1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
A company’s product as such is no longer the chief media projecting its image. Count more today is the public posture 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: 1970).
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 reaction. In the same vein, the corporate image of any organisation has to be steer to change to correspond in response to the demands of its ever changing business public, marketing them aggressively, paying fair wages to the employees, and even paying taxes, etc. is not just enough to maintain to competitive edge. There is 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 organisation? 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 regulation have brought corporate reputations into public view and cause executive 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 good will. The critical importance of corporate image becomes apparent when consumers protest provokes, from large organization series of explanations and apologies for the faults they are accused companies must therefore give to finance. Marketing and research in the table of rapid, social and technological change. Other wise, it cannot expect the command public respect and support in the market place.
To live and grow, the 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 of the fundamental objectives of management and all its activities will be programmed to that end.
Staged 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 determination 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. They identified four types of resources available to companies, system resources and intangible resources.
Explaining the intangibles, Scholes and Klem observed that “many organization have significant strength in intangible assets such as, image or brand name. The value of intangible resources should not be under rated. Infact, in many service companies, these intangible can be the key asset of the company. Potential purchase of money for this “goodwill” underlying their real value. Finally, 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 corporate personality efficiently is mainly communicating company’s objectives, beliefs, reputation and achievements to its public 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 business 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 comprises economic, social, political cultural, government, technological, while internal forces comprises the top management employee, task forces and public environment which is made up of the firms several public.
For an organization to remain in business, it has to help to shape its environment because of the rapid change that the organisation’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 there by 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 organization 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 attitude and reactions, the corporate image itself should be constantly and efficiently promoted.
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 brand in the market to make it distinctively different and much more desirable. For 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 favourable image of all organizations, but with particular reference to Phinomar Nigeria Limited Ngwo sequel to the above, the following objectives have been carefully deliveated by the researcher for achievement.
i. To find out if Phinomar Nigeria Limited attaches importance to corporate image promotion.
- To identify the strategies they adopt to promote corporate image.
- To ascertain if the company has department responsible for creating image for the company.
- To determine to what extent has the image of the company contributed to the profitability of the firm.
- To find out the method used in maintaining good corporate image.
The survey would sample the views and opinions of both management and employees of company on the above – mentioned problems and with information gathered. Suggest solutions to the problems, which would lead to efficient corporate image promotion in Phinomar.
1.4 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
In this case, the study focuses on efficient corporate image management as a strategy for enhancing profitability in Phinomar Nigeria Limited Ngwo, tends 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 how its products and service are patronized, and any organization whose image have been soiled or smeared with mould can hardly make it in the business world which is dynamic in nature. Change have posed a great danger to organization that are statioc its changing environment, instead of readjusting 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 the research work will make it a huge success.
1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
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. Places the bane of organization is the inefficient and ineffective application of management principles leading to poor management. Principles leading to poor management. The issue here is that the managerial function are not being properly performed. Planning, for instance, which contains the image programme is taken for granted in many Nigeria business enterprises.
This has been responsible for the poor performance in the Nigeria public and private sectors. In profit oriented organization, emphasis is placed more on profit objectives. Ignoring modern philosophies in management.
1.6 LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
Conducting a research of this nature is not without some constraints. Among the constraints is the fact that scanty work has been done on the subject under study. As a result, it affects the volume of information obtained from the secondary data. Other constraints include, time, finance, bias, and un-corporative attitude of some staff members. These factors largely limited the amount of information at the disposal of the research. Time and finance constraints, for instance made it difficult for the research to reach other audience intended such as the company’s shareholders, and customers.
1.7 RESEARCH QUESTION
The following research questions would be necessary to make this research a success.
- Do Phinomar Nigeria Limited attach importance to corporate image promotion?
- Has the image of Phinomar Nigeria Limited contributed to the organization profitability?
- Do they have department responsible for creating image for the organization?
- Does corporate image of Phinomar Nigeria Limited Ngwo more than a product of public relations?
- Does their corporate image show them their management is progressive?
1.8 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 Phinomar products is not high.
HI: Customers response to Phinomar products is high.
Ho: Corporate image of Phinomar Nigeria Limited Ngwo is not
more than a product of public relation.
Ho: Corporate image of Phinomar Nigeria Limited Ngwo is more than a product of public relation.
1.9 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 wast 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 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 situation in a successful way.
Marquis, H. H., (1970); The Changing Corporate Image, American Management Association Inc. pp. 7.
Aaker and Myers, J. G. (1975); Advertising Management, New Jersey: Prentice Hall Inc. pp. 138.
Drucker, P. (1977); Management tasks responsibilities and Practices, London: Heinemann. Pp. 95
Ejiofor, P. (1989); Foundation of Business Administration, Ibadan: African Publishers Ltd. p. 179..