The common aim of every business organization is to achieve growth, increase in turn over, assets and profit while that of non-profit have similar intention except for the sales of turnover. However, all of these depend on the public perception and goodwill of the organization otherwise known as image. A popular adage will say, “a good name is better than silver and diamond” i.e if one or an organisation has good reputation and integrity such could be entrusted for many good things which could in turn make one better or leave successfully. To business firm, good name is a soft selling no wonder some people pay heavily to buy franchise in another company because of the existing reputation.
Corporate image, or reputation, therefore, can be described as the manner in which a company, its activities, and its products or services are perceived by outsiders. In a competitive business climate, many businesses actively work to create and communicate a positive image to their customers, shareholders, the financial community, and the general public. A company that mismanages or ignores its image is likely to encounter a variety of problems. Reputation problems grow like weeds in a garden (Davis, 2014).
Dominique, (2002) says the concept of Corporate Image draws the company’s attention to the way in which it is perceived in the market. The market as mentioned contains the company itself. Of course, the companies are chiefly interested in what image their most important audience have of them. No matter how much or how well the company seeks to influence this, its image on the market usually never corresponds with the ideal as the managers wants it to be and as the employees perceive it.
Meanwhile, several factors have contributed to the increasing importance of corporate image in recent years. For example, the business climate worldwide has become one of environmental complexity and change. This has forced many business enterprises to significantly alter their strategies to better compete and survive. Other factors are stated below as highlighted by Reference for business (2015)
- The acceleration of product life cycles is another vital dimension of the turbulent business environment.
- Globalization has been still another catalyst in the rise of corporate image programs, as companies have sought ways to spread their reputations to distant markets.
- A related factor is that as a corporation expands its operations internationally, or even domestically, through acquisitions, there is a danger that its geographically dispersed business units will project dissimilar or contrary images to the detriment of corporate
- A final factor stimulating the current interest in corporate image is society’s growing expectation that corporations be socially responsible. Many of today’s consumers consider the environmental and social image of firms in making their purchasing.
In fact, if all organisations will suffer bad image, it should be a bank because only a credible bank can be entrusted with money because of the position occupies by the money in human society. People want to secure their money and that is why they are taken it to the bank therefore, the money must be well secured and get it as at when needed. It is against this background that the research examines the role of public relations in image branding of banks in Nigeria with a specific focus on First bank in Asaba metropolis.