Why your employer brand gets its DNA from your company culture [podcast #96]

Blog header #96 Why your employer brand gets its DNA from your company culture - Building a modern, magnetic employer brand podcast with Susanna Rantanen

Your employer brand and company culture go hand in hand because your culture gives your brand its DNA. Your organizational culture has all the ingredients you need for building a magnetic and distinctive employer brand.

What you need is to specify your culture to use it as the basis for your employer brand.

In this episode of the Building a Modern Employer Brand podcast, Susanna explains why your employer brand needs to be based on your organizational culture. Otherwise, you may risk achieving employer brand at all.

[Scroll past the following blog post for the podcast audio.]

Why your employer brand gets its DNA from your company culture

Employer brand requires a repeatable brand experience your audiences can expect each time they come to contact with you.

We can safely say, company culture is the only real differentiator between us and other similar organizations.

What your candidates, employees, customers and the general public experience is your culture code:

  • What is communicated through your website.
  • posts and conversations on your social media accounts,
  • all candidate experiences in your recruitment processes,
  • how your people treat those who want to sell something to your organization,
  • customer experiences,
  • how your people treat others when they talk about their work, especially after business hours.

Our perceptions about your company are formulated by these encounters and experiences.

It is when these encounters repeatedly create unique value-add experiences your competitors doesn’t seem to offer, you have a brand.

And the ingredients for a successful employer brand are in the DNA of your company culture.

Let’s crack this open.

#1 Culture gives us the authentic experience of how we do things here in this tribe.

Your organization forms a tribe. Your tribe authorities are executing certain spoken and unspoken rules that create behavioral expectations for others in your tribe. If you want to stay in this tribe or belong to this tribe, you are expected to copy and adjust.

It doesn’t matter whether your culture is friendly or competitive, nurturing or analytical, it is still the culture of how you do things in your organization.

When you dig deeper, your culture code is unique to your organization. Your culture defines what you are and are not as an organization. This DNA is what your company and employer image as well as reputation are all based on.

No matter how many creative branding projects your company takes on, your real culture always pushes through at the end. I think what we saw especially in the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic was a very good reflection of that.

If your culture has characteristics valued regularly by your employees, candidates and customers, you have what it takes to build a brand.

#2 Employer image is the what I expect to experience when I come to contact with your organization.

Your company and employer images are the face of your culture. What we see and experience tell us about your real values.

When we meet your people, buy your products, apply for your jobs, propose our services to you, see your marketing, hear your messages, meet your sales people or come to contact with your customer service, we experience first hand what your culture really is.

And these experiences allow us to imagine what we probably experience the next time.

Your culture holds the key to who you really are as a business, as an employer and as an organization formed by all of your people.

If you have something in your culture that creates unique value for others, you have what it takes to build an actual employer brand.

#3 To achieve an employer brand, this repeatable experience must deliver exceptional value substitutes aren’t delivering.

Your culture doesn’t automatically convert into an employer brand even if it automatically produces your employer image and reputation.

Employer brand is different.

Employer branding means taking specific elements from your DNA, proven by your employee experiences that can be converted into repeatable employer brand experiences.

The elements you choose need to be:

1) setting your company apart from your competition for the same talent.

2) delivering value add for your target talents your substitutes doesn’t seem to be giving.

The key here is to guarantee those employer brand experiences become the norm for your organization.

Your target audiences know they get this value-add experience every time they come to contact with anyone from your organization.

You simply cannot guarantee this repeatable experience unless it is engraved in your backbone: your company culture.

Without a distinctive and repeatable employer brand experience you don’t have an employer brand.

You might have a cool recruitment video, a fancy career site or a fresh EVP, but none of these are your employer brand.

Why growth companies should ditch the Fun at Work culture

Comparing strategic company culture to the Fun at Work culture

[INFOGRAPHIC] The key differences between a company culture and employee engagement

[Research paper] The impact of organizational culture on employer branding

Listen to episode 96 in the Building a Modern Employer Brand podcast with Susanna Rantanen

In this episode:

  • What is company culture?
  • Why your company culture is the DNA of your employer brand
  • Why your culture dictates whether you have what it takes to become an employer brand

Prefer listening to this podcast on the go? We are available on the following apps. 

Clicking on the link takes you to the Building of Modern Employer Brand -podcast show in your chosen app. Subscribe to this podcast on your favorite app and you’ll never miss a new episode!


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