How do you recover from an online brand attack?

In your brand management, you don’t only need a marketing and financial strategy; you also need a brand strategy for recovery from any possible brand attacks.

Get deep with us to know the Impact of Online Brand Attacks and the types of them. 

You’ll get specific steps to guide you; let’s start.

What does a brand attack mean?

A brand attack refers to a situation where a brand or company faces negative publicity or damaging information that can harm its reputation.

It occurs in many forms, like negative reviews, social media trolling, public criticism, or any other action that tarnishes the image of a brand. 

Brand attacks can happen from dissatisfied customers, competitors, or any other stakeholder with an interest in harming the brand.

Here are some of the impacts of online brand attacks:

  • Damage to reputation: Brand attacks can severely damage a company’s reputation, making it difficult to attract and retain customers.
  • Loss of market share: Brand attacks can lead to a loss of market share as consumers become less likely to do business with the targeted company.
  • Legal costs: Companies that are the target of brand attacks may incur significant legal costs as they defend themselves against claims of defamation or false advertising.

Types of Online Brand Attacks

  • Negative reviews and ratings:

On review sites, social media, or other online platforms, consumers or rival businesses may leave unfavorable reviews and ratings that could harm prospective clients.

  • Social media trolling:

Intentional attempts to incite or harass a brand on social media by posting incendiary content, misleading information, or unfavorable remarks

  • Cyberbullying:

Targeting individuals associated with the brand, such as employees or influencers, with malicious intent to damage the brand’s image.

  • Fake news and rumors:

Spreading false information or rumors about a brand through blogs, social media, or news websites to harm its reputation.

  • Trademark infringement:

Unauthorized use of a brand’s trademark or intellectual property leads to confusion among consumers and potential damage to the brand’s image.

  • Hacking and data breaches:

Unlawful access to a brand’s online platforms, results in the theft of sensitive information, which can be used to harm the brand or its customers.

  • Competitor attacks:

Competitors may engage in unethical practices, such as creating fake social media accounts or websites to tarnish a brand’s image.

  • SEO manipulation:

Attempts to manipulate search engine results by promoting negative content about a brand, causing it to appear prominently in search engine queries.

  • Customer service sabotage:

Deliberate efforts to damage a brand’s reputation by providing poor customer service experiences and publicizing them on social media

  • Influencer backlash:

Negative commentary or conduct from influencers associated with the brand impacts the brand’s image among its followers.

  • Phishing:

Sending or luring victims into sharing private information, including passwords or account numbers, or downloading a harmful program that infects their computer or mobile device. This can occur via emails, social media, or messages.

  • Activist campaigns:

Targeted campaigns by activist groups against a brand, often related to social or environmental issues, aim to pressure the brand to change its practices.


Brands must monitor online channels actively, respond promptly to issues, and employ reputation management strategies to recover from an online brand attack. With a strategic approach, they must mitigate the damage and rebuild their brand’s reputation.

10 Steps to take after an online brand attack

  • Assess the situation:

Determine the source, scope, and nature of the attack. Understand what triggered it and who is involved.

  • Respond quickly and appropriately: 

Acknowledge the attack and respond as soon as possible to show that you take it seriously.

  • Stay calm and professional: Maintain a professional tone in your responses, avoiding any emotional reactions.
  • Communicate with your audience: 

Keep your customers and followers informed about the situation. Be transparent about the steps you’re taking to resolve it.

  • Monitor social media channels: 

Keep a close eye on social media platforms where the attack is happening and respond to comments and messages.

  • Optimize your search results: 

Create and promote positive content about your brand to push down negative search results.

  • Consult with legal counsel:

If the attack involves false information, defamation, or other legal issues, consult with an attorney to explore potential legal actions.

  • Apologize and make amends:

If your brand is at fault, acknowledge your mistakes, apologize, and take steps to rectify the situation.

  • Conduct a post-mortem:

After the crisis has subsided, analyze what happened and how you can prevent a similar attack.

  •  Rebuilding trust over time: 

Rebuilding your brand’s reputation may take time, so be patient and consistent. Consider hiring a public relations firm to help with reputation management.


In the end, remember that every situation is unique, and your approach will depend on the severity of the attack and the specific circumstances. It’s essential to maintain a customer-centric and solution-focused approach throughout the recovery process. 

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