Corporate Identity, Image, Reputation and Corporate Advertising in the Digital Age

Corporate Identity, Image, Reputation and Corporate Advertising in the Digital Age

Introduction

Businesses have always developed strategies to improve their competitiveness within the industry for gaining higher profits. In the United States, affirmative reputation has not been focused upon since there has been the connotation that profits must be secured before the consideration of the interests of the public. The unsatisfied customers have not threatened the leaders of major firms, and their focus is based on increasing their sales within the limited geographical boundaries. The flow of information, also, was highly controlled by companies, with limited influence from the consumers. With the advancements in technology in the business setting, the geographical boundaries were broken, and hence developing a new approach with which firms communicate and develop their strategies. The introduction of the television and massive use of the internet led to businesses embracing the new threat from the voice of the consumers. The increased use of the social media led to the consumers having power over the businesses in the social context since they had a platform to air their views concerning their satisfaction from different firms. The businesses, therefore, are to decide on whether they will continue with their operations as they had done before, or they will incorporate the social media platforms in their strategy. The purpose of this research is to explore how the social media platforms can influence the corporate identity, help to shape the image and further connections to both external and internal stakeholders.

Corporate Identity

Corporate Identity is a term that refers to the manner in which a company organizes their strategy to present their business to the employees, the investors, and the customers. The strategy differentiates companies from different rivals as an approach to ensure proper understanding of the different firms and their operations. Corporate identity has a direct impact on the strategic planning process of business. The era of using social media platforms has increasingly been utilized in the development of corporate identity especially since the majority of the consumers are widely located within these social platforms (Parry, Ayoko, & Ang, 2017). The social platforms, therefore, have a significant impact on the corporate identity of the business.

Online presence is becoming one of the essential aspects of a company mainly when marketing for their products. Companies may present their online presence by various approaches such as development of websites and engagement with social media platforms. Such developments are aligned with improving a company’s competitiveness and corporate identity. It, therefore, becomes essential for companies to ensure they integrate the practice of engaging with their customers, stakeholders, and employees with the social media platforms for effective collaboration (Mostafa, Lages, Shabbir, & Thwaites, 2015). The following are some of the impacts of using social platforms to develop the corporate identity.

 Increasing Customer Awareness of the Firm

The social platforms are known for the high traffic of users who chat and comment on various social issues. There is an extensive market within these platforms which comprises of customers, stakeholders and employees, who have a specific interest in any organization presenting their operations on the social platforms.  According to Dijkmans, Kerkhof, and Beukeboom, (2015), businesses that engage with these platforms have an extensive community which has an understanding of the operations that the firm engages with and hence increased awareness of the company. The approach, as discussed by Eckert, (2017), helps such companies to display their operations to the customers and create interest from the customers not only to purchase from the firm but also to be involved in significant operations of the same.

The approach builds the company profile within the social context and ensures the majority of the social sites talk about the company and its operations. Engaging with these social platforms, therefore, build the corporate identity of the company and promote the awareness of the firm amongst the online consumers (Sajtos, Kreis, & Brodie, 2015).

Proper Communication with the Public

One of the essential elements when developing a corporate identity is communication. As King, Newman, and Luthans, (2016) note, communication is a two-way process requiring the sending of messages and feedback. The social media platforms contain the potential market that firms will sell in the online community, and hence their communication becomes imperative. Ketelaar, Konig, Smit, and Thorbjornsen, (2015) argue that firms which use these social platforms in ensuring the customers receive feedback on questions which they have and assistance on issues they face regarding the company benefit their corporate identity. Proper communication helps firms to assure customers that their needs are of vital importance to the company and they will be met efficiently. Similarly, the approach ensures the customer’s concerns are addressed, which results in better ratings and recommendation of the company. With the integration of the social media platforms in business practices, companies, therefore, benefit and will help to build their corporate identity. (Monti, & Salvemini, 2014)

Provides a Platform for Customer Reviews, comments, and Recommendations

Depending on the needs of a company, the social media platforms provide a variety of functionalities to get the views from customers and their recommendations. According to Foroudi, Melewar, and Gupta, (2014), the social platforms provide companies with the opportunity to get feedback from the customers concerning their operations while interacting with the broader community. For instance, Facebook has introduced a new feature which enables companies to take surveys about their performance scores, review of products and comments on the same. The feature enables customers to review the products and company profile and recommend the services of a given company to their friends (De Leaniz, & Del Bosque Rodriguez, 2016).

Features which the social media platforms to receive comments from the customers benefit with their corporate identity being built upon the reviews and recommendations of the consumers. The approach is helpful as it is convincing enough to the potential customers of the high ratings that companies can receive from the social sites by individuals in these platforms. Moreover, the approach enables the company to develop their corporate identity and image and are thus utilized along with the firm’s objectives. Therefore, the corporate identity of firms is highly dependent on the social media platforms.

Corporate Image

The landscape of business is consistently in a state of flux.  Businesses must compensate for these changes by continual assessment of their identities to maintain market relevancy.  Often these efforts yield innovations in current operations while stimulating growth.  Cementing one’s identity also brings about perspective.  This insight can be used to relate to current consumer perceptions and realign the company in such a manner that the perception could be changed to a more positive one.  Attempting to pivot in such a manner and constructively engaging with the consumer can drastically improve the company’s image.  Just as one must be willing to change, the choice of simply remaining silent and adhering to old strategies can be just as harmful.  With social media’s footprint exponentially increasing with each day, a company must be willing to adapt and engage in thriving in the digital age successfully.

The corporate image of any firm is developed from the identity of the firm. According to Liu, Chou, and Liao, (2015), the corporate image of a firm is somewhat the reflection of the corporate identity of the same. Therefore, it is possible to have multiple images from a given perspective. The firm’s image is made up of the name, logo, objectives, and other operations of the firm that ensure there is sufficient knowledge of the activities that the firm practices which are displayed to the consumers (Stritesky, Stritesky, Quigley, & Riha, 2016).

Company Differentiation

Various factors influence the differentiation of the company. However, with the availability of advanced technology concepts that have improved the social media platforms, there is the possibility of differentiating firms based on their corporate profile and how they display the same to the public (Park, Lee, & Kim, 2014). Despite the names, logos, and colors, company differentiation is possible through the various advertisement for the given company. Social platforms provide the companies the opportunity to display the various differentiating factors within their profile and hence ensuring the visitors of such sites will quickly identify the firm and their products.

Setting Identity Objectives

Identity is necessary for the customers, stakeholders, and employees to understand before deciding on various concepts. According to Balmer, (2017), the identity goals, therefore, must be set to ensure a company has specific needs met and the content displayed will be appreciated by the stakeholders of the company. The employees, for instance, utilize the identity of the company such that they will identify the positive aspects of the company, how these positive elements will align with their employment objectives and the benefits they will receive by joining the company. The stakeholders and investors, on the other hand, will examine the stock prices and history of the same to ensure that they will benefit from investing and being part of the company. Customers will need to view the objectives set by the company concerning various elements, their pricing, and ratings from other customers. With proper development of the identity objectives as well as the implementation of the same, then there is a high chance of having a better corporate image.

Communication

Communication is essential in any business setting. The impact of the social media platforms on the corporate image is evident with the level and value of communication with which the firm practices with the public. Argenti, (2016) identifies that proper communication of the firm entails the response to messages and confident embrace of the feedback from the customers. The social platforms have ensured to provide features which indicate the rate of response and the average time with which the company in question takes to respond. Facebook, for instance, shows the average time taken by given companies in response to messages, which is essential to understanding the image of the company.

Reputation and Corporate Advertising

The social media has raised the standards of promoting products and improving the reputation of companies in the industry. According to Bauer, and Lasinger, (2014), firms create an online presence to improve their reputation within the public. It is essential, therefore, that companies ensure they select the most appropriate social media platforms which will provide the companies with the best functionalities for developing their reputation (Olivella, & Nembhard, 2016). The digital technology involved in these platforms has enabled companies to customize their profiles and upload content that is efficient in developing their reputation. Building company reputation is crucial as it helps a company to display their attractive features while widening the available options for the management in innovativeness and adjustment of pricing strategies.

On the other hand, the social platforms are known for the extensive consumer market available where companies can advertise their merchandise (Tran, Nguyen, Melewar, & Bodoh, 2015). Corporate advertising is essential in ensuring people have a clear understanding of the firm, its operations, and some of the values which direct these operations. According to Goldring, (2015), corporate advertising refers to the approach of paying the social media platforms as an approach to benefit the company image rather than the promotion of its products alone. The corporate advertisement describes the overall strategies of business practice and communication and displays the same to the consumers. There are various benefits which firms obtain by utilizing these social platforms in developing their reputation and corporate advertising.

Reinforcing Corporate Image through Corporate Advertising

Majority of firms opt to utilize corporate advertising as an approach to strengthen their corporate identity. According to Lim, Machado, and Iglesias, (2015), social platforms avail the community which is always watching for the developments from any given firm, which provides a topic of discussion in the platforms. Moreover, in the event of catastrophic outcomes, a company may engage with corporate advertising to ensure they rehabilitate their image. For instance, Walmart was faced with the issue of having poor working conditions for their workers, which led to the tarnishing of the firm’s image (Jackson, & Ahuja, 2016). However, through the utilization of the social platforms, the firm was able to advertise their firm, their products, and services they offer to rehabilitate their image in the public while improving their competitive advantage.

According to Longinos, and Salvador, (2013), one of the significant measures of understanding the view of the public by a company is taking the use of identity audits. These audits help a company to apply the findings to the corporate advertising strategy as an approach to ensure there is no gap between the operations of the firm and the perception of the customers. Differentiation is also achieved with the proper corporate advertisement. Hong-Wei, and Balmer, (2013) argue that firms using the social platforms for corporate advertising can differentiate themselves from their rivals, which is essential in any competitive environment. An excellent example of a company that utilized cooperate advertising to differentiate themselves from their rivals is Nintendo, which won the advertising race in Age Magazine’s Marketer of the Year Award in 2007, being on top of Microsoft Xbox and Sony PlayStation.

Attracting Investment

Corporate advertisement and positive reputation of a company can be used in attracting investment from different social perspectives. According to Kohtamaki, Thorgen, and Wincent, (2016), the social platform, despite having customers, is an excellent place to obtain investors and employees. Many investors will conduct a background check of a firm, and the social handles of the given firm will be one of the key places the investor must examine. Building a good reputation and having proper corporate adverts ensures the investors are easily attracted to invest in the companies engaging in these practices (Olsson, 2014).

Financial-relations corporate advertising is one of the important strategies that firms use in the process of identifying and attracting investors. Companies that display their stock to the potential investors in the public social sites have a higher chance of getting more investors as compared to the firms that do not engage in such practices. Financial oriented corporate advertising campaigns are expected to raise the stock prices of a given firm. The awareness of the firm’s stock prices displayed on social sites and television adverts attract massive investments, which result in the firm’s benefit.

Influencing Options with Corporate Advertisement

At times, companies are faced with the need to respond to some of the challenges which the firm may face concerning a given controversial subject. The need results in the engagement with the advertisement process that will influence the opinions of the public and the perception of customers for the given issue. According to Kucuk, (2016), the strategy involves the companies taking news directly to the consumers such that there is competition between them and the journalists for the reader’s mind. The advocacy campaigns that the firms engage with are essential in influencing the opinions of the consumers. If a firm dictates their issues directly to the public before the journalists do so, then there are high chances that the customers will have trust in the given organization for their option of declaring the news to them.

Conclusion

The purpose of this research was to explore how the social media platforms can influence the corporate identity, help to shape the image and further connections to both external and internal stakeholders.  Corporate Identity is a term that refers to the manner in which a company organizes their strategy to present their business to the employees, the investors, and the customers. Various factors influence the differentiation of the company. However, with the availability of advanced technology concepts that have improved the social media platforms, there is the possibility of differentiating firms based on their corporate profile and how they display the same to the public. The social platforms are known for the extensive consumer market available where companies can advertise their merchandise. Corporate advertising is essential in ensuring people have a clear understanding of the firm, its operations, and some of the values which direct these operations. Corporate advertisement and positive reputation of a company can be used in attracting investment from different social perspectives. Financial-relations corporate advertising is one of the important strategies that firms use in the process of identifying and attracting investors. The awareness of the firm’s stock prices displayed on social sites and television adverts attract massive investments, which result in the firm’s benefit. If a firm dictates their issues directly to the public before the journalists do so, then there are high chances that the customers will have trust in the given organization for their option of declaring the news to them.

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