HANG THE STRATEGY ON THE EMPLOYER BRAND

The employer brand is like a coat hanger that we can hang all sorts of relevant topics on. Tribe has developed employer brands for lots of clients over the years, helping to set expectations for prospective and current employees and communicate the company’s business strategy. The employer brand can be particularly helpful in aligning the day-to-day actions of employees with the vision.

A LOT LIKE EXTERNAL BRANDING

An employer brand works very much the same as consumer branding campaigns. As an example, AT&T introduced the “It’s Not Complicated” campaign in 2013. Initially the campaign featured Beck Bennett talking to a focus group of kids (adorable). Then the campaign evolved to feature Lily, an AT&T store employee (not really an employee).

Without context, the words “it’s not complicated” are somewhat vague and undifferentiating. However, for years, AT&T has used that campaign line to hammer home key themes like speed, reliability and pricing. The campaign format gave consumers a memorable and engaging way to associate product and service features with the AT&T brand over time.

AS COMFORTABLE AS AN OLD SWEATER

The difficult part about developing an employer brand is ensuring that the words are meaningful to the organization – that the phrase appropriately reflects the brand and the culture. For employees, it should feel familiar while somewhat aspirational. For prospective employees, it should help set appropriate expectations around working at the company. It should feel as comfortable as an old sweater while challenging employees to be their best work selves.

EVERGREEN OR STRATEGIC

The employer brand may be developed to last years or it may be developed to address a specific strategy. Tribe developed positioning for clients that was designed to motivate employees to be their best work selves like “Be Epic” for a gaming company and “Build Something Amazing” for a manufacturer. And we’ve developed positioning that focused on specific change within the organization like “We’re All In,” which, among other things, was designed to help with integration of a fast-growing healthcare organization.

IT’S JUST A TOOL

However, it’s important to keep in mind that the employer brand isn’t the vision, and it isn’t the strategy. It’s simply a tool or vehicle that makes it easier to keep internal communications focused on organizational priorities in – vision, strategies, benefits, change, recruiting – in a memorable way.

A successful internal communications campaign is dependent on a communications plan that’s aligned with leadership’s goals, that employs channel discipline and utilizes engaging creative executions. A strong employer brand can help the overall communications campaign stay on target.

Interested in developing an employer brand for your organization? Tribe can help.

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