Your brand is the face of your business, not only to your customers but also to the world. Any negative associations with your brand, including your business name, logo, slogan, or other expressions, can lead to a backlash that can hurt your business and affect your profits. You should work proactively to protect your brand’s reputation at all times.

Control the Conversation

Efforts to protect your brand shouldn’t just happen in response to a negative news story or social media hashtag. Instead, you should control the conversation by continuously pushing a positive narrative about your brand. Make sure all messaging is aligned with your company’s vision and is consistent across all communication platforms. Closely monitor social media and news outlets for any mention of your brand. At the same time, use people-centered storytelling to build a favorable reputation. Create a crisis team that can respond quickly to any negative news or misinformation.

Protect Your Data

If a data breach occurs, people can quickly lose trust in your business and your brand can become tarnished. Protecting the data your business collects helps protect your customers as well. You should make it a priority to implement secure processes of data collection, use, and storage. Limit the amount of personal information you collect about your customers to only necessary data. Allow only a few people in the business to have access to the data. Finally, consider implementing secure storage methods such as encryption.

Take Legal Measures

Your brand should be unique to your business: with a glance at your logo and business name, or even your color combination, consumers should know who you are and what you stand for. But if another company creates a similar name and logo design, it could cause confusion, especially if that business offers poor quality products or services. Trademarks can add legal protection to your name, logo, slogan, and any other unique expression associated with your brand. You can register a trademark on the state or federal level. This will give you the right to take legal action against any copycats or steal your brand expressions.

The effort to protect your brand must play out on a number of fronts. Anywhere your brand and your business are exposed to the public, you must be vigilant and work to take preventative measures. When you successfully build a positive reputation for your brand, it will withstand any issues that come up.

Read this next: How to Protect Your Business Assets

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