The New Marketing Equation: B = E+C

I’ve caught your attention.  This really isn’t anything new but the way some people talk you might think it is.  B=Brand, E=Employer Brand and C=Consumer Brand.  Let me start of by making it clear on my position…companies have A brand.  In this day and age of social media people do not distinguish between employer and consumer brand.  If you’re employees aren’t happy and say so in social media it CAN impact your sales.  (Google “Sweatshops” and look at the results)  If your customers aren’t happy it can also impact your ability to hire the best and brightest talent.  Companies tend to manage their consumer brand in the marketing department and the employer brand in HR.  These silos don’t exist in social media.  Facebook isn’t used for consumer brands and Twitter for the employer brand.  People only see discussions about THE BRAND.

Impact of social media?

In 2007 as I was taking over the Army marketing campaign I knew that we needed to benchmark our work against an industry outside of military recruiting.  No other organization had the size mission we did not the budget.  One example brought to my attention was the auto industry.  Why the auto industry?  There are similarities in the marketing model, both have national and local advertising (and the local ads aren’t that great), both are “considered purchases” that involve a four or five year commitment, and finally, car sales reps and recruiters have a similar level of trust from consumers.

As we looked for ways to overcome the myths of service, social media was an obvious solution.  One of the challenges we faced was that in 2007, Army Strong was a “recruiting slogan.”  As I looked for ways to communicate the change we needed to make with our campaign I turned to an old Ford campaign, Quality is Job 1.  My point to the team, this message meant one thing to consumers (a quality vehicle) and another to employees (quality is a top priority).  We needed candidates and Soldiers to have conversation about what it means to be Army Strong.  In the end we transformed Army Strong into a model employer brand.

What do you look at when considering to join a company or buy their products?

5 thoughts on “The New Marketing Equation: B = E+C

  1. Great post. Dave. I really like the idea of employer brand, and I do think a good branding strategy starts within the corporation. However, many companies, especially traditional manufacturing industries, have not yet come to realize the importance of building a employer brand. That could possibly put their brand in jeopardy if they rush into social media. Should they wait until a healthy corporate culture is built before pursuing social media solutions?

  2. Very true that many organizations have yet to “develop” an employer brand but with employees on social media they may have one anyway. Many recruiters are also on social media and therefore also contribute to the brand seen by job seekers and consumers. This demonstrates the need for a social media strategy and company guidelines even if not incorporated into marketing plan beyond listening.

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