What is the difference between corporate reputation and corporate image?


Could someone explain this to me, please?

It seems like everyone has a different answer to this question. Some say there is no difference, while others say there is a difference and then provide some esoteric explanation.

I have trouble grasping abstract concept so it would be really nice if someone could explain this to me in an manner.

In: Economics

Both are subjective. There might be distinctions that are relevant from a technical standpoint, but it hardly appears relevant to most people.

At least perhaps you can say the “image” is what the company wants to project and the “reputation” is what the public perceives of the company. This is a “difference without a distinction”, IMHO, unless you are in the field of advertising, marketing, PR or similar. (and if you ARE in the field, you probably wouldn’t be asking for an ELI5)

Well they go hand in hand, but are slightly different from each other. The corporate reputation is mostly earned by what and how a corporate does it‘s buisness. The corporate image is more what the corporation itself wants to be seen as. Monsanto as an example wants to be seen as a corporation that helps to feed the world by providing seeds, pesticides and so on to maximize production, this is the corporate image. The corporate reputation is that they indeed deliver well functionable products, but also to some extent don‘t give a shit on nature, that‘s the corporate reputation.

Image covers things like the general feeling or idea consumers have about the company based on their public “face” (e.g., Nike = sports, action, speed, athletic perseverance, etc.). Reputation is based on things that are generally related to the company’s business practices and things they actually do (so long as people know about them) and not necessarily what the company reports or tries to project (e.g., Nike = using child labor in foreign countries, intentionally pricing products at excessive levels to create rarity and being indifferent to the issues that may follow from that, like crime and violence).

Not saying these things are true about Nike, just using as examples. Also, there’s likely to be some overlap between reputation and image (see, e.g., Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream and their image and reputation as good corporate citizens, or Newman’s Own or Chobani).