It is not just our actions and the impression that we leave behind that determines the image that other people have of us, it is also the things that they hear and read. Gossip, rumours and slander – all of these have an effect. The same is also true of brand management; no matter how meticulously a company works on its image, placing perfectly edited content on its touchpoints or having the nicest and most capable customer service team, there will always be things that remain out of its control.

Well-known representatives

With the advent of online shopping, customer reviews have also entered the picture. Nowadays, anyone can go on the internet and share their enthusiasm or air their grievances about a company. Potential customers might then read this online and allow it to influence their decision to purchase, either positively or negatively. These reviews also influence the decisions we make offline. Almost all of us have, at some point or another, taken our phone out in a shop in order to check the reviews for a book with an exciting blurb. If we only see two stars, the reviews written by previous purchasers (touchpoint outside of our control) will then outweigh the blurb (touchpoint within our control). The recommendation of a friend is even more influential than reviews written by strangers on the internet. When a friend praises or gushes over a particular brand and its products, this stays with us, arousing our curiosity or even interest. By contrast, if that friend paints a bad picture of a brand or verbally tears it to shreds, we will discount it and seek an alternative instead.


A greater impact

Everybody knows that companies strive to make the best possible impression. They employ marketing measures in an attempt to cultivate and improve their image. By contrast, consumers are aware that their friends generally have nothing to gain from speaking positively about a brand. Their word outweighs any information found in a company profile or on a website. With the exception of malicious and fake reviews, the same applies to reviews written by strangers on the internet – they have nothing to gain or lose and are therefore more reliable.


No control, but some degree of influence

First things first: No, you should never buy or fake online reviews. If that became known, you would lose the last shred of credibility you have with customers, who are distrustful as it is.


Don’t make promises you can’t keep – manage expectations.


It’s actually very simple: Don’t make promises that your product or service can’t live up to – manage expectations. Nobody will be disappointed in an average product unless they were promised the earth. However, if a customer is promised the earth and does not receive it, they will tell anyone who will listen, and especially those they are closest to – one disappointed customer may result in 20 potential customers deciding to look elsewhere. If something does go wrong, you must be there for the customer after the sale. Mistakes happen, products may be faulty or your customer service representative may be having a bad day; people understand that. Always try to solve the customer’s problem. Outstanding support is key to leaving a good impression, and is often decisive when it comes to customer perception.


Harnessing your potential for the company

Those touchpoints over which you have the least control have the greatest potential to change your public image. But even if your public image takes a hit, as long as you display a willingness to accept criticism and to improve, your company can use this feedback to work on and improve specific touchpoints. In the medium term, this will also help to improve your public image.

News from ERNI

In our newsroom, you find all our articles, blogs and series entries in one place.

  • 27.09.2023.

    Unveiling the power of data: Part III – Navigating challenges and harnessing insights in data-driven projects

    Transforming an idea into a successful machine learning (ML)-based product involves navigating various challenges. In this final part of our series, we delve into two crucial aspects: ensuring 24/7 operation of the product and prioritising user experience (UX).

  • 13.09.2023.

    Exploring Language Models: An overview of LLMs and their practical implementation

    Generative AI models have recently amazed with unprecedented outputs, such as hyper-realistic images, diverse music, coherent texts, and synthetic videos, sparking excitement. Despite this progress, addressing ethical and societal concerns is crucial for responsible and beneficial utilization, guarding against issues like misinformation and manipulation in this AI-powered creative era.

  • 01.09.2023.

    Peter Zuber becomes the new Managing Director of ERNI Switzerland

    ERNI is setting an agenda for growth and innovation with the appointment of Peter Zuber as Managing Director of the Swiss business unit. With his previous experience and expertise, he will further expand the positioning of ERNI Switzerland, as a leading consulting firm for software development and digital innovation.

  • data230.08.2023.

    Unveiling the power of data: Part II – Navigating challenges and harnessing insights in data-driven projects

    The second article from the series on data-driven projects, explores common challenges that arise during their execution. To illustrate these concepts, we will focus on one of ERNI’s latest project called GeoML. This second article focuses on the second part of the GeoML project: Idea2Proof.

  • 16.08.2023.

    Unveiling the power of data: Part I – Navigating challenges and harnessing insights in data-driven projects

    In this series of articles (three in total), we look at data-driven projects and explore seven common challenges that arise during their execution. To illustrate these concepts, we will focus on one of ERNI’s latest project – GeoML, dealing with the development of a machine learning algorithm capable of assessing road accident risks more accurately than an individual relying solely on their years of personal experience as a road user, despite limited resources and data availability.


  • 09.08.2023.

    Collaborative robots revolutionising the future of work

    The future of work involves collaboration between robots and humans. After many years of integrating technology into work dynamics, the arrival of collaborative robots, or cobots, is a reality, boosting not only safety in the workplace but also productivity and efficiency in companies.

  • 19.07.2023.

    When the lid doesn’t fit the container: User Experience Design as risk minimisation

    Struggling with a difficult software application is like forcing a lid onto a poorly fitting container. This article explores the significance of user experience (UX) in software development. Discover how prioritising UX improves efficiency and customer satisfaction and reduces risks and costs. Join us as we uncover the key to successful software applications through user-centric design.

  • 21.06.2023.

    How does application security impact your business?

    With the rise of cyber threats and the growing dependence on technology, businesses must recognize the significance of application security as a fundamental pillar for protecting sensitive information and preserving operational resilience.