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8 Things That Will Damage Your Brand's Reputation

Cultivating a brand people recognize and trust takes years of engagement, sacrifice, and careful planning. Yet, even household names are one colossal misstep away from falling from grace and plunging into obscurity. Don't want your brand to suffer such a fate? Then, avoid making these eight mistakes.

1. Winging It 

Part of successful brand management is being agile, closely monitoring the market, and taking advantage of opportunities as they appear. However, thought-out plans trump spontaneity in the long run. Brands can't be sustainable without a multifaceted development strategy. This includes product development, customer research, marketing campaigns, and building brand equity.


A long-term strategy backed up by measurable growth factors makes developing your brand experience easier. Moreover, it lets you quickly catch warning signs and consider new approaches. 

2. Poor Customer Service 

Few factors can cause your brand's reputation to plummet as fast as blatantly and consistently neglecting your customers' needs. There are many mistakes to make, from providing poor technical support through not engaging on social media to chasing new customers while neglecting old ones.


Interacting with your customer base demonstrates how pursuing profits isn't your only goal. This is especially important for brands built around strong core values. Customers who get quick, professional help and genuine worth from interacting with the brand become its loudest and most effective advocates. 

3. Quality Issues & Backsliding 

In a world of uncertainties, a brand people can count on to provide quality products and services despite changing circumstances can be a great comfort. Conversely, consumers are quick to rightfully criticize brands with unresolved quality control issues.


General quality loss is another issue. Rising material and logistics costs prompted some brands to use different materials or ingredients, while others resort to shrinkflation. Customers naturally frown at rising prices, but these are more acceptable than quality backsliding they might perceive as underhanded. 

4. Brand & Design Inconsistencies

Core values, a specific tone of voice, and all the audiovisual elements that make brands instantly recognizable are indispensable for creating and developing brand identity. Tweaking any of these elements and evolving the brand over time is natural. On the other hand, an inconsistent presence will do more harm than good.


For example, not using the same colors, logos, and other design elements on your website and socials can confuse visitors and make the brand seem untrustworthy. Likewise, representing a brand all about something upbeat and playful, like vacation clothing, with serious copy and curt customer interaction, will send mixed signals people will be wary of.

5. Neglecting Cybersecurity

Planning targeted ad campaigns, implementing customer feedback, or having your brand prosper without data-driven decision-making is impossible. Much of this data is sensitive or private, so safeguarding it is a priority. Not taking it as such can result in data breaches that expose company secrets and customer identities.


You might be able to fix such a blunder at great cost, but your reputation might not recover even then.


Maintaining high cybersecurity standards is neither time-consuming nor costly. You can automate much of it, like using a password manager to create, assign, and autofill unique passwords for all your team’s accounts and secure each with two-factor authentication.


Changes to workplace culture mean you also have to adopt new data access procedures. On the one hand, you need an access control system that assigns roles based on clearance and logs user activity. On the other, you should use a business VPN for secure and anonymous communication & file transfers between company networks and employees not working on the premises.

6. Lack of Transparency

Being shady or outright lying to your customers is a surefire way to tank your brand reputation. Refrain from dubious practices like including hidden fees, having overly restrictive terms of service, or misrepresenting your products and services. Setting realistic expectations and openly communicating about obstacles win customer respect and loyalty. 

7. Taking Sides on Controversial Issues 

Unless your brand is all about specific political and religious standpoints or societal issues, publicly advocating for them is a big no-no. Leveraging a brand’s reach to express contentious personal opinions is in poor taste. Plus, it can quickly alienate a big part of your customer base if they disagree with your views or this practice.

8. Being Unethical

Consumers, especially younger ones, are more conscious of and interested in companies' ethical conduct than ever. Poor employee treatment, discrimination, price gouging, and greenwashing prompt consumers to take their business elsewhere. Taking steps to address such issues helps, but running a brand ethically should be the norm.


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