The Law of One Brand 👑 EBH
One brand to rule them all
There are three reasons why you think your company can't use or afford a strong employer brand:
You think the purpose of employer branding is to get lots of people to see you positively.
You think the shape of employer branding requires a specific tech stack or tactic set.
You think big problems demand expensive solutions.
But what if none of those ideas were true? What if employer branding was really for everyone?
🧮 ChatGPT/AI literally makes every job more productive. Yes, that means you, too. »
🧮 The difference between employees who are captivated and those who are captured (podcast). »
🧮 People decide on cost, not price. (There’s a serious lesson for us here, even if we don’t usually think in terms of cost and price.) »
🧮 The stories you tell determine your success. »
🧮 “How do we remain relevant in transformative times?” »
🧮 AI is coming for HR. This might be an opportunity for employer brand. »
🧮 “Thrilled to work here” is NOT the only emotional driver we can use. »
🧮 The future of TA is pipeline-based. And employer brand is critical for pipelines. »
🧠🔌 AI Idea of the Week: 200 ChatGPT prompts for recruiters. I’m not saying you should use these to write your job posts, but I am saying there are a lot of ways to use the toolset. »
If you’re interested in getting your Marketing, HR, Comms, and TA aligned on how to attract the best people at the lowest cost reply with the word, “TEAM.”
Law 19 - The Law of One Brand
Here we are. The final law of employer branding. And this one is probably the biggest. Or the most obvious. Or maybe just the least understood?
In the last law, we talked about the consumer brand, the corporate brand, the investor brand and how that triumvirate creates a gap: the people who make the company happen. No people, no company, but those people aren’t reflected in that brand structure.
That’s where the employer brand fills the gap.
But in filling that gap, it allows the brand to stop being three or four separate sub-brands, but brings them together, and coalesces them into a single brand. The company brand.
Because there is only one brand.
A company, when you peel back all the mythos and re-written history, exists to allow people together to do something they couldn’t do alone. It is a structure and a series of agreements to ensure that everyone can contribute and be rewarded.
A company is a collection of people with a common purpose and goals.
It may do many things. It may have people achieving different goals, but it is one company.
And that one company has one brand.
Your brand is a prism. You look through it to see and connect with prospects and candidates. Consumer marketers see through it to engage customers. Investor relations looks through it to talk to institutional investors and analysts. But it is still one prism that you all share. When you lift your side of it, it serves others.
So when the stock price goes up, you will find more people applying. When the product fails, you will see fewer people interested in responding to your outreach.
When you build stories of the people who work there, consumer and corporate marketing can use those stories to support more emotional connections with customers. Those stories speak of the internal working culture, which indicates the likelihood a company will thrive, which supports what the investor relations team is trying to instill.
It’s all connected. It’s one brand.
The brand is the extension of the company that lives in people’s minds. When I think of Target, what do I think of? What do you think of? It is the products and the feels of the store, the service, the app, the boxes that sometimes show up and how they are (surprisingly poorly) packed. It is the person wearing red. It is the trucks on the road.
It’s all one brand.
And as employer branders, we need to treat it as such.
Realistically, there are some challenges to face.
First, before employer branding came along to fill in the gap, the brand may have been managed by people in different departments. Marketing, obviously, but investor relations often reports to the CFO. The comms team can report to any number or execs, including the CEO.
It was the rare company who were structured to think in terms of “one brand” before we showed up.
Second, most employer branders would say that they feel disconnected from the “larger” brand. Even when they are assigned to the marketing team, they feel like they are on the outside looking in (and that’s even more so true when they aren’t on the marketing team). Their tools are different, their clients are different, and their goals are different. Their work doesn’t naturally slot into the larger marketing picture, and marketers are often too busy to sit and think about how to use what you’re building. That work is on you, but having to do it takes time and energy away from the work itself.
Third, thinking in terms of one brand is an ideal it takes time and work to achieve. It is an aspiration. Few companies are in that model. You have to have the cultural maturity to connect the different brand-associated teams, to potentially ask professionals to give up access to leadership in service of supporting a complete brand.
But just because it is heard doesn’t mean you should ignore it.
When you talk about employer branding, stop talking about it as something you own. Or as something that will help recruiters. When you’re talking about your work, plant seeds. Let people know there there is only one brand, and that you are merely one servant of it.
Employer branding has the power to make immediate impacts, but this is where you have to play the long game. It requires building networks and connections and relationships. It means working harder and create the time to be in more of those meetings where different parts of the brand are discussed. It means serving the different holders of the brand what you have in packaging they understand and can immediately use.
It’s hard work, but this is how you make your employer brand make the greatest impact on the company.
Employer brand is a team sport.
So build your brand as a team.
Your recruiters, your sourcers, your marketers, your HRBPs, your comms folks, your employer brand specialist, all together uncovering and defining what makes your company attractive and different.
Imagine the alignment when TA, HR, and MarComms are all on the same page, when everyone understands how a strong employer brand helps them directly.
All for less than the price of a LinkedIn Recruiter seat.
***This Newsletter Contains No ChatGPT***