Archive for July, 2013

When branding is more than a logo

In a time when brand guidelines seek to stifle creativity. When exclusion zones, minimum sizes, usage do’s and don’ts rule the roost. Where brand guardians fiercely protect their turf over the insurgent designer who dares to be creative by ranging the brand font right. Along comes the day when a brand proves you can be far bigger than your ‘brand identity’. Well done Sun.

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It’s not just the winners…

…what about the Highly Commended at the CIPD Recruitment Marketing Awards? Or even the other finalists for that matter? Seeing the standard of entries at awards is how the bar is supposedly kept high. Recognising the best work in a year. Judging if you think it deserved it. Debating if you think it didn’t. What was also important was comparing it to the rest of the nominations/shortlist. Something the CIPD have now obviously decided to forget.

On the night there was no work displayed until the winners were approaching the stage. Not throughout the evening. Not during the shortlist announcement. And definitely not in the awards brochure afterwards. Agency and client logos do not a shortlist excitement make. By default we know some of the work that was shortlisted by reputation (or should that be by the RADs approach of highlighting some of the same shortlisted entries during their dinner earlier this year).

Press is dying and yet there were 5 shortlisted, wouldn’t it have been great to see how they compared with the golden age of print? How about digital? Websites? Social media? Effectiveness? All much talked about sectors of recruitment, all just represented by one example on the night. Then there was copywriting, with only 2 shortlisted it begs what the second place was like. (And a more pertinent question of why there were only two in the first place, but that’s for another time perhaps.)

Is it now becoming awards for awards sake? That it’s more important to know who won rather than what won. The ‘work’ and what it represents should be the most important factor celebrated at any awards. In this goldfish attention-span world, can we only remember one piece of work? And forget the rest?

It’s all about the uniqueness… of your careers website

As the web changes and the social platforms influence the way it’s used, sometimes you’d be forgiven for thinking it’s becoming more uniform. Careers website design seemingly borders on template formula. Any ‘big idea’ from an employer brand is often left on the homepage. And web technique, or technology, can overshadow the messages you’re trying to promote.

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For SC Johnson, the site ‘lives and breathes’ the Responsible Careers employer brand. From the ‘environmental’ Tree Navigation to the revealing of the SCintilating facts. From the Point of View of the employees to the ‘personality’ of the animated infographic videos. For a company that makes ‘chemical’ products, it portrays the real human side of an FMCG business.

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That human side is also upfront on EAT careers. The video only site promotes the passion of the people who work there. Filmed without scripts. In their words. In their shops. No fancy production. Real, honest communication. In three words. Just like the brand itself.

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Then there’s a brand with an ‘image problem’. Whose stores are seen as jumble sales. But the reality is so different. That’s TK Maxx. Where managers have more autonomy than almost every other high street, fashion retailer. But who would think that? Not many which is where a single-minded website comes into play. Highlighting what happens in a day. Hearing from existing Managers about what it’s really like. Understanding the success of the business. Testing yourself to see if you could manage one. All ensuring that you change your mind about the TK Maxx ‘experience’ and see the reality.

EAT was shortlisted in Best use of Digital Media in Recruitment at the Digiawards last night. And in tonight’s shortlists at the CIPD Recruitment Marketing Awards, we have TK Maxx in Best Recruitment Website and the SC Johnson site is part of the the Best Employer Brand entry. All our fingers and toes are crossed.

It’s all about the uniqueness… of your employer brand

These days it’s hard for an employer brand to stand out. Everyone wants to be seen as a Great Place To Work, naturally. EVPs seemingly aren’t USPs any more but generic lists of corporate buzzwords that everyone uses. And portraying a unique brand across social media is a challenge in itself.

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With EAT. the employer brand came from the brand values – we’ve covered that before the last CIPD RMAs when it was voted Best Employer Brand. Since then, for the last 2 years, that brand has been ‘living’ across social media. Unique hashtags have bought it, and more relevantly, the recruitment needs to life. Everything from Airport vacancies to students for part-time positions, have been ‘advertised’. Eash with their own unique theme, but every one reinforcing and building on the overall employer brand. Gone are the old skool days of separate campaigns, that used to appear in the press, which were unrelated to the main recruitment strategy because they were for ‘difficult to recruit’ skills/areas. Nowadays, it should be seamless. There are too many different channels to keep using different messages. It’s so easy to do that. But it’s so confusing. It might be hard work to keep the brand consistent but it’s so worth it.

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But what about an employer without a real image? How about one with famous brands? Mr Muscle. Toilet Duck. Glade. We’ve all heard of those brands but the company behind them? That’s SC Johnson. A worldwide FMCG business that has always cared for the environment and its people – way before it was the popular thing to do. They have a truly unique culture. The people who work for SCJ are given huge responsibility and are empowered to work with an integrity that runs to the core of the entire business. That’s a real USP.

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One that we demonstrated through ‘Responsible Careers’. Their people sold the business – no corporate fluff. That demonstrates real responsibility. Infographic animations created a unique presentation. SCintillating facts revealed on the website reinforced their difference as an employer. A visual style that went through everything from attraction to internal comms to employee birthday cards and a celebration cake. That’s how an employer brand can say a lot.

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So, think what your EVP says about you. Look at what your employer brand implies. Now does all of that come across in everything that you do?

EAT is shortlisted in Best use of Digital Media in Recruitment at the Digiawards tonight. Then tomorrow at the CIPD Recruitment Marketing Awards, the EAT #hashtag campaigns are shortlisted in Best use of Social Media, while SC Johnson is in contention for the Best Employer Brand category. Everything is crossed.

It’s all about the uniqueness… of targeting your audience

It’s not just the use of social media per se to find and recruit a certain audience that we’re talking about here. Knowing where to target is often used to shotgun your messages at them. But the true benefit of social media is utilising how your target audience use social media, that is the key. Joining in with them, rather than shouting at them.

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Take Boots. Everyone knows you can pop in for pharmacy advice, beauty tips, etc… but for a spot of hair styling? Yes, Hair stylists are to be found at the Bumble and bumble Styling Bars in selected stores across the country. Who knew? Certainly, not many hair stylists until we started to attract them through social media.

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There is a whole social media world of beauty and fashion out there – just look out for the #bbloggers and #fbloggers hashtags. Across Twitter. All over Instagram. Throughout the blogshere. It’s everyone from make up artists talking about the latest trend to hair stylists showing off their newest look. The perfect environment for attraction. By joining in with their world. Blogging like they do. Pictures of hair styles like theirs – but created in a Boots. On hashtag overload like they are. (Plus the extra twist of an #instajobs in there.) BootsStyle has become part of their world rather than looking in from the outside.

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Then there is the RB Cookery School. We knew that chefs were heavy users of Twitter and that they followed celebrity chef TV shows which led us to the Dual Screening Social TV approach that we blogged about in January. This understanding of their involvement in both mediums, their love of cooking, their inspiration – and the unique social TV commentary – ultimately culminated in recruiting success after 18 months of relying on the more traditional ‘targeted’ method of industry recruitment  job boards.

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But rather than us go on about it even more, here’s Jason, who was recruited through Twitter, to tell you what he thinks:

“So there I was settling down to watch the first episode of The Very Hungry Frenchman, wholly unaware that a cursory glance at my Twitter page was to change my working life for good. I read a tweet from @RBCookerytutors saying to follow them for interesting news on the job front. The follow-up tweet was the info I had been waiting for. It said, “Chef’s, would you like the opportunity to work with Raymond Blanc as a tutor in his Cookery School”. Knowing I had to react fast I sent a direct message and the ball was rolling!

I think the whole recruitment process has been brilliant. When I tell people that I got my job at the Raymond Blanc Cookery School through Twitter they are fascinated and are keen to know more. It is a fresh, modern and innovative approach to finding staff.”

@RBCookeryTutors has been shortlisted at the Digiawards, on Tuesday, in Best Use of Microblogging and in Recruitment Effectiveness at the CIPD Recruitment Marketing Awards on Wednesday night, together with Boots (with #BootsStyle) which has been shortlisted in Best Campaign. We can’t wait to see what reaction the judging audience had in the final results. Fingers crossed.

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