When your childcare center is mentioned, how do people respond? What are their first thoughts, and how do they describe your brand to others? Knowing your center’s current brand reputation and understanding how you can maintain a positive reputation is critical to long term success.
What is Brand Reputation?
Brand reputation refers to how a specific brand is viewed and perceived by customers and stakeholders. A positive brand reputation results in clients feeling a sense of trust in your brand. On the contrary, a negative brand reputation causes distrust among your team, parents, and children.
A recent study by Kantar Millward Brown found that “among the most valuable brands in the world, the higher the level of trust in the brand, the more valuable it is, proving that trust is inherent in brand success.¹” Now more than ever, it is essential for you to prioritize maintaining a positive brand reputation in order to cultivate trust.
3 Ways to Influence Brand Reputation
Childcare centers can no longer be passive when it comes to upholding a great brand reputation. Here are three elements that determine how others perceive your brand, along with proactive steps you can take to positively influence each one.
#1: Online Reviews
According to a study by Vendasta, 92% of consumers now read online reviews. Now more than ever, brands must take online reviews seriously. Especially when it comes to childcare, parents trust their peers, and reviews are often the best way to determine which centers come highly recommended.
Conversations about your childcare center will happen online regardless of if you are a part of the conversation or not, but taking an active approach to managing your reviews will give your brand a voice in the conversation. One of the best ways to build trust online is to send your team and families over to review sites like Google, Yelp, and Care.com to gather as many positive customer reviews as possible. And for any negative reviews, be sure to respond with steps you’re taking to improve. You can also set up Google Alerts, which will send you notifications if and when your brand is mentioned in Google’s search engine.
#2: Team Member Testimonies
The way that your team talks about your childcare center is one of the most honest reflections of your brand reputation. Childcare centers with frustrated team members will find that their brand is often discussed with negative connotations. In contrast, a satisfied team with a deep sense of purpose will speak highly of the brand, laying a positive foundation for brand reputation.
Start by asking honest, open-ended questions. Sometimes the best way to start is through an anonymous survey. When you understand how your team talks about your brand when you’re not around, you can take the necessary steps to relieve any brewing tensions and proactively manage your brand perception.
#3: Family Perceptions
Similar to how your team members view your brand, the way that your families discuss your childcare center has major implications for your brand perception. If the parents in your center are satisfied with your level of care, they will do your marketing for you through word-of-mouth and online reviews. But if parents are dissatisfied, they will often be the first to make it known to others.
Feedback surveys and honest communication with families help you realize how parents perceive your childcare center so that you can be maximize your strengths and improve upon your weaknesses.
Improve Your Brand Reputation
When it comes to your childcare center, maintaining a strong brand reputation should be a top priority. When your team, parents, and children trust you and your brand, hearts and minds are at ease. Plus, word spreads and enrollment will benefit. Understanding the importance of brand reputation is step one. Now, it’s time to assess your brand: what is your current brand reputation, and what specific steps should you be taking to improve or maintain it?
Sometimes, the best way to gauge how your brand is doing is to get a third-party, expert opinion. Here at Inspire! Care 360, we want to help you identify your strengths and your opportunities to improve. For a free assessment with no strings attached, fill out this short Brand Analysis form.