Why do companies spend
money branding and marketing products?
Because human beings
can only remember a small number of products for any one category
helps a company sell more of its products.
For example, how
many PC brands can you name?
How many makes of cars?
How many mutual funds?
research has indicated that consumer can generally recall only 3-4
brands per category. Companies spend money trying to be one of those
4 brands so consumers will be more inclined to purchase their products.
a job search perspective branding and marketing is a way of standing
out from the crowd and of being memorable.
- You meet someone at
a networking meeting and a month later that person comes across
a job that he/she thinks would be perfect for someone he met at
a networking meeting. How will the person remember you and your
area of expertise?
- When a prospective
employer thinks about the candidates he/she has had contact with,
who is he/she most likely to remember?
both cases, the answer is a strong branding and good marketing.
A strong brand gives you a competitive advantage by getting people
to remember who you are, what you can do for an employer and why
you’re the best candidate. Marketing is effectively and persuasively
communicating your brand to the right people.
brand is an emotional connection between a company or product and
the customer. The company wants the brand to stand for a specific
message and personality. This is called the brand promise.
For instance, Nike’s promise is Maximize personal performance,
Apple’s is Enable creativity and Microsoft’s is Help people
reach their potential.
customer has a perception of the brand, based on all of his/her
interaction with the product, company, communications and employees.
is important to consider perceptions when creating a brand promise.
If you create a brand promise that is not credible, the customer
perception will never catch up with the promise and your brand will
Building a strong brand
Strong brands have a
set of common components:
- One personality
- One brand promise
- One visual and verbal
- One set of core messages
- An integrated marketing
From a job search
perspective, let’s explore each of these common components
- What attributes do
people tend to use to describe you?
- What attributes would
you LIKE people to use?
- How can you demonstrate
you want people to think of you as energetic, passionate and results
oriented, then make sure you sound that way when you answer the
phone or meet someone at a meeting. Does the message on your answering
machine or cell phone sound energetic and results oriented? Do your
cover letters “sound” right and is the content supporting these
you make a phone call, STAND-UP and SMILE.
hear the difference.
brand promise is a succinct statement of what makes a brand relevant
and unique to the target audience. For a company it is based on
the organization’s mission and value proposition
the job seeker the brand promise can be created by thinking about
what is the unique value proposition YOU bring to a given type of
job. A useful tool in creating your brand promise is the self-assessment
tool known as PAR process (Problem,
Action, Results) Note: you may have more than one brand promise
if you have more than one type of target company.
a marketing executive who focuses on building the brand awareness
of technology companies might have a value proposition of doubling
brand awareness and market share in less than 12 months
A sales manager who
has been able to increase sales even with very limited budgets
in financial services might have a value proposition of accelerating
revenue growth with limited budgets.
To create your
brand promise you can use the following formula:
For B2B technology companies, Joe Jones will double brand awareness
and market share in less than 12 months
Visual and Verbal Identity
brands employ a consistent look and feel in everything they do and
say. A company’s visual identity has many components, including
logo, tagline, colors, typography, images, style of illustration.
It’s verbal identity includes style of writing, tone of voice, spokesperson
visual and verbal identity should be just as consistent and it should
be driven by the personality you want to project. Components you
want to consider include:
- Business card
- Voicemail message
- Tone of voice/style
- Personal appearance
- Marketing materials
such as cover letters, PowerPoint slides, newsletters
messages for a company tell consumers what the product or service
can do for them and why it is the best choice. They’re based on
the brand promise and tell:
- What the company/product
will do for customers
- How we’ll do it
- What the customer
Key messages from
a job seeker are exactly the same.
- What the YOU will
do for the employer
- How you’ll do it
- What the benefit is
- All based on YOUR
best way of determining your key messages is to look at some of
the hardest problems you have had to solve, how you solved them,
and what the results were. This is another place where the PAR
Process can help.
example, one of the PARs for a marketing executive deals with having
led an effort to have consistent branding and messaging. The key
actions and results in his PAR were:
- Developed online standards
and tools to support employees and external vendors in implementing
the brand identity and messages in advertising, branding, web,
collateral, communications and product design
- Increased awareness
7-fold – from 5% to 35% within 18 months
The key message he would
create from this is:
At ABC Networks, I
drove consistency in messages, branding strategy and identity
across advertising, branding, web, collateral, communications
and product design with 70,000 employees and dozens of vendors.
This resulted in a seven-fold increase in brand awareness in 18
Delivery – Marketing
YOU as a product
of the basic tenets of marketing is that repetition is essential.
Advertising is based on the believe that if you tell the customer
over and over and over again how your product will solve their problems
and they will buy it.
the job seeker the same tenet applies – you need to tell your audience
over and over again how you can solve their problems. You want to
use your brand promise, key messages and personality attributes
in everything you create for your job search. That means that the:
- Elevator pitch uses
brand promise & one key message
- Cover letter demonstrates
(and may mention) personality attributes. It relates YOUR brand
promise to the company’s needs through key message
- Resume demonstrates
personality, is built from P.A.R. and gives proof of brand promise
- Other marketing materials
can deliver more P.A.R., personality, etc as appropriate
- Voice mail or answering
machine embodies the personality attributes