As an HR professional, you will likely ‘experience’ your employer brand an average of 6-9 times before even one single job candidate or internal employee sees it. It’s easy to develop ‘creative fatigue’ too soon when it comes to the public implementation of your employer brand. This is something we all (HR and agency folks alike) should avoid.
If you engage a recruitment marketing agency to discover and develop your brand, here’s how the math will likely go:
Brand Experience #1
Your agency implements creative discovery methods (surveys, focus groups, etc.) to establish the data upon which your brand will be built.
Brand Experiences #2 through #4
Next, an employer brand promise, employer brand attributes and Employee Value Proposition is proposed that encapsulates the essence of your brand promise. The EVP language is refined and finalized.
Brand Experiences #5 through #8
Your agency’s creative department develops the brand through different copy and concept choices; a single concept is chosen; creative changes are made; a final creative platform is born.
Brand Experience #9
The brand creative is implemented in various media according to a planned strategy and pushed out — for the first time — to external and internal audiences.
What’s the takeaway here?
Your employer brand needs more time to run than you think. Its internal development period shouldn’t count. You’ve invested precious resources into discovering and creating your true, authentic brand. Let it work for you!!
What if the De Beers Diamond Company abandoned its slogan “A diamond is forever” for something catchier before it was time? De Beers is the messaging gold standard (OK, diamond standard) in its industry, running its brand theme for generations and consistently relying on simple black-and-white advertisements. Or, what if Coke updated its universally recognized red and white color pallet after one year because the next season’s trending colors were teal and orange?
Employer brands are living, breathing entities.
Let’s give them time and space to go through the stages of any key messaging campaign. With a nod to the Yale Model of Persuasive Communication, these are:
- Traction/Audience Participation
- Sustained/Growing Momentum
- Iconic Status/Perception of Permanence
Of course, your employer brand may be strategically tweaked and/or refreshed when needed. Any sound recruitment marketing agency will monitor the performance of your brand and make appropriate adjustments. An update may also be considered if you have undergone a major organizational change that directly alters your employment proposition.
- What will and should remain the same?
- Is the authentic story behind your brand?
- How it distinguishes your organization’s vision, values, culture, mission, and employment experience?
So, how long should an employer brand campaign run?
The definitive answer is: it depends. Every company and situation is different. What I know is that employer brands shouldn’t be pulled too early. The distinctive employment promise you deliver…the story of what you stand for…of how you are different than all other companies in your hiring and engagement space…deserves to be told and celebrated. It deserves its due time.
That’s my say. I’m sticking to it.