London, United Kingdom (PressExposure) May 20, 2009 -- In their recently released Whitepaper 'Ten Important Questions', brand specialists at the London-based agency suggest that most brand managers continue to remain oblivious to what their customers are saying about the brand online and fail to analyse customer perceptions displayed publicly on social media sites.
The Whitepaper reveals how one national retailer identified 82 groups on one social networking site alone, of which more than 50 of these groups were highly negative about the brand. Within this set of negative groups, there were a large number of previous and current employees who were making extremely inaccurate comments about the company, something of particular concern to the team at Brand Reputation.
"The rapid rise in social media has led to substantial increase in consumer generated content and any consumer, or former employee, is now an opinion former. Unfortunately for brand owners, a large amount of this content contains misleading information which damages the perception of the brand held by others. Worse still, technology enables this misleading information to spread quickly and once in the public domain and it is a considerable challenge for brand owners to change these perceptions or to successfully communicate accurate information to balance the viewpoint," explains Graeme Crossley, managing director of Brand Reputation. The Whitepaper goes on to reveal more examples of the huge sums of money being lost due to poor brand perception analysis, including a company who spent over Â£2 million promoting the wrong message about its brand and a company that was religiously spending 20% of its media budget on a channel that failed to bring in any new customers.
It also delivers a stark reminder for agencies to educate marketing directors and chief executives as to the importance of this aspect of marketing and the potential return on investment that it can generate and/or the profit that it can protect.
"In the current economic climate consumers are increasingly aware of the value of their cash and are taking greater care than ever in considering where and how to spend their money. The reputation of the brands they are considering is more of an influencing factor for brand selection than ever before and I strongly believe that brands who fail to manage their reputation are at best competitively disadvantaged and at worst at risk of long term failure," adds Crossley.