2007: A year most notably known for the introduction of the iPhone, Jack Kevorkian’s release from prison, the Congressional Medal of Honor presented to the Dalai Lama and 2 Brandeblog entries entitled Culture Eats Strategy for Lunch, Part 1 and Part 2.
While we may think that Goldman Sachs became one of the world’s most successful investment banks because of aggressive business practices, Smith reveals that it was actually because of its employees. “[C]ulture was always a vital part of Goldman Sachs’ success,” Smith writes. Culture “was the secret sauce that made this place great and allowed us to earn our clients’ trust for 143 years.”
I just stumbled onto an interesting site, still in beta, called brandtags, a product of Solve Media. It’s not just a useful tool for brand research, but a fun guessing game as well.
3M, which makes everything from electrodes to multimedia projectors, is apparently still best-known for its Scotch Tape products; Sticky and Tape are among the largest words in its cloud, along with Good and Great. Perhaps there are some passionate fans of adhesives who visit the site?
I would have thought that airlines would have a tough time with an anonymous audience allowed to post any words that came to mind, including profanity. But American Airlines receives compliments like Awesome, Cool, Good, and OK. Words like Sucks and Late are comparatively small in the world cloud.
Maybe people were saving their wrath for banks. Bank of America’s biggest word is simply Bank. Close behind is Money, along with Red and Blue, the brand’s colors. But a wide variety of negative terms can be found throughout the word cloud: Corrupt, Terrible, Dishonest, Bankrupt, Evil, Bailout. The public wasn’t any more kind to Goldman Sachs, where Crooks, Evil, and Greedy are as large as Banking, Financial, and Investments.
Compare that to Zappos, which has a virtual thesaurus of positive words: Cute, Beautiful, Best, Nice, Comfortable, Amazing, Fun. As with any brand, there are also some negative sentiments, but they’re buried in the cloud of compliments.
Adidas seems to have a clear branding path, as its three most popular terms are Sport, Sports, and Sporty. No one seems to have a problem with Kellogg’s, either, which gets plenty of votes for Crunchy, Delicious, Yummy, and Healthy.
Brandtags turns this feature around to create a guessing game; visitors are given a brand’s word cloud and must guess the brand. For example, given terms like Car, Foreign, Dependable, Great, and Japan, would you have guessed Toyota or Honda? Either way, you’d be wrong — the answer is Subaru.
Solve Media explains that “a brand exists entirely in people’s heads, therefore a brand is whatever they say it is. Brandtags is a place where people can share their opinions about brands freely, and brand owners can learn how their brands are viewed.” I suggest all brand managers and branding agencies check in with brandtags to get a clear, honest view of what people think of brands.
BP was responsible for the worst oil spill in history. Among its many consequences were some drastic effects on the company’s talent acquisition. How did the BP careers site change both during and after the disaster?
Coke and Pepsi were invented in the same part of the country, eight years apart. But Interbrand values Coke at $71.8 billion, while Pepsi is valued at only $14.5 billion. The products are virtually identical, so what’s the $55 billion difference?
What do the employer brand taglines of Google, Marriott, ENGlobal, and the Virginia National Guard all have common? And why is that a bad thing?
Discover the answers to these and other questions at Brands Undercover: A Behind-the-Scenes Look at Authentic Employer Branding in the Digital World.
Hosted by the President of Brandemix, Jody Ordioni, this hour-long presentation is a funny and honest look at how major companies are succeeding, and failing, at employer branding. Whether you’re beginning your branding efforts or re-branding a well-known name, Jody’s insights will ensure that your brand is clear, consistent, and compelling.
Register now for this FREE event, which includes a complimentary breakfast.
Monday, March 19, from 8:30-10:30 a.m. at the New York Times Building in NYC.
We hope to see you there!
Fortune magazine just released its list of 100 Best Companies to Work For. But while many news outlets and job boards are covering the main list, the magazine’s researchers compiled some very detailed and segmented data. And I found some patterns emerging on why certain companies have created authentic employer brands as great places to work.
It’s Not Just About Money
Amazingly, 27 of the companies give hourly workers an average annual pay of under $40,000. That includes Men’s Wearhouse, CarMax, Aflac, and Starbucks. Five of the companies, including Nordstrom and General Mills, pay annual salaries of less than $50,000. And yet they beat out hundreds of other, better-paying firms to make Fortune’s list. Obviously these companies have great employer branding and are attracting and engaging employees in other ways. Which brings us to…
Uniting Employees in Unique Ways
One of the lists on the Fortune site is called Unusual Perks, naming some clever benefits that improve employee satisfaction. Among them is NetApp, which offers a basketball court, volleyball court, and massage rooms. Alston & Bird provides free Spanish classes. The Southern Ohio Medical Center features an employee-run vegetable garden. FactSet Research brings local food trucks to its offices, along with free lunches and weekly summer barbecues. And Pricewaterhouse Coopers offers a Mentor Moms program, pairing up expectant mothers with other moms at the company.
What do these top-10 perks have in common? For one, they all bring employees together. Whether they’re eating, learning, planting, or playing, all these perks have a communal aspect that helps build teamwork and camaraderie. Compare that to #4 Wegmans’ free holiday coupon books, which employees use to buy products on their own. Nice, but how does that improve the workplace?