John is at a party with his old college friends. One of his acquaintances noticed that he was wearing a very fun-looking company shirt and asked about it.
The night ended with John talking to this former classmate about how good his work is with the organisation, prompting the latter to think about applying for a job there.
To an outsider, investing in internal company branding might seem excessive, but to John and his colleagues, it's a testament to their unwavering loyalty to the company.
Branding is more than just a logo or a catchy slogan; it encompasses the entire identity of a company.
It is the unique blend of visuals, messaging, values, and culture that sets a company apart from its competitors.
The infamous Tesla CEO Elon Musk sums the concept of branding and its impact pretty well when he said, “Brand is just a perception, and perception will match reality over time.”
Consider global giants like Apple, with its iconic half-eaten apple logo, or Coca-Cola, known for its distinctive red and white branding.
These companies have mastered the art of branding, creating a strong emotional connection with consumers, shaping new market realities from mere perception.
Similarly, effective branding within an organisation can create a powerful sense of belonging and purpose among its employees.
4 reasons why branding is important for employee loyalty
Study by LinkedIn Talent solutions shows that at least 72% of recruitment leaders in the world agree the employer branding has a huge impact on hiring, with 55% saying they implement active brand strategies.
Even in their bottom-lines, the same study says good employer brands reduce turnover by 28%, cost-per-hire by 50%, while increasing time to hire 1 to 2 times faster.
Here are other reasons why employer branding is essential to employee loyalty and retention:
Identity and belonging
Effective branding gives employees a sense of identity and belonging. When employees identify with their company's brand, they feel like a part of something larger than themselves.
This sense of belonging fosters a deep emotional connection to the organisation.
For example, Google's fun and innovative branding create an environment where employees are proud to work, fostering loyalty and a sense of unity.
Shared values and culture
Strong branding conveys a company's core values and culture. When employees resonate with these values, they are more likely to align their personal values with those of the company.
For instance, Patagonia's commitment to environmental sustainability is reflected in its branding, attracting employees who share this passion.
This alignment of values enhances employee satisfaction and loyalty.
Motivation and engagement
A well-defined brand can be a source of motivation and engagement for employees. When employees understand the company's mission and how their work contributes to it, they feel a sense of purpose.
Apple's "Think Different" campaign not only resonates with customers but also motivates employees to innovate and push boundaries, leading to increased loyalty.
A strong brand often leads to a positive external reputation. When a company is well-regarded in the marketplace, its employees take pride in their association with it.
Employees at Tesla, for example, revel in the company's reputation for innovation and sustainability. This pride in the brand enhances their loyalty and commitment to the organisation.
Steps to create an effective branding
Firstly, define the company's values and culture clearly. Branding should be an authentic reflection of these core elements. Encourage employees to participate in defining and refining the company's values, ensuring that they resonate with the workforce.
Secondly, communicate the brand internally. Make sure employees understand the brand's significance and how it relates to their roles. Provide training and resources to help employees embody the brand in their everyday work.
Lastly, create opportunities for employees to engage with the brand. Encourage them to take pride in representing the company, whether through branded merchandise, participating in community events, or sharing their experiences on social media.
This involvement deepens their connection to the brand and, by extension, their loyalty to the organisation.
Effective branding is not limited to external perceptions; it plays a pivotal role in nurturing employee loyalty.
When employees proudly wear their company's logo or decorate their workspaces with branded items, it signifies a sense of belonging and commitment.
HR managers must recognize the value of branding as a tool to strengthen employee loyalty and take deliberate steps to create and cultivate a brand that resonates with their workforce.