The Corporate image is a dynamic and profound affirmation of the character, culture and structure of an organization. This applies equally to corporations, businesses, government entities, and non-profit organizations. The corporate image communicates the organization’s mission, the professionalism of its leadership, the quality of its employees and its roles within the marketing ecosystem or political scenery.
Every organization has an image, whether it wants one or not. When properly designed and managed, the corporate image will precisely mirror the level of the organization’s commitment to quality, excellence and relationships with its various constituents including current and possible customers, employees and future staff, competitors, partners, governing bodies, and the general public at large. As a consequence, the business image is a basic concern for every organization, one deserving the same attention and commitment by senior management as any other vital issue.
Historically, thinking and writing about the subject of corporate image has come from the area of graphic design, with most attention given to name selection, typography, logo design and usage rules, color palettes, uniforms, and marketing collateral. This approach no longer suits the global, dynamic, cross-border and cross-cultural world in which a growing number of today’s businesses and organizations function. What is needed, instead, is a practice called Corporate Image Management. This is a holistic management discipline designed to prepare organizations to compete for resources, partners, customers and market proportion well into the early years of the 21st Century.
Corporate Reputation or Image management is established upon modern cooperate identity practices and the marketing assumption that everything an organization does, and does not do, affects the perception of that organization and its performance, products, and sets. These perceptions affect its ability to recruit the financial resources, people and partnerships it needs to reach its goals and objectives.
This approach evaluates corporate identity from a marketing, instead of a graphic design, perspective. The assumption has two predominant concerns for companies entering the 21st Century:
* an understanding that the corporate image is a major strategic concern that can have a direct impact on the level of success the organization achieves by its other marketing and management efforts, and
* an understanding that a logical corporate image needs to be integrated into the organization at all levels.
Looked at from a marketing perspective, corporate image management becomes an on-going, synergistic management tool, instead of a one-time “corporate image exercise” as currently practiced by most organizations and almost all corporate identity consultants. Corporate Identity Management, consequently, becomes a comprehensive and all-embracing course of action that internalizes a new skill set for managing relationships between constituents at all levels in the organization. Its goal is to permit sustainable relationship advantages to be developed with meaningful audiences. Since the time of action of corporate reputation management is on-going, these relationship management skills are applied to all current, prospective and future relationships. It applies equally to commercial, non-profit and government organizations.