When you think about an employer brand what is the first thing that comes to your mind?

Probably a specific organization comes to your mind, right?

Okey, hold that thought.

When you let your thoughts sink in deeper into this organization you are thinking about, where is your mind taking you?

Yes, that’s right. Your mind is forming sensations about that organization. You are not thinking about their employer value proposition (EVP). Most likely, you don’t even recall knowing what it is!

What comes to your mind is how that organization makes you feel.

And if it doesn’t make you feel anything distinctive, then, this organization does not have an employer brand. They might be well known and reputable other wise, but they don’t have an employer brand.

In this episode of the Building a Modern Employer Brand podcast, we will be visiting beyond the surface of what employer brand really means.

Some of you really loved episode 89 “What is employer brand affinity?”. Consider this episode the next stop down that alley.

Why your EVP is not your employer brand

EVP (an employee value proposition) is not your employer brand. Just like your customer promise is not the brand of your company.

And for that reason, an EVP exercise is not employer branding.

The promises we make for our target audience may well be part of the experience the actual brand creates. And quite frankly should, but often times, that just isn’t the case.

Let me tell you why.

CTA banner to talent marketing school core lesson on modern employer brand

Brand promises, what an EVP is also, are often times designed into the form of a tagline, catchy slogan or a few phrases by a small group of (HR) marketing people.

It is really hard to create a really good promise because:

a) it’s hard to give a promise that will be delivered 100% of the time.

b) when you try to find a promise that would be delivered close to 100% of the time, you’ll end up with something so general, you’ll lose any real value there might have been.

An employer brand is something very distinctive about your organization the other employers like you just cannot create.

I’m sure there are one or two EVP’s in this universe that can repeatedly capture that distinctive essence of the employer brand they represent, but quite frankly majority of them won’t.

What are EVP’s and do we still need them?

[Continue reading this blog post below the podcast-episode.]

Listen to episode 95 in the Building a Modern Employer Brand podcast with Susanna Rantanen

In this episode:

  • Why your EVP exercise is not employer branding?
  • The value your employer brand must create.
  • What employer branding really means.

Seth Godin: “Everything you probably don’t know about marketing [YOUTUBE].”

The reason why your organization would want to be known for something distinctive

In the Youtube video with Seth Godin talking about what we probably don’t know about marketing, he talks about what it means to have a brand.

If Nike owned a hotel we would probably recognize it. If Hyatt (a hotel chain) made sneakers, we wouldn’t be able to recognize them because Hyatt doesn’t have a brand. They have a logo. Hotels at that price point, the Hyatts, Hiltons and Mariott’s, they all look the same. I don’t know where I am [when I step into the reception lounge].

Seth Godin

Your organization wants to have an employer brand so that you won’t be considered like all the other similar places to work your current and potential employees could work for.

If Hyatt (a hotel chain) made sneakers, we wouldn’t be able to recognize them because Hyatt doesn’t have a brand. They have a logo.

Seth Godin

When your organization is known for offering distinctive, value-add experiences for your employees, their other options become limited or inexistent. What your ideal employees and candidates experience with your organization doesn’t have a substitute. The others just cannot quite copy it.

The value of your employer brand is the extra others are willing to pay or compensate for getting a job and building a career in your organization. You don’t have to compete with pay and benefits, or your office decor and after-work parties because the repeatable brand experience is worth so much more than the tip of the ice berg.

That’s what an employer brand is. If you really want to achieve an employer brand, focus on the meaningful emotional experiences being part of your company can repeatedly generate and the substitutes can not. Otherwise, just stick to growing awareness of your existing in your target audience. That may well be enough, but that’s not employer branding.

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