EFFICIENT CORPORATE IMAGE MANAGEMENT AS A STRATEGY FOR ENHANCING PROFITABLITY

(A CASE STUDY OF PHINOMAR NIGERIA LIMITED NGWO)

 

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ABSTRACT

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 as 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 Phinomar Nigeria Limited, Ngwo  was therefore undertaken.

The findings revealed that:

  1. Phinomar Nigeria Limited has a laid down corporate image policy though not effectively managed.
  2. Strategies employed to promote corporate image are limited.
  3. Response to Phinomar products is fairly high, hence it can be said to be profitable.
  4. Employee welfare and work environment need improvement.
  5. Phinomar needs to increase the scope of its social responsibility.
  6. Phinomar needs a well-managed corporate image, which should be reviewed periodically for improvement.
  7. Customers’ response to Phinomar product is high.
  8. Communication among workers in Phinomar Nigeria Limited is not adequate.
  9. Phinomar Nigeria Limited lays emphasis on public relations.

LIST OF TABLES

 

1.       Return of questionnaires

2.       Determination of the qualities Phinomar possesses.

3.       Determination of strategies Phinomar adopts to communicate its products.

4.       Summary of tables on Phinomar corporate image records

5.       Customers response to Phinomar products.

6.       Computed theoretical frequencies in respect of customers response to Phinomar product

7.       Communication with Phinomar

8.       Computed theoretical frequencies in respect of communication within Phinomar

9        The emphasis laid on public relations by business organization in Nigeria.

10.     Computed theoretical frequencies in respect of the emphasis laid on public relations by business organization in Nigeria.

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

CHAPTER ONE – INTRODUCTION

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

References

CHAPTER TWO – REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE

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 Phinomar Nig. Ltd.

References

 

CHAPTER THREE – RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODOLOGY

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            Validity of the instrument

3.7            Reliability of the instrument

3.8            Methods of data collection

3.9            Method of data analyses

CHAPTER FOUR – DATA PRESENTATION AND ANALYSIS

4.1            Presentation and analysis of data

4.2            Testing of Hypothesis

4.3            Summary of Results

CHAPTER FIVE – DISCUSSION, RECOMMENDATION AND

CONCLUSIONS

5.1            Discussion of result findings

5.2            Conclusions

5.3            Implications of the research findings

5.4            Recommendations

5.5            Suggestions for further research

Bibliography

CHAPTER ONE

1.0            INTODUCTION

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. The  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 hardheaded 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 left in the hands of the public relations 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 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 management 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 unimpressible 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 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 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 phinomar Nigeria Limited Ngwo, focusing on:

i.        To find out if Phinomar Nigeria Limited attaches importance to corporate image promotion

 

  1. To find out the strategies they adopt to promote corporate image.
  2. To find out if the company has department responsible for creating image for the company.

iv.    To find out if such strategies can contribute to profitability in the organization.

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 effective corporate image promotion in phinomar. Various public – customers, supplied, stockholders, bankers, potential investors, competitors, government officials and the general public.

Ahamefula Uzoma writing under the caption: “Motivation and Management styles” in Pita Ejiofor (1989:172) noted, “organizations often desire to inform the public through press release speeches, and participation in outside functions by management personnel on what would be of interest to them. With a view of ensuring that they present a public image favourable to the organization’.

 

CORPORATE IDENTITY.

Corporate identity according to Advance Learner’s Dictionary is the idea people have of a company marquis (1970:2)defined corporate identity as “that part of image that can be seen or heard. It is evey tangible mark of identity to all vehicles, objects, and means of communication on which the corporate identity is displayed.

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 Kungen (1975:31) may be in the nature of either aggressive strategy (the first on the market with an advanced product) or defensive strategy (following the leading firm in the particular branch) or absorption strategy (acquisition of advanced technology for further development)

 

PROFITABLITY

Peter Drucker (1977:89) defined profitability as “a measurement of how well the business discharges its functions in serving market and customers”

 

 

 

1.4     SCOPE OF THE STUDY

Frankly speaking, this study focuses on effective corporate image management as a strategy for enhancing profitability in Phinome Nigeria Limited Ngwo, 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 hoe its products and services are patronized, and any organization whose image have been soiled or smeared with mourned can hardly make it in the business would, which is dynamic in nature. i.e, its rate of subjection to change have posed a great danger to organizations that are static or that pay deaf ear to its changing environment, instead of readjusting itself a way as 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)     How has efficient corporate image management contributed to the enhancement of profitability in your organisation

2)     Why is efficient corporate image management important in increasing profitability in your organisation

3)     What  factors necessitate efficient corporate image management.

4)     What impact dose efficient corporate create in enhancing profitability

 

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