BRANDE : blog archives for January 2016

January 25, 2016

The Most Buzzed-About Social Recruiting Posts of the Week

Each month, I look at the most liked recruiting content over a seven-day span on Facebook, the most retweeted recruiting tweets on Twitter, and the most viewed recruiting videos on YouTube. Here’s how three top brands are effectively engaging job-seekers on social platforms — and how you can emulate their success.

Northrop Grumman takes a week off from Facebook — and gets lots of love for it.

One of the most popular Facebook recruiting posts of the week was truly unusual. On Christmas Eve, Northrop Grumman Careers posted a simple statementOur employees will be spending the holidays with their friends and families Dec. 25 – Jan. 1. Our community managers will reply to your questions in the new year. Happy Holidays! Basically the company was telling fans that it wouldn’t be posting content or responding to queries for nine days (since January 2 and 3 are weekdays). A nice gesture to let job-seekers know there would be a delay. But not exactly a compelling post.

And yet it drew an enormous response. Along with hundreds of likes, followers posted comments like “Loving my two weeks off, thank you Northrop” and “NGC has been good to me for 28 years! Love my job!” Others complimented the company on the extra vacation: “Where I work we don’t have that time off.” A few of the comments drew their own “likes,” adding more engagement to the post and causing Facebook’s algorithm to make it visible to more people.

The final tally: 407 likes, 21 comments, and 12 shares. All for a Facebook post without a photo, video, or a link.

Northrop Grumman on Facebook

How you can be like Northrop Grumman: Certainly you should let followers know about vacations and holidays that may delay posts or responses. The company made a smart choice by emphasizing its workers, saying “our employees” would be with their families, which is a nice concept everyone can support. It’s worth noting that Northrop didn’t even include a link to their job listings or any sort of message about looking for a job during the holidays. The post is just a friendly, simple message that resonated with the company’s audience.

T-Mobile captures a selfless moment on Twitter

I advise organizations to create great content, whether it’s infographics of employee videos, but sometimes a great social media post comes without warning or preparation. That’s the case for an odd but charming tweet from T-Mobile Careers. The post shows two men working on a car. The text: Our retail teams go above & beyond for each other. @successwithdan‘s manager helped him change a tire! #BeMagenta.

What a lovely, unscripted moment! And perfect for the holidays. It’s unclear who took the photo or how the social media recruiters found out about it, but they made the most of it — tagging the employee’s Twitter handle and adding the recruiting hashtag at the end. The result was five retweets and 15 likes. Not as successful as a polished video, but a great piece of content that reinforces the employer brand. And it cost nothing to produce.

T-Mobile  recruiting on Twitter

How you can be like T-Mobile: Everyone has a phone — certainly everyone at T-Mobile does! Encourage your employees to capture candid moments like this. Having fun in the break room, attending work events, doing volunteer work, playing with pets or children. All of these humanize your employer brand and show how much you care about your workers. Ask employees to share the images (or videos!) with you, and request permission to use them in your social recruiting efforts. Be sure to credit them or tag them if they wish. It’s almost guaranteed that an employee featured in a social post will share that post with all his networks; @successwithdan — aka T-Mobile sales rep Daniel Lundy — sure did.

Starbucks highlights unsung heroes on YouTube

When most people hear the term “Starbucks job,” they usually think of baristas making coffee. But Starbucks manages an entire supply chain that requires workers with much different skills, far from the public eye. The company’s “Jobs” playlist on its YouTube channel features a great video just for them: Jobs with Starbucks Distribution.

The video runs just 1:10 but showcases four employees as they work a conveyor belt, drive forklifts, and haul packages. It’s not glamorous work, but the employees talk about how friendly everyone is, how interesting the work is, and how Starbucks helps them move laterally or vertically through the company. There are no special effects, very little on-screen text, and one simple music track. You can hear many of the right words in those 70 seconds: diversity, benefits, “bean stocks” (shares in the company).

How you can be like Starbucks: Video content is on the rise and should make a major impact in 2016, not only in marketing but in talent acquisition. Though it has garnered more than 9,000 views, Starbucks’ video looks like it took only a day to shoot; most of it takes place on the factory floor, with a few shots in a cubicle, and testimonials taking place in a hallway. The employees are wearing their full gear. They don’t seem scripted or over-rehearsed. So you don’t need a huge budget or a large camera crew to film something compelling that highlights employees who, as with T-Mobile, will undoubtedly share the video they star in. Grab your phone, interview your workers, and shoot some “b-roll” of your workplace. Edit it on iMovie or Windows Movie Maker. Upload it on YouTube and share on your social recruiting channels. Voila — you’re a video recruiter!

Ready to implement strategies from Northrop Grumman, T-Mobile, and Starbucks? Brandemix has a decade of experience in employer branding and has worked in social recruiting since the founding of YouTube and Facebook. Contact us to energize your talent acquisition in 2016.

January 11, 2016

Important Employer Branding Statistics

Employer branding is the promise an organization makes to its employees. Just as a consumer brand tells the public what the brand stands for, an employer brand speaks to employees – from the newest hire to the CEO – and to potential employees, the job-seekers whose first encounter with a company may be through its employer brand.

Employer branding is becoming more important as the economy improves and the competition for talent increases. Here are some recent statistics you can take to your CEO to justify a budget or creating, improving, or refreshing your employer brand.

  • In 2015, a company refreshed its employer brand every 14 months, on average. In 2015, that average dropped to 11 months. (Brandemix)
  • 75% of job-seekers consider a company’s employer brand before even applying to a job (CareerArc)
  • 31% of CEOs, HR pros and marketing leaders said their main employer branding objective was to “secure our long-term recruitment needs.” 22% said it was to “differentiate ourselves from our competitors.”(Universum)
  • In 2014, 36% of global employers reported talent shortages, the highest percentage since 2007. (ManpowerrGroup)
  • 26% of executives said that employer branding was the most important recruiting advantage for global organizations. (Korn Ferry)
  • Companies with a strong employer brand can reduce cost-per-hire by 50%. (Brazen Careerist)
  • A well-managed employer brand sources from 60% of the labor market, unmanaged brands only reach about 40%. (Brazen Careerist)
  • 55% of employees believe it’s important for other people to want to work for their employer. (Employer Brand International)
  • Since 2009, Google searches for “employee engagement” have risen while searches for “employer branding” have fallen — implying that the former can be solved by the latter. (Brandemix)
  • Recruiters who represent a strong employer brand are twice as likely to receive responses from candidates they contact. (CareerArc)
  • 60% of American workers chose “A reputation as a great place to work” as the most important factoring in considering a new job. (LinkedIn)

These diverse and reputable sources show that employer branding is crucial to an organization’s success. A strong employer brand increases both applications and retention, and decreases both turnover and time to hire. Launching an employer branding initiative doesn’t cost much, and the effort will quickly recoup the costs in measurable metrics and cultural intangibles.

Make a resolution to create, improve, or refresh your employer brand by contacting Brandemix. We’ll work with your budget to implement an employer brand that attracts top talent and helps your bottom line.

Jody Ordioni is President of Brandemix.

January 7, 2016

Four Signs You’re Ready to Rebrand

It’s January,  the time of year to take stock of your business and goals for the year. 

Besides upgrading your software or buying a new printer, you also should look at your branding. Whether you want to redesign your website, extend your brand into social media, or align your internal communications with your consumer advertising, January is a great time to launch a rebranding effort.
Are you ready to rebrand? There are four signs that you might be. Do any of these match your company’s situation?

Your focus has changed.

This often happens to small businesses. Sometimes the mission you had when you started the company no longer matches what you’re currently doing. Maybe you opened a deli but found that only cupcakes were selling, so you transitioned into a cupcake shop. Any of your previous branding that mentions, say, breakfast, no longer works…unless you invent a breakfast cupcake, for which I’d be the first in line!
Image via MrMalique.com


You have a new market or audience.
Perhaps you’re speaking to a new demographic now, which isn’t responding to your previous messaging. Both Farmers and State Farm insurance were known as solid, reliable – and boring. Both have launched new ad campaigns that add humor to the usual dire insurance company warnings. Both firms were founded in the 1920s, but realized that 90-year-old branding wasn’t speaking to consumers in 2012’s competitive marketplace.

There’s been a merger, acquisition, or expansion.

Circumstances might be forcing you to rebrand. If your company merged with another, or was acquired, or launched a new division that modifies your core mission, you’ll need a new brand to reflect the change. Or perhaps your brand is too close to another’s, and you’re pre-emptively changing to avoid legal issues. Or maybe you need to shed some baggage, which is why Philip Morris became Altria or GMAC became Ally Bank.

It’s been a while.

Sometimes branding just becomes stale. Some fonts and logos can become dated; maybe yours fell victim to what Marty Neumeier called the Great Swoosh Epidemic, when every company wanted a curved or circular icon. You may find that your logo doesn’t fit well in the icon space allowed by Twitter, or looks good onscreen but not on paper. These missteps are relatively easy to fix.
Image via Concept Genius

If you answered yes to any of these questions, get ready to rebrand.
If youve never been through a corporate or employer rebranding effort, you may be asking yourself these questions:

  • How do I create a plan to rebrand?
  • How long will it take to rebrand?
  • How much will it cost to rebrand?
  • What is the ROI of a rebrand? 

Unique goals and objectives make these questions hard to answer in general terms, but future blog articles will endeavor to add clarity to your quest. In the meantime, if rebranding is on your New Year’s resolution list, get in touch with your friends in BRANDEland.

January 4, 2016

Are The Best Brands the Best at Holiday Branding?

Last December, I looked at how the greatest global brands celebrated the holidays — Coke was bubbly while Apple fizzled. How have both companies improved their holiday game? And who are their biggest rivals?

Car brands stuck in first gear

Several car companies rank very high on Interbrand’s 2015 list of most valuable global brands. Yet none of them seem to take advantage of the holidays with anything other than discounts and special offers. Toyota (#6 on the list) simply makes Christmas part of Toyotathon. BMW (#11) has a nice photo on its homepage, but little else. #12 Mercedes-Benz offers some holiday accessories and that’s about it.

I think these car companies are missing a huge opportunity for holiday branding. Selling cars may be harder than selling soda, but there’s no shortage of innovative ideas in the automotive field. Porsche recently produced “The Art of the Thrill,” a cool interactive experience. Chevy has put all kind of extreme stunts on YouTube. And just a few years ago, BMW hired action direction Guy Ritchie to create a short film that featured its car. So why nothing social or mobile or interactive for December? The biggest auto brands seem to be just spinning their wheels.

Microsoft seeks “peace” with Apple

Microsoft is #4 on Interbrand’s list, and the gift-giving season is an important time for a make of laptops and tablets. So what did the computer giant do for this holiday season? It staged a stunt that AdWeek called “surprisingly sweet.” Employees from the new Microsoft in New York store walked a few blocks up Fifth Avenue to enemy territory, the Apple Store, and sang “Let There Be Peace On Earth.”

This was a clever idea. Think about it: It was an ad. A live event (the Apple employees are clearly surprised). A song. A YouTube video. A stunt that was covered by AdWeek, Forbes, and others. An easily shareable piece of content that winked at the biggest corporate rivalry of the last 20 years. And something that could only be done during the holidays. It might strike some as a bit odd — since asking for “peace” from a rival that regularly beats you can appear desperate — but I think it was a success on virtually all fronts.

Google creates Santa’s Village online

Google, third in Interbrand’s rankings, once again offers its Santa Tracker, allowing users to track St. Nick as he flies around the globe on Christmas Eve. But that’s nothing compared to its entire interactive Advent calendar, with 25 days of games, videos, quizzes, and fun facts. The company also partnered with a special needs project through DonorsChoose.org, matching donations until its million-dollar goal is reached. There’s even a hashtag for the campaign: #ForEveryKid.

The whole project takes Google’s interactive Doodles to the next level. There’s no real advertising here; it’s just pure fun and joy.

Google Santa's village

That leaves just two brands at the top of Interbrand’s list: Apple and Coca-Cola. Who won the holidays this year?

Coke is it!

While Apple gets points for its lovely video of Stevie Wonder and Andra Day singing “Someday at Christmas” (embedded on its homepage and playable on Apple TV), Coca-Cola treats Christmas as if it owns the very day itself. This continues the brand’s long tradition, since it began using Santa Claus in ads in the 1920s and helped cement that image of the character in Americans’ minds. Coke’s holiday website offers recipes, including a pumpkin cola float and Hanukkah latkes with Coca-Cola applesauce. There are stories, ranging from “How Coca-Cola collectors design for the holidays” to “Three Jewish/Christian couples share stories of love during the holidays.”

Coke holidays website

But that’s not all. Videos including choirs singing carols, instructions on how to sign “Merry Christmas,” and a collection of Coke’s holiday commercials from the 1950s. There’s a piece on Japanese Christmas traditions. Charlie Brown makes an appearance. There’s even an article about “bolstering” your career during the holidays. And, of course, the polar bears are there for some wordless holiday magic. For every piece of branded content that promotes the company, there’s an un-branded, well-written piece like “7 Hanukkah Traditions from Around the World” that simply celebrate the season. The site is fun, smart, and sticky, with something for everyone.

It’s no contest. Though Apple is Interbrand’s #1 brand, with a $170 billion value that’s more than double Coca-Cola’s, the soft drink company completely owns Christmas — and maybe Hanukkah, too.

Whatever your soda, whatever your car, whatever your computer: Happy holidays from all of us in Brandeland.

Jody Ordioni is President of Brandemix.