These days, a person’s “personal brand” is paramount. Take Taylor Swift for instance: how many times has she (successfully) reinvented herself over the past five years? First a sweet country girl, and now a jaded heartbreaker/femme fatale. A brand helps you stand out from the crowd – it’s a stamp that puts the ‘essence’ of who you are into a neat box. As children, we hear that being “boxed into” a single identity is a bad thing – a generalization of sorts. But really, if you want to be memorable, popular, or trusted, it’s not all bad to have a distinct “brand.”
Companies Need a Brand Too!
The same goes for companies. With nearly three startups popping up every second, and a shockingly low unemployment rate of 3.8%, entrepreneurs in every industry are struggling with the same challenge: how do I make my company stand out? How do I make my company appealing to prospects among thousands of job postings, particularly in this “Modern War for Talent?” Many companies are solving this problem with branding. When a company has a recognizable brand, it positions that business for success; customers flock to buy the well-known and trusted product, and top talent vies to secure a position at a highly successful company. Ever ask to borrow someone’s ChapStick? ChapStick’s brand has become universally synonymous with their product: any company’s dream.
So, as an employer, how do you go about branding your company for success? Read on!
1) Tell your story
Humans have a natural tendency to want to connect with other people. Companies looking to brand themselves effectively should take this into consideration when telling their story. It’s important to give a behind-the-scenes look at the company’s founders, products, or services – with a clear, personable voice, personalized bios, a user-friendly website, and consistent social media posts to promote the company as an ‘individual’ to the respective target audiences.
2) Focus on the social good
Consider building your brand to promote and generate social and/or environmental good. Employees tend to want to be a part of a company that supports causes that matter to them. In pursuing the social good, you'll establish yourself as a values-driven brand (and you'll feel good while doing it). One easy way to appeal to prospects is to close the gender pay gap at your company, with pay that is externally competitive and internally equitable. Platforms like CompAnalyst can help with this.
3) Promote a fun workplace culture
So your company has incredible benefits, programs, and services that keep your employees happy and engaged. Fantastic! Now it’s time to share these cultural elements on social media to show prospects that your company is THE company to work for. Does your company have a softball team? Post pictures of the games to your company’s Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram! Do you host yearly company holiday events? Again, post some photos! Seeing employees having fun makes your company all that more appealing to prospects.
4) Monitor your reputation on the internet
Your company’s reviews can make or break your business. As you know, ratings can absolutely determine whether a person will purchase your product (or apply to your company). Each review of your company establishes your brand’s credibility, which is why it’s so important to ensure your reviews reflect positively on your company. Naturally, you can’t control everything that’s said, considering it’s an external rating system, but there are two ways to mitigate any unwanted negative reviews or feedback. First, you can beef up the volume of reviews by engaging your happiest workers and requesting that they contribute. A handful of “5 star” ratings can go a long way in bringing up your company’s score on websites like Glassdoor or Google.
The second way to go about improving your reputation requires a bit more effort. Are you noticing that some employees and customers tend to complain about the same things? Maybe it’s time for your company to take action and address issues that pop up frequently. While you can’t undo criticism, you can also show your transparency with a willingness to listen and change. Take the time to respond to negative reviews publicly, letting the reviewer know that you care and are open to constructive criticism. This shows prospective employees that you’re a company that does what you can do to fix problems.
5) Promote your company successes
Has your company won any awards? Don’t be afraid to flaunt your successes – industry awards, company “best ofs”, national rankings, even softball tournament wins – really, anything that will make you stand out from competitors. If your company has yet to win any awards, a good first step is to apply for a few business awards. You’ll want to locate a few awards that allow entries from your industry, location, and business size.
For instance, if you are an SMB located in Los Angeles, it can be helpful to look for award applications for “Best Companies to Work for in Los Angeles” or “Best Customer Service: SMBs.” Simply hone in on what makes your company special, put in the work to apply, and (hopefully) you will be the proud owner of a new, shiny award to promote on your careers webpage, or even within your job descriptions.
Are you an employer, recruiter, or HR professional hoping to learn more about how to attract, engage, and retain top talent? Salary.com offers the broadest and most complete set of data coverage, pricing, and consulting resources available today to help your business develop balanced, equitable, and competitive total rewards programs. Book a demo today.