Remember You Are Always Repping Your Brand
When you want to establish a brand and business for yourself, your end goal is for people to become familiar with your company, vehicles, logo, and the overall look of your company. It takes time and dedication to gain that notoriety.
The flip side is that, as you improve your business and brand, that also means you have a target on your back. Just like how every crafted and well-intended action can do a little to build your business, flippant remarks and poor behavior can also chip away at your reputation. Let's spend some time thinking about your words and actions regarding how they can affect your business moving forward.
Everything Lives Forever on the Internet
Thanks to the internet, nothing ever dies. If you are documented in text, graphic, or video – no matter what the context of the actual situation is at the end of the day – and it goes on the internet, it'll stay there. We've seen some very specific examples of actions by contractors or small business operators that have led to varying degrees of negative feedback – including, but not limited to:
- A business getting negative reviews on Yelp and Facebook after an employee posted racist content on social media
- Double parked branded company vehicles while picking up lunch
- Negative reviews on social media because of a construction company's reported rude behavior in messages and in-person
- Construction equipment parked in a handicap accessible parking spot
- Negative Google Reviews because of poor driving in a company vehicle
- A contractor in a road rage incident that followed a vehicle, so that they could yell derogatory remarks, on video, while wearing his company shirt, from the driver's seat of his company vehicle with the logo prominently featured
In some instances, these contractors have walked away with some negative reviews that needed some goodwill and much more positive feedback to repair the situation. In others, apologies can lead to retractions of negative comments and reviews. And yet, in others, entire businesses have been shut down because their actions went viral in their community.
Avoiding Missteps in the Future
The easiest way to make sure you don't end up as a viral video is to take a step back and evaluate WHAT you say and WHEN and WHERE you say it.
- If you wear your company colors in public, you represent your company.
- If you share your job status on social media (even on personal accounts), you represent your company.
- If you drive in a branded work vehicle, you represent your company.
- If you communicate via branded company account on social media (in a private message or public post), you represent your company.
- If you are an owner or principal of a business, you represent your company nearly all the time.
If you wouldn't want your mom to hear it, don't say while you are waving your company's flag. We're not saying you need to walk on eggshells. No doubt that, over time, mistakes will be made, and you will upset a client because of a perceived slight or performance problem – regardless of what you as the owner/operator see is true or false.
What we are saying is you simply need to be aware that the reputation of your business is built slowly by positive moments and knocked down quickly by negative moments.
About Chris Lonergan
Chris Lonergan is the Managing Editor of Footbridge Media. With a background in web design, print design, and online marketing, Chris is focused on providing quality marketing and business solutions in the construction and service industries - helping small business owners to more efficiently manage their company and grow their operations.