Background Check – What Happened
Maggi Noodles, Nestle India’s prime revenue generating product was banned by the Honourable Bombay High Court on 13th August 2015 on grounds of containing unacceptably high levels of monosodium glutamate, a taste enhancer.
Seven months after its re-launch, the noodles brand is still battling reputation issues. We still find news articles relating to the embargo on Google’s result page on searching for “Maggi”. Further Google’s “People also ask” widget on the search engine result page incorporates suggestions pertaining to the ban. In fact all the suggestions on the widget directly or indirectly refer to the subject. Hence we can conclude that people on the web, in context to the brand are primarily searching for information pertaining to the sanction imposed on Maggi, thereby necessitating Google’s system to make suggestions relevant to the imposition.
Online Reputation Management Strategy – How Maggi can fix it
The online context has become increasingly relevant for Maggi now as it decided to stage the re-launch of its Maggi Noodles on the internet, through e-commerce giant, Snapdeal.
It is imperative for Maggi to redeem its reputation on the web in order to eliminate suspicion and regain market share. It is essential for the brand to diminish memory relative to the ban in the mind of the consumer. As long as “ban” information is available and optimized on search engines the brand will find it increasingly difficult to salvage its reputation as a safe and trusted brand. The prime objective should be to get rid of the adjective “ban” associated with the brand.
Publish & Optimize Positive Content
Content is of paramount importance on the internet platform. People identify with brands based on the readable and watchable content available with respect to the brand. Positive content when optimized on search engines can work wonders in earning or restoring goodwill for brands.
In order to restore its reputation online Maggi should focus its efforts on publishing and optimizing fruitful content. Such information can be in the form of positive news articles, product launches, marketing campaigns, advertorials, positive reviews, etc. Constructive positive content when optimized creates a downturn effect on negative content in search engines. This helps brands clean search result page and thereby combat reputation issues and resurrect goodwill.
Leverage Social Media
Social Media is one of the most powerful platforms available on the internet today. Businesses can effectively leverage such platforms for their brand building exercises. The likes of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, etc provide a plethora of advantages to businesses; they help in spreading brand awareness, increasing visibility, expanding audience, engaging with customers, generating user feedback, establishing consumer-brand relationship, search engine ranking, etc, etc.
Maggi can use social media channels to educate customers about its products and its safety guidelines and later generate user feedback. Such exercises will help clear misconceptions and cleanse brand image. Positive feedback from users can then be promoted and optimized for search engines. In addition each social media page of the brand earns a listing on the search engine result page of most of the prominent search engines; such pages when optimized create a cascading effect on negative content.
Request Removal of Negative Content
Negative information available on the internet can adversely affect brands goodwill.
Over a period of time certain articles (e.g. adjacent snapshot) gain traction on the search result page and inadvertently cause harm to the brand in question. Such content can be in the form of news articles, blog posts, negative reviews etc. Requesting authors and websites to remove such content can help businesses safeguard reputation.
Promote & Incentivize Positive Feedback
Consumer feedback is essential for the growth and success of businesses. Consumer reviews rank as one of the most prominent factors affecting purchase decision. Such activities when promoted and optimized for search engines can help liberate the brand and bring consumer confidence.
The idea is to motivate and inspire the customer to write reviews. Providing incentives by way of discount coupons, gift coupons, reward points, lucky draw coupons, etc. to prominent reviewers can give them the much-needed impetus to perform such acts.
Use Social Bookmarking Sites & Blogs
Blogs and bookmarking sites can be used as tools by brands to publish and propagate brand-centric matter. Businesses can themselves create multiple blogs and use them to record constructive brand material, which when optimized rank on search engines and push down adverse links. Additionally, favorable mentions from third party blogs and websites increase brand prominence and have a similar effect on adverse links.
Manifold submissions on bookmarking sites such as Delicious.com, Reditt.com, Tumblr, etc. help improves online visibility and popularity. Further, social bookmarking sites are considered quality back links by search engines; thereby help businesses optimize online assets for search engines.
Images Courtesy- Google.com