed by search engine spiders and exists;
  • Content Marketing: content plays a central role in attracting and retaining customers;
  • Website: creating a simple, comprehensive, and user-friendly site;
  • Social Media: establishing a sense of belonging to the brand and building a community.

In addition to this, follow 8 tips for developing a good online Brand Reputation. Keep reading to learn more.

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Learn how to implement it effectively by acquiring the necessary skills


Create engaging content to win over users

Consistently creating the same content is not effective. Instead, you need to find ways to make yourself interesting by developing various content marketing campaigns. The audience doesn’t settle for just beautiful images; you need to provide them with stimulating content.

Every company should have a YouTube channel, create podcasts, and presentations to offer meaningful content to users.

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Encourage user reviews for your services or products

Do potential customers trust your business? In the era of e-commerce, people who shop online need confirmation from other consumers. Social proof in the age of the Internet is provided by online reviews: a tool through which users decide whether or not to make a purchase.

Encourage people to leave feedback on your website after making a purchase because a negative review, or worse, no reviews, leaves doubts and uncertainty for future customers.

Implement a multichannel approach

Remember that your audience is diverse, and not everyone uses the same communication channel to stay updated about your company. Utilize all the resources at your disposal to reach as many people in your target audience as possible. The communicative strategy you should employ is a multichannel one because some people may not read the company blog or be on Facebook or other social media platforms.

Adopting a multichannel communication means being present and visible in the market.

Collaborate with influential figures in your industry

Build collaborative relationships with influential figures in your industry. Who better than them enjoys a good Brand Reputation?

The work of influencers is to promote their online image in order to also influence the image of other brands they collaborate with. Ask them for an interview that you can post on your channels, or for images or videos that both of you can share on your channels.

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Listen to people

When problems are reported, resolve them as quickly as possible without losing your composure. A good Brand Reputation is measured by constantly monitoring and analyzing what the public thinks and says about the brand.

Your company won’t and can’t please everyone, which is why you may encounter unpleasant issues such as fake news and haters who will not miss an opportunity to undermine you. Another scenario could be that a particular product of yours consistently receives negative reviews. Take some time before responding and analyze the product that is receiving criticism.

In short, remember that customers pay attention especially to the challenges, so take care of them by listening to them and doing everything possible to resolve the problems that arise.

Communicate directly with your audience

A company that pays attention to Brand Reputation should always engage in direct communication with its audience.

Using chatbots to “save time” can have significant repercussions on the company’s reputation. Take the time to “nurture” your customers, make them feel loved by responding to comments, images they tag you in, and chatting with them.

These small things will generate interest in your business, fostering customer loyalty and increasing your customer base at the same time.

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Keep your promises

Having good intentions and a polished image is not enough. Every company makes promises, such as “delivery within 24 hours” or “sustainability” or even “social equality.” Web users are increasingly attentive to whether the company respects the Corporate Social Responsibility it undertakes.

When a company demonstrates ethical behavior and fulfills the promises made to its customers, its web reputation increases. On the other hand, when a company fails to fulfill its social promise to consumers, its online reputation diminishes.

Keep an eye on your competitors

Your company has achieved a virtuous Brand Reputation and enjoys a good online reputation in the eyes of users, loyalty, and satisfaction from them. But even when the company has a good reputation, your analysis task is not over. It is always appropriate and necessary to analyze both the strengths and weaknesses of competitors, in addition to your own.

Why do some users prefer another company over yours? Monitoring the online Brand Reputation is an important factor to consider and integrate into the reputation management plan.

How to monitor Brand Reputation: useful tools

Monitoring your company’s Brand Reputation allows you to know the opinions that users have about your business and record every positive, negative, or neutral sentiment. One mistake you must not make is to think that you don’t have to do anything once you have achieved an ideal company reputation and consideration on the web; poor management, or worse, no management can lead to a reputation crisis from which it is difficult to recover.

why brand monitoring is so important

When does a reputation crisis occur? It happens when there is a gap between the brand’s promises and the expectations of all parties involved, especially customers. Corporate reputation is associated with something lasting and always in relation to what it was in the past. It must innovate but remain faithful to the company’s values.

The use of social media and the increase in user-generated content such as negative reviews and fake news can damage Brand Reputation and fuel a reputation crisis. That’s why it’s crucial to have a strategic plan for any potential crisis and, above all, constantly monitor online reputation.

Monitoring online Brand Reputation is, therefore, an extremely important factor to consider and integrate into the strategic plan, and it can be implemented through the use of tools that allow tracking of conversations and mentions of the brand online. Some of the useful tools for monitoring web reputation are:

  • Google Alert: allows you to monitor a specific word or phrase on the web and sends you a notification whenever it is mentioned.
  • Hootsuite: allows you to manage all social channels; you can schedule, manage, and monitor content, and it highlights important web conversations.
  • Mention: enables companies and agencies to manage social media, listen to the audience, and monitor the web.
  • Socialmention: helps you identify who is talking about your brand or competitors in news, blogs, and social media.
  • Rankur: a set of tools and software for monitoring social media and the web, providing analysis, reports, and allowing online reputation management.
  • Talkwalker: a platform for accelerating Customer Intelligence for social media, allowing you to quantify the virality and engagement of content by analyzing web conversations.
  • SEMrush: enables you to measure the results of content marketing, SEO, social marketing, advertising, and competitive market research.
  • Cyfe: allows you to monitor and track your social activities, analytics, and sales in real-time. What makes it unique is the ability to connect and extract data from other platforms like Google Analytics, Google Ads, Facebook, Twitter, MailChimp, and more.
  • Socialert: allows you to monitor not only hashtags but also keywords or mentions. This tool provides in-depth information on each social media and also offers a historical report. It is useful not only for monitoring hashtags but also for competitor analysis, event tracking, and monitoring the web reputation of your business.
  • ShareCount: to monitor URL shares, likes, reactions, and comments.

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Examples of effective Brand Reputation Strategy

To ensure that Brand Reputation generates a positive sentiment among users, strategic communication is essential. Every year, the RapTrak company releases a report on companies that have a strong corporate reputation. For each analyzed business, they assign a score between 0 and 100, which measures how people relate to the company. The score demonstrates a strong positive relationship between business results, people’s willingness to purchase, recommend, and trust a company.

I would like to draw your attention to the first and eighth ranked companies in the latest Global RepTrak: LEGO and The Walt Disney Company. Their Brand Reputation strategies have been nothing short of incredible and deserve to be analyzed.


LEGO, founded in 1932, benefits from an excellent Brand Reputation to the point that when you see a colored brick, you directly associate it with LEGO. Its strength lies in being able to remain true to its values and promises while constantly innovating. LEGO has always strived to adapt to consumer habits by providing them with transmedia experiences through gaming portals on its website and games for Nintendo.

Lego group brand reputation

User engagement remains consistently high, and around the models, there is user-generated content, which includes various types of content posted and shared by users on platforms, forums, blogs, and social media. A shining example of involving people in the creation of a project is the website, parallel to the official LEGO site, LEGO Ideas. Its operation is similar to that of social media: people share photos of their created models and receive votes; those with the most votes have the chance to win a contest and have their creation proposed as a new LEGO Ideas set.

LEGO also maintains optimal social media communication, which has helped grow the company’s online Reputation. The posted content is diverse, including posts, videos, interviews, and podcasts. LEGO characters have even become the subjects of memes, giving rise to the Instagram page “Legolizie” dedicated entirely to them.

The colored bricks have also become advocates for environmental and social changes:

  • The company is committed to reducing CO2 emissions and promoting material sustainability through plastic reuse and recycling.
  • LEGO openly supports the LGBTQ+ community by launching a collection dedicated to them and saying goodbye to gender labels.

All of LEGO’s actions, continuous customer engagement, and agreements with other companies (such as Disney, Star Wars, Harry Potter, etc.) to launch collections have contributed to the strengthening of Brand Reputation, primarily driven by its excellent management of online reputation.

The Walt Disney Company

The Walt Disney Company, established in 1928, is known for creating a magical and emotional bond with its audience. The brand’s connection is reinforced through its multichannel and differentiated promotional strategy, which spans films, contests, billboards, TV shows, and offline and online advertisements.

Disney is the epitome of entertainment, inspiration, and magic, and the true magic is that Disney grows with its fans. Disney and its characters are timeless, ageless, and continue to live from generation to generation. The company heavily relies on the nostalgia effect of old classics. When revisiting or remaking old classics, the brand maintains the same communicative strategy as the original launch, as seen with the film “The Lion King,” where parents brought their children to see the iconic movie.

In addition to enjoying an excellent corporate reputation, Disney also captures the hearts of social media users through the creation of daily content for events, holidays, and general topics of interest to the public, utilizing characters from their films. There is a continuous dialogue and communication with their followers on social media. Disney interacts with people, involves them in creating content, challenges them with quizzes and surveys.

The Walt Disney Company corporate reputation

The company has always been committed to the planet and people. Over the years, it has strived to reduce CO2 emissions, waste, as well as safeguard wildlife and human rights. The large company is also responsive to the social changes we are experiencing:

  • It says no to helpless princesses who need saving and makes way for strong, independent, and empowered heroines who assert their rights and fight for their goals, such as Mulan and Merida. To support female independence, Disney launched the social media campaign #DreamBigPrincess. The campaign aimed to photograph female role models who embody the bold and strong qualities of Disney princesses in real life. The clear message for all children is that they can be independent and be inspired by real-life models, not just cartoons, particularly encouraging girls to embrace their power. This campaign significantly strengthened the Online Brand Reputation and the feminist movement.
  • Disney advocates for social equality and, in addition to providing examples of independent and strong women, released “Onward” in 2020, the first animated film supporting the LGBTQ+ community with a gay character.

Disney has exceptional Brand Awareness, but the success of its Brand Reputation is due to its online communication, user engagement on social media, and its actions in support of society.

Conclusions and Free Strategic Consultation

In this article, I have explained what Brand Reputation is and how to strategically manage it online. You have learned the added value that web reputation can bring to your business and the problems that can arise when it is neglected. Monitoring your reputation means preventing a reputational crisis, and I have shown you some tools to do so.

Never forget that nurturing your online reputation serves to add value to your brand and gain an advantage over competitors. This translates into increased sales, customer loyalty, and acquisition of new customers. As a final tip, here are some suggestions for building a positive Brand Reputation:

  • Define your values.
  • Take a stance.
  • Listen to and participate in conversations.
  • Address issues.
  • Monitor your results.

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