by Elaine Fogel

brand reputation

The Formula for Business Success is Simple


Yeah, sure. That’s what you probably thought when you read this blog post title.

Nothing in business is simple, right? Experts will offer advice that relates to what they’re selling. They promise the moon if you do what they say.

But, the formula is rather simple.

But, before I give it away, here’s an example to set the stage:

We’ve used the same cleaning company for years. We like the young owner and have coached him on marketing and business best practices.

The problems lie in the actual cleaning service.  Continue reading

How to Build Trust with Internal Customers


trust sign

We live in a world of distrust. 🙄 Between political upheaval, terrorism, and economic woes, people are in a state of malaise and suspicion.

According to the 2017 Edelman Trust Barometer, trust is in crisis around the world. “The general population’s trust in all four key institutions — business, government, NGOs, and media — has declined broadly, a phenomenon not reported since Edelman began tracking trust among this segment in 2012.”

In her recent post, Kathryn Beiser advises that even though business fares better than government in the trust department, “if it, too, disappoints, business risks falling victim to the rising tide of dissatisfaction that has impacted government in so many parts of the world.”

The Trust Barometer reveals that no action is more integral to building trust than treating employees well, and employees are also the most credible spokespeople on every aspect of a company’s business.”

So, how do you build trust with internal customers – your employees?

Continue reading

Come Clean with Your Customers When You Have Challenges

Revised December 2016


woman with broom cleaning

When your company or organization goes through internal challenges, what do you do? Do you hide it? Do you sweep it under the carpet hoping that no one will find out?


A company I know had been going through challenges for several months. Its service was poor; employees were turning over frequently; and customers were never notified of delayed deliveries … the list goes on. Goodness knows how many customers moved on and never returned with such poor brand experiences.

But, it didn’t have to happen that way.

Make customers feel important by being genuine and honest with them. The result will be that they’ll feel like more than just a business transaction… The more you and your customers relate with one another, the deeper your mutual loyalty will develop and become a natural part of business exchanges.” (Asha Mankowska MA, Esq., Forbes)

Regularly communicating with customers and keeping them posted can help retain them. Be honest, ask for forgiveness, and explain what has been causing the difficulties.

You can’t earn customers’ trust if you lie, stretch the truth, or gloss over problems. When you’re open and honest with them, they’ll respect you. You’ll begin to gain their confidence.” (© 2015 Beyond Your Logo: 7 Brand Ideas That Matter Most For Small Business Success by Elaine Fogel)

If there are legal or merger/acquisition issues involved – when full transparency isn’t possible – use generic wording. Explain that the company/organization has been undergoing changes for the better. Thank your customers for their patience as you go through this transition, admitting that services have not been as reliable as they have been in the past.

Over the years, I’ve learned the best policy has always been full transparency. It’s also the scariest thing to do, but you always come out on top which is why it’s so important for young startups to adopt this as part of their culture early on.” (Nina Ojeda,

Demonstrate your excitement for what will certainly be a better company or organization after the transition. Ask customers to stick with you. Offer a special discount/gift/access for their patience after it’s all over.

Don’t hide! Communicate! You’ll discover that your loyal customers will have a heart and give your brand a second chance.

Just come clean!

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