Image is everything.
Some have said that the emergence of COVID -19, pandemic in the world is a blessing in disguise. While it has brought the meltdown of businesses and the world economy, it also made many people rich, and also widened the bottom line of many organizations. How about you?
More interestingly, business and all its concerns have moved up to an environment that was hitherto neglected or simply put underrated by so many organizations. Online presence was thought to be for the well to do organizations. That is, organizations that could afford the meals and means of online advertisement or for those who want to flaunt their wings. However, the tide has turned. If your business is not online then you will lose your relevance, credibility and even your customers to smaller organizations that get their axe right with an excellent online image branding and packaging. Specifically, the case of social distancing and every other regulation limiting movement and face to face contact has made many businesses find a soft landing or better put, another way of meeting their customers.
Consequently, there is an upsurge of many businesses online, creating an environment of what seems to be survival of the fittest online. This also means that organizations are not just online to keep customers but also there to remain relevant and to survive. This may not end soon when you consider that according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), these businesses which are non-oil sector businesses contribute about 80 to 91 percent of the GDP in the country and these businesses are competing for relevance especially online. It may also interest you to know that the internet has helped to create a community that offers a huge advantage when harvested well. In other words, it is connecting the world to a single point with people of different shapes and sizes, colours, tongues and tribes and business proposals meet, it is a big community of interest. According to internetworldstats.com about 58 % of the world population is internet users, Imagine what your organisation stands to gain if just a few percentages of these are in your radar.
What does this mean?
According to an online publication from biblio.ugent.be, it describes an organizational image as the people’s global impression of an organization and it is defined as the people’s loose structures of knowledge and beliefs about an organization, in other words, it represents the net cognitive reactions and associations of customers, investors, employees and applicants to an organizational name.
Your organization’s image online is worth more than a million dollars right now. If your organization wants to remain with the rest of the pack, it is best NOT to do anything to your image. But, if you want your brand to come out of the pack and become unique, relevant without trying to merely survive, it is EXPEDIENT to make your image a priority much more than any other profit, because it is what will sustain you after all. When your customers discover that your brand is true to its words, they will stick to you, like a spider to its web. What the persona online is looking for is EXPERIENCE that is unique and different from the normal.
Amazingly, the tools and techniques to make this happen are just what you are familiar with, but you probably have never considered it very useful. However, the first step to go is to do an image audit to know what people think about your organization currently online. This will help you to understand where you are and how you are doing presently online.
The most important collateral
Did you know that the most important collateral available to your organization online is your image? One of the major reasons why your online image matters is because trust is built with time when your image delivers favourably. Trust is probably the only thing a customer needs to be convinced to be loyal to your band. So, to keep your image tightly protected is to sustain the trust that your audience or your customer has for you.
According to AESPIRE.COM trust is the most important business and brand asset you manage, especially in relationships with customers, clients, employees and stakeholders. “Your brand must work to earn trust. Every interaction is an opportunity to build relationships and nature trust”. For instance, the image of an online shopping organization is in the balance today because people do not trust them anymore. There have been complaints that when you order an item you viewed and liked on their website, it’s another different thing altogether, on arrival.
Therefore, it is worthy to note that it is very expensive to buy back trust; you may need to spend much more than what you had spent marketing your brand. Consequently, your image is in doubt, because you are not delivering on your promises. Do everything to keep your image on track.
Mfon Udoh is a Communications Specialist, a Content Developer and a PR professional. He works with DOXA DIGITAL