Keep It Simple Stupid.

Believe it or not, branding is supposed to make things easier…for everyone.

“What has become the science of pontification was once the art of simplification.”

Remember that a brand is really just a shortcut. When we see a logo, we can make assumptions about the product that bares it. If you don’t know anything about aspect ratio or refresh rate you can just buy a Sony television because you know it will be quality. If you don’t want to spend your weekend comparing the price of Frosted Flakes at every grocer in town, you can just go to Wal-mart because you know they’ll have the lowest prices anyway.

Imagine a world with no brands and only products. You’d have to laboriously balance the pluses and minuses of every product for every purchase. You could have no preconceptions or expectations. You could make no assumptions. You’d have analysis paralysis every time you went to the deli.

Sadly, this is what job-hunting feels like a lot of times. You’re forced to form an opinion of a company based solely on the few tangible benefits listed in a job posting. A brand should replace this process of rationalizing and help create an emotional connection (or not) with the company and the culture.

However, too often employer branding is used as just another rational benefit – another “plus” on the old strengths vs weaknesses scale. Your employer brand is not just another reason to believe. It’s the reason to believe. It’s the higher order that supersedes all the rational benefits. So if you spent the time, money and effort to develop a brand, but continue to base all your communications around the same old rational benefits, then you’re spinning your wheels.

Google’s recruitment Youtube video says nothing of pay or benefits – it talks more about the cafeteria and the culture. This is with good reason – for many technical positions, Google pays less than Microsoft does, but Google is the heart’s desire for young engineers not Microsoft. Google has taken the side-by-side comparison out of the equation replaced it with brand.

Or, look at the recruitment ads for Southwest Airlines, one of the strongest employer brands. Absent are the bulleted lists of good reasons to join the company or an “about us” paragraph touting the company’s prestigious history. Instead they seduce you with brand identity.

You’re brand should take the guesswork out of joining your company. It should let people put away the scale and listen to their gut. Just as shopping for clothes is as much emotional as it is rational, so too is shopping for a job. So allow your brand to pull its weight. Allow it to make things easier for jobseekers. Allow it to simplify your communications. Allow it to simplify your recruiting strategy. And if you don’t have a brand, call BRANDEMiX.

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