Let’s Go Shopping
Picture this. You’re walking down the aisles of your local grocery store. You’re bombarded with lots of brands, many colours, and screens of advertising messages. You come across your company on the shelf. You pick it up. You examine it.
What does it … Look like? Smell like? Taste like? Feel like? Sound like?
You examine your company’s packaging, you read the brand messages and the label. You ponder what’s inside – maybe you can see through the packaging. You wonder, will the promise of the external packaging match the reality of its contents? Is there anything inside the packaging that you are allergic or intolerant to? Does the product speak to you, connect with you? How does it make you feel?
Now it’s decision time and your shopping trolley is expectantly waiting.
Would you buy it?
Or are you tempted to pick a similar company in close shelf proximity?
Jobseekers Go Shopping
A jobseeker and an employee loyal to another company venture down the same aisle and each glance upon the shelves near you. They discover and pick up your company. How would they perceive your company? Will it connect with them? They’re weighing up between your company, their own company (in the case of the employee), and the other companies on the shelf. Will you ignore them, or be a vocal and proud brand ambassador? What’s your elevator pitch?
Back To The Supermarket
You head towards the checkout. But first you reflect. What do you think of your company’s shelf positioning? Was it easily discoverable? Did it stand out or blend in on the crowded shelves?
The weeks go by and you’re back at the store. You’re craving a company to fulfil your needs. Do you head to the shelf and pick your company? Are you addicted, like a crazed fan, to your brand? Maybe it’s more of a comfort decision, with a brand you know. What would sway you to make a different purchase?
Then an interesting turn of events takes place. The store owner approaches you. They’ve noticed you seem obsessively interested in closely examining your company. They confide in you. Sales on your company have been a bit slow. They ask for your advice on what you would recommend to get both the active shopper and passive browser to buy your company. They offer a few options … different positioning on the shelves, a print or radio advertising campaign, marketing on social media, a point-of-sale incentive, in-store experiential marketing, customer referrals, or outsource the marketing and sales to a third-party agency. Maybe something else altogether. Perhaps there needs to be more brand personality and value propositions coming through, or maybe the best option is for your company to change the packaging. Is it worth consulting with a team or individual inside your company? Maybe you need to reach out to HR, or recruitment, or marketing, or that Gen-Y social media guru. Your head is spinning with ideas. Maybe, just maybe, you should recommend that the store take the company off the shelf – maybe it needs to be somewhere else.
Then, after your brief chat with the store owner, and as you’re heading towards the checkout, you notice there’s a display – a 3-day sale for mirrors. You pick up a mirror, look deeply into it, and have this strange feeling. As you see yourself you think … finally a product that truly resonates with, and understands, me.
In recruitment, we are often noisily broadcasting our job opportunities and employer brand messages. Sometimes the branding is lifeless. Sometimes it lacks authenticity. Often it fails to speak to the individual. In these cases it’s not really the best representation of your company. Consumer product branders wouldn’t want to ship anything bland out the door. Even in what we could perceive as being the dullest of workplaces, employees may be emotionally invested in their profession and feel they’re making a positive contribution to a cause greater than themselves. Do our brand efforts truly emotionally connect with our employees and top talent in the marketplace? What would happen if we interchanged your company’s logo with your competitor’s? Would the average punter be able to note the difference? Sometimes if there is little or no difference, then there may be little point in over-branding – maybe our efforts would be better spent creating a whole new experience, one that they’re not getting from another employer.
Now hold that recently purchased mirror up to yourself again. As a recruitment, HR or employer brand professional, are you thinking enough like a marketer? Hold it up to your jobseekers and employees – what are they passionate about? What’s important to them? Are we creating brand addiction?
Good luck with your shopping.
This article originally appeared here
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