What Are the Benefits of Company Image in Advertising?
Some marketing campaigns focus on getting customers to perform a specific action -- for example, to purchase an item or invest in a service. Other marketing efforts aim to develop the image of a company as a whole. Called institutional or corporate advertising, the goal is to create and strengthen a brand identity and then use that image to help the business reap a specific benefit.
Developing a company image through advertising allows businesses to develop brand awareness. For example, suppose a new furniture company wants to target high-income demographics. Its advertisements might feature numerous symbols of luxury -- fancy homes, for example, or fine wine and food -- to lend an aura of richness to its products. If the advertisements work, potential customers will perceive the furniture company as a high-end manufacturer, not necessarily because its products are high quality, but because of the image the advertisements fostered. As brand awareness develops, customers will begin to seek out the manufacturer's products.
Cohesive Brand Identity
If all of a company’s advertisements follow a single theme, the result will be a cohesive brand identity. For example, suppose a clothing manufacturer wants to develop an image that draws in young, professional women, its target demographic. If some of the company’s advertisements feature symbols likely to appeal to blue-collar, middle-aged men, the mixed messages would water down the effect of its advertisements aimed at women. But if all the clothing manufacturer’s advertisements stuck with a single theme, appealing to young women, the unified image would generate interest where it matters most.
A company can use its image to promote a social agenda with advocacy advertising. Essentially, the company creates an advertising campaign to present its views in a favorable light, with the goal of fostering goodwill for the cause. For example, suppose the public will vote on a controversial piece of legislation in an upcoming election. A company might use its image to support the position it favors with a series of advertisements. Such an effort can backfire, of course, if the company stands to gain financially from whatever action it is endorsing.
Countering Negative Opinion
Companies also can use advocacy advertising to counter a negative public image. For instance, tobacco companies used advocacy advertising to foster a positive public image after losing multiple class-action lawsuits and being roundly criticized for marketing to children, according to the book “Marketing,” by Charles W. Lamb and colleagues