The proverbial “chicken or the egg” thing has nothing on #TChat. The real question is, What came first, the employee or the brand? It was the question of the hour this week — well, five of them, to be exact, and they all sought to end the elusive, great debate on corporate vs. employment in the branding arena.

Game, Set, Match

What kind of match is this anyway? Not one made in heaven was the sentiment of many, many of whom likened it to “The Odd Couple.” The argument here is that corporate brands are constructed out of goals and gains (some may even say games). Employment brands on the other hand, are organically co-created as the lovechild of attraction and engagement.

Do they still work together? That depends: Are they in collusion, working together under separate cover, but with shared elements, goals and vision? Or are they on a collision course, unfolding separate agendas without regard to one another? There’s nothing James Bondish about authentic branding, where leadership gives shape to the organization through an identity based on values that are rooted in collaboration and nurtured with human care. There’s that word again that keeps popping up — human, branding’s oxygen supply. It’s because employees breathe and give breath to a culture that collectively owns reality rather than resigning to its manufacturer’s suggested “re: tale” price. People, connected as a community, not corporate entities, tell the story. And the best stories are ones that everyone can relate to.

When Two Roads Don’t Diverge as One

What happens when a corporate brand and employment brand go their separate ways? We get the hamster wheel: The company runs in place and makes no significant tracks; the spectators all leave, at the end of the day. It’s a novel, but futile, exercise. You can’t build a solid enterprise on a “brandfill.” You need substance, a solid foundation that starts with meaningful engagement by employees and service to something beyond the borders of the bullpen. You don’t need to send a pair of shoes to Africa. Just find a pair that fits and walk the talk in them.

All’s Fair in Love and War

Did you miss the preview? It was a great chat this week moderated by special guest Cyndy Trivella (@CyndyTrivella), a #TChat community rock star and professional who always puts the human before the resources. Check out the slide show below of Wednesday’s choicest tweets. And don’t bet on a quick annulment on this one. It looks like reconcilable differences are at play between this power couple.

[javascript src=”//storify.com/TalentCulture/tchat-insights-when-business-vision-and-brand-uni.js?template=slideshow”]

#TChat INSIGHTS: When Business Vision and Brand
Unite

Storified by TalentCulture · Fri, May 25 2012 15:40:32

Q1
How does business leadership’s vision translate into internal and external brand? #TchatCyndy
Trivella
A1 – walk the talk, drink your own kool-aid #thatisall #TChatSylvia
Dahlby
A1 also if the BRAND = sum of all conversations, offline + socialonline then leadership
must listen + adjust vision 2 mktDef of brand #TchatLee Bogner
A1 – once internal buy in is
achieved then external will be complemented and supported… #tchatRichard S Pearson
A1
Focus groups and creative workshops are a good way to help clarify and articulate employer brand.
#tchatBeverly Davis
A1: Brands are living, breathing visions. The brand becomes a way of
creating, communication, its not a static piece #tchatJen Olney
A1: One might argue that
leadership’s vision lierally defines internal/external brand. #tchatMark Salke
A1 Successful
leaders nurture positive employee values – and build great Companies – Zappos, OPower, etc. #tchatKC
@UpwardlyMe
A1. Re: #Branding — Please don’t join our team if you don’t agree with our
mission. #culture #3PCconnect #Tchatprettypinkponies
A1 And how you *market* your
vision IS your brand, both internal & external #TchatClaire Crossley
A1: Vision =
direction. Brand is the vehicle that carries you to that vision. #tchatAndrew Grossman
A1.
The brand itself should be about leadership. #tchatSalima Nathoo
A1 – Koolaid to me is a
negative term – buy in to a phony culture or vision… they need buy in of the “real deal”
#tchatRichard S Pearson
A1 Leaders can set a vision and provide the transparency of
employee values that will be shared positively in #SoMe land! #tchatKC @UpwardlyMe
A1:
all activities leadership performs should build, promote, support, enhance brand #TChatStephen Van
Vreede
A1: If a company is living the vision – does it really need to be marketed?
#tchatJoshua Barger
@meghanmbiro A1 relationships, Dale Carnegie wrote How To Win
Friends and Influence People about 100 years ago, more DC than #MadMen #TchatLee
Bogner
A1: The leadership’s vision sets the tone of the brand in the interactions when
industry and business topics are exchanged. #TChatJon M
A1 Leaders must share the
business vision verbally and by being an example internally. Once internal it will be mirrored externally
#tchatBeverly Davis
A1 – Leaders can destroy a company by varnishing the reality of the
Internal Brand to the world… #tchatKC @UpwardlyMe
A1 People don’t see a brand as a
series of departments. They see a brand as a whole entity. #tchat #socbiz #bizforumCheryl K.
Burgess
A1: Vision has to be established internally, then it external brand vision will come in
naturally #tchatHusamettin Erciyes
A1 – empl’s have to “buy into” vision & it

must reflect culture of co. for that to happen to create internal brand. #tchatRichard S
Pearson

A1. As dubbuha said the “Vision thing” is kind of a compass #tchatDave
Ryan, SPHR
A1 The internal Brand IS the external brand that is shared by Employees in
#SoMe #tchatKC @UpwardlyMe
A1 If the vision is communicated clearly and is turned into
action and products, that defines the brand. #tchatPatrick Harris
A1: IMO, they should be
the same. If an org’s vision is truly authentic, it should be demonstrated both internally and externally
#tchatJoshua Barger
A1: The vision sets the stage for the brand, it permeates every facet of
communication and culutre. #tchatJen Olney
A1: Uh Oh. My pain meds aren’t cooperating
with Q1! #tchatELiz Dexter-Wilson
A1 The brand is the culture is the message that is tweeted
and FB’d and LI’d and G+’d…to the world! #tchatKC @UpwardlyMe
A1 Hopefully, the
business vision does correlate with internal & external brand; if so, everyone is
“branding” the vision #TchatClaire Crossley
A1: Understanding Company’s Values
& Value. A defined Brand Promise Well executed messaging. Repitition Consistency Just for to start
#TChatGeorge LaRocque
A1 The brand should be developed in order to meet business
objectives- each should support the other #TchatWendy Beecham
A1 Leaders set the values
for the company – let the workforce set the tone – and let the marketplace listen for the message
#tchatKC @UpwardlyMe
A1. If vision gets employees excited, #winning. #tchatJustin
Mass
A1: leadership sets the tone, and for better or worse, it trickles down to employee
action/engagement (or lack thereof) #tchatJen Watkiss
A1 A business cannot communicate
externally unless it communicates internally #tchat #branding #socbizCheryl K. Burgess
Q2
There are slight differences, but overall we’re talking stakeholders who touch the company.
#TchatCyndy Trivella
A2: University brand same colors logo office/division brand but often
very different messages #TchatGuy Davis
Employees create culture, which influences brand
MT @UpwardlyMe A2 Corporate Branding represents the Employees… #tchatWendy
Beecham
A2: Corporations should not be people and there should be a difference #tchatRob
McGahen
A2: In highered this is like branding for students and somewhat differently for
parents. 3rd stakeholder employers/recruiters #TchatGuy Davis
A2:Best buy could be corp-
best products sold at best price-Employee could be best customer service. NOTE COULD #tchatSimon
Harvey
A2: People like to vote with their dollar. Impressive culture and practices usually
leads to conversions and retention. #tchatAndrew Grossman
A2: In theory they are one…In
reality, two roads diverged…and sorry I could not travel both… #TChatStephen Van
Vreede
Love this! TY Pam @pamelamaeross: A2 One brand common values. Employer brand
driven from culture, drives customer (external) brand #TChatMeghan M. Biro
A2:
Corporations are now people in the United States, so no. #tchatRob McGahen
A2 Corporate
Branding represents the Employees…it reflect what they do and who they are – they’re making them!!
#tchatKC @UpwardlyMe
A2: Fluidity & consistency across all aspects of the brand
needed for global buy in #TChatSean Charles
A2: Employer Brands which have been
humanized attract and sustain communities of real live people. Recruit to Retain Talent. #TChatMeghan
M. Biro
I don’t think so 😉 “@marksalke: A2: Is it an accident that ‘Best Companies to
Work For’ are often very successful businesses? #tchat”Claire Crossley
A2 One brand
with common values. Employer brand driven from culture, drives customer (external) brand #tchatPam
Ross
A2 Consumers that see the employee values in the company brands will buy more

products (SouthWest Air, Patagonia, etc.) #tchatKC @UpwardlyMe

I love me a Venn
diagram! A2: The company and personal brand should be overlapping circle …should be a common
ground branding spot. #TChatPatrick Harris
A2 If a brand is authentic, trusted &
engaging, the vision should shine through whether from ee’s, CEO, or customers #TchatClaire
Crossley
A2:Coin has two very different sides, but still same coin. #tchatSimon
Harvey
A2. Best storyteller often is one closest to the story, emphasizing the importance on
brand symbiosis #tchatAlere Wellbeing
A2 pls clarify “employment branding” is
that personal branding? #TchatLee Bogner
A2 – The unfortunate thing is that they are almost
always treated separately… #tchatKC @UpwardlyMe
A2: The company and personal brand
should be overlapping circles… there should be a common ground branding spot. #TChatJon
M
A2:If they are different then you just have two brands. #tchatSimon Harvey
A2.
Both Corp & Emp brands should be rooted in the same values although branching at times in
various directions. #tchatSalima Nathoo
A2: employee brands are personal, employer brand
is more visionary. Both can correlate though. #tchatPlatinum Resource
A2: One Brand.
Executed upon diferently internally vs. Externally. Two sides of the same coin. #tchatGeorge
LaRocque
A2 Corporate branding = what it’s like to work here. Employee branding = behavior
of employees. Slowly the two are becoming one. #tchatBeverly Davis
A2: IMO brand is
exerted by the company culture which should ideally is successfully fostered by employees.
#tchatChristopher Nguyen
A2 Employment branding & corp branding should be strongly
tied to one another- both should stem from the overarching company vision #TchatWendy
Beecham
A2 – not all employees use the product/service a co. produces but must believe in it
for external customers to believe in it #tchatRichard S Pearson
A2 If there IS a difference,
both should come from the same foundation; leverage the same strengths. #TChatMark
Babbitt
A2: Is it an accident that ‘Best Companies to Work For’ are often very successful
businesses? #tchatMark Salke
A2:There should not be one. Branding should be unified
through every level of the company. #tchatHusamettin Erciyes
A2 – If companies wrap their
brands around their employee voices they will differentiate and win HUGE! #tchatKC
@UpwardlyMe
A2: With emp. branding, the work experience & opportunity is what is
being marketed – rather than the product/service of the co. #tchatJoshua Barger
A2. Both
should be awesome. #tchatJustin Mass
A2 IMO most effective brands and truest, most
engaging companies live external brand internally too. #tchatPam Ross
re Q2: What’s the
difference between employment branding and corporate branding? And should there be one? A2 =
NONE & NO #TChatSylvia Dahlby
A2: sometimes customers just need a widget, but
internally, ee’s should still care *why* you make them. #tchatJen Watkiss
Q3: Workplace
culture drives employment branding. Why or why not? #TchatCyndy Trivella
A3 – The vision
of organizations change and evolve – as should the culture of the co. – great leaders sell the evolved
vision… #tchatRichard S Pearson
A3:Workplace culture can drive productivity and efficiency
up or down. #tchatSimon Harvey
A3 If all employees match the company culture, you have a
great fit with engaged employees. This results in a unanimous brand image #TchatLinda
Jonas
A3: If u are excited abt going into the office,the culture is driving your bus 4
you.Culture puts the brand vision/identity in action #tchatJen Olney
A3 I know ee’s support
the brand (hopefully nicely est by leadership) but where do clients sit, don’t they *determine* the

brand? #TchatClaire Crossley

A3: Culture gives leadership a map to follow for ‘teaming’, i.e.,
recruiting/hiring. Culture is essential to establishing job roles .#tchatMark Salke
A3:
Workplace culture can be amazing for employee branding when you capture it on social media
#TChatSean Charles
A3: Workplace culture drives the brand because employee compatibility
with this brand = efficiency and productivity. #tchatAndrew Grossman
A3. Brand is an
evolving fusion of executed leadership principles & employee engagement (not just employee
existence). #tchatSalima Nathoo
A3 Huge Yes, if get up everyday so happy to get to work,
culture, team culture is huge part of that #TchatLee Bogner
A3: Workplace culture gives
direction to EEs and they drive the company brand voluntarily #tchatHusamettin Erciyes
A3
culture drives brand in service biz as culture is customer exp and becomes brand
#TChatJeremy_Snell
A3: Yes! You MUST hire the right people or your brand will be in peril.
#tchatELiz Dexter-Wilson
A3: The culture of a firm drives the type of people you hire and
retain. #tchatRob McGahen
A3: Workplace cult gives a co. identity , defines reputation in the
community at large. We have all heard…”I want to work
there!”#TChatHBAnetMA
A3:
Workplace culture “should” drive employee
branding – should being the operative term and if the culture follows the vision of co. #tchatRichard S
Pearson
A3: How the brand is executed & what is stands for determines the culture and
environment of the company. #tchatEmilie Mecklenborg
A3: Nearly always. Workplace
culture is reality…employment branding is delusion…er…image comp trying to portray #TChatStephen
Van Vreede
A3:Workplace culture can kill employment branding, of grow it. Why because
environment drives behavior. #tchatSimon Harvey
A3 Workforce culture is the the
Employment Brand – whether a company’s leaders say so or not… #tchatKC
@UpwardlyMe
A3: YES. Culture is true measure of what it’s like to work there. If the 2 are
different, u will attract wrong pple, they will fail. #tchatPam Ross
A3:Culture drives branding.
Why? This chicken came before the egg. Culture not a separate ‘tack on’ #TChat #HR #CultureFaronics
HR
Q4: Who owns employment branding, corporate branding, and the bridge between?
#TchatCyndy Trivella
A4 #tchat HR owns employment branding but has to work w/ marketing
who should B the experts on corporate branding. Should be a team effort.strategic HR,
inc.
A4. Without meaning, purpose & service – a brand is a logo waiting to happen.
#tchatSalima Nathoo
A4: Everyone, no one person, team or dept. owns it #tchat
#jumpinginDustin Haverkamp
A4- Yesterday, silos. Today requires collaboration for
executional success… top, down. Everyone has responsibility owning brand. #Tchatavery
block
A4 Everyone. All functions play role and must align throughout #tchatPam
Ross
A4: Colleges and Univ everyone own the brand, someone i designated to manage it.
Comm, CIO etc #TchatGuy Davis
A4 The #organization’s weakest link holds the company
culture hostage, which is why training and cultural reinforcement are critical. #tchatPatrick
Harris
A4: The ideal brand should be planned by execs/shareholders and the ongoing
integrity of that ideal by the whole company. #tchatAndrew Grossman
A4 In reality…Emp
Brand is not managed by anyone…most companies ignore it..wish it were other wise… #tchatKC
@UpwardlyMe
A4: Culture is an evolving thing, it can’t be owned. Like a person’s spirit. Or
#tchat spirit! 😉 #tchatPlatinum Resource
A4: The bridge between employment and corporate
branding is owned by the company culture. Leadership actions set the culture. #TChatJon

M

A4:You hope that employment branding is owned by your employees.Corp by corp and
leadership is the bridge. #tchatSimon Harvey
A4: The CBO (Chief Branding Officer)?
#tchatMark Salke
A4. Everyone owns employment branding. Collective intelligence starts
with shared ownership of brand prowess & resiliency. #tchatSalima Nathoo
A4: Plain
and simple: The people. #tchatRob McGahen
A4: Everyone! The employees and… Oh no 🙂
Leaders. #TChatMeghan M. Biro
A4 Simple…the workforce! #tchatKC
@UpwardlyMe
A4: thinking you can own a brand is 1st prob. It’s a living thing, best you can
do is try to guide it where you want it to go. #tchatJen Watkiss
A4: #tchatEmilie
Mecklenborg
a4. The employees – the employer & the State #TchatDave Ryan,
SPHR
Q5: Does a company have to go green or donate shoes to Africa to have an attractive
employment brand? Why or why not? #TchatCyndy Trivella
🙂 Yes @gingerconsult: A5: The
engagement in these activities has to be with purpose, not just to follow a trend or for appearances.
#TChatMeghan M. Biro
A5: The engagement in these activities has to be with purpose, not
just to follow a trend or for appearances. #tchatJen Olney
A5: A company has to be true to
their own vision, self. There is no amount of money you can giveaway that makes up for not being you
#tchatJen Olney
A5 Work with what you have.If charity or green is too much money, sell your
kindness, innovation, history, etc. Think economics! #tchatAndrew Grossman
A5: Apple got a
great deal of flack for it’s China factories – but from my exp. Chinese workers love the job: can’t impose
our values #tchatRichard S Pearson
It’s YOUR Brand. Differentiate it. MT @impactresults: A5-
It’s abt having “impact” “meaning” being “purpose” driven, not just
“green” #tchatPam Ross
Agreed @YouTernMark A5: A cool mission helps, but a
really good culture can be created with “we take damn good care of our people”.
#TChatAnita
A5: at the end of the day it’s about being authentic to who you are (employer
brand) , and not selling out to the latest fads. #tchatPlatinum Resource
A5- It’s about having
“impact” or “meaning” or being “purpose” driven, not necessarily
just “green” #tchatChristine McLeod
A5:Most attractive employment brand is
one that was created by them, not handed down from corp 2b adopted. #tchatSimon
Harvey
A5 Community Engagement is a great if it is meaningful to the emps…if not just PR…
#tchatKC @UpwardlyMe
A5: companies just a visions purpose that employees and
consumers understand and feel good about #tchatBurke Allen
@CyndyTrivella A5 If the
company states that as part of their vision & *brands* as such, absolutely … but if not, no!
#TchatClaire Crossley
A5: It’s only skin deep, after awhile ppl realize it’s shallow consumers
want authentic brands! They’ll take those to the grave #tchatPlatinum Resource
A5.
employment brand isn’t made up of on only 1 thing. Should be holistic representation of all values
& in alignment w/ corp brand. #TChatavery block
A5 – No, but it can’t have a
“negative” employee brand or it will eventually translate to negative consumer brand.
#tchatRichard S Pearson
A5. Must be true to their vision – whatever that is! #tchatcfactor
Works Inc.
Ahh..the masterful one! @YouTernMark: A5 Cool mission helps, but a good
culture can be created “we take damn good care of our people” #tchatKC
@UpwardlyMe
A5. Company culture should embrace good causes – Take care of its people
and the community. #tchatAnita
Leaders, People, World — Are We Listening?! >
@rmcgahen: A5: Just do the right thing. Thats all that matters. #TChatMeghan M. Biro
A5.

changed my mind …NO not really but it probably helps. #TchatDave Ryan, SPHR

A5: No, but
it helps morale and employment branding to see a company “giving back”.
#TChatHBAnetMA
Indeed! So true @Simon_GB: A5:No, but they would be wise to show they
care about what matters to gen public. #TChatMeghan M. Biro
A5:If you give, you shall
receive. #tchatSimon Harvey
A5 Absolutely NOT…companies need to offer transparency and
support to positive emp values and get out of the way… #tchatKC @UpwardlyMe
A5: Just do
the right thing. That’s all that matters. #tchatRob McGahen
A5:No, but they would be wise to
show they care about what matters to gen public. #tchatSimon Harvey
A5. Not necessarily,
but give me something to fall in love with. #tchatJustin Mass
A5: The brand is all about the
people- the consumer, the employee. Successful brand cares about both. #tchatEmilie
Mecklenborg
Agreed! Like TOMS Shoes 🙂 @DaveTheHRCzar: A5 Yes All Companies should
donate shoes to Africa #TChatMeghan M. Biro
A5: A cool mission helps, but a really good
culture can be created with “we take damn good care of our people”. #TChatMark
Babbitt
A5 Not necessarily, but depending on who your target is, it helps! #tchatPam
Ross
A5: Treating people right in the workplace is the best social cause to take on &
build a solid brand with. #TChatJon M
A5. We manage a brand that has taken a life of its own
(client privacy = discretion) ; The brand is it’s own being. @CyndyTrivella
#Tchatprettypinkponies
A5 Yes All Companies should donate shoes to Africa #TchatDave
Ryan, SPHR
A5: Corporate responsibility is real, and consumers can tell whether efforts are
genuine or not. #tchatBright.com

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