Key Concepts in Corporate Communication
Case Study: Corporate Identity, Image, and Corporate Reputation – Tata Group
Tata is the oldest and largest sector private business entity. It was founded in 1868, a conglomerate organization which has more than 100 companies with an approximate turnover of $70 bn. Companies across sectors such as Beverages, Hotels, Jewellery, Cars and Trucks, Chemicals, IT, Consultancy, Steel, Retailing and many more. Tata is identified in India as an organization which has “Leadership with Trust” and nation company. It is famous for its strategy, operations, and functional autonomy. The Tata brand embodies values that are shared by all companies in the group.
However, many of Tata’ brand does not use the name of Tata but created their own image like Trent, Taj Hotels, Tetley Tea, Tanishq etc. When Tata group was founded at that time it was founded with a purpose of creating and spreading wealth in order to strengthen Indian nation and economy.
Before 1991, Tata was not keen to expand at international level as its brand is rooted in India and with Indian culture and roots. But, Ratan Tata, the founder decided to bring change and aspired to be a global company. (So here, Tata wanted to bring its global reputations).
In 2000, Tata made its first big acquisitions of Tetley tea, Britain’s leading brands. However, it was not that a great one. But, in 2007, Tata Steel acquired Corus and in 2008, Tata Motors acquired Jaguar Land Rover and established Tata as a global reputed brand. Since 2005, Tata group did acquisitions in Europe, Asia, and North America.
Tata handles its acquisitions pragmatically. Tata, still today go ahead with traditional values and not compromise in favor of global growth and don’t spoil its favorite brands as well.
- Corporate identity is the base of any product.
- Corporate image is built over the years and it is rooted.
- Corporate reputation requires strategy and operations.
Thus, the key concept in corporate communication to build the corporate image, corporate identity, and reputation.
Corporate identity is often viewed as composed of three parts:-
- Corporate Image (Logos, Uniforms, Colours etc.)
- Corporate Communication (Advertising, Public Relations and information etc.)
- Corporate Behaviour (Internal values, norms etc.)
Corporate identity is the “persona” of a corporation which is designed to facilitate the business objectives. It connects with the audience and makes them aware of it. The corporate title, logo, colors develop a sense of belongingness.
E.g. Google always changes its shape and color because it wants to portray as a modern company. MacDonald’s has “M” logo and the color combination of yellow and red appears consistently through its packaging and advertising. The puppy dogs in Vodafone advertisement is consistent throughout its launch and it talks about connecting people with a red background.
Thus, the visual identity is crucial to known because it talks about the ambition of an organization, its business and characteristics.
Why Corporate Identity is important:-
- It provides visibility and recognition to brand
- It provides support role to corporate reputation
- It gives corporate visual identity structure
- It relates organization as a whole.
Corporate Image is the perception held by an organization by the various stakeholders in the company (like investors, customers, vendors & government), public and the society at large. It need not reflect the actual position but rather it is a view that the society has about the company. It is simply the impression that comes to the mind when one comes across the name of the company. The company can form their impression either by branding promotion, launching advertisement campaigns, interaction with media, communication with customers at different levels etc.
E.g. ITC which attempts to build an image of being a socially responsible company. Through its various initiatives like solid waste management, using energy from renewable sources, getting their hotels to be LEED® certified etc.
There are various factors which play a crucial role to build the corporate image such as:-
- Quality and Price of the products – e.g. Wrangler, Spykar jeans, Basmati Rice, Tanishq Jewellery.
- Safety of the product: – Bosch, Led bulbs, Schlender Electricals products.
- Dealer relationship and the attitude of dealer towards the company e.g. Maruti Suzuki’s dealer Sai Service prompt to remind customers about their due, maintenance etc.
- Discounts, Credit facilities and after sales – Eureka Forbes, Reliance Jio’s mobile phones
- Advertising and Ad companies and the logo used – tagline of different products also create the image of a company like Cadbury – Is Deewali Khushiyan Le Chelo”, Domino’s Pizza – Apne bola aur humne banaya”, “Tata Namak – Desh ka Namak” etc.
- Press Publicity of any product eg. Maggi’s PR Exercise to bring back its image
- Discharging of social responsibility E.g. P& G, Ariel, Surg, Johnson & Johnson and Patanjali.
- Consumer service and people welfare
- Company contribution in regard to rural development and ecology balance
- Attitude towards people and masses E.G. Uber, HDFC bank seva for senior citizens
- The financial position of the company management practice and social economic objectives of the company.
Why do we need a positive image:-
- The positive image of the company helps to increase their sales.
- It helps to have a good business growth.
- It develops consumer brand loyalty
- It effectively faces adverse business environment.
- It brings the support of masses and retains their customers.
(Fombrun and van Riel, 1997):- A corporate reputation is a collective representation …It gauges a Firm’s relative standing both internally with employees and externally with its stakeholders …
Thus, in the above light of definition, the corporate reputation is based on 3 areas i.e. reputation of awareness of the product, a reputation of the product on the basis of public opinion and surveys and the opinion of consumers about the product and its utility to build the capital for an organization.
Advantage of good Corporate Reputation:-
- A company which has a good value and reputation always being preferred by their consumers like Mahindra & Mahindra, HUL, Patanjali, Dabur, Tata and many more.
- It helps a company to improve their financial performance and good returns.
- It connects with masses and earns public sympathy and attention.
- It attracts top talent – According to corporate reputation magazine survey report, 86 percent of women and 67 percent of men who were unemployed said they would not join a company with a bad reputation. Only 67 percent of those surveyed said they would take a job with a company with a poor reputation for more money. Meanwhile, a resounding 92 percent said they would leave their current role for a company with an excellent corporate reputation. In addition, a Hill & Knowlton survey found 83 percent of MBA students said a company’s reputation was extremely or very important to them when choosing an employer.
- It builds the confidence of masses on companies and helps them to get longer tenure.
Thus, corporate communication combines media relations, investor relations, and corporate branding and works closely with the CEO to articulate his vision for the company to external and internal stakeholders. In that aspects, the corporate communication is well aligned with international practices.
- (Source: – https://www.ft.com/content/8e553742-136c-11e0-a367-00144feabdc0)
- Fernandez Joseph (2004) – Corporate Communications A 21st Century Primer published by Response Books.
- Mascarenhas Romeo S. (2016) – Corporate Communication & Public Relations published by Vipul Prakashan.