How to Align Your Employer Brand with the Corporate Brand

By Richard Mosley

Your employer brand should align with your corporate brand. The term corporate brand is generally used to describe the overall reputation of the company, as opposed to its more specific reputation as an employer. In addition to finding your fit within the strategic hierarchy, you need to clarify your place within the brand hierarchy.

integrated brand model
The integrated brand model.

From a management perspective, the most discernible manifestation of the corporate brand is its visual identity — the corporate logo, colors, fonts, and design elements used to present a consistent face to the world. Many companies also try to define some of the more intangible components of identity, including the following:

  • Purpose: The organization’s reason for existence beyond making money — what the organization does. Google provides a great example of purpose: “To organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.”
  • Vision: The organization’s current end goal — what the organization is striving to achieve within a given time frame, “a dream with a deadline.” A powerful historical example of this is Microsoft’s original company vision (when access to computers was still highly limited): “To put a computer on every desk in every home.”
  • Values: The organization’s guiding principles — how the organization does what it does. A few examples from Southwest Airlines are “Work hard,” “Have FUN,” and “Treat others with respect.”

If your organization has a defined purpose, vision, and values, these statements provide an important starting point for defining your employment offer and employer brand strategy, with clear alignment between the company’s core beliefs and the more specific proposition you’re setting out for current and potential employees.

Don’t let the lack of a clear statement of purpose, vision, and values hold up the process of defining and promoting your employer brand. Question the leadership team on the medium- to long-term direction of the company, and their views on the kind of culture they believe the company should promote internally to achieve these longer-term goals.

Start your employer brand development with a clear understanding of the corporate brand and the parameters within which the employer brand needs to function to ensure consistency within the overall brand hierarchy. Your organization’s employer value proposition (EVP) must align with the organization’s core statement of beliefs — its purpose, vision, and values.