Winning Tactics For A Strong Corporate Image
Your corporate image is the combination of the thoughts, feelings and perceptions that you and your tribe have about your business, your products and your services.
No matter what your promotional material may say about your business, your corporate image is the sum of all of the above, based on a person’s individual experience with your business. Customer service, your staff, advertising, marketing materials, delivery schedules and services provided by everyone in your company combines to create an overall corporate image.
Because your corporate branding is such an intangible item, it is very important to understand how you are perceived in the market place if you wish to connect with your audience and make the most of your marketing activities.
Your promotional material is an excellent vehicle in showcasing the ways your business presents itself to your target market. Brochures and other printed media, your advertising and sales promotions, your website, publicity and public relations, is all very relevant to your company image and the way your business is perceived.
In short, to successfully promote your business you have to understand your corporate image to best reach your target market and delivery your marketing message. Getting the relationship right is worthwhile because you can:
• Maximise your marketing budget with every promotional message reinforcing how you are already perceived.
• Successfully support sales and sell more products because the message is clear.
• Reach out to the right kind of business and employees because they too understand your company image.
But what does this all mean?
To use an example, well known chocolatiers Darrell Lea Chocolates are an Australian institution, one of the largest locally produced chocolate and liquorice factories, with shops and outlets in every major Australian city. They are a privately owned family company and are perceived to be just that, good old fashioned value, traditional products all sold in “olde worlde” style shop fronts. Certainly their marketing campaigns and packaging also reflect this image that has been cultivated over the past 80 years from when they first started trading.
Walk into one of their specialised shops and you are met with enticing chocolate smells, women wearing striped aprons, old fashioned scales on the counter tops and a symphony of old style sweets, multi coloured liquorice and chocolate selections. It is the total experience that they are selling and even though they have tried a more contemporary advertising approach, their overall company image is steeped in tradition and old fashioned values. It’s only common-sense that the marketing, selling and promotional approach reflects this.
So when you analyse your company image you should consider these factors:
• How well do your promotional brochures, advertisements, web site and digital campaigns reflect your company image? Are you trying to run a slick fashion outlet yet your street signage is shabby and your logo outdated.
• Does your pricing strategy reflect your level of service or product? You may provide a good service but are your premises so rundown that customers coming to your shop front query why they are paying excessive fees for your services?
• Are your promotional campaigns in line with your company image? A conservative accounting firm dealing with equally respectable clients should not send out gimmicky sales promotions that do little to reflect the professional company image it has taken years to establish.
• What level of customer service do you operate? Consider how the rest of your team present themselves, from their attire to attitude, to how they answer the phone and take orders. Is it in line with your business’ image? Do they passionately support and connect with your corporate image?
• Advertising and publicity – do you promote your business in publications that suit your company image? A quaint bed and breakfast business is better placed to advertise in an upmarket town and country style magazine rather than a magazine aimed at caravanning and camping.
Every business has a corporate image, and you must first understand this image to then manipulate it to appeal to your target audience. Identifying how it relates to your target market and capitalising on this relationship plays an important role in determining the ultimate success of your business.
Do you know of any other successful businesses or corporations where you connect and identify with the corporate image being presented?
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