These days, most of us know the importance of cultivating a good reputation. We’ve drilled it into our kids’ heads and used the same tactic to build a (hopefully) good reputation for ourselves in the business world. Reputation can make or break anyone’s success – as it helps determine what people think of you.
In today’s age of instant knowledge, both good and bad reputations can spread across the social landscape in the blink of an eye and changing that immediate perception can be incredibly difficult.
For senior living operators, 2020 was a seminal year that cemented the importance of having a strong, positive brand reputation. As the pandemic spread across the globe, what originally was a short-term blip in our business transformed into a game-changing event. The way we connect with residents, family members, prospects and the media has changed as expectations from our audiences have shifted. A leisurely approach to disseminating information is no longer acceptable – nor is putting out conflicting or vague information. The brands and organizations that will emerge from this situation are the ones who embrace the change and focus on cultivating a brand reputation they can be proud of.
Corporate Image + Public Perception = Brand Reputation
What exactly is your brand reputation? It’s the sum of your corporate image (the message that you present to your audience) paired with the public’s actual perception of your organization. When those two things align, you have a strong brand reputation that sends a clear, consistent message. When those two things don’t align … you have a problem.
Your corporate image can be shaped by marketing and advertising. But what really cements a strong image (and therefore brand reputation) is your actions. Think of the old adage, “It’s not what you say; it’s what you do.” That’s incredibly true here. Make sure that the information you’re giving to families, residents and prospects align perfectly with the actual measures that you’re putting in place. This will reap huge benefits for your brand reputation.
In the article “Corporate Image: Why Your Brand’s Public Perception Matters More Than Ever Now,” Caroline Forsey lays out five compelling ways to improve and maintain your brand’s corporate image and solidify your brand reputation with your audiences:
- Identify your company’s purpose. This is the “why” behind what you do. For example, Nike’s purpose is not making athletic wear. Their purpose is helping people discover that “if you have a body, you are an athlete.” For you, this translates into helping seniors and their family members understand the value, peace of mind and joy that come with senior living (especially at your community).
- Walk the walk. In other words, practice what you preach. If you’re promoting that you’re focused on providing a healthy, safe environment for your residents, make sure you’re actually doing that before you splash that information throughout the stratosphere.
- Own your mistakes. We all mess up, even the best of us. What separates the best from the rest is that they own up to their mistakes. Many brands or organizations may not want to highlight their mistakes because they think it will make them “look bad,” but the inverse is actually true. Your audience will be much more forgiving and accepting if you recognize your mistakes (and inform them of what you will be doing to avoid those mistakes in the future).
- Offer the best customer service possible. Customer service is the one-on-one interaction that an individual has with your organization or community and can be one of the best and most personal ways to keep a good brand reputation. While face-to-face interactions have become less frequent in a post-COVID world, you still have countless opportunities to provide excellent customer service through your other channels. Responding quickly to an inquiry from your website or an email from a potential prospect can be the difference that helps you win the resident. Good experiences can translate into loyal consumers which can translate into the most priceless marketing possible: word-of-mouth.
- Make sure your website and social media presence reflect your current corporate image. The first experience most consumers will have of your brand will be an interaction with your website or social media. Make sure you’re posting timely, relevant information that reflects who you are so you’re presenting your best face possible.
How SageAge Strategies Helps Client-Partners Build and Maintain Positive Brand Reputations
As a full-service marketing and consulting agency focusing specifically on the senior living industry, we have extensive experience in helping our client-partners build and maintain positive brand reputations that stand the test of time, both in good times and pandemics. In 2020, we were pleased to be able to help many of our client-partners navigate the murky waters of sharing information, pivoting their messaging and finding best practices in an ever-shifting landscape.
If you’re considering how to strengthen your brand reputation in 2021, here is a sampling of the services SageAge provides that can help you achieve your goals:
Direct marketing. In today’s noisy, social-media-driven world, direct mail can be a breakthrough tool for your overall growth strategy. Our experienced team of experts utilizes strategies and proven techniques for our client-partners that achieve the desired results.
Branding. Ultimately, your brand is at the core of your brand reputation – and at the core of your organization’s success. Our senior living marketing experts can help you define and refine your brand as well as ensure that your messaging is consistently in line with your desired brand image.
Online awareness. Your prospects need to be able to find you online, and our technology and marketing team excels in maximizing search engine and brand optimization to make sure your prospects are being directed to your site. We’ll also use the latest innovations and best practices to identify interested prospects and connect with them.
Social media. Social media is one of the most cost-effective ways to reach your audience and get the right messages out at the right time in order to increase your ROI. Our experienced media team optimize message targeting, reach and frequency as well as using the most effective social media strategies available today such as blogs, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other options to increase your visibility with prospects, residents and families.
SageAge Strategies: Here for You, Always
At SageAge Strategies, our marketing team excels in helping senior living communities target prospective residents and gather essential information through surveys, focus groups and other tools that will help communities just like yours get the information you need to succeed.
If you need assistance in any areas of marketing and integrated growth strategy to improve your business results, we invite you to contact us today to learn more about our proven strategies that have transformed other senior living communities like yours.
SageAge Strategies is a multiple award-winning strategic growth, marketing and consulting organization that operates exclusively in the unique senior living marketplace. For more information, please call or email Melinda Schmitz at 816.349.0464 / firstname.lastname@example.orgYou can also visit us on our website at www.sageage.com/.
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