Mental picture that springs up at the mention of a firm's name. It is a composite psychological impression that continually changes with the firm's circumstances, media coverage, performance, pronouncements, etc. Similar to a firm's reputation or goodwill, it is the public perception of the firm rather than a reflection of its actual state or position. Unlike corporate identity, it is fluid and can change overnight from positive to negative to neutral. Large firms use various corporate advertising techniques to enhance their image in order to improve their desirability as a supplier, employer, customer, borrower, etc. The image of Apple computer, for example, as a successful business has dimmed and brightened several times in the last 30 years. But its identity (conveyed by its name and multicolored bitten-off-apple logo) as an innovative and pathbreaking firm has survived almost intact during the same period.
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