Many people think a brand is just a logo and website, but it’s so much more than that. A brand is the way your organization is perceived by those who experience it. And having a bad brand influences not only your sales but the ability to attract the best employees to your company.
- 69 percent of job candidates have said they would reject an offer of employment from a company from a bad employer brand, even if they were unemployed
- According to the Harvard Business Review, companies with a poor employer brand must offer a minimum of 10 percent pay increase to lure top talent
- 95 percent of candidates have said they consider a company’s reputation as a key consideration when exploring new career opportunities
- Only 49 percent of employees would recommend their employer to a friend
A strong brand:
- Builds a reputation in the industry
- Provides motivation and direction for employees
- Generates referrals for both customers and employees
- Builds loyalty
- Provides business value
So, what does this mean? You need to proactively manage all aspects of your brand. You can start this by grading your current branding to see how it fares when it comes to creating a positive perception of your business.
Grade the following categories from A-F (A = extremely strong, F = extremely weak)
The first category to grade your brand on is vision. This is the purpose of your company beyond making money. Having a shared vision helps you and your employees be on the same page when it comes to representing your brand. It also helps customers know what to expect when interacting with you.
Here are some questions to ask yourself when grading your vision:
- Are the purpose and values of my business clearly identified?
- Is my brand position clearly defined and distinguished from my competitors?
- Do I have visual standards that are defined, documented, and enforced?
What your staff experiences on a daily basis is also an important part of having a strong brand. People want to know what the vibe is before coming to work for you – they want to know about management style or how you communicate with your employees.
Here are some questions to ask yourself when grading your culture:
- Is your company culture built to reinforce the brand?
- Are there internal programs that support the brand?
- Is there training for employees on brand and how to support it?
Experience includes your brand “touchpoints” – each time someone comes in contact with your business. Touchpoints aren’t just tracked through direct sales, but also through your website, vendors, customer service, tech support, human resources, etc.
Here are some questions to ask while grading how someone experience’s your brand at every touchpoint:
- How well is the brand perceived by customers and employees?
- Do customers and employees perceive me how I want them to?
- How likely are they to recommend my business to others?
Engagement is the story of your brand, or what it’s saying to other people. This is key because when people are engaged with your brand, it builds their loyalty.
Here’s what to ask yourself when grading your brand engagement:
- Do employees know what your brand stands for?
- Does your brand help you achieve your sales and hiring goals?
- Do people have an emotional and cultural connection with your brand?
- How well does your brand maximize the value of employee relationships?
What your grade means:
Okay, so you’ve looked at your brand and given it a grade – now what? Is it time for a complete overhaul of your brand, or just some updates?
If you gave your brand an A or B, it might be time for a slight brand update. Change some minor things here or there if you found some weaknesses in some of the categories, but you’ve got a good foundation to build upon.
If you gave your brand a C, it is time to take your minor updates to the next level. It’s time for a refresh. You don’t necessarily need an entire rebrand, but it will be smart to go through and make improvements so your brand can connect with people at every touchpoint.
If you gave your brand a D or an F, don’t panic. This score means your company is due for a rebrand. How exciting! With a rebrand, you will undergo major changes and investments to make your brand stronger than ever. This will lead to an increase in brand value, which means happy employees and more clients.
Some of the tools you can use to rebrand include a brand audit, brand development and strategy, employee surveys, and competitor research.
The endgame of having a successful brand is love. You love your people, and your people will love your brand. This makes your company worth more to everyone who experiences it.
We want to help your business succeed, no matter what stage it’s in. Give us a call or shoot us an email and let’s do something great together!