Grow and enhance your brand reputation through innovation.
All the answers to your unique business lifestage questions
Why is innovation important?
To stay ahead of the pack you need to continuously look for new opportunities for your business, be it new product offerings, or different ways to communicate key messages, you need to continuously grow and develop the business. If not, you will become stagnant.
Of course consistency is key, and you don’t want to mess with a system that is working well, however you also want to grow and thus enhance your reputation.
Consistency builds trust. McDonalds is a great example. Love or hate their food, they are a perfect example of consistency.
Related: The importance of internal dialogue during change
Whether you go to McDonalds in Cape Town or in Japan, you know what your Big Mac is going to look like. Yes, there will be a couple of deviations for the local markets, but that is part of being innovative and speaking to the requirements of your customers.
Why is innovation important for my reputation?
Let’s remind ourselves why exactly is building, enhancing and fostering a reputation so important. It’s about establishing a certain perception of yourself based on reality so that as a business owner you can attract top talent.
We all want talented, enthusiastic and productive hands on deck to help us achieve our business goals. These employees work towards consistently delivering a certain product or service which our customers want to invest their hard earned cash in.
When that happens, we can then invest back into our business, employees and tools. Ultimately, top employees, products and services and a solid reputation will have a positive impact on your bottom line. Being innovative helps us to stay ahead of the trend.
I don’t have a huge budget for innovation; does this put me on the back foot?
Being innovative does not necessarily mean that you need to invest in high-tech gadgets. People with smaller budgets are often the most innovative.
Listen to the needs of your customers, encourage new ideas amongst employees to improve products, services and processes. Sometimes a simple tweak or change can make a massive difference.
How can I be more innovative?
The first step is to keep your ear to the ground and to know what the industry is up to. Benchmark yourself against your peers by joining your industry body.
Related: 11 Tips to transform a crisis into an opportunity
Like-minded people, knowledge and best practices are shared at these forums which have the potential to spark your next innovation and help you to build that solid reputation you want.
To continue the reputation management conversation, join Regine on Twitter @ReputationIsKey or Facebook www.facebook.com/yourreputationmatters.