you study any major comeback, you will be interested to note that the recovery of a reputation lost was at the centre of the efforts. This is because, as we have already seen, the reputation of anything, whether individual or entity is absolutely important to their existence.
Take God for example. Well, I am going to go there. We have different people in the world with different perceptions about God. One of the most interesting ones is those who fight for God, especially trying to protect his reputation. You see, it is important to them that nobody challenges their core belief in God, lest they are found to have believed for nothing.
A good reputation though is august. It stands alone on its own, needing not to be propped up by yourself or by any fanatic. What we see these days is lots of manipulations of facts, figures and algorithms in order to give an impression of one’s reputation. It is important to have a good reputation, but not at the expense of a lie.
In the previous articles, we have looked at the different ways you can rebuild a blighted reputation. Here is what we have discussed so far:
This is important because there is no recovery without acknowledgement. There is no knowing what to do next if you do not acknowledge that there is a problem. Once you have acknowledged that you have messed up, the doors are now opened for you to mount a comeback. If anything, there is no telling how much relief one gets once they acknowledge a wrong. It is one of the most liberating things you can ever do…facing yourself and looking at your mess squarely. If we can only muster this as human beings!
Remember the place where your reputation was stellar. Remember the things you used to do. Remember the things people used to know you for. Remember how much you have deviated from your promise. Gather all that data and use it as an arsenal to rebuild your reputation.
That goes without saying that you need to rebuild. However, we are not necessarily talking about restoring or recovering. That would be a waste of time. A reputation once blighted can never be the same again, the best it can ever be is to be better than it previously was. That is what you ought to be working on.
This means that you should not be ashamed of your failures. You ought to learn to use them openly, acknowledging your messes and show people what you are doing differently. Many people want to sweep their pasts under the rugs, but the opposite would have a greater benefit.
Let’s move on and see what else you can do to rebuild a new reputation.
“OK plus 1” is one of the greatest formulae in customer experience. Incidentally, it has a great part to play in reputation management and recovery. When people are expecting the ordinary and they are bombarded by the extra-ordinary, that is one of the greatest things to do to change people’s perceptions.
A comeback is not necessarily a go back. This is what I mean. If you had a reputation that was soiled, striving to go back to how it was exactly will not help you. You want to give the world a totally different narrative going forward. The keyword here is: different.
The same old will not cut it no matter how much stellar the previous reputation was. What you do can be as dynamic as anything as you seek to make sure that your reputation graph is always on the ascendency.
The truth about reputation is that you will have to be perceived alongside other people who are doing the same thing. Your goal, therefore, is not only to know your “difference”, but also to know your “little extra”. In rebuilding a reputation, the worst you can do is to do what you are expected. The best you can do is to add a little extra surprise to what you have always been known for. Here is the trick: you do not do this once in a blue moon. Rather, you choose to make this a habit.
In other words, you are making people fall in love with your unpredictability of a little extra surprise. The reputation that you are building is that you are caring enough to take time to make their experience pleasurable. If your focus is only on rebuilding a past reputation, as I have already insisted, it will not prove to be the wisest decision you ever made.
You do not want to be known as the guy who is striving to do what he used to do. You want to be known as someone who used to do something, messed it up but is now doing way better than they were before.