The next six weeks of my organizational management research work will cover topics on marketing, advertising, and public relations. This first post is focused on image.
Leaders in today’s society face a global marketplace that is noisy, overcrowded, and massively competitive. In spite of all the chaos however, leaders can still create a unique image or brand and because of the internet and advances in technology, they can build real relationships directly with their audience. For example, consumers are constantly bombarded with thousands of messages that push a company’s image regardless of whether a person is interested or not. Interrupting people repeatedly with marketing messages is a new way employers conduct business. Many consumers typically face these messages every time they check in to social media networks, so the image a company represents is important. Morgan (2012) explains that the relationship a company has with their shareholders is critical to the success of their image, or brand. Furthermore, he suggests that because of these technological breakthroughs, the future of a company’s branding, is headed towards new marketing strategies that are designed with people and not at them (Morgan, 2012). In short, in order to stand out in today’s busy marketplace, companies must discover innovative methods to present their image in a way that engages their audience and win their business by giving more and selling less.
A company’s goal is to position themselves (and their brand) in the mind of the consumer as one of, if not the top authority in their industry. To achieve this, they must know how to promote themselves and present an image that is different from that of their competition as well as deliver what they promise. Morgan (2012) states, that the image they present should provide an emotional connection to their audience. In other words, a company’s image is not about market share, it is about mind-share (Morgan, 2012). In addition, an effective company image or brand identifies the following components: (a) who they are; (b) what they do; and (c) who they do if for.
Many employers face challenges running their business and believe they can solve most of them by developing a stylish new image that includes the development of a new logo and cleaning up their website. However creating an effective company image requires a great deal of planning and effort rather than merely engaging in this simple form of stagecraft. Vincent (2012) suggests that part of creating a successful company image also includes making and keeping promises that deliver simple, yet powerful experiences. A company’s image should represent many of these significant elements, regardless of whether it is developed for a small business, a large corporation, or personal brand, like Oprah, Dr. Oz, or President Obama (Vincent, 2012). To create a successful company brand leaders learn to develop a strategy that integrates marketing campaigns to support the promises companies make offering explanations on how they intend to keep those promises. These integrated components serve to build trust and a positive experience for consumers.
Companies also communicate their image in a way that effectively takes root in shareholders’ memories. An effective marketing team in turn communicates the company’s message through images by disclosing the strong points of an organization’s brand to connect emotionally with their shareholders. Baack and Clow (2012) contend that the marketing aspect of an organization should produce consistent images that are developed to build trust and loyalty with their customers (Baack & Clow, 2012). For example, a company’s image can identify what the company represents and well as how recognizable it is in the marketplace. An excellent example of this was displayed in the national GEICO campaign ad that made people believe getting car insurance was so easy even a caveman could do it. This brilliant strategic move helped GEICO achieve dominance in the auto insurance industry. The innovative ad used humor and introduced a new character that brought attention to their company in a unique way. This strategy was effective because it did not take away from the image or brand that they already developed that was based on trust and good service. It focused on the theme of simplicity emphasizing that even a caveman with a primitive brain in a modern day society could get insurance. This groundbreaking ad also effectively helped broaden their target audience. In conclusion, building a strong corporate image provides many benefits that help establish a company’s foundation to help them build a solid reputation.
Baack, D., & Clow, K. (2012). Integrated advertising, promotion, and marketing communications (Fifth ed.). Upper Saddle River, NY: Pearson Education, Inc.
Morgan, J. (2012). Brand against the machine: How to build your brand, cut through the marketing noise, and stand out from the competition. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Vincent, L. (2012). Brand real: How smart companies live their brand promise and inspire fierce customer loyalty. New York, NY: AMACOM.