Advertising and the Mind of the Consumer: What Works, What Doesn't, and Why

By Max Sutherland | Go to book overview

24 CORPORATE TRACKING OF IMAGE
AND ISSUES

Figure 24.1:What do you see?

Look at the figure. I want you to think of the thing in the middle as a company. What do you see? You see the number 13 of course. Think of it as company 13. Note that it is surrounded by companies 17 and 21. Now read on and we will see the relevance of this when we come back to it later.

We saw in an earlier chapter that the same person, brand or company can be seen in different ways depending on the frame of reference we bring to it.

Image is elusive. Your own image stares you in the face every morning, but do you have in your mind's eye the way you see yourself or the way others see you? Clothes, cosmetics, possessions and reputation can sometimes perform startling transformations of image and completely change the way others perceive us. Image is in the eye of the beholder!

The opponents of corporate image and corporate advertising argue that this is irrelevant for companies; that people buy products, they buy brands, but they don't buy companies. Even if it were true that corporate image has no effect on consumer behavior, how people perceive the company would still be important because a well-known and well-respected company will always enjoy advantages in at least two nonconsumer markets.

First, it will attract and retain better quality employees. A well-known and well-respected company is very different from a nonentity. When you are asked where you work, the importance of a corporate image is quickly apparent. If there is an instant recognition of the name and what it stands

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