Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon, once said brand essence is “what people say about you when you aren’t in the room”. Ever wonder what others think of your employer brand? How would you describe it? If you can’t (easily) explain it, then there’s a good chance others can’t either.
The best employer brands can be distilled down into one word or simple phrase. If you want to have a clear and focused employer brand that inspires employees and potential candidates to move in the same direction, then it makes good sense to define your brand essence.
Brand essence is not the same as a simple tagline. Taglines are used to represent position. Brand essence is a bit different, and more like a single word or thought that captures the soul of your business.
What’s the “authentic” soul of your company?
Your vision will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakens. – Carl Jung
Once your authentic employer brand essence is set and in place, you can begin to architect a solid brand identity across your company that will strengthen your ability stand out and resonate, enhance people’s ability to make decisions about your brand, and help everyone understand what your company stands for.
Once this essence is clearly defined – meaning that it’s relevant, unique, authentic, and sustainable – you can use it to help shape identity, content, messaging, personas, storytelling/video, hiring profiles, job descriptions, and more.
Although men are accused of not knowing their own weakness, yet perhaps few know their own strength. It is in men as in soils, were sometimes there is a vein of gold which the owner knows not of. – Jonathan Swift
Having a clearly defined and authentic employer brand essence will help you stand out in the crowd and connect. It will help you attract more of the right people into your company. It will help you to speak more clearly to a select (target) group of your most-desired candidates. It will help to focus your investments and efforts across the entire talent acquisition landscape. And it will make your job of attracting, engaging and hiring the right people a whole lot easier.
As Mark Twain once said, “The difference between the right word and the almost right-word is the difference between lightning and the lightning bug.”