Many people confuse the concept of image (in relation to the company) and business reputation. In this article, we will tell you what distinguishes these two terms.
Reputation is a characteristic of an individual (or company) that determines the perception and expectations of other people (customers, partners, etc.) concerning the behavior of that person (or company) while the image is the “picture” oriented towards the general public and mass consciousness. Image is what marketers are working on, sustainable associations they want to achieve in the minds of customers and potential customers.
Reputation defines the characteristics of a person or a company. In the business world, it is customary to judge by deeds rather than words. Business partners want to know what the company is (reputation), not what it wants to look like (image).
The truth is that any business needs to work on both – image and reputation.
Image of a single product and entire business, as we have already noted, is what marketers deal with. They must be able to sell both goods/services and the brand itself. Reputation, on the other hand, is the lot of managers and overall performance. Reputation cannot be bought or drawn as an image. You need to work on it. Respect and trust are to be earned. Reputation is created over the years of work.
Another important thing to take into account is that an image must match the reputation. When creating an advertisement (image), it is important to understand that it must correspond to the real content because attracting customers and partners using effective advertising is only half of the success, you need to be able to keep it, and reputation comes first. Apple Inc is a good example. They do their best to create the image of a super-technological and innovative company that offers a unique product. If their image did not correspond to the reputation of a manufacturer of reliable and high-quality products, the company would never be so successful. In this case, image corresponds to the reputation.
Let us sum up. The image of your company is the image you want to impose on the customers and partners, an association that should work in their heads every time they hear the name of your company. The image is a candy wrapper. And reputation is a candy, what customers really see, the essence of your business. For successful business promotion, you need to work on them both.