Everyone who interacts with your company, whether it’s customers, employees, or job applicants, is exposed to your brand. A brand conveys not just your mission and values but also your attitude and your position in the marketplace.
A single consistent message makes marketing simple. It conveys a sense of purpose to everyone in your company and a sense of identity to everyone outside it. We call it the “Brand Unified Theory.” Here’s how it works for each group listed above.
If your advertising is saying one thing and your internal communications say another, you’ll soon find that your employees are working towards the wrong goals.
When employees share your core beliefs and values, it informs everything they do. Even if an employee never interacts with a customer, she can still use your brand’s principles to guide her business decisions. Employer branding makes everyone on your team realize that their actions contribute to a goal, and that they’re working not just for a company but for a way of life.
Some CEOs are comfortable with a basic motto like “We’re simply the best telecommunications company.” But that leaves many questions unanswered: The “best” for whom? Does “best” mean best prices, best selection, or best customer service? Why are you the best? How will you stay the best?
Studies have shown that consumers consider brands when making decisions, so branding becomes crucial when you’re trying to distinguish your product from others. Matching your customer brand to your employer brand makes both stronger.
In a way, job applicants are both customers and employees at the same time. But you won’t be able to attract the talent you want, and job seekers won’t consider you, if you’re not clear about your brand. A survey of over 1,300 job seekers in the Gallup Management Journal recommends “caring about prospective employees as much as you do about your customers and current associates.” To go further, a study by talent assessment specialists SHL warned that applicants who were treated poorly during the interview process tended to share their frustration on blogs and social networks. Clearly, you need not only to communicate your brand to job seekers, but also live your brand so that they come away from the application experience happy.
The Brand Unified Theory ensures that your customers, employees, and business partners all share a core belief in your brand. Put the theory into practice and turn your people into your brand’s believers, supporters, and advocates.