When it comes to branding, sports teams and colleges are leaders in creating brand consistency, brand experiences, and lifelong brand advocates. On a recent family road trip from Pennsylvania to Minnesota, we took a detour to visit The University of Iowa. We wanted to show our daughters where my husband went to school.
More than two decades after graduating from Iowa, his alumni pride was alive and strong. Via a self-guided tour, we walked the campus, wandered the student union, and visited the Iowa Hawk Shop.
As we explored, the intentional pull-through of the University’s brand was all around us.
Employer branding is all about communicating your organization’s authentic employment experience. It’s about defining how the organization shows up for its people and then delivering on that promise. When strategically managed, the employer brand is a powerful foundation for internal communications, employee engagement, and recruitment marketing.
Here are six university brand executions to inspire your employer brand activation.
1. ALIGN TO + USE BRAND GUIDELINES
From logos to colors and fonts to photography, it’s important to ensure activations align with the employer brand guidelines, which, in most cases, will also align with the corporate identity. In the photos below, notice the consistent use of black, gold, and white.
2. SHOWCASE YOUR MISSION, VISION, + VALUES
At the core of an organization’s employment experience is the why. Through mission and/or vision statements, organizations help employees find purpose in their work and provide a clear “North Star” to guide them toward a larger, collective goal. Values are the foundation for what and how—what does an organization stand for; how are decisions made, and what are the expectations for how work gets done and how people work together.
3. TELL THE HISTORY OF THE COMPANY
An organization’s history is a building block for how to tell its story (a buzzworthy topic for marketers, brand leaders, and communicators). Company history is a starting point for orienting new joiners, understanding how far the organization has come, and building pride amongst employees. In this example, notice the brand colors, historical photos, and display boxes all help bring history to life.
4. ADVERTISE INTERNAL JOB OPPORTUNITIES
When it comes to nurturing and sustaining the employment experience, employees need to know there is a future for them at the organization. By focusing on internal career mobility, employers can keep good people. And good people can achieve their potential.
5. INCLUDE THE PHYSICAL EXPERIENCE
When creating experiences, physical installations of the brand are often overlooked or not budgeted for by employers. This is a missed opportunity to immerse people in your culture and create an always-on communication experience.
6. CREATE INSTA-WORTHY ART INSTALLATIONS
Have you ever seen a large butterfly painted on a wall with a space in the middle in which to stand? Or a photo opp sign in an amusement park that made you stop and take a pic? Art is a great way to bring people into the brand. When connected to new hire orientation, an engagement event, or a campaign, art installations are even more impactful.
When was the last time you were on a college campus or attended a sporting event? Did you notice a strong pull-through of the brand?
Everyday experiences can inspire employer brand and internal communication activations. Keep your eyes and mind open to ideas outside of traditional corporate America or talent acquisition. Doing so may help your organization stand out from the competition, and build pride and confidence in your employment experience.
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