Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Identity, Image, and Reputation

Introduction
Image Identity and Reputation go hand in hand. It is impossible to separate them from each other. All these three aspects are important for the Goodwill of the company.
Identity: An organization’s identity is visual expression of the organization’s reality which can express through the name, product, services, logo, motto or all other tangible pieces created by the organization and communicated to constituencies. Identity-building is the only thing an organization has complete control over. Therefore, an organization has to be aware of the aspects that contribute to a positive corporate identity.
Image: An organization’s image is an indication of the organization’s identity seen from the viewpoint of the company’s constituencies. Often, organizations have to change their names in order to adapt to changes in their environment. Logos are also an important component of a organization’s branding strategy. They can be simply symbols or just names or a combination of both. The most famous corporate logos are the Coca-Cola logo or the Nike “Swoosh”. A company must ensure that its logo and name somehow reflects the overall approach of the company’s strategy.

Reputation: Reputation is the opinion or a social evaluation of the public toward a person, a group of people, or an organization. It helps a company to attract more talented employees or investors. Furthermore, it gives an organization a higher acceptance among customers. A good reputation can also help in times of crisis. Johnson & Johnson, for example, survived the Tylenol crisis because of its good reputation.

Life Experience Example

The best example that comes to my mind is the Apple computers. They have gained fame in each and every aspect of their way in dealing with public image. Improved share price day by day, new quality innovations in every short span of time keep the consumer very well bonded to it and help the company to reinforce its image, identity and reputation. For example promotions among college students like one of their great moves to sell the Mac-book with student discounts of 10% and a free iPod helped them build their identity in younger generation with vigor. Apple recently changed its personal web service “.Mac” to the name “mobileme.com”. This name change was done because of the strategic importance of the iPhone division in the overall corporate strategy.

Another Example

Couple of years back, my company decided to change its logo (identity) in order to give the company a new image of professionalism for both primary and secondary constituencies and came up with a great combination of black and red color in its logo. While promoting my company, I placed an article about the company on Wikipedia. Soon after a couple of days there came in messages of several other administrators asking about the existence of the company and what the company is notable for. After replying to several of the e-mails the administrators agreed to place the article on the Wikipedia. This was because the company had a strong image, identity, and reputation in the hardware market. Had it been any other non-reputed company the administrators would not have agreed to place the article on Wikipedia. This example shows that a company must have strong reputation because tied to that reputation is the company’s identity and image.
Links:

Video: Beyond the logo- Branding through Identity Design

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Video: How to Create a Corporate Identity

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