EFFECTIVE CORPORATE IMAGE MANAGEMENT AS A STRATEGY FOR ENHANCING PROFITABILITY (A CASE STUDY OF PHINOMAR NIG. LTD NGWO, ENUGU AND FIRST BANK OF NIGERIA PLC, ENUGU.
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
A company’s product which is the chief media that project its image. What counts more today is the public postures of management. Its concern for consumer welfare and its visible response to imperative social and economic needs. In short, management must concern itself as much with pollution as it does with profit (Harold. I margins).
Every aspect of business and industry is undergoing rapid changes in terms of philosophy and technology and there is no more rapidly changing function of corporate management, then public attitudes and recreations. In the same vein, the corporate image of any organization has to be steered to change corresponding. In response to the demands of its over-changing business publics and environment. Making good products, marketing them aggressively, paying taxes. It not just enough to maintain a competitive edge. There are even now economic and social responsibilities that face every business. Perhaps, it would be necessary to ask, it there any need to engage in corporate image promotion? Does promotion of same, have effect other returns of an organization? Are there right and wrong ways to project a corporate image? What is the place of employee motivation, communication, customer relations, social responsibilities etc. in the wide gaunt of image promotion programme? And so on.
Margin H. Harold (1979.7) stated, “Mass merchandising now method of advertising, increased completion, and government regulators have brought corporate reputations into public view and cause executives to seek more favourable reactions”. However, many hard headed business men to have an uneasy feeling that promoting the corporate image is little more than a vague gesture of public goodwill. The idea of corporate image however, is not now companies have done institutional advertising for many years and sophisticated public relations peoples have long stressed the significance of many kinds of intelligent efforts in building up a general reservoir or goodwill for a firm. But, the concept of a corporate image has given much greater meaning to the effort. The critical importance of v image becomes apparent when consumers protest, provokes from large organizations series or explanations and apologies for the faults they are accused of companies must therefore give its public the same order of priority it gives to finance marketing and research in the table of rapid social and technological change. Otherwise, it cannot expect to command public respect and support in the market place.
To live and grow, to command respect and regard, the v image must be more than a product of public relations. Therefore corporate image promotion should not left in the hands of the public relation men, but should be the responsibility of top management and indeed every member of staff. This implies that the image programme should be part of the over all planning for the company’s future. No matter from impressive a firms achievement are, they must be properly presented in the public to acknowledge them. Thus corporate image planning is an integral part of policy decisions. For some companies, however, an image programme is part of board planning for greater sales and profits. This is his fundamental objective of management and all its activities will be programme to that end.
Aaker, A.A. Myers J.G (1975:138) stated that: it is not exaggeration to say that a good image is fundamental to the existence of any business enterprise. The concept of image is often considered to be an important determinant of long-term sales and profits. Therefore it is reasonable to consider the use of image as an objective, not only for an advertising programme but for marketing programme and an organization as a whole”.
When a new product is introduced in the market a respected corporate name often benefit the unknown product. People are more likely to buy a new product, if they know and like its manufacturer furthermore, the quality image of a company’s product may have considerable influence in the kind of new product the company can market successfully. Infact, scholes, K and Klem, M (1987:85) see the image of a company as a resource. They identified four types of resources available to companies. They are physical resources, human resources, system and intangible resources. Explaining the intangibles, scholes and Klem, Observed that, many organizations have significant strength in intangible assets such as “image or brand name”. The value of intangible resource should not be under rated. Indeed in many service companies, these intangibles can be the key asset of the company. Potential purchases are often willing to pay substantial sums of money for this goodwill” underlining their real value.
Finally, in order to gain the support of its publics, the corporate image shows that management is progressing, mobile, open to innovation, fair to al and free of dogma and convention. Creating and promoting a corporate personality effectively is mainly communicating company’s objectives, beliefs, reputation and achievements to its publics in order to gain their goodwill.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Most organizations, government owned or private owned, small or large, need effective corporate image to survive in the business environment for the fact that organizations operate with a corporate objectives, it helds on organization to take into cognizance the effective corporate image management as a strategy for enhancing profitability.
This study entitled effective corporate image management as a strategy for enhancing profitability attempts to determine the way by which the organizations especially the Phinomar Nigeria Ltd Ngwo, and First Bank of Nigeria (FBN) Plc, Enugu manage the corporate image of their organization so as to encourage profitability.
The problem will be discussed under the following heading in the course of the study.
- Inadequate communication between the management and customers.
- Lackadaisical attitude of the management towards effective corporate image.
- Corporate image strategy is not effective
- Inadequate care for customers and public needs
- The level of inducement of the customers.
1.3 PURPOSE OF THE STUDY
Owing to the fact that every aspect of business is undergoing accelerating change and no functions of management is changing more rapidly than public attitudes and reactions, the corporate image itself should be constantly and effectively promoted.
The image programme pervades the whole management functions more especially, planning the corporate image is a kind of public stereotype of impression, i.e. what every body knows about the company. Although, the consumer or the potential buyer may have sharp and detailed mental pictures, he does have access to the broad, general stereotype which permits him to make first decisions. Whether to buy or not, it is these broad stereotype that make him patronize a particular company. The critical is most likely, the corporate image if the company, for instance, most times, the consumers cannot differentiate between similar products manufactures by different companies but the quality of one on the market to make it distinctively different and much more desirable. For a company to say in business and command respect and regard, its corporate image must be more than a product of public relations. It must be an accurate practice and an accurate picture of what the company is and what it does. The corporate image of an organization must show that the management is progressive, innovative and fair to all its public customers.
The purpose of this study is to evaluate the problems of building and effectively projecting a favourable image in all organizations, but with particular reference to Phinomar Nig. Ltd Ngwo and First Bank Nig. Plc Enugu, focusing on,
- Whether they lay enough emphasis on corporate image promotion.
- What strategies, if they do, they adopt to promote same.
- Whether such strategies are effective survey would sample the views and opinions of both management and employees of the company on the above mentioned problems and with information gathered. Suggest solutions to the problems. Which would lead to effective corporate image promotion in Phinomar and First Bank Plc various public customers, suppliers, stockholders, bankers, potential investors, competitors, government officials and the general public?
1.4 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This study is to significance to effective corporate image management for enhancing profitability in Phinomar Ltd Ngwo and FBN Nig Plc, Enugu. And to prospective investors, customers and management in Nigeria. This research seeks the relevance of applying corporate image in the enhancement of profitability.
1.5 DEFINITION OF TERMS
- 1. Corporate image: corporate image according to margins (1970:2) is the sum total of all impression of the firm in the public consciousness. It is the intangible impression that is different from each observer. The opinions of the employees, customers, suppliers, bankers, competitors, government offices and the general public, all combine to form a corporate image.
- 2. Management: According to “Branch” management can be defined as a process entailing responsibility for the effective and economical planning and regulation of the operations of an enterprise, in fulfillment of a given purpose or task, such responsibility involving.
a. Judgment and decision in determining plans, and the development of data procedures to assist control of performance and progress against plans.
b. The guidance, integration, motivation and supervision of the personnel composing the enterprise and carrying out its operation.
- 3. Strategy: Peter Drucker (1977:95) defined strategy as “a company’s basic approach to achieving its over all objectives. It differs from tactics which is a basic approach to be used in carrying out a pre-determined strategy. A strategy according to Tungen (1975:31) May be in the nature of either aggressive strategy (The first on the market with an advance product) or defensive strategy following the leading firm in the particular branch or absorption strategy (acquisition of advanced technology for further development).
- 4. Profitability: Peter Drucker (1977:89) defined profitability as a measurement of how well the business discharges its function in serving market and customers.
- 5. Customer: This is a person or organization that patronize a shop or store, or business, it is hardly to know who the customers is, this is because buyer may turn to call his under customers but precisely the customers is he who buy from a shop.
- 6. Corporate Planning: This is term denoting a line of approach or a style of management, an attitude of mind, while uses a systematize and integrated approach to all aspects of a firms activities, this idea is to treat the company in Phinomar Nig. Ltd Ngwo and FBN Nig. PLc. Enugu.
Good corporate image planning is the secret formular for those organization that are successful in the world today especially in Nigeria, by applying corporate planning it will go a long way to Coker the hoop holes, while problem are identified before they occur.
- ORGANISATION: Effective corporate image planning help the organization in restructuring the organization through innovation, job restructuring.
- Management: It goes a long way to moulding the management and directing them on the way forward especially in environment of change corporate planning is the only way out by management by viewing planning as a unified wholes.
- Customer: This will enable these organizations to satisfy the customers with profit.
- Social Responsibilities: The management of the two organizations for their shareholders, the immediate environment, the government the staffs, the suppliers and customers. Good corporate image is out, if properly managed to help in expediting the above responsibilities profitably.
- Decision Making: An organization without decision making is as good as no organization was formed, so effective corporate image is responsible for beautifying the decision making of Phinomar Ltd Ngwo and First Bank Nig. Plc Enugu.
- Management by objective: Effective corporate image will enhance profitability of workers are allowed to make personal plans, and because of the time allowed for planning whole effective corporate image provides thereby enhancing profitability.
- Analysis of risk and sensitivity: corporate planning is to total forecast of future, present and past events which allow for minimization of risk and sensitivity of uncertainty in the organizations performance.
It is on this note the researcher comments that the significance of effective corporate image is a good strategy for enhancing profitability in Phinomar Ltd and FBN respectively. As a corporate whole, rather than a collection of departments and on a long-term basis rather than a short term one, the company is study within its environment, past, present, and further.
8. Satisfaction: This is the ability of acceptance of products or services by the customers or users.