Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) have been urged to forge good brand reputations that will guarantee the success of their businesses.
The Head of Communication Studies Department, University of Ghana, Dr AbenaYeboah speaking at the maiden reputation clinic forum organised by Strategic Communication Africa Limited (Stratcomm Africa) in Accra on Monday said brand reputation stems from the daily interactions with customers hence the need to provide good customer service at all times.
It was on the theme “Building a Sustainable Brand Reputation for Business Success.”
The Reputation Clinic provided communication consultancy advice to SMEs and organisations looking to grow.
It also provided one-on-one consultation for SMEs and Stratcomm Africa the strategies, skills and support to grow and develop their business.
Dr Yeboah said several insignificant factors such as “your receptionist attitude, conversations on social media, how you display your riches, how your branded vehicles comply with road traffic regulations,” affect a brand’s reputation.
She said brands should not “sit on the fence and allow a reputation to emerge by chance but should rather engineer positive reputation with the aim of projecting a reputation that aligns with the image that the business seek for the brand.
She urged all companies to treat every touch point with importance as it was the point of interaction between clients and the business.
Dr Yeboah urged all businesses to take advantage of social media to establish their online presence as it would provide the opportunity to communicate a brand to potential clients, build visibility and opportunity to engage stakeholders.
The former Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC), Mrs MawuenaTrebarh in her remarks underscored the need for start-ups to develop a good business plan as it would guide the business to succeed and help secure investors.
She said the business plan helps a brand prepare for the challenges that may occur in the lifetime of the business as well as cushion the business from other challenges.
She attributed the collapse of SMEs in Ghana to “poor planning, lack of a business plan, lack of finance, resistance to new ideas and innovations, lack of business knowledge and instant success expectation.”
She urged all SMEs to adopt sound business plans as it would guide them in the growth and success of their businesses.
The CEO ofStratcomm Africa, Ms Esther Cobbah, underscored the need for brands to adopt effective communication strategies to significantly grow and develop their business whilst commending the SMEs for their participation.
She urged all Ghanaians to invest in effective communication as it was critical to a country’s development.
BY JESSEL LARTEY THERSON-COFIE