Media channels used to be tightly controlled mediums accessible
only to professionals – leaving brand image entirely up to an
organization’s advertising. Word of mouth was of limited power,
and you were only at risk of your brand being tarnished on the
national stage if you attracted the critical attention of
journalists. Of course, those days are long gone.
Today, it’s no longer enough to simply cultivate a customer
facing brand, even one off experiences by customers can snowball
and reach millions over the course of a few hours. Because of this,
branding now requires attention from the inside out.
developing an employer brand as solid as your external image.
It’s why today we’re seeing the emergence of new departments
that seem to be a hybrid of HR and Marketing committed to crafting
a single streamlined brand identity.
For many, this strategy is far from business as usual and poses
novel problems for organizational leaders and marketers. But this
shouldn’t deter leaders, as scalable solutions are emerging.
While crafting an employer brand requires careful consideration, it
ultimately boils down to three essential elements: purpose, values,
and habits. As goes the saying, “purpose inspires, values guide,
and habits define.”
Here’s how those elements play into the creation of your
Everyone is familiar with the mission statement: the fading
poster half hanging off the wall that nobody in their right mind
pays attention to – its dull mantra repeated at annual events and
promptly forgotten. No one pays attention because it has nothing to
do with the day to day operations of the organization.
Purpose isn’t profit either. Yes, profit is vital, an
extrinsic necessity, but no employer brand can survive when focused
on profit alone. Rather,
purpose is something intrinsic that motivates beyond profit: an
aim that would hold its ground even if profit wasn’t
While it may sound impractical, it is an essential element of
the most successful brands of today. In fact, those companies that
aim higher than profit end up more profitable in the long run. Take
Apple for instance, its purpose is to think different, and they are
all about mastering and being the best at a craft.
People aren’t inspired to work for a company that’s
principle aim is to just sell computers no matter the quality. No,
people are inspired to work for a company that aims to create the
absolute best and drives its employees to do the same. They are
inspired to work for companies that provide an avenue for personal
growth and development.
To paraphrase the 19th century philosopher Nietzsche, give
employees a strong enough why and they will endure any how. This is
the first and most foundational element of the employer brand that
provides the inspiration a team needs to frame the work they do,
day in and day out.
Values are the guiding principles that an organization takes
directly from its purpose. It’s not always clear if any
particular decision is in line with a purpose – this is why you
define essential values that provide a framework for decision
making. They keep an organization heading in the right direction
and help keep the focus on the central purpose.
While important, business objectives are not values. Before
determining business objectives, your organization should have
clear knowledge of what its values are. So maximizing profit for
the shareholder is not a value in the sense discussed here.
Just like purpose,
values are often stated but seldom lived. A recent study of
fortune 500 companies showed that stated values had absolutely no
effect on company performance. So does this mean that we should
forget about values and move on? Absolutely not, because it’s the
values you live that matter – not your stated values.
How an organization lives its values, beyond top down boardroom
decision making, brings us to the final point: habits.
Habits are the ground level of the employer brand. If a
company’s mission statement isn’t authentic, true to its
purpose, this is where the hypocrisy is exposed.
Habits are the many micro-actions that comprise an
organization’s daily operations and an essential place to target
the employer brand. Harnessing micro-activities can prove to not
only improve an employer brand, but also provide a scalable means
for personal growth.
Habits comprise the daily experience of company culture for your
employees and craft the image that will be projected to your
clients or customers. They’re the regular actions your company is
known for in the minds of those who regularly patronize your
This brings up a question that every business leader will need
to ask: “what actions do I want the company to be known
How To Leverage Micro-Actions For Your Employer
Most business leaders don’t stop the discussion at habits, and
claim that their daily lived behaviors are exactly where they want
it to be, rather they want to know how to more fully show their
values through daily habits. Fortunately, new research findings are
offering effective solutions for business leaders.
Headed by psychologist Fred Luthans, recent research in the
field of positive psychology has shown how effective
micro-interventions can be. Micro-interventions being brief actions
done by participants that target key behaviors and outlooks. By
targeting the right areas the intervention, despite taking only
minutes, can shape the approach to an entire day.
This is why micro-interventions that target daily behaviors are
a growing technique harnessed by business leaders.
Micro-interventions provide a scalable strategy for leaders to
employ in establishing, and keeping up with, an employer brand.
Contributed to Branding Strategy Insider by: Adam Fridman,
author of the best-selling book, “The Science of Story: Brand is the
Reflection of Culture” where he examines the science of
employee engagement and what employees need to perform at their
The Blake Project Can Help: Please for more about our purpose,
mission, vision and values and
brand culture workshops.
Branding Strategy Insider is a service of The Blake Project: A strategic
brand consultancy specializing in Brand Research, Brand Strategy,
Brand Growth and Brand Education
Source: FS – HT – Brands
3 Essentials To Crafting A Thriving Employer Brand