Employer & employee branding

The role of employer & employee branding

Strong brands are brought to life from the inside out. A distinctive positioning and value system are important brand foundations, and essential for compelling, consistent brand delivery, but ultimately the value delivered to your customers is provided by those at the coal face: your people. It is therefore critical to have a strong employer brand to attract and retain the right people - and align your people with your brand positioning and values so that they "live and breathe" the brand.

The terms, "employer branding" and "employee branding" are often used interchangeably, however there are differences. Below, we explain these terms, along with the employee value proposition.

Your employer brand describes your organisation's reputation as an employer, and its value proposition to its employees, in contrast to its more general corporate brand reputation and value proposition to customers. Your employer brand should align strongly, however, with your corporate brand positioning and values. In best practice, they should be developed side-by-side.

Your employer brand is the perception of your organisation as a great place to work in the minds of current employees and the external market. Employer branding is therefore all about the attraction, engagement and retention of top quality, values-aligned talent. When you attract the right kind of employees, the cost of onboarding, socialising and training these new employees is reduced.

With 75% of prospective employees considering an employer's brand before ever applying for a job, and 69% of prospective employees saying they would not take a job with a business with a poor employer brand - even if they were unemployed - the power of a strong employer brand in attracting talent is clear.

Employee branding is about influencing the behaviour of your employees. It's the practice of aligning your employees' behaviour with the image that your business wants to project to its customers and external stakeholders. Employee branding "infects" employees with the organisational brand - the characteristics and attributes that your business wants to project about itself.

The purpose of employee branding is to produce "on brand" behaviour that displays and expresses the attributes that your organisation wants as part of its brand and reputation. It affects the interactions between employees within your organisation as well as between employees and clients / other external stakeholders.

The real power of people to drive up brand equity is often undervalued, as some businesses are more focussed on embedding their brand in the hearts and minds of their clients. External engagement first, internal engagement second. But this approach skips over the latent collective voice of those delivering the brand.

Successful organisations tap into the amplification power inherent in employees. As the power of social media continues to increase, the vocal power of employees via LinkedIn and other sites to create and represent the brand experience is one of the most powerful marketing tools an organisation can activate. And, in an environment of ever-decreasing marketing spend, activating the voice of your employees is a cost-effective way to build your brand. Tapping into employees in this way also creates a brand authenticity that a marketing communications program cannot replicate.

For more on employee branding, you may like our blogs, Harnessing the power of employee branding to amplify your brand, and Employee engagement and branding: why invest?

An employee value proposition (EVP) is the unique set of benefits which an employee receives in return for the skills, capabilities and experience they bring to a company. Your EVP summarises the wider vision of your business and defines the employee's role in delivering against that vision.
An EVP does much more than fulfil the needs of the HR and talent management functions. An EVP - when coherently developed and clearly articulated - shapes the culture of your organisation and is central to the employee experience. It provides a reason for employees to believe in the organisation, keeping them motivated and energised - and this enables the business to attract, obtain and retain the best possible talent in the market.

Crafting an effective EVP involves not only clearly defining what your employment brand stands for, but also understanding what current and prospective employees are looking for. You will need to match these two in a way that is credible (to your current employees), relevant to the prospective employees you wish to attract, unique relative to the competition who are also trying to attract high performers, and sustainable - such that it can be consistent and stand the test of time.

For more on EVPs, read our blogs, Employee Branding - The Employee Value Proposition (EVP), and Winning the war for talent: The employee value proposition.


A well-crafted EVP:

  • Ensures a much deeper alignment and understanding of the brand across your entire organisation - departments, divisions, cities, countries and regions - and how the business strategy plays out on a day-to-day basis.
  • Motivates and engages employees and increases employee productivity, satisfaction and retention rates.
  • Delivers a greater degree of employee focus and reduces confusion and ambiguity.
  • Provides cut-through so the best talent finds you and sees you as a clear market leader amongst myriad competitors.
  • Expands the meaning of your business beyond commercial outcomes, helping prospective employees buy-in to your wider mission - ensuring it's not just about remuneration.
  • Outlines the benefits of working with you in a way that is relevant to what prospective employees want from their employer.
  • Ensures your reputation becomes a talking point, resulting in more talent proactively approaching your business.

Engaged, productive and focused employees
= delighted, loyal customers
= increase in business/shareholder value

Employee value proposition (EVP)

BrandMatters can translate your brand positioning and values into an effective EVP that explains your offer to employees - and what you as an employer expect in return. We use a combination of proven internal tools and techniques and workshops with you to refine the chosen option.

Employee branding campaigns

Employee branding campaigns are a great way to familiarise and educate your employees about your brand - and to rally them behind it and get them living and breathing it on a daily basis. They can increase employee brand engagement and help to create brand advocates. We can design, produce and roll out an employee branding campaign that is appropriate for your organisation, brand and employees - and that works within your existing communications infrastructure. Employee branding campaigns and comms materials can include online brand portals, events, competitions, brand handbooks, desk drops of branded materials, desktop screensavers and wallpaper, employee surveys, workshops and presentations, brand inductions for new employees and more.

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