Your brand is how your company tastes inside and out. This includes your your employment brand and B2B and/or B2C corporate brand.
Used to be that all we ever saw of the inside was what was printed on the outside — the pretty packaging and marketing spin as well as what was regulated by the Federal government (which most of us never really read, and if we did, we didn’t understand it and still don’t).
The brand tastes were still pretty much similar and controlled by the company. In fact, until recently it was only the sugar coating we ever really tasted, no matter how much we bit off.
But mercy, if we really knew the stuff that was on the inside…
Then a little phenomenon came about called social media that threw flying monkey wrenches into the batter. As I’m sure you’ve gathered, flying monkey wrenches are bittersweet and can give both employees and customers a horrible belly ache.
Not that eating highly saturated fats around the water cooler wasn’t/isn’t fun when talking smack about your employer and other employer’s gut bombs you consumed recently. But now you have access to online forums and review sites and social networking sites and unreality TV shows that delve deep into the inner workings of Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory.
Another interesting phenomenon? Most of you didn’t stop buying Wonka bars when you found out children had fallen into the chocolate lake, the one that was supposed to be child free. And those of us with kids know just how dirty kids can be.
Here’s another example: we were on a family vacation on the Oregon coast this last week where my folks live and we made multiple runs to Walmart. For tons of cheap stuff including stuff for our two little girls. Some of you may scoff, but hey, we know Walmart is the low price leader and price. We also know that they’ve had discrimination lawsuits filed against them by female workers, have been chastised forever about not allowing their employees to organize, have been accused for paying employees lower wages than other major retail chains, have been accused of buying marginal product in bulk overseas, etc.
In other words, the sugar coating for us overrides the flying monkey wrenches. That’s why we still see such a differentiation of company and employment branding today, when in the optimal organics world they really should be aligned.
So, who controls employer brand today? We do, the employees and the customers. But does that stop us from buying Wonka bars at Walmart? Or even working there?
No way. That’s the brand reality.
You can read the excellent #TChat preview Employer Branding: Best Practice or BS?, and here were the questions from last night’s #TChat:
- Q1. What’s your definition of company or employer brand?
- Q2. How does employer brand differ from a consumer brand? Personal brand?
- Q3. What makes a strong employer brand? A weak one?
- Q4. How does employer brand play into talent acquisition? Retention?
- Q5. What effect does social media have on employer branding?
- Q6. Who controls employer brand: the company, employees, public, etc.?