EFFICIENT CORPORATE IMAGE MANAGEMENT AS A STRATEGY FOR ENHANCING PROFITABLITY
(A CASE STUDY OF DIAMOND BANK PLC ENUGU).
Business organizations in Nigeria have failed to realize the role a good corporate image policy has in business dealings. This is probably because they do not understand the concept of corporate image and the necessary tools for promoting them.
Corporate image, in fact goes beyond attractive products or rending quality service, advertising paying good salary and so on. It pervades every aspect of a business concern from the least worker’s personality to the dealing within the organization and with the larger society.
In the face of the dynamics of our society, especially in the business world, brought about by technology, companies are faced with stiff competition that maintaining a competitive edge requires aggressive strategies. One of such strategies is efficient corporate image management and promotion.
The focus of this research work was to determine the strategies that could be employed to build and promote corporate image efficiently and enhance profit margins of an organization. A case study of Diamond Bank Plc Enugu was therefore undertaken.
The findings revealed that:
a. Diamond Bank Plc Enugu has a laid down corporate image policy though not effectively managed.
b. Strategies employed to promote corporate image are limited.
c. Response to Diamond Bank products is fairly high, hence it can be said to be profitable.
d. Employee welfare and work environment need improvement.
e. Diamond Bank needs to increase the scope of its social responsibility.
f. Diamond Bank needs a well-managed corporate image, which should be reviewed periodically for improvement.
g. Customers’ response to Diamond Bank product is high.
h. Communication among workers in Diamond Bank Plc Enugu is not adequate.
i. Diamond Bank Plc Enugu lays emphasis on public relations.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
1.1 Background of the study
1.2 Statement of the study
1.3 Purpose of the study
1.4 Scope of the study
1.5 Research question
1.6 Research Hypothesis
1.7 Significance of the study
1.8 Limitations of the study
1.9 Definition of terms
2.1 Meaning and history of corporate image management
2.2 Different views and opinions about corporate image management and organizational profitability
2.3 Different approach to corporate image management:
2.4 Corporate image management at Diamond Bank Nig. Ltd.:
3.1 Research design
3.2 Area of the study
3.3 Population of the study
3.4 Sample and sampling procedure/ technique
3.5 Instrument for data collection
3.6 Validation of the instrument
3.7 Reliability of the instrument
3.8 Methods of data collection
3.9 Method of data analyses
4.1 Presentation and analysis of data
4.2 Testing of Hypothesis
4.3 Summary of Results
5.1 Discussion of result findings
5.3 Implications of the research finding
5.5 Suggestions for further research:
LIST OF TABLES
4.1 Whether importance is attached to corporate image
4.2 Contribution of image to the organizational profitability
4.3 Method used in maintaining good corporate image
4.4 Whether there are departments responsible for creation of image
4.5 Measures used in customers satisfaction
4.6 Observed frequency
4.7 Observed and expected frequency
4.8 Observed frequency
4.9 Observed and expected frequency
4.10 Observed frequency
4.11 Observed and expected frequency.
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
“A company’s product as such is no longer the chief media projecting 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 protection as it does with profit” (Harold. H. Margins).
Every aspect of business and industry is undergoing rapid change in terms of philosophy and technology and there is more rapidly changing function of corporate management to public attitudes and reactions. In the same vein, the corporate image of any organization has to be steered to change to correspond in response to the demands of its ever –changing business publics and environment. Making good product, marketing them aggressively, paying fair wages to the employees, and even paying taxes etc. is not just enough to maintain a competitive edge. There are now economic and social responsibility that faces every business.
Perhaps it would be necessary to ask; is there any need to engage in corporate image promotion? Does promotion have effect on the 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 responsibility etc. in the whole role of image promotion programme?
Margins H. Harold (1979. 7) stated, “Mass merchandising, new method of advertising, increased competition, and government regulations have brought corporate reputations into public view and cause executives to seek more favourable reactions.” However, many hard-headed business men do have an uneasy feeling that promoting the corporate image is little more than a perceived gesture of public goodwill.
The critical importance of corporate 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 corporate image must be more than a product of public relations. Therefore corporate image promotion should not be left in the hands of the public relations men, but should be the responsibility of top management and 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 how impressive a firm’s achievements are, they must be properly presented in the public for them to be acknowledged. Thus corporate planning is an integral part of policy decisions. For some companies, image programmes is part of board planning for greater sales and profits. This is one the fundamental objectives of management and all its activities will be programmed to that end.
Aaker, A.A. Myers, J.G (1975. 138) Stated that, “It is not an 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 benefits from 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 on the kind of new product the company can market successfully.
Scholes, K and Klem, M. (1987. 85) see the image of a company as resources. They identified four types of resources available to companies, which are: physical resources, human resources, system resources 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. Infact 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 must show that management is progressing, mobile, open to innovation, fair to all and free of dogma and convention. Creating and promoting a corporate personality efficiently is mainly communicating company’s objectives, beliefs, reputation and achievements to its publics in order to gain their goodwill.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE STUDY
Adequate emphasis have not been laid by firms in terms of promoting a favourable corporate image and this attitude has affected their performance in the market, more so in the face of the prevailing stiff competition among firms.
The environment in which businesses operate is in constant change and it constitutes an important factor in that, it affects management decisions and actions. For any business, two types of environment exist. The operating environment, which may be classified with external and internal. External environment Comprises economic, social, political cultural, government, technological, while internal forces comprises the top mnagement employees, task forces; and the public environment which is made up of the firms several publics.
For an organization to remain in business it has to help to shape its environment because of the rapid change that the organization’s operating environment undergoes
Apart from the influence of the environment, the image of the firm is another factor that requires consideration. The type of image, which an organization projects is an important determinant of its long run existence and performance. There are strategies that have to be developed and adapted creatively to achieve organizational goals.
From management’s point of view, without a good image, an organization is not guaranteed of long life, the profit objective of the organization will not be achieved, the market share will be affected resulting to decreased sales volume, there will be employee dissatisfaction; co-ordination of work will be un- impressible and thereby the organization will collapse.
The correction of the above management problems requires the application of the management’s functions of planning, which involves selecting objectives and formulating strategies, policies, programmes and procedures to achieve organizational goals.
1.3 PURPOSE OF THE STUDY
Owing to the fact that every aspect of business is undergoing accelerating change, and no function of management is changing more rapidly than public attitudes and reactions, the corporate image itself should be constantly and efficiently promoted.
The image programme pervades the whole management function more especially, planning. The corporate image is a kind of public stereotype or impression. That is, what everybody knows about the company. Although the consumer or the potential buyer may not have a sharp and detailed mental picture, he does have access to the broad general stereotype, which permits him to make first decisions whether to buy or not. It is this broad stereotype that makes him to patronize a particular company. Most times, the consumers cannot differentiate between similar products manufactured by different companies. But the quality of one’s company’s image may suppress other brands in the market to make it distinctively different and much more desirable.
For a company to stay 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 their public customers.
The purpose of this study is to evaluate the problems of building and efficiently projecting a favourable image in all organizations, but with particular reference to Diamond Bank Plc Enugu , focusing on:
i. To find out if Diamond Bank Plc Enugu attaches importance to corporate image promotion
ii. To find out the strategies they adopt to promote corporate image.
iii. To find out if the company has department responsible for creating image for the company.
iv. To find out to what extent has the image of the company contributed to the profitability of the firm.
v. To find out the method used in maintaining good corporate image.
vi. To find out the methods used by Diamond Bank to satisfy their customers.
vii. To make recommendations base on the findings.
The 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 efficient corporate image promotion in Diamond Bank.
1.4 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
In this case, the study focuses on efficient corporate image management as a strategy for enhancing profitability in Diamond Bank Plc Enugu , tends to look at an organization and its environment, its position in the mind of the public, consumers and the industry at large. The success or failure of an organization depends on how its products and services are patronized, and any organization whose image have been soiled or smeared with mould can hardly make it in the business would which is dynamic in nature. change have posed a great danger to organizations that are static to its changing environment, instead of re-adjusting itself to conform with the trend or events in the minds of the people.
Furthermore, this is not only the task of the public relations department, but it pervades all sections of the organization, comprising the management and the staff of the organization, whose assistance in this research work will make it a huge success.
1.5 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
The following research questions would be necessary to make this research a success
1) Do Diamond Bank Plc Enugu attach importance to corporate image promotion?
2) Has the image of Diamond Bank Plc Enugu contributed to the organizational profitability?
3) What is the method used in maintaining good corporate image?
4) Do they have department responsible for creating image for the organization?
5) What are the measures taken by Diamond Bank to satisfy their customers?
1.6 RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS
The hypothesis for this research work is formulated after thorough and careful review of works that are directly or indirectly related to the subject matter. The hypothesis for this research work are therefore as follows:
Ho: Customers response to Diamond Bank products is not high
Hi: Customers response to Diamond Bank products is high
Ho: communication among workers in Diamond Bank is not adequate
Hi: communication among workers in Diamond Bank is adequate
Ho: Business organizations in Nigeria do not lay adequate emphasis on public relations.
Hi: Business organizations in Nigeria lay adequate emphasis on public relations.
1.7 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
Much emphasis have not been laid on the efficiency and effectiveness of management in both public and private organizations to attain considerable economic growth. This implies efficient management of man, material, money, machinery, market as well as the management ethics.
The promotion of a favourable image is a function of efficient and effective management. The status – quo is improved if the associated problems are identified and solutions proffered.
This study will enable managers to realize that corporate image promotions is one of the management responsibilities and is necessary to command the support of the public and to increase performance at the market place.
The bane of organizations is the inefficient and ineffective application of management principles leading to poor management.
The issue here is that the managerial functions are not being properly performed. Planning, for instance, which contains the image programme is taken for granted in many Nigerian business enterprises. This has been responsible for the poor performance in the Nigerian public and private sectors.
In profit oriented organization, emphasis is placed more on profit objectives ignoring modern philosophies in management, such as the social responsibility of the firm which is crucial to the projection of desired corporate image.
There are however, a number of factors that may destroy the image of a company, and they include the following;
1. Bad performance and inefficient management
2. Poor communication and advertising methods
3. Bad public relations
4. Poor customer relations
5. Poor packaging of products
6. Neglect of social responsibilities
7. Poor quality of products
All these enumerated factors, which constitute problem in building and projecting a favourable corporate image, will be treated fully in subsequent chapters.
1.8 DEFINITION OF TERMS
CORPORATE IMAGE: This is the sum total of all impression of the firm in the public.
PROFITABILITY: This is the ability of a business enterprise to make profit, revenue or surpluses at the end of the financial year.
EFFICIENT: This is doing something well and thorough with no waste of time, money or energy.
STEREOTYPE: A fixed idea or image that many people have of a particular type of person or thing but which is not true in reality.
STRATEGY: The process of planning something or carrying out a plan in a skillful way or a plan that is intended to achieve a particular purpose.
MANAGEMENT: This is the act of running and controlling a business or similar organization. It is also the skill of dealing with people or situations in a successful way.
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