Brand issues have been a hot button topic for us at The World of Work as of late. Employee brand has given way to employer brand — many companies find that their on-staff brand ambassadors have built huge personal brands and followings, but have failed to transfer that value to their employers. Personal branding has lost some of its shine, as pundits from the HR camp point out that personal brand cannot be allowed to trump employer brand when the force of an individual’s personal brand outweighs the messages and values of the company brand.
So, after a couple of years of tentative introduction, it’s time for brand humanization to take center stage as a new tool to link business vision and brand, with the goal of attracting and retaining talent.
This development leads us to this question: are talent acquisition/management and employer branding in conflict? While it’s been pointed out they have at least one common goal – making companies more successful by ensuring talent is attracted, brought on board, and retained – unless they are aligned at the executive, business-vision level, you might have a train wreck in progress.
I’ve been doing some social listening, and I’ve been encountering a lot of fingernails-on-a-chalkboard examples of train wrecks. Those conducting the trains must have the ability to steer effectively; at the same time, conductors must be made aware of the paths they are supposed to follow. Effective communication between employee and employer could, in effect, stop a runaway train faster than a Westinghouse air brake.
I think there’s a lot of brand dissonance around. Consumer brands seem to navigate the shifts between business vision and talent management with more agility. This is due in part to their facility with the tools of social media and their willingness to experiment (and occasionally fail). More traditional businesses – manufacturing, tech, and what we used to call ‘industry’ – appear to have less nuanced approaches to uniting brand with business vision. While there are lots of social media companies, agencies and HR tech platforms which can solve for part of the problem, we haven’t seen a category-killer solution emerge to unite business vision, with its direct link to the bottom line, and brand, with its more tenuous and debated calculus.
So, in the time-honored tradition of #TChat World of Work, we’re going to ask you some questions about how, or if, it’s possible to unite brand and business leadership vision.
We’ll be discussing and debating the following questions:
Q1: How does business leadership’s vision translate into internal and external brand?
Q2: What’s the difference between employment branding and corporate branding? And should there be one?
Q3: Workplace culture drives employment branding. Why or why not?
Q4: Who owns employment branding, corporate branding, and the bridge between?
Q5: Does a company have to go green or donate shoes to Africa to have an attractive employment brand? Why or why not?
So wear your brand advocate hat, don your talent management spurs, and join us at #TChat Wednesday night, May 23 from 7-8 pm ET (4-5 pm PT). Join myself, @MeghanMBiro, along with @socialmediasean, @brentskinner, @KevinWGrossman, and @SocialSalima. We are also excited to be joined by our special guest moderator, @cyndytrivella. Wherever you are, be sure to tune in!
We’ll dissect the relationships – and deltas – between business vision and brand, and with your help we’ll begin to chart a path where the two imperatives achieve synergy. Be there for the big words. We’re looking forward to hearing all of your ideas on Wednesday!