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Employer branding: Be bacon, not white bread

Employer branding- Be bacon, not white bread

Employer branding. What’s all the fuss about?

It sounds complicated. Something best left for multi-nationals and large professional service firms with even larger marketing budgets. But, if you believe the experts, building a strong employer brand can make all the difference in attracting top talent in a tight market.

So where does that leave the rest of us? Assuming you (like 99% of firms) haven’t engaged expensive marketing consultants to help ‘define your brand’, where do you even start?

I think it’s simpler than the consultants would have us believe…

1. Have personality.

2. Be bacon, not white bread.

In other words, stand for something, and don’t be boring.

I read an awesome blog post over the weekend, discussing this topic in the context of ‘building a great product’. I think it can equally be applied to any business trying to stand out in a crowded employment market. You’re not selling a product, but an opportunity. The objectives are the same… creating something that people love (to buy, to work for, to talk about).

The personality test?

  1. How do you change customers’ (in this case, candidates’) lives?
  2. What do you stand for?
  3. Who or what do you hate?

The full article is quoted below. Don’t have a product? Swap ‘product’ for ‘business’. It’s the same – important – message.

Source: Minimum Viable Personality (guest post by Fake Grimlock, the Giant Robot Dinosaur, on Fred Wilson’s blog)

 

MINIMUM VIABLE PERSONALITY

 

MOST IMPORTANT STEP FOR BUILD PRODUCT IS BUILD PRODUCT.

SECOND MOST IMPORTANT IS BUILD PERSONALITY FOR PRODUCT.

NO HAVE PERSONALITY? PRODUCT BORING, NO ONE WANT.

BREADORBACON

PERSONALITY BETTER THAN MARKETING

WHEN CHOOSE PRODUCT, HUMANS ONLY CARE ABOUT DOES WORK, AND IS INTERESTING.

WORLD ALREADY FULL OF THINGS DO WORK. MOST BORING.

PERSONALITY = INTERESTING. INTERESTING = CARE. CARE = TALK.

EVERYONE CARE AND TALK ABOUT PRODUCT? YOU WIN.

CAREPLUSTALKISWIN

SELL TO FRIENDS, NOT STRANGERS

PERSONALITY MAKE PRODUCT FRIEND. YOU HELP FRIEND. YOU FORGIVE WHEN FRIEND NOT PERFECT. YOU WANT FRIEND WIN.

BORING STRANGER?… YOU NOT.

PERSONALITY IS API FOR LOYALTY. NO ONE CARE WHICH BORING STRANGER IS NEXT. BUT ALWAYS WANT FRIEND NEXT.

LOYALTYPORT

PERSONALITY MAKE MEANING

CAN PET ROCK. PET DOG BETTER. PET DOG HAVE MEANING.

BORING PRODUCT IS ROCK. NO HAVE MEANING. INTERACT WITH PERSONALITY DIFFERENT. HAVE MEANING.

INTERESTING PRODUCT THAT GIVE FRIENDS MEANING = MOST WIN OF ALL.

NOTAROCK

HOW NOT BE BORING

HAVE PERSONALITY EASY. ANSWER THREE QUESTIONS:

1. HOW YOU CHANGE CUSTOMER’S LIFE?

2. WHAT YOU STAND FOR?

3. WHO OR WHAT YOU HATE?

NOW HAVE MISSION, VALUES, ENEMY. THAT ENOUGH FOR MINIMUM VIABLE PERSONALITY.

KEEP IN BRAIN WHEN WRITE, TALK, BLOG, TWEET. ITERATE. IMPROVE WHAT WORK. DELETE WHAT NOT. PERSONALITY GROW.

NO BE CHICKEN

CHICKEN LIVE IN CAGE. NO CAN HAVE PERSONALITY INSIDE CAGE.

LAST STEP IS SMASH CAGE, LIGHT BARN ON FIRE.

DO THAT, YOU WIN.

CHICKENWIN


Michael Overell

Cofounder and CEO at RecruitLoop. Previously with McKinsey. Passionate about startups, health and technology. Surf when I can; ride a bike most days. Follow me @mboverell.

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