Without Purpose, You’re Hurting Your Product, Your Brand, and Yourself
"If you feel the tug of war between spending time on activities with little meaning or direction and that pang of insecurity about keeping your skills in line with market expectations, you may be struggling with a lack of professional brand purpose."
The bitter and cynical black-hearted part of me really loved this article on brands and emotional dishonesty. All those brands projecting sunny dispositions and unrelenting positivity, are they really getting what they want? Are they applying a short-lived salve to soothe people's pains without actually changing anything? And in the world of employer brand, where there's no such thing as "short-term fixes," what would happen if brands embraced emotional honesty?
Former Away employees describe a toxic work environment at the luggage company - The Verge
If you've got the time (and the outrage), here is the big article on the internal comms and culture of Away. Why is this worth your time? It is an amazing example of how tools and processes (Slack! Value-driven culture!) that were launched to help us change work, can still be used to badger, belittle and abuse staff (someone in a forum called it "weaponizing values" and I can't get that out of my head). There's are a million quotes I could use, but I suggest you watch to see how "open communication" can be used to instill fear, how "embracing values" can be corrupted to build a cult of personality.
The assumption is that culture creates the brand, and I think that's true to an extent. Your brand is the intentional and judicious selection of traits and ideas that highlight your culture. But can you go the other way? That is, can you use the brand to change the culture? Great article on the chicken/egg situation and some great ideas on how you can make an impact on the culture.
How One Person Can Change the Conscience of an Organization
I used to have a boss who used the phrase, "one man invading China" as shorthand for the person she tasked with a project that really should have gotten a LOT more resources. Of course, that could describe every employer brand person I've ever met, so I always love to see stories of how one person can make a difference in even large organizations.
Building A Thought-Leadership Brand | Branding Strategy Insider
There are a lot of reasons you might communicate as to why someone should work for your company. But have you considered that they'd want to work here because you're a thought leader? Here are some guidelines to consider when building out your thought leadership connected to your brand.
Half of job seekers rejected a job offer after an interview—here's why
Usually, when we wonder, "why did someone apply and interview only to walk away from the offer?" we think about the question on an individual level. What was the issue with that person or interaction? But when you look more systemically, you might see that things like messaging, branding, and candidate experience timeline have just as much of an impact. CNBC asks why 50% of offers end up being rejected.
Interview: The True Brand Purpose, w/ Dion Hughes, HiBAR
Branding Mag (rightly) calls "shenanigans" on what feels like every company embracing the concept of "purpose" as a driver in their marketing. To the author's eyes, it is obviously self-serving and has been used to the point of uselessness. That's not good news for us employer brander folks, many of whom rely seriously on the concept of "inspiring purpose" in their EVPs (I mean, now many times in one newsletter am I allowed to use the term 'over-indexed' before this thing gets silly?). But there's some good, news, especially for brands who aren't just slapping a fresh of coat of "purpose" in the brand as the solution d'jour. Defining and proving how your company is trying to create a change in the world is the first step. Get it right, make it real, or just don't both.
A test for leaders: Creating certainty amid uncertainty
Prediction: we've reached "peak inspiration" with our brand messaging. We needed that sense of hope to get through the initial freak-out, and some companies did a great job with it. But leaning too much on inspiration can feel like eating too much of that chocolate bunny. Beyond peak-inspiration? Getting the work done. Where we get back to the pleasures of doing good work.
Your customers aren't interested in your COVID messaging anymore, what now?
This is interesting because we may have entered "Covid fatigue," where we're all sick of getting those emails on how that company you bought a puzzle from three years ago is changing because of the pandemic. My take away? Less talk, more showing. Nike doesn't talk about design as much as it shows it, which is why people see it as authentically design-focused.
Building Leading Brands With Trust And Purpose | Branding Strategy Insider
“Brand that I can trust” has been an attribute that brands have measured for a long time. Looking back, a decade ago, it was hardly a differentiator. Since trust is built over time and can be broken overnight, it is a very fragile attribute for a brand. For the brands born in the last decade, it is the single most powerful long-term competitive advantage they can build and are building by putting social purpose in their core DNA.
So I was deeply impressed when LinkedIn (and I don’t often use the words “impressed” and “LinkedIn” together) posted a directory of their own alumni who were recently let go. We’re in a world where leaving is no longer the stigma it once was, but it’s rare that companies actively support their alumni. The obvious outcomes of this kind of project is that it makes LinkedIn look good, but it creates an army of people connecting with all new networks who now have very positive brand associates with LI.
Should Your Employer Brand State its Political Beliefs? | The Tim Sackett Project
Tim Sackett asks a pretty controversial question over on his blog: Should companies disclose their political leanings? Tim makes good points that just because a business might lean liberal or conservative, that doesn’t mean everyone does, or even that it’s a critical component to the employer brand. My take is simple: if it matters to leadership and staff what the political identify of an organization is, and it’s not exclusive of talent from other perspectives, there’s no reason not to talk about it. But in this day and age, where “wearing a mask” is seen as somehow “political,” the return from such a position is likely very very weak (if not completely counter-productive).
Why It’s Time for Brand Leaders to Get Serious About Emotion
Trying to grow your brand without emotion (I mean, we are in the people business, right?) is a mistake. But leveraging emotion isn’t necessarily obvious or simple. It helps to understand your talent targets’ needs and desires.