A week in politics is a long time, just ask David Cameron from Prime Minister who gave us the referendum to ex Prime Minister in less than a week.

He didn’t only lose his job, he lost his reputation and if I am not mistaken he is now pursuing an alternative career as a rap artist?

Credit: ITV/Getty Images

It’s not only people who have reputations to preserve or lose, brands also have reputations.

Neither the brand nor the reputation actually physically exists, which is why they are often confused, but they are inter-dependent and if you don’t look after one of them the fallout will affect the other.

A good recent example would be:

Brand: VW

Reputation: Honest company, makes reliable cars

> Brand is about the customer.

> Reputation is about the company.

I believe brand generates desire and differentiation and motivates customers to pay more for products than they might otherwise – think Apple and Waitrose.

Reputation is the sum total of your track record to date. So, whilst we build brands in order to get the most return from them, we should protect reputation in order to preserve credibility and trust – just ask VW what the cost is when you lose your reputation.

As Warren Buffett once observed:

A great reputation is like virginity – ‘it can be preserved but it can’t be restored.

Applying this theory to our own brands being sold in the eCommerce space, particularly now the review system has been so dramatically altered, is important because it’s our products that show our brand but it’s how we deal with our customers that will gain us our reputation.

Tools we can use are:

Respond to Comments from Customers: Always respond to customer reviews be they good or bad – how you do this says a lot about your company.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO): Use the latest SEO strategies to put you at the top of search engine results, where customers are searching for solutions to their problems. If you are not present where consumers are looking, you will lose sales to competitors who beat you to it.

Content Marketing: Have you be told to do a blog? Wondered why I’m writing this? By positioning your company as a source of useful information on topics your target audience is interested in, you’ll gain more website visitors and more potential customers.

Public Relations: A good PR campaign improves brand perception, manages negative sentiment, informs customer opinion and increases your web presence.

Company Website: A great website that’s easy to navigate can improve your brand reputation. Focusing on our customers and making it simple for them to find what they need, will improve brand loyalty and reduce site abandonment.

Social Media: Although social media is a relatively new arena for many online sellers, it’s an integral part of managing your brand’s reputation. Social media is a great way to make your business accessible, give it a personality and make the focus on the customer.