While most discussion revolving around a company’s brand tends to discuss these two notions separately, the truth is both your employer and your business brand are part of the image you project to the public.
The way in which your business brand affects your employer brand may seem fairly obvious. It’s easier for people to identify themselves as clients of your company, rather than employees. That’s partly because becoming a customer takes way less commitment than getting a job at a company. And it’s likely you’ve been investing more in your business brand than on your employer brand. And creating a powerful business brand can certainly do a lot for your employer brand as well.
There are many ways in which your employer brand differs from your business brand. In short, employer brand refers to the way in which your company presents itself to potential and current employees. Your business brand is the image of your company that is meant for your clients.
Keeping these two images separate might have worked before. A solid business image would have been enough to attract young talent to your company. But, nowadays, it is increasingly difficult to keep internal and external business affairs separate. With so many options to choose from, people need to know a company inside and out before they decide to make a purchase.
Before asking yourself what your employer brand says about your public image, you should first see what your employer brand is. This determines the type of people that are more likely to join your company. It can determine how much effort their willing to put in, and how long they’re going to stay on board. A powerful employer brand, that truly understands the company’s needs in terms of its workers can ensure that you’re going to attract people who are truly going to be committed to your company. And since skilled workers are always in short supply, you’re going to want to attract any way you can. Every company promises to offer competitive wages, and perks. But above all, young talent needs something to believe in. And that is what your employer brand can offer them.
Why should employees’ happiness be so important for your consumer brand? There are some obvious reasons. The more productive and skilled your employees are, the better you can serve your clients. Without quality products and services, your business brand is basically meaningless.
But employees contribute to your business brand in other ways as well. In a study performed in 2015, surveyors discovered that customers are more likely to trust employees, and in-house technical experts than CEOs.
When looking at the image of a company, people are going to want to see coherence. A company that wants to sell by appearing cool, young, and laidback, is going to find it hard to convince its clients that that is who they are, if their employer brand tells a different story. The two brands don’t need to be identical for them to work together. A company that markets itself to young professionals, who are into slick designs, and cutting edge gadgets can have an employer brand that’s aimed at highly skilled, no-nonsense professionals. While the tones of the brands are completely different, the image of the company remains coherent: our products are innovative, and well-designed, because we only hire the best talent. The employer brand thus serves to reinforce what the business brand is already saying.
Running a successful business is not just about selling your products and services. You need customer loyalty if you’re going to beat your competitors. And customers need to know, if they’re going to invest in your business long term. Focusing exclusively on your customer brand might give them the impression that your business is only interested in making profits. You need to work on all aspects of your public image, if you’re going to get a message across to your clients. A powerful employer brand is going to show them that you are truly devoted to a particular idea, not just to making profits.
Likewise, a hastily made, underdeveloped employer brand might end up damaging your public image. If you want your clients to identify with your brand, they need to know who you are. Don’t underestimate their keen awareness of media strategies and branding tactics. They will notice if you’re trying to downplay some aspect of your company.
Employer branding is a key component of your overall brand. While there are some predictions as to what the future might hold for this branch of company branding, there is still a lot to learn. But one thing is certain, it cannot be ignored. You need to invest in your employer brand just as much as you would in your customer brand, because the two are going to influence one another, whether you want it or not.
Amanda Wilks is a Boston University graduate and a Digital Marketing Strategist for Job Application Center. She has a great interest in everything related to content marketing, online marketing and corporate and personal branding.
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