Issue: Sep 2005


Maintaining corporate image



With globalisation comes the challenge of controlling a company’s corporate image around the world – and often in the same workplace.

by Ed Richardson

With globalisation comes the challenge of controlling a company’s corporate image around the world – and often in the same workplace.
Take five or six business cards from individuals in the same company and it would be unusual to find that they all match. This is important as consistency in the use of the corporate brand helps to maintain the image and integrity of a company.
“Company success is often directly linked to the perception that the public has regarding that company. Image is key, and appropriate, high quality stationery creates a favourable impression,” says Jenny Bell, a director of businesscard.co.za, which offers its printing services in an expanding number of countries around the world.
Established on the principle of developing “synergistic opportunities between e-commerce and conventional printing needs,” businesscard.co.za is a South African printing company which provides business cards, letterheads, and continuation sheets for correspondence, envelopes and compliment slips as a solution for consistent brands
“The importance of Corporate Identity (CI) compliance within big companies such as BMW South Africa remains an important aspect of retaining the brand values associated with the company,” says Allan Nissenbaum, Manager of Corporate Identity and Facility Planning at BMW Group SA. The BMW Group SA, as well as Fiat Auto Africa and most recently, General Motors S.A. have all adopted the company’s solution for consistent branding and have extended the system to their dealers. “The consistency we gain from the adoption of this businesscard.co.za solution is extremely important to us especially as we have the dual brands of Alfa Romeo and Fiat to handle nationally together with the associated dealer network,” commented Mari Kershaw, General Manager of Network Development at Fiat Auto South Africa.
Businesscard.co.za, which adheres to international printing standards, provides a convenient and user-friendly online system for businesses requiring corporate stationery items. Initially, clients are taken through processes to state the design and requirements of their corporate stationery. Once clients have approved the design, they are allocated a login to the website and can start placing orders. “The user has full control of all variable information entered into the website,” says Bell. The data entered via the website is then stored on the businesscard.co.za’s database as a future reference for when the client decides to place another order. “The implicit central data base and control that the online configuration offers, ensures that CI compliance is maintained with the least amount of effort,” notes Nissenbaum.
The system also adheres to the company’s stated specifications – from the fonts to the colours right through to the paper type and graphics. “All company templates are stored in our 128bit secure database for future use,” says Bell. She adds that all of printed items are quality checked by businesscard.co.za staff prior to their delivery to any client.
Through preventing delays and costs, the company is able to deliver the final product at faster rates. “The technology that we are now utilising, makes short runs possible, thus removing the need to keep stock, which in many cases historically, became obsolete and was subsequently scrapped,” explains Bell. Businesscard.co.za also provides monthly management reports to corporate clients which allows cost centre and divisional spend to be allocated quickly and easily, according to Bell.
"The convenience of this system was one of the key reasons for our decision to go with businesscard.co.za. It is so easy for any of our retailers to log in and place orders," said a General Motors South Africa's Dealer Development representative. "This new solution eliminates one of our major administration nightmares, thus increasing our effectiveness and efficiency; and does much to enhance our image in the marketplace."
Although businesscard.co.za is already represented in many countries, they are looking to expand their client base, particularly in Europe.


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