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Building a corporate image is similar to building a personal reputation. Businesses, like people, develop a certain reputation among their customers, employees, shareholders, vendors, neighbors and even government agencies. Corporate image is the perception created by a business or corporation for a particular audience. Building corporate image can be as simple as following a few rules like striving to be honest and truthful, believing in a product or service, and planning to be successful. It is simple but may not always be easy, especially in a world where consumers tend to distrust or actively avoid large corporations.
Deciding from the beginning to be truthful in all aspects of a business is the single most important factor affecting the image of a corporation. Building corporate image on a foundation of truthfulness gives a business credibility with those outside the corporation and for those inside as well. The old saying "Honesty is the best policy" is especially true in business. Once a business has lost its credibility, it may be extremely difficult to restore. Corporations trade on their reputation, or corporate image, of honesty and trust. From the chief executive to the newest employee, the credibility and image of a corporation depend on how these people conduct themselves each day.
The quality of the services or products offered also have a great deal to do with successfully building corporate image. When a corporation produces a sub-standard product or service, it affects the entire corporation in a negative way. Employees must feel like the products or services they provide have real value and are helpful to the customer. This attitude of producing a solid product or service and providing value to customers starts at the very top levels of leadership in a corporation. Employees, vendors, shareholders, and organizations who associate themselves with a company whose corporate image indicates that it provides an honest value for its customers can only benefit.
For most companies, building a corporate image is in the hands of their employees. For example, a commercial airline may have fine looking aircraft, but the majority of an airline's corporate image lies with the employees who are seen by the public on every flight. An airline that encourages it's employees to interact with customers with humor, enthusiasm, and a positive attitude understands this. Restaurants are another example where the interaction between an hourly worker and the customer is the primary force in building a good corporate image. Perhaps the best tip for building corporate image is to make certain the employees treat everyone with the utmost respect.
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