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Employer branding vs. consumer branding: What's the difference?

6 mins  |  05.12.2023

Let’s talk about brands, baby.

Branding is a term that encapsulates so much. And in our day to day, with digital technologies constantly evolving, we are becoming more and more exposed to brands across all types of media. In a nutshell, branding organizes image, reputation and voice into something that can connect with the right people. 

There are different types of branding, with the objective being the thing that sets them apart. The type of branding we probably all feel most familiar with, that tempts us to buy that shiny new car, or try out that funky looking beer, is consumer branding. 

Consumer branding is all about creating a strong, recognizable brand that resonates with consumers and helps a company's products or services stand out from the competition.The goal of consumer branding is to create a positive association in the minds of consumers, which will in turn drive sales and increase brand loyalty.

Companies place a huge focus on consumer branding, sometimes forgetting that getting people bought into a product or service is entirely different to getting people bought into your brand as an employer. Companies are nothing without their people, and in order to attract and retain the right talent, there is a need to look past the consumer brand, towards the type of branding that really turns the dial for prospective employees. 

Two words, eight (plus eight) letters. Say it and I’m yours. 

Employer branding.

Employer branding is all about creating a positive image of a company as an employer. It captures the company's culture, its values, and the benefits that go along with a job there. 

The goal of employer branding is to attract top talent, and to retain current employees by making them feel attached to your mission, culture and proud to work for your company. You need to create an employer brand whose message resonates with the right people, so you find the best people for the job, who will add real value to your team. 

When fighting to find talent, the competition is fierce, and extends way past direct competitors in your industry. A strong employer brand needs to answer the burning question on everyone’s minds in the job-sphere: ‘what’s in it for me’? And it needs to be done in a way that builds a meaningful connection between the employer and the people. 

To create messaging that will pack a punch, you have to think about what makes the pockets of people you're speaking to different. Your approach should be targeted, letting them know about the most important aspects of your values and culture. And you have to think about the things they want so that you can use your employer brand to get under their skin. 

Understand the things desired talent pools value the most and what an ideal job would offer them, and use that to flex aspects of your unique culture, all while remaining authentic to who you're. 

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It’s what’s on the inside that counts

Imagine you're recruiting for a leading company in the beauty industry. If you don’t formulate a bespoke employer brand, the people you're speaking to when you're looking to hire will only associate your brand with who you present yourself as to consumers. 

By creating a unique and distinct employer brand, your target audience will extend past the pool of consumers that are interested in your products or services, and towards a much broader group of people that have a skillset, mindset and values that are backed by your company. 

Consumer branding and employer branding are two sides of the same coin, and should exist as symbiotic entities that work together to support an overarching mission. After all, while the consumer brand might show you that flashy new car, talent wants to see underneath the car bonnet, and understand your company on a deeper level. 

It’s not just about what you say, it’s about where you say it.

Employer branding isn’t only about the message you put out, it’s about where you put it. While traditionally it's thought that talent checks out the job market exclusively on careers sites, LinkedIn and other job-posting boards, we are seeing the power in producing an authentic view into life at your brand on socials.

TikTok and Instagram show life from the inside, and help people understand the essence of what embodies your brand as an employer.

The risk is in not investing

More and more companies are recognizing the importance of employer branding because of its impact on the bottom line. The proof is in the pudding. Companies with a strong employer brand have a 43% decrease in cost per hire, which leads to 50% more qualified applicants. And once you get people in the door, there is a knock-on effect on employee retention. Active investment in employer branding has the capacity to reduce turnover by as much as 28%.

Talent waits for no one, get started on building your reputation as an incredible employer today. We’ll make you Wiser.

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