Reebok reputation takes a $25 million hit for deceptive info on toning shoe

Reebok’s reputation as an earnest athletic brand that could make people jump and run faster was all intact until the company introduced its toning shoe ‘EasyTone and RunTone’. The product claimed to burn that extra fat and get you that Jessica Alba kind booty. Well this was enough to tempt people to buy and fine tune their shape. Continue reading “Reebok reputation takes a $25 million hit for deceptive info on toning shoe”

Top Ten Reputation Management Tips

Ok, here should be a comprehensive guide to managing your own online reputation and the things you SHOULD be doing to preserve your own/brand name. If you’re here, you’ve already shown an interest in making sure you’re doing what you can to keep your head above the proverbial current of the internet. Or you’ve found yourself in an unpleasant situation and are facing unwarranted negative press/publicity and are seeking ways to rectify your situation.

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How Social networking sites influence search engine results

To rank first on major search engines is an objective most internet marketers and websites look for. Most of the companies optimize their websites to get on that first page of search engine results to invite visitors to their website. But is there anything other than SEO to get there?

Well, there are the Social Networking sites, and there’s enough evidence that SNS influences search engines. What happens, for example, when you have a facebook site with 10,000 fans and as many ‘likes’? Do they show up high on search engines?

There’s no doubt that Google closely monitors social media data with real-time Twitter updates integrated into searches. Now how they use it is a different story and it’s very hard to say because strong social media popularity usually converts high ranking on search engines. It’s a clear indication that Google uses it to determine what a trusted source is and this was something they had mentioned long time back.

Brand value of a domain was a ranking factor Continue reading “How Social networking sites influence search engine results”

Santander Claus delivers the wrong letters

If something comes down your chimney on christmas eve, it could just be somebody’s else bank statement courtesy of Santander Bank who have admitted sending 35,000 customers to the wrong addresses following what they termed a printing glitch. “Glitch” is the banking term for a monumental customer service cock-up from the bank with nearly the worst customer service reputation in the UK. Santander is the Spanish bank that seems (“seems”) to have avoided the Spanish property meltdown and has gone on a bit of a buying spree since 2007 buying the UK bank/building society Abbey. Since then it has managed to obliterate the bank’s customer service reputation regularly polling at the bottom of customer service surveys.

You really wouldn’t want to be a reputation manager at Santander. The bank has failed to deliver on many of its promises and the brand has picked up little traction since the massive rebrand over the past few years. Of course, bank reputations have not really recovered since 2008 and for most customers, one bank is equally as bad as another. However banks try to position themselves as a “friend for life”, most customers know that the friendship does not extend beyond the first second of an overdraft and they know that all banks are exactly the same!

Santander are likely to be fined heavily by the regulators at the FSA for their latest failing, but it would change the core challenge for banks to make themselves more central to their customers’ lives in a positive way.

Hotel Reviews – Hotels you have been warned…

Trip Advisor Warning Badge

At the end of the day it is just too tempting to create an account on TripAdvisor and post a glowing review of your property on the basis that nobody will any the wiser. For over 250 hotels (you can see a rough list here) there is now a warning to consumers that effectively states – Don’t trust the reviews. Continue reading “Hotel Reviews – Hotels you have been warned…”

Bad Customer Service? 82% of customers will leave you!

Brand value is all about what people experience of the product and customer service. The Customer Experience Impact Report reveals that finally it boils down to customer service and 82% of customers will leave you because of bad customer service.

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Obama’s d(H)ate with Outsourcing and his Dipping Popularity

President Obama took to the stumps this week stepping up his campaign against outsourcing. The President on Friday emphasized his administration will offer tax benefits only to firms that create jobs in the country. It’s time for a bit of honesty, since the beginning of his presidential term, Obama’s personal popularity has surpassed that of his policies, which was obviously on shaky ground.  Throughout history, American Presidents have been elected mostly upon popularity, not because of leadership skills.

He seemed to be flat-tempered, candid and intense. He came across as thoughtful and open to debate. People who weren’t crazy about his policies normally liked and respected the man.  Yet his rhetoric remained unclear. There was speculation over his personality proving more popular than his policies.

President Obama’s reputation seems to be taking a dip after his much criticised health care plan and now follows the outsourcing.  As said above, will his policy bring down this popularity if only he and his bunch of Economist knew where they are heading to?  Economics is quite simple; do not spend more than what you earn. It’s about turning wealth from raw materials and every country in the world does this to run their economy. Some countries did that with IT and some with their manufacturing ability.

Barack Obama has to clear his stand since it all sounds staunch protectionist rhetoric. Just how practical it is since the Americans have lost every single manufacturing work to the Chinese and now that has happened they want to pin-down the outsourcing services also.

The President needs to realize that current economic system is blown up, the whole currency (USD) thing is just about matter of days taking into account that money moves around in cyberspace.  So things have changed and it will be stupid to even think that US Dollar is the final thing that would buy you a pizza no matter where ever you are in the world.

Obama need not sound like a sarcastic professor but be honest and come up with careful measures how he plans to bring the economy back to track.  Talking of the inevitable the President sounds duplicitous and polished and appeared rushed and extreme. The President has to inject this faith in his citizens before they start thinking that the US had its good times over and done with.

Tony Blair memoir and celebrity fixation!

Former heads of state are increasingly showing their frustration of having the limelight leave them. While all of them would worry over their legacy, the latest breed of former Prime Ministers and Presidents are looking upon themselves as celebrities. While most go onto forming foundations and world peace projects and massive libraries like the US presidents – it seems they all want to continue making world deals. And nothing packs a punch like a tell-all memoir!

Tony Blair’s autobiography, ‘A Journey‘ has had a Facebook campaign on to banish it into the ‘Crime’ shelves of bookshops. Eggs and shoes flung at Blair in Dublin all continue to show that on home-ground his popularity remains low and no amount of candid thoughts on people are going to get him out of having gone to war with Iraq.

The interesting thing here is how politicians are enjoying their celebrity status and like a celebrity memoir would do Blair wants to distance himself from Gordon Brown and even goes on to call his successor a few names. Spice is nice, so throw in a bit of gossip about the Royals and you have a best-seller from which he will not take a penny, no sirree!

Nowadays after national politics all former heads of state look forward to an international career. Well… they know all the leaders everywhere and look forward to continue keeping their career in the limelight. And nothing like a tell-all memoir to settle some old scores and re-launch yourself into active public life.

While celebrity memoirs are usually taken with a pinch of salt, PMs’ and Presidents’ autobiographies are studied at length and Tony Blair seems to have achieved BROWN(ie) points (pun intended) for his candidness even though he seems to have kept to his views on Iraq and Bush.

From a reputation management angle Tony Blair’s ‘A Journey’ may well be a start to more candid autobiographies from heads of states; celebrity candidness cleverly merged with legacy management and even a few pot-shots at some old rivals may soon be the norm.  In fact a memoir is a nothing but double winner for both reputation management and PR, really!

Ping is not my Thing

Whenever Apple announces anything, the Tech world stops to discuss it as they are changing the world. Don’t get me wrong, I love the look and feel of Apple products, own an iPad which I utterly adore but I don’t strictly think of Apple as innovative any more. I also don’t think of them as a victory of style over substance so I am not a critic really. What they do, they do absolutely brilliantly down to the last detail. In so many ways they do little small touches where it really matters. At the same time, I don’t trust them at all and rarely use iTunes to buy music, don’t use the Mac that sits on a desk near me and don’t own an iPhone. I know they are excellent software engineers.. but for me they stand for an old paradigm of producer and consumer. They build things where you are not allowed under the hood to fiddle. I dont like that as my whole reading of the Internet age is that we get to fiddle and own our devices. Ping made me wonder whether I had Apple wrong after all and they were about to start embracing social media after all. For me Apple is cool in the designer sense and not cool in the run amok, dance in the mud in Glastonbury sense. Sounds strange but I think of them as the cool people in the bar that you are scared to talk to, but actually turn out to be nerdy and dweebish and are boring in bed because they are so self conscious. So is Ping the mashed up social web or a nervous half-hearted stab in the dark by Apple. Well, since I cannot access the iTunes store or rather the Ping part of it, it is impossible to say There is the question why I am writing this article at all. Reputations are like trees. They take time to grow and shape and they are difficult to change as time passes. Many successful companies rarely transition to business environments and I sense that this is what is happening with Apple. Already within one day their relationship with the uber-social Facebook has died, and it got me thinking that one of the aspects of Apple products is that they never seem to really talk on social media much.  They are wonderful devices and you can use them to do wonderful creative things but they don’t seem to go further. You consume them. What is the experience of Ping? Well it is not social and because it does not connect to anything else it is hard to see how I am going to use it. The main problem is that I cannot connect to anybody without emailing them which I cannot be bothered to do. You know, what with facebook, twitter and apps like Grooveshark (which Apple resolutely will not allow onto the apstore) why do i need Ping? I mean really, who cares.

Your Business on Google Places

Six in Ten consumers have confirmed that their decision on where to buy, which hotel to stay and where to travel is purely based on the experience of others. So does your business have a hold on its online reputation?

Google’s two ways conversation for business reviews on its Google Places is an extension of your business to respond to online reviews. As a result, business owners can retort to both negative and positive reviews for their businesses which are left on their Google Places profile.

One of the best things about Google Places is its ability to allow average or small business owners to control their reputation online. Unlike before when customers and clients leave feedback, comments and reviews in website and business owners had no way to respond to those reviews.

Google’s John Maguire states

Engaging with the people who have shared their thoughts about your business is a great way to get to know your customers and find out more.

Google Places allow business owners to deal with their reputation in a better way because this allows them to respond to reviews both positive and negative with same perception as the reviewer. Business houses have to take ownership of their listing; many businesses do not maintain ownership of their Google Places listing which results in damaging their reputation and their business while the business owners remain ignorant.