BRANDE : blog

September 6, 2017

Building Brand Equity With Your Annual Report

An annual report is like a yearbook—it should shuttle readers through all aspects of the company’s business while weighting content towards the company’s financial success and brand.

Woven throughout this content must be a clear picture of where the company is heading—a reassurance to investors that the firm has a solid game plan for moving ahead in the coming years. Here are 4 simple ways you can make sure your annual report presents your brand in the best possible way.

Create A Comprehensive Story, Theme and Outline 

What is the primary message you want to communicate? Is it investment in R&D? Growth over many years? Change in direction? Solid leadership? Defining this is key to creating an outline for the report and inspiring a visual interpretation.

Communicate with Design. Reinforce the Brand. 

The overall look and feel of the piece should not only be consistent with your company or organization’s brand, but it should enhance your theme. What key colors will illustrate your brand and report theme? What format will best communicate your theme: print or online? What style of photography and imagery will you use: high-end, abstract, illustrations and schematics, or real-world photos of people or applications?

Demonstrate your commitment to the environment by working with printers who employ ecologically responsible paper, ink, and waste print production processes. Here, the media truly becomes the message, expressed in the content of the document and in the production of the report itself.

Some options you may consider:

• Forest Stewardship Council Certified Production

• Soy/Vegetable Based Inks and Coatings

• Recycled Paper

• Recycling Extra Reports

Design Pop and Rhythm. 

The report’s design and narrative style needs to establish a visual vocabulary and cadence from page to page that keeps investors moving through the book while generating an emotional response. Readers need to understand how vital the company is to the world—customers, employees, communities, etc. They need to know your firm is special.

Once all the elements are in place, continue to ensure a quality product through diligent proofreading, production, and print management.

We Predict that More Technology will be Embedded within Annual Reports

Online annual reports are the future of compliance communications. By providing shareholders with online disclosure information, companies are bridging more disclosure gaps than ever before. They are able to provide more information more quickly effectively, allowing access to shareholders and potential investors. One of our favorite trends is the use of AR to create an immersive experience across a variety of devices and platforms.

One final note- along with presenting your company in the best possible way to investors, your annual report is also an excellent opportunity to engage and recognize your employees (many of whom are also shareholders) in their achievements and efforts in realizing your business outcomes.

August 3, 2017

Employee Engagement – is it Hot or Not?

It’s easy for for companies to say that employees are their greatest assets, or most valuable resource, but actually constructing a culture that values the individual experience is significantly more difficult.

At the highest level, it’s about forging the connection an employee feels not only towards their place of work, but the company at large. This in turn, influences his or her work ethic and overall attitude towards peers, clients, management, and even health and well-being.

In fact, it’s proven that employees who feel more connected with their company and peers take fewer sick days, are more productive in the office, and tend to act as brand ambassadors for the company’s strategic initiatives.

So it’s no coincidence that as a Talent Brand Planner, I’d be interested in Employee Engagement and the Employee Experience. Culture-fit, great management  and belief in the organization’s mission are the table stakes, but what else does employee engagement encompass? We think it includes things like:

• Developing a high-performance culture that fosters a high-level of employee commitment

• Differentiating your compensation and offerings to better attract and retain talent with culture as a key driver

• Developing future leaders by mentoring high-potential employees

• Creating a robust total rewards package that recognizes efforts, experience and contributions

But what are we missing?

Who owns employee engagement?

Is employee experience the same, better or part of employee engagement.

These are the questions we at Brandemix are setting out to answer in the hopes that through our findings, we can deliver greater authenticity to the Talent Brand.

Help us and our followers add value to our work  by taking this brief Employee Engagement survey.

Oh, and did I mention you could win prizes?

Happy Summer.


July 12, 2017

Do Gig Economy Workers Want to Work for You?

The gig economy has been on the rise for long time, but what exactly is it?

As you may know, many Americans these days aren’t traditionally employed as in years past. Some blame the economy while others cite the increase of Millennials in the workforce, but regardless of cause, the truth is this: more people than ever before are choosing to balance their work, life and interests through taking on temp jobs, side-jobs and/or short-term assignments.

Because of this, employers are finding themselves in a uniquely 21st century predicament…how do they attract and retain top talent in a short-term world?

It may serve you well to first considers whether you’d like to appeal to those seeking a new way of life and livelihood.

Determine Your Talent Philosophy. 

Explore your organization’s appetite for hiring the best person for the job, knowing you may only have them for less than a year. Is that better for business, or should you look to move forward with a candidate less talented who may remain for a longer tenure?

There is no right or wrong answer.

The answer is not as important as having an answer because trying too hard to market the position to 100% of job seekers may lead to hiring someone who isn’t necessarily the right fit.

Regardless of whether you’re seeking to fill a long or short-term position, it’s essential to be completely transparent about your expectations.

Market the Drivers of Attraction.

Many top-tier companies are offering benefits like unlimited sick days, a fully-stocked kitchen, or commuter reimbursements to attract outstanding employees. Yes, this might require a large company budget, but even if you’re financially unable to compete with huge corporations, even seemingly small perks may make a potential candidate consider an opportunity that they may have otherwise skimmed over.

In this gig-economy, professionals are looking to set their own hours and craft a schedule around what works for their lifestyle. Typical roles generally may not offer that amount of freedom, but employers of choice are realizing that perks and flexibility is a big factor in what will attract and retain high-level talent.

Find Your Thought-Leading Champions for a New Way of Life. 

If you are an organization that can truly embrace and adapt to a new way of thinking for the new ways of working, this will be a great differentiator, and should be a pillar of your talent brand.

Is your Chief Technology Officer onboard? Let people know. Is your organization looking to make it a unique career-building experience for  those who join for however long?  Have your CEO become a brand-building spokesperson.

Early adopters will reap the benefits of the Free-Agent Marketplace.

Want more advice? Get in touch.

June 2, 2017

Unify Your Employee Communications and Build Equity in Your HR Brand

It’s Not Who Sends the Message; It’s What it Means to Employees that Counts.

Many internal/employee communications are delivered in siloed streams and on any given day, an employee may receive one communication from Finance about the new expense reimbursement system. Another from Payroll about W-2s being available online. Another one from the Benefits Department on a change to the 401(k) plan. Another one from Facilities about the cafeteria menu. Another from Learning & Development about a new leadership training for new people managers. You get the idea.

All these various departments, with possibly different branding across multiple communications and channels, are competing for attention and sending out messages and wanting to make it clear “who” sent it.

But consider the employee experience as they field multiple requests from colleagues, clients, vendors, recruiters etc. It is just stuff from the Company (or worse yet, just stuff from HR). They can’t differentiate who is sending what or why. They just want to know WIFI (what’s in it for me.)

  • • What effect does this have on my employment?
  • • What impact will this have on how I do my job?
  • • What impact will this have on the people I work with?


Consider building your HR Brand and working together across functions to think about how HR should “look, sound and feel.”

Time is precious, information overload is rampant and email fatigue is flourishing. Are you brave enough to jump into the sandbox together and look at your communications in a new way? Consider starting a communications audit. Or perhaps you need help activating your talent brand internally in a consistent way?

May 3, 2017

If Your Career Site Could Talk, What Would It Say?

According to Manpower Group’s latest employment outlook survey, employers in all U.S. regions and industry sectors expect rapid headcount growth. As the competition for talent continues to escalate, now is the time to prioritize your recruiting efforts and differentiate your talent brand. A digital experience may ultimately be the deciding factor that urges your ideal candidate to click that “apply” button with confidence. And while all that shimmers isn’t gold, your most important recruiting asset could be your career site, so here are some simple steps to make sure it’s effective, efficient, and aesthetically pleasing.

Be Mission-Driven

Creating a career site that is beyond a job listing means that you must adapt and learn how to speak to today’s top talent. Modern-day candidates are eager to make their mark on the world, create a profound difference, and contribute to a greater vision. They are motivated by more than money — they want depth, meaning and purpose, and are placing an increasing emphasis on joining mission-driven organizations. They want to be emotionally connected to their position and the company that they choose to work for. Without a doubt, your career site should have the ability to answer questions like “what inspires me to come to work every day,” and “why did I choose to join this organization in particular?”

Does your career site convey your brand mission? Do you display how your employees feel about their work? Most importantly, does it share what it means to be a part of your organization? If the answer to any of these questions is “no,” boy do we have to talk.

Embody Your Employer Value Proposition

In order to construct a winning career page, you must develop a structure that is creative, interactive, usable, and authentic. If you have read any of our content that stresses the importance of creating an employer value proposition, you know that it a key element of your internal and external communications, attracting your ideal talent, and retaining your top performers. Employer branding messages that aims to portray your organization’s dynamic work culture shows exactly what you stand for and empowers prospective candidates to join your workforce.

Lead With Your Corporate Culture

Content is king, and visuals are an increasingly influential aspect of employer branding. A combination of fresh copy and compelling visuals will tell your brand story through the perspective of your team and showcase the daily life of the office. Showing a passionate and enthusiastic company culture creates a strong connection with potential candidates.

Let Your Team Speak For Itself

The recruiting landscape is entirely dynamic. Millennials are entering the workforce with staggering numbers, and technology plays an even larger role in the talent acquisition process. This paper covers the top 5 talent acquisition trends to start preparing for now.

A picture is worth a thousand words. Put your employees at the forefront, after all, they are the heart and foundation of the organization. If an asset of working for your organization is that it is highly team-oriented, prove it. Using eye-catching visual communications that showcase your environment, culture, and team interaction will increase the impact and credibility of your career site. This will compel potential candidates in a way that even the most extensive text can not. Those who are eager to build lasting relationships with a team that is committed to a common goal are motivated by seeing real employees, real environments, and real opportunities.