Most companies get that consumers need to easily understand what an organization stands for. A strong consumer brand creates desire and attracts ideal customers who want to be part of what a company is selling—not just the product, but also the values.
Not as many companies get that job candidates need to easily understand what a workplace stands for. A strong employer brand magnetizes candidates who are aligned with a company and who want to deliver on what the brand promises to its consumers.
In other words: If your consumer brand is a promise, your employer brand is the follow-through.
At Job Portraits, our clients already get why employer branding is so important. But we’ve observed that at some companies, there seems to be a rift between people who advocate for employer branding work and people who are focused on consumer branding.
Marketing teams can be reluctant to share their budgets with recruiters or heads of talent.
Recruiters and heads of talent can feel resentful when marketing teams want oversight on strategy and creative output.
The solution? We think we should all be working together—just like consumer brands and employer brands work together.
Your managed employer brand influences your consumer brand (and vice versa)
When someone applies for a job at your company, their experience will affect how they think of your brand. They won’t mentally differentiate between “employer brand” and “consumer brand.” They’ll just know whether or not they feel good about your organization.
If you’ve got dozens of open roles, that’s hundreds of touchpoints and opportunities to offer an intimate experience of your brand.
Similarly—and perhaps more importantly—when someone feels good about your organization because of their experience as a consumer, they are more likely to consider devoting their time and talent as an employee.
Functionally, consumer brand and employer brand are two sides of the same coin. Their messaging needs to be complementary and consistent, and they share the same goal: Attract people who care about what your organization cares about.
Because the people who care are the people who will buy your product—and they’re also the people who will work hard to make sure your product is worth buying.
“Just Do It” because “We use the power of sport to move the world.”
Let’s look at Nike as an example. No matter what you think of Nike, they’re one of the world’s biggest brands, so they’re obviously doing something right.
Nike’s consumer brand is “Just Do It.” The promise behind that brand, according to their mission, is to “bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world.”
Nike believes that everyone who has a body is an athlete, so their consumer brand is aimed at everyone. But what about their employer brand? On the careers front, Nike claims: “We use the power of sport to move the world.”
What commendable cohesion! The power of “Just Do It” rests squarely on a workforce of people who “use the power of sport to move the world.” Nike employees, then, are a subset of Nike consumers, not a separate population. And the entire Nike audience is receiving a consistent message of global impact.
Make sure your employer brand is on point
No matter what promises you make with your consumer brand, you can’t deliver without the right employees—aka the humans behind your products. So of course it is crucial that you have a strong employer brand and communicate directly to a candidate audience.
But rather than HR operating in a silo—or, worse, competing for marketing dollars—we advocate for collaboration. When a company’s teams are able to help each other share meaningful messages with varied audiences, they underscore the common truths that unite the organization in the first place.
At Job Portraits, our work is to help identify and communicate those truths by creating managed employer brands. Should we be talking with you?