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BRANDE : blog archives for December 2016

December 9, 2016

Employer Branding Resources

December 2, 2016

What Is Brand Research? (And Why Should You Do It?)

So you’ve read my post “Four Signs You’re Ready to Rebrand” and answered “yes” to one or more of the questions. Time to design a new logo, right?

 

Wrong. The first step in the process, and the most important, is conducting brand research. 

What Is Brand Research (And Why Should You Do It?)

Before you can embark on the exciting and sometimes painful process of re-branding, you need to go beyond theory and acquire actionable knowledge- game-changing insights that can steal market share and drive sustainable business results. That requires brand research. 

It’s safe to assume that in your personal or professional life, you don’t make important decisions without doing  due diligence, so why should your brand deserve anything less?

Don’t drink your own Kool-Aid. Don’t rely on a one-rat lab study. Put together a solid plan incorporating some of these tried and true techniques:

 

1. Qualitative Research (aka “Qual”)

Bring in a small sampling of the “right” types of people and do a focus group, or in-depth interview, online or as a telephone campaign. The questions are open-ended and the answers are subjective. A trained moderator (like me) will probe for deeper perceptions, opinions, and feelings about your topic. Emotional drivers, not rational ones, are what we’re zeroing in on since branding is all about creating emotional connections. We recommend 360 branding that involves both external (consumer) and internal (employee) elements, so you’ll want groups of consumers, vendors, employees, and senior leadership in the mix.
 

2. Quantitative Research (aka “Quant”)

This is most effective when used to validate the findings of your qualitative study. It’s much more objective because well-crafted questions deliver unbiased answers. You can conduct some quantitative research surveys through online tools like SurveyMonkey or Zoomerang. But the trick is getting the right analysis from the data. Make sure that you get a good sample pool by surveying across geography, age, incomes, and skill sets (for employee research).

3. Ideation Workshops

These are useful in creating corporate mission and purpose statements, launching new products or product extensions, or simply taking research findings to the next stage of development. It provides a structured forum for collective brainstorming (where there are no bad ideas!) and can be augmented with trend-panels and outside thought-leaders. Invite 10-20 of your closest multidisciplinary stakeholders for an off-site retreat and let the brand games begin. 

Don’t Try This Yourself

I recommend bringing in an outside party to conduct any type of research. For qualitative, it helps to have an outsider who isn’t afraid of the truth, and who can turn negative discussions into positive opportunities without feeling personally attacked. For quantitative, it helps reassure both internal and external participants that the results are anonymous. Conducting the research off-site also helps persuade subjects to be completely honest instead of just reciting the party line.


Evaluating It All

Since it’s more art than science, analysis is where real branding experts really shine. (There are three sides to every story.) Agencies like Brandemix use the latest tools and technology to analyze the data to create unique messaging and marketing plans that resonate with fragmented groups. It takes experience, insight, and creativity to turn research into tangible business results.
 

Goals

• The first goal is to simply get to truth. How do people really feel about your brand?

• The next goal is align the findings with your company’s mission, vision, and values. If it’s an employer brand, you want to align it with your consumer brand.

 • The third goal is to find your niche, your “white space,” where you can deliver something that no one else can. Again, this applies to both internal and external branding.

 • Another goal is to look at your “As-Is,” your current situation, and to find what opportunities are available to you. Also, what can you learn from your “wannabe’s”? If you “wannabe” like Starbucks, in what ways can you emulate their successes?

In Conclusion

Brand research professionals have more tools available now than ever before. There is no best way to craft the perfect research plan. It’s through careful consideration of objectives, timeline, and budget that a sensible plan emerges. The answers can be painful, and every answer can lead to two more questions, but every question can lead to new opportunities to capture market share in ways never before considered. 

That’s why we do it! Let us do it for you.

November 14, 2016

Join Us in Giving Back This Thanksgiving, with Kiva

Help empower people around the world with a micro loan.

Many organizations have believed in Brandemix to assist with their branding, marketing, and recruiting needs.
During this time of year, we feel it’s important to give thanks for that trust and to give back as well.
That’s why, every year for Thanksgiving, we make a contribution to Kiva, a nonprofit organization that enables anyone to extend microloans — as little as $25 — to low-income entrepreneurs in struggling communities across the globe.
We chose Kiva out of many other microlending sites because 80% of its recipients are women, who are sometimes single-handedly supporting large families. As a certified woman-owned business enterprise, Brandemix believes in strengthening women around the world.
Kiva loan recipients from Brandemix
No matter how difficult our lives at the moment, people are suffering far more in many places – too many – across the world. Please take the time to visit www.kiva.org and give to the worthy cause of your choice. It’s not charity; it’s a loan, and more than 98% of Kiva recipients repay the loan with interest.
Lending through Kiva creates desperately needed capital in some of the poorest parts of the globe. It bypasses corrupt governments and predatory banks and ensures that the money goes directly to those who will use it. When the loan is repaid, you can give the money to another entrepreneur, donate it to Kiva’s general fund, or simply withdraw it. It’s a great way to give. And while you’re there, join the Brandemix lending team.
We hope you’ll join our efforts to fight poverty around the world and here in the US. From all of us here at Brandemix, happy Thanksgiving and always be giving.
November 1, 2016

Five Ways To Use Snapchat To Drive Employee Engagement

snapchat-700x467Snapchat embraces and champions the ephemeral nature of communication in a landscape that is saturated with it. Snap a pic or a vid, send it to a friend, and moments after being viewed it self-destructs into the ether forevermore. We’re talking about communication that both originates from and elicits an immediate emotional response, as opposed to a long and drawn-out intellectual consideration. For this reason, snapchatting is free of the anxiety surrounding traditional forms of communication. Perhaps this is why the once-spurned app is so popular today.

How can employers use this hugely popular social app to educate, motivate, and inspire employees, transforming them into full-fledged brand ambassadors? Could Snapchat be your most powerful tool to drive employee engagement? Only one way to know. Here are five ways you can test it out.

1) Company culture in a snap

Snapchat gives employers an opportunity to learn how to share knowledge in new and exciting ways. Use it to promote and celebrate your company culture from within. Create and share compelling “stories” that capture what life is like at your workplace. Use it to focus staff attention on specific messages and goals. Embrace and encourage the idea of employees creating internal communications that are fun, yet focused on meaningful tasks.

2) Create in-house news and buzz feeds to educate and motivate employees

Create a Snapchat channel that informs employees of important company news and events, relevant “stories” currently trending, and other hot conversation topics to keep them engaged. Snap and share original content to make company-wide or departmental announcements. Compile and maintain a go-to list of relevant and buzzworthy accounts for employees to follow.

3) Use Snapchat to reward, honor, and showcase excellence

Feature an employee, a partner, a department, or a project team on your company Snapchat feed (as either the subject or the creator of snaps or “stories”). Allow employees to nominate features with their own snap submissions. Snap a “story” that explores a day in the life of a particular employee or department. Increase interdepartmental awareness and broaden your employees’ sense of engagement with the bigger brand picture.

4) A snap for project management

It is not hard to see how Snapchat could be useful in a project management context — to share status updates and progress reports quickly and efficiently, for example. The creative, urgent, and flash-in-the-pan nature of the app makes it remarkably suited to a fast-paced work environment. Snapchat seems like the perfect tool to keep a team united, energized, and communicating in a creative and fun way around a specific goal.

5) Create a Snapchat contest

Host a Snapchat contest to rally and socialize staff. A Snapchat treasure hunt could lead employees on a journey of brand and interdepartmental discovery as they work together in teams to decipher snapped clues. A cropped-image riddle might involve the distribution of an incomplete snap image resulting in employee snaps guessing the complete image.

The preferred social media app of tweens, teens, and young adults can now be used as a powerful employer branding tool, offering immediate access to everything from job opportunities, to sneak-peek previews of new products to on-the-fly mini-movies that both entertain and inform. So start snapping.

For more on the Brandemix approach to employee engagement, click here.

October 1, 2016

The Buzz About Employer Branding

screen-shot-2016-10-01-at-12-23-45-pmThis month Brandemix took a look at Facebook’s recruiting on (of course) Facebook to learn from its efforts. More traditional than one might expect, its career site, which also links to a more traditional Facebook recruiting page, checks all the boxes for a great example of how employer branding can shape a candidate’s experience of your company.

Mission-Driven

According to most reports I’ve read on millennials, they want to work for purpose-driven organizations. While no one would accuse Facebook of being a not-for-profit organization, it has done a great job of creating emotional buy-in for its career opportunities by connecting to a higher and human purpose. It leads off with a few sentences that show it values people and humanity.

“Do the most meaningful work of your career

People are at the heart of every connection we build. We design products and deliver services that create a more human world — one connection at a time.”

A Sneak Peek into the Culture

Through short, engaging videos (and rollovers that further help segment the content) visitors can quickly learn about different paths, internships, accolades, and awards. Moreover, though the storytellers are different, the videos all share the same theme of doing meaningful work and connecting through people.

Happy

Judging from the photos, Facebook employees are a diverse bunch of happy people working all around the world. In fact, every page offers the opportunity to connect to a team, a location, or a specific population (university, interns, managers etc.). The pictures themselves are stylized, diverse, and very engaging without being overdone.

HR Is Working Hard

What I really enjoyed was the excellent copywriting throughout the site, as evidenced by something so innocuous as presenting the employee benefits in a people-focused way. Rather than an informative bulleted list, readers get the sense that HR tirelessly eliminating distractions and thinking of ways it can truly be of help to employees and their families.

By focusing on seven key areas below, we’re able to connect you and your loved ones with the support you need.

Each area is supported by a statement about how everything it offers is with the employee in mind:

  • We’re committed to building a healthy community — one person at a time.
  • We strive to be a great place to work for people with families. 
  • As we build a more connected world, it’s important that we stay connected to each other. 
  • Never stop learning! 
  • We offer saving and investment programs to help define and build on your financial goals and give you peace of mind as you plan for your future.
  • We want to make your workspace as convenient as possible so you can focus on connecting the world. 
  • Sometimes you’ll need time away from work to be with family, attend to a medical condition, take a dream vacation, or just recharge. We’ve got you covered.

All in all, it has done a fantastic job of interweaving the rational (compensation, development, challenge) and emotional (taken care of, purposeful, happiness) drivers of employment to eliminate the uncertainty of career change.

And that’s at the heart of making a good impression through great employer branding. Want to know more?