For a business, image refers to the general idea that the public has of a product, brand or company. Image is a perception – in the mind of the viewer. Perceptions can vary. At it’s simplest a company’s image is what makes it stick in the minds of potential customers.
In some cases however a business might be interested in creating a specific, rather than general, image of itself. In particular it might seek to develop an image in the future that is totalling different to any general perception now. For example a change to image might the prime reason for using another location for business. In addition a specific image may not necessarily be directed at customers and it might target a different audience.
What is a company “image” and why is it important?
An image is conveyed by the company’s logos, its artistic designs, creative advertising and Web site. However it goes much deeper than that. The look of your image backs up the corporate culture you have established inside and outside your business. Your image is what you want to convey about yourself, your business, your product, your work ethic, and your professionalism. It is combined with the strategy you have included in plans to develop your business.
Normally image is important as it instantly tells all your customers and vendors what kind of company you are running. If your image is excellent, it will make your company stand out from its competitors.
Thus a planned development of image is normally directed at remedying a poor general perception of a company and its products. In contrast a specific development of image can be directed at a major change or even a new start.
Changing or developing image
Using another location for business
There can be many reasons for buying and operating a company that is resident in another country – specifically a country other than the one where you are resident. However using another location for business is usually for good commercial reasons and these can include:
- to avoid disclosure to competitors of the ultimate owner or sources of the business
- marketing, branding and customer perception issues
- to use a preferred location for banking and transaction management.
Essentially, the reasons noted above, all relate to a location change made for image purposes. That involves taking on the identity of another country or culture to show operations are for example “European” or from a country with an improved reputation for design, quality or performance.
Related to this is the idea that image is enhanced by association with third parties resident in the country, for example banks, advisors, and key service providers such as insurance, shipping lines and others. In this context we consider banking from the UK as a most important enhancement of image.
Seeing an English face
A company registered in England can be perceived as English, British, European, western, imperial, historical, fashionable, and much more. However it is the values attributed to those perceptions that provide the “face.”
Products purchased through England or sourced from English companies can be associated with fashion styles or quality image.
Companies registered in England could gain advantage through adopting the probity, accountability and respectability offered by operations from the UK as a long established and visibly regulated jurisdiction in Europe.
For others international trading partners could be more confident in trading with a country considered safer with lower risk of political change or economic disruption.
These apparent contradictions can be easily revealed on enquiry or simply highlighted by operational contacts. Having a structure to support an English face is often overlooked. More significantly the reasons for buying a company can be undermined by lack of attention to the face.
How can we help?
In terms of advice towards the image of an English face our clients can benefit from our primary advantage – that we are located in the UK, at the centre of the World’s time zones, using English as the dominant language in commercial systems for international trade. Moreover we are experienced in working with international colleagues and their perceptions.
We also have professional skills in consulting, management, accounting and related legal matters and understand how these are applied to influence image.
However of more relevance is that those skills extend to experience in the design of Web sites – including multi-lingual presentations.
In addition some our accreditations can be applied to our support to client interests. For example our ISO certifications can enhance quality image.