Corporate image is under attack. After recent reports of accounting fraud, executive misconduct, and other questionable activities in corporate America the consumers have lost faith. To manage this loss of faith companies must rebuild consumer sentiment. To accomplish this, reputation management needs to be reassessed. The Harris-Fombrun Reputation Quotient assists in corporate image management by providing companies with an established approach to measure reputation and corporate image. Reputation is measured through: emotional appeal, products and services, financial performance, social responsibility, workplace environment, and vision and leadership. According to Harris Interactive, “your stakeholders’ reputation is your corporate reputation.” Emotional Appeal
“Emotional appeal isn’t easy to define, but you know it when you see it.” (Alsop) Emotional appeal is a powerful driver of corporate reputation. A positive emotional appeal allows customers to harbor good feelings like admiration, respect, and trust. A company’s reputation can be linked to the consumers’ emotional appeal. To appeal to the consumer you must focus on their wants and then their needs. According to Binnie Perper, emotion is stronger than intellect. Most people would rather indulge themselves with a desire than to fulfill a need. Many of the most important decisions in life are decided emotionally rather than logically. With this in mind it is important to aim the organizations message at the emotional side of the consumer's thought process. In general consumers do business with companies that they like so it is essential to forge a loyal bond and build growing relationships. When genuine bonding happens the customers inner needs are satisfied, which then generates respect and trust back to the organization. According to US News and World Report, “the public likes a company it can trust.” A good emotional appeal can create lasting relationships with customers that can endure even the hardest of times. Products and Services
When it comes to products and services corporate image can make or break a company. Corporate image is the essence of a company and its products and services are like its children. If the company is seen as bad or good this reflects on the success of its products or services. As Merilyn Seymann notes, “it is important to have a plan [which] becomes a blueprint for who you are and who you are not, what you do and what you do not do. It contains your vision-your reason for being and your missions and the goals that move you toward your vision.” (Seymann). For any company a mission statement can be the blueprint for what a company’s missions and goals will be. It is important to have a mission statement so if there are questionable products or services they can be measured to see if they parallel it.
A company’s services can create various effects when dealing with corporate image. Earnest Buggish works for a food service company called Corporate Image Dining Services. He says, “when people come into a corporate facility, how you display the food and how key people and staff present themselves—the uniform and the look is extremely important. (Buggish) Buggish’s quote is an excellent example of how service can affect people’s views of a company. If McDonald’s all the sudden had terrible service such as long waiting lines and unfriendly staff, people would no longer want to eat there. Therefore, service is a very important factor of corporate image. On the other hand a halo effect can occur. If a company’s services are very good, even though their products may not be the best, because of the excellent service people may see the products as being better than they actually are. Good products definitely help a company’s corporate image. Specifically strong product brands are very helpful in boosting a positive corporate image. Timothy Teran a director of consumer insights in Citigroup’s global...
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