There is little room for confusing communications in today’s world. We just don’t have the time or patience to deal with confusion anymore. This is particularly applicable to the relationship between your external and employer brands.

Confusion between these two brands occurs when there is poor alignment. One brand says one thing while the other says something completely different. One motivates and inspires while the other just sits there. But, does it really matter?

The answer is multi-dimensional. On a practical level, communication behavior has changed. What now happens is that people quickly jump from one source to another and then back to the first and so forth. To illustrate: a candidate might start at your career page (drawn by a posting), check out your corporate site, jump over social media sites, talk to friends, visit you (in-person and/or online) and then go back to your career page. Unaligned brands risk confusing those who are traversing you across multiple channels.

The second aspect here is that unaligned brands might compel talent to not trust you. They’ll ask the question: what’s the real story?  Trust is garnered through consistency. Talent is more apt to believe in what you say if they see and experience it consistently every time they “touch” you.

Perhaps the most compelling reason to unite your external and employer brand is the belief in your people as extensions of your brand. “We are our brand.”  That’s a powerful place to be.

Think about your everyday experiences. Which brands do you connect with and why? Chances are that you’re connecting with brands where the employees really embrace and embody the spirit of the enterprise. And chances are that you are more likely to return, engage and purchase more from those enterprises.

On the employee side, employees who are connected with their companies—committed, know what to do and are empowered—through their external brands are more engaged, less likely to leave and provide better customer experiences.


About the Author

Bob Johnson is the practice leader for The David Group's Workforce Communications Practice. Please feel free to reach Bob at or by calling 216.685.4486.

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