Brand awareness, is one area, that’s wildly overlooked by many small businesses. Even if you operate in a niche market, in order to grow and expand you need to build some type of brand. Especially when it comes to the internet, as a business, your brand is paramount and you do need to pay attention to it, or you will miss out. In this day in age information about your company, product or service gets instantly shared, posted and broadcasted out to the world in literally a blink of an eye.
How important is this?
Well in an offline environment it is said that “a dissatisfied consumer will tell between 9 and 15 people about their experience. About 13% of dissatisfied customers tell more than 20 people.” But online, a consumer’s reach is much, much more powerful. With review sites, blogs, forums and social networking sites, negative experiences can be shared and broadcasted out to millions of people overnight.
When it comes to negative feedback I am not talking about a bad company being called out by its customers …even great companies that provide great products suffer from negative feedback on the internet.
It may be as simple as a customer going to your website to get a simple question answered and instead they get a response from you the next day. By the time a reply has been sent back, the impatient customer has already shared, posted, tweeted and re-tweeted a negative comments about your company. And these comments are seen by their friends, their friend’s friends and really anyone stumbling by the post on the internet. Did you know that there was a study done that that indicated that 97% of consumers use the Internet to research products or services in their local area. Think about it, whether you like it or not, comments posted on the internet, good or bad, will be seen by potential customers around the world and it doesn’t matter if you’re a big company or a small local brand you will be affected.
If that doesn’t scare you the worst part is that this information posted on the internet stays online literally forever. Jeff Bezos the founder of Amazon.com once said something pretty eye opening. He said …“If you make customers unhappy on the Internet, they can each tell 6,000 friends.”
That is the power your customers have over your business online and whether you believe that statement or not, make no mistake, your brand online directly affects your bottom line and has both immediate and long term implications and you must act accordingly.
On a positive note …Happy customers who get their issue resolved quickly tell generally around 4 to 6 people about their good experience with your company and that is the numbers in an offline environment. Online those numbers are exponentially greater.
This why even small companies need to pay attention to their brand when it comes to the internet.