First, what was once called ReputationChanger.com, is now renamed the less aggressive Brand.com. President Michael Zammuto, explained the name change. “We give brands real peace of mind, and that is why there is no better name for our service than Brand.com.”
He also explained more about the company’s goal, citing business and leisure travelers are accustomed to using review sites to select a property, so Brand.com can moderate to ensure that false or vindictive entries don’t taint their clients’ online presence.
Then he asked the million dollar question that we encounter all the time—namely “How is a consumer supposed to make sense of a hotel’s reviews if one entry says its 5 stars and the very next one says it is the worst hotel ever?” According to Zammuto, nearly every property today suffers from outdated, vindictive or plainly false reviews which undermines the whole system of anonymous online reviews. He goes on to say:
“When a disgruntled housekeeper has the power to damage a property’s reputation and undo all the work of a property’s entire social media budget, then the consumer doesn’t benefit. The only answer is for a property to take back control of their reputation which is Brand.com’s mission.”
We don’t think we can be mad at that goal and it sounds like Brand.com wants to ensure a hotel client can back up its positive rep by using defensive PR tactics. They do this using employees that include social media, SEO experts, web developers and media specialists. Their job includes supplying positive news stories, online video, and promoting a particular hotel that's under fire.
Apparently they’re able to do this damage control by clearing negative content, optimizing positive search engine results, and monitoring a hotel’s rep on Google, Bing, Yahoo, and over 400 social media websites.
What still has us scratching our head is that Brand.com does this by “creating reviews the property can moderate to ensure that false or vindictive entries don’t taint their online brand.” We’re not sure why creating a review is necessary, instead of just responding with a hotel’s positive information.
However, considering that in addition to the hospitality industry, Brand.com’s clients consist of public figures, doctors, lawyers, financial planners, celebrities and anyone who is “interested in creating and managing a brand online, ” it does look like we are looking at a version of taking the virtual streets back.
What do you think? Do you think Brand.com is a Social Media Robin Hood? Or are they helping bad companies hide their dirty laundry?
Let us know in the comments below!