I was recently asked how I think about employer branding. So I drew this and held it up to the camera.
Most companies divide brand into two separate (often completely disconnected) initiatives.
The Marketing team is responsible for building a customer-facing brand that drives revenue.
The Talent/People team is responsible for building a candidate-facing brand that drives new hires.
Here’s the problem with this divided model:
It doesn’t map to human behavior.
Brand is not “click this ad to buy” or “apply now”.
It’s about awareness, education, and letting the outside world know who you are, what you stand for, and frankly, whether your company and your people know their shit.
Brand influences the 99% of the market that’s not in active buying mode.
The goal is simple: Be the only one that your target market thinks about when they have a problem that you can solve. That’s how passive prospects become active, highly qualified buyers of products and jobs.
We buy from people we like and trust. We want to work for, and with, people we like and trust.
That’s the thread.
So, to bring this full circle, my opinion is that building brand should be one function, with one budget, with a team of SMEs and specialists from both sides working together to build trust and influence in your markets.
There’s only one brand. It’s what people believe to be true or not about your company.
This is your chance to influence this perception by being honest, human, and creative.
Remember, we’re dealing with people. And people don’t fit into neat little boxes. Your brand shouldn’t either.
FTR, I’m well aware that this strategy will never be adopted by mature companies. This post isn’t for them.
Startups, this is for you. Your culture, business model, and mindset set you up perfectly to create a single brand that speaks to your audience, your market, your people. This is your opportunity to unbox this whole thing.
There are no rules here. Do you.