Outside the Box > Blog > Corporate branding vs. employer branding: One size DOES NOT fit all.

Corporate branding vs. employer branding: One size DOES NOT fit all.

— Jim Galligan

Here’s a question we hear all too often—I have a really strong corporate brand, why do I need an employer brand?

You may have wondered this yourself, or if you’re in HR or corporate comms, it might be a question you’ve heard from others when you’ve pitched the idea of creating an employer brand.

And the answer is very simple—while your corporate brand and employer brand share the same company DNA, they serve two very different purposes.

Corporate branding vs. employer branding: One size DOES NOT fit all.

Two sides of the same story.

Your corporate brand packages up your Brand DNA—your vision, your beliefs, the value you create, how you create it, etc.—for your customers. It’s how you translate your story to the people who buy your products and services.

When you bundle this same brand DNA up for talent, it’s your employer brand. It’s how you translate your story for the people who work for you today and those you’d like to attract in the future.

It’s probably pretty obvious that these two audiences care about very different things. Your customers likely don’t care about your career development programs, just as your employees don’t care that your product comes in seven different colors.

Having distinct corporate and employer brands allows you to tell a compelling story to each of these audiences, tailored to their very different needs and desires.

Different audiences, different competitors.

Another big differentiator between your corporate and your employer brand is your competition. Who you’re competing with for customers, versus who you’re competing with for talent.

For example, we do employer brand work with one of the top online travel websites. Their consumer competitors are, of course, going to be other travel websites. But their competition for talent is mainly large tech and social media companies, because they’re going after the same caliber of product and engineering talent.

So when we consider this client’s employer brand, it’s not a matter of differentiating them from other travel companies—the real opportunity is to help them shine when they’re up against some of those bigger, flashier tech companies.

To sum it all up, there’s very good reason to have a corporate brand AND an employer brand, as they’re designed to help you engage with and compete for two very different audiences, in two very different spaces.

And when you do it right, you’ve got a powerful one-two punch for your business—you’ve got a healthy conversation with your consumers, and a healthy conversation with your people.

And that’s a great way to build a healthy business.

Want to learn more about how to build a strong and successful employer brand?

Check out our free on-demand webinar:
Employer branding: Where to start, what to do, how to win.

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