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Understanding Your Employer Brand Position

3 min read.



Employer Branding, Brand Authenticity

Employer brand positioning is essential to winning an unfair share of the best talent out there, but have you got yours right?...

Most employer branding development exercises set out to clearly define and articulate the strengths, benefits, and opportunities to be found within your company. So, what’s the problem?

A great employer brand presented out of context, without proper employer brand positioning is doomed to failure.

Employer brand positioning defines how your employee experience is the best in the world at providing some sort of very specific value that a well-defined set of employees (and candidates) care a lot about.

Good positioning makes it obvious to your talent audience how you’re different and better than alternatives. It provides vital context to your offer when compared to others. 

When people talk about employer brand strategy, usually they just mean tactics.

But, positioning is one place further on than that and is about understanding your place in the market, and where you have a chance of differentiation, to add value and relevance.

You need to understand the marketplace and your audience, to decide how your brand needs to be positioned intentionally. It’s not something that exists anywhere in this landscape.

Three Cs of Employer Brand Positioning

A premium brand, for example, is positioned as just that - premium and expensive, using tactics of scarcity to back that up. So, the position is premium, and the strategy is scarcity. You can't really have one without the other.

Some of you may be familiar with the three Cs as part of our give and get method. That’s all about positioning. Is your organisation about Citizenship like Patagonia perhaps; Culture like Google or are you a Career Catalyst like Amazon?

The proposition is does the strategy align with how we're positioned in the marketplace in order to amplify that?

How many employer brands out there intentionally consider how they are positioned in the marketplace? Not many. They don’t have discussions with leadership to decide how they need to be positioned.

If you fail to design a solution within the context of your talent competitors, you risk ignoring a vital element.

Your employer brand strategy is the plan to achieve that brand positioning. If you don’t know what your employer brand positioning needs to be, you will struggle to create a strategy that delivers value.

As a bonus, if you’re also able to ‘position’ your talent competitors with clarity, you’ll find it easier to show your talent audience why you’re a better choice for them.

Position Yourself as a Giant Killer

Employer brand positioning is a vital way to become a ‘giant killer’ in a competitive talent marketplace because you can demonstrate more relevance, value and affinity, aligned to what your talent audience really wants. 

Before taking an employer brand to market, be clear on the answers to these questions:

  1. Who are you up against?
  2. What are you most desirable strengths?
  3. What value that you offer makes you different?
  4. Which talent audience are you trying to reach?
  5. How do you want to be described by others

If you are stress testing a new employer brand, start by asking these questions:

  1. What reputation as an employer do we need to find and remind top talent that we’re the best place for them to invest their time?
  2. How are we positioning our employer brand in the talent marketplace so we’re aligned with the reputation we need to create?
  3. What is our employer brand strategy to achieve the employer brand position we need to win?

You will achieve differentiation when you have an intentional position in the marketplace, and you align everything you're doing behind that.

Instead of adopting scattergun tactics, you only need  a few which point to the same thing. Everybody wins. You create more impact, more clarity and everybody's aligned because they've got more confidence around what they're there to do. It’s good business. It's good branding.

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