An employer brand is the way your organization’s prospective applicants, candidates and employees perceive you as an employer. In simpler words, it’s the process of building an image of being “a great place to work at” in the minds of prospective candidates and employees. It is a long-term strategy that establishes an organization’s identity as an employer, and reveals how one organization is different from another. But what about “employee branding?” Having employees become your brand ambassadors is a fast way of building a grass roots recruiting effort and harnessing the power of word-of-mouth.
Loosen Up Control
Take a tip from Zappos, the online retailer legendary for turning employees into brand advocates. Loosen up a little control and let team members use Social Media to talk about the company and its culture to prospective candidates.
Create a 30-minute “employer brand certification program”
Create a 30-minute “employer brand certification program” so employees learn more about appropriate social recruiting behavior. Arm them with the information they need to create a singular brand experience. Share updates about events, news, new projects and developments, and make sure they’re aware of your hard-to-fill job opportunities and what makes them so special.
In return for their efforts, considers suggestions given by your employees and takes time to recognize them for the positive efforts they are putting forth on behalf of your employer brand.
The average person has 1 to 12 intimate contacts, 150 social contacts and 500 – 1,500 weak ties so an employee population of 100 people could yield more than 10,000 new candidates in your pipeline.
As professionals in this industry, we understand various brands and their specific allure for a consumer. Essentially, there are 20 brand archetypes into which everything can be sorted: from breakfast cereals to talk show hosts. Read my earlier blog post on brand archetypes here.
Politics aside, I thought it would be great fun to look at the recent and current Republicans seeking the presidential nomination through the lens of a brand archetype. Your comments appreciated.
Marco Rubio: The Innocent
Like Mr. Rogers, the innocent is committed to simplicity, and doing the right thing. Rubio wants to bolster education, secure America’s borders and balance the budget. His naivete can be too much at times, such as when he denies climate change. Lysol and Dove are two examples of consumer brand names that suit the innocent.
Trump: The Entertainer
While some of Trump’s speeches are about the old simpler America, he is as much the clown as the traditionalist. He makes faces at the camera, baits news commentators, and slams his competition (e.g. Carly Fiorina’s looks.) Lacking a political background, he is best known for his entertainment holdings–beauty pageants, casinos, and iterations of The Apprentice. A celebrity who suits this category is Jeff Foxworthy and a consumer brand is the Jack in the Box chain.
Ben Carson: The Traditionalist
The traditionalist seeks to restore glory through a return to old fashioned values. Carson, who announced his run at a prayer breakfast full of city pastors, certainly fits in with this archetype. Beyond religion, his conservative views and commitment to family values are as clean and simple as Proctor and Gamble soaps. Other traditionalist brands include Old Spice and Folger’s coffee.
Chris Christie: The Boy Next Door
This brand type is friendly, hardworking, for “regular Joes” — think Walmart or Covergirl cosmetics. Often photographed in khakis and polo shirts, Christie looks like your neighbor out mowing his lawn. And when it comes to issues, he’ll tell you that he wants to lower taxes and take a bite out of crime.
Discover Your Brand Archetype
Brandemix creates brand plans for clients across a wide range of industries. We can analyze your current brand, the archetype it fits into, how to communicate in the write tone of voice and how to leverage that with the right audience. Find out more.
Brandemix released findings from their 2015 Employer Branding Survey today.
The results indicate that more companies are responding to the challenges of hiring talented professionals by shortening the gap between their employer branding initiatives to just 11 months.This year’s report confirms that employer branding is moving into the spotlight as recruiting, retaining and engaging talent become strategic organizational imperatives. Not surprisingly, the top 2 primary goals cited by respondents were ease in attracting candidates (42%) and gaining recognition as an employer of choice/best place to work (40%). For the full survey visit http://www.brandemix.com/presentation/2015-employer-branding-survey/
Greetings from Jody O’rdioni-
In honor of St. Pat’s this week- I bring you the latest from Noreen O’Leary at Adweek. With special thanks to my friend Bruce O’Dorskind at The Dorskind Group.
Madison Avenue Wakes Up To Employer Branding
Employee Benefits: Workers as Brand Ambassadors
The trend seems to be accelerating, but are consumers convinced?
March 15, 2010
Lowe’s employees star in current spots.
In the battle to win over consumers during difficult economic times, marketers are sending their employees to the front lines. The trend seems to be accelerating. Last week, Zappos introduced a new pitch with puppets fronting actual recordings of employee-customer service calls. Last month, Lowe’s launched a campaign with store associates advising cash-strapped DIY consumers.
Those campaigns come after several others celebrating the rank and file. Over the past year or so, Southwest Airlines, Ford, Domino’s, Bank of America, General Electric, Exxon Mobile and Verizon have featured staffers or actors playing them.
The use of workers to humanize corporate entities has been a time-honored marketing tradition, of course. But in an era of Web 2.0 transparency, their visibility takes on greater meaning, signaling the higher importance of customer service in the marketing mix. More subliminally, as America’s battered consumers have lost faith in the institutions they hold responsible for the current economic mess — and are angry with corporations behind massive layoffs — staffers offer a kind of peer credibility as corporate advocates.
Companies whose images had taken a public flogging often made use of the marketing tactic. Bank of America used associates in blunt, no-frills ads with the unscripted spots addressing “stressed” consumers, those who had lost their jobs and others just trying to survive. “We weren’t there to sell to them, but just to let them know we were trying to work with them,” said Meredith Verdone, BofA brand and advertising executive. “The reaction we got was how it humanized the bank, which was important to rebuilding trust.”
Last summer, General Electric employees personified CEO Jeffrey Immelt’s public remarks about the imperative for American manufacturing renewal. In commercials like “Wrench,” GE staffers from its aircraft, engine, healthcare and energy businesses participated in a relay toss of a wrench around their respective units, with a voiceover describing GE as a company creating “innovation today for America’s tomorrow.” Said Judy Hu, GE global executive director, advertising and branding: “We focused on the idea that we innovate with technological solutions to solve the world’s toughest challenges, but what we do everyday is just as important.”
Lowe’s is reaching beyond a customer service message in its positioning of staffers as guides to help navigate remodeling projects — work that might have been given to tradesmen before plunging home values and disappearing home-equity lines of credit. “Consumers’ mind-sets have changed,” said Tom Lamb, vp, consumer marketing at Lowe’s. “It’s forced us to rethink our offerings. There’s a return to sweat equity and expense control. Customers are looking for a lot more advice.”
Domino’s Pizza last year learned how employee representation — unauthorized as well as legitimate — could cut both ways. The chain was doing damage control last spring after two former rogue employees posted an online video showing disgusting food preparation, which quickly went viral. Earlier in the year, TV spots showed Domino’s CEO Dave Brandon as a man of the people in a spot where he criticized corporate and Wall Street bailouts, saying he was bailing out the “hard-working people on Main Street” with a new price promotion. Russell Weiner, Domino’s evp, CMO, said subsequent testing scores increased “tremendously above the norm.
By year’s end, franchisees and employees became part of a pitch touting the launch of a new Domino’s recipe, at the expense of the company’s previous offering. Weiner explained, without irony, “It’s about being transparent as a company; we’re showing you the people who make your food.”
Like others interviewed for this story, he underscored the morale boost to staffers. “The campaign became great ‘invertising’ as well,” he said. “Our franchisees and employees loved seeing themselves. It was compelling to consumers and motivating to our staffers.”
Not all employee reps move the needle for every marketer. Last April, Nationwide Insurance rolled out a campaign themed “I Am on Your Side” showing agents describing actual customer stories. The company has since scrapped the idea. “The ‘I am’ communication and stories were all great, but we didn’t break through. Those were extraordinary stories, and we made them very powerful. But maybe we were talking to ourselves a bit,” said Steven Schreibman, Nationwide vp, advertising, brand management. “At the end of the day, the consumer doesn’t care so much about what you did for someone else. That’s harder to project. They want to know: ‘What’s in it for me?'” Similarly, H&R Block dropped its “I’ve got people” employee ad focus and unveiled a new pitch in December that looked at tax preparation from more of a consumer point of view.
Rob Frankel, a New York marketing consultant, is also skeptical about the popular marketing tack: “Viewers aren’t hoodwinked. They know they’re watching a 30-second TV spot paid for by a company.”