what is the difference between employer brand and consumer brand?
When working right, your consumer brand serves a number of valuable purposes. It represents a promise of performance. It conveys a positive image of your company and your products or services to your customers. It is a pillar on which to build a winning strategy. Companies commonly invest great amounts of energy and dollars into acquiring and maintaining their consumer brand. If your company brand goes south – you are in trouble.
Your employer brand is a different animal entirely – although there are some common characteristics. The targeted audiences for your consumer brand and your employer brand might overlap – or have little in common. For example, if you manufacture high-end servers, few or maybe none of your employees would be in the target audience for your product brand messaging. The perceptions of your employees about your brand might be vastly different from the images potential customers associate with your brand – but your employer brand can be as important to your recruiting success as your consumer brand is to your market success.
If you’ve recently attempted to hire IT professionals in some of the “hottest” areas– mobile, analytics, cloud, security, etc. you know how difficult it can be. With a skyrocketing demand and a rather static supply of specialists in these disciplines, talented job seekers can pretty much write their own ticket. Unfortunately, even if you are working on some of the most innovative and exciting technologies, if job seekers perceive your company as staid or having an unstimulating workplace, you’ll find yourself at a huge disadvantage in hiring the best talent. Just because you have a widely respected consumer brand doesn’t mean that your organization is perceived as a great place to work.
It’s important to understand how job candidates think about your organization as a potential employer. Every interaction between your company and prospective employees will help shape their perception of your employer brand as will exposure they have to your current employees, your communication materials and media, your hiring processes, etc. Nurturing your employer brand with the same level of care and attention that is paid to your consumer brand can help shorten recruiting time frames, differentiate your company from competitors, and help you attract and retain the high quality talent you need to fulfill your organization’s business goals.
With well-conceived and methodically executed employer branding programs even firms working in typically slower moving, more conservative industries can position themselves in the minds of prospective employees as great places to work offering interesting, rewarding and innovative opportunities.