Let’s start with something simple: There is only one brand.
Your corporate brand, your investor brand, your employer brand, your consumer brand… it’s all one brand. The trick is that each brand manager looks through the brand to understand and speak to their audience about their needs and motivators, but they are all looking at their audience through the same shared lens.
EB is special in that its target audience has a longer customer journey where candidates take a LOT more time to collect the intel on which to make a life-changing decision. As an EB-er, you are special in that you are focused on quality over quantity, your tech stack is going to be different (what, you think your consumer marketing team has an ATS?), and you have different metrics and KPIs.
But done properly, branders lean into their own area of expertise to support the aggregate brand because great consumer branding elevates and empowers employer branding. And vice versa.
The above is still a semi-controversial idea, for a lot of reasons (most of them political). But what if we took that idea a step further: what happens in a multi-brand company?
If you’re working with a Disney and their (to be certain) VERY well-established brand, who in turn own some very distinctive brands of their own (ESPN, ABC, Disney Parks, Disney+ etc), how do you approach this “one brand” strategy when it comes to employer branding?
(Full disclosure, while I know a few people at Disney, nothing here is specifically about Disney or their brands. Disney’s just a great example of how complex brand architecture gets.)
That is: how do you build an employer brand for a multi-brand org? Do you establish a core corporate brand that every other brand has to sweat to localize? Do you allow for completely independent brands to exist under the main umbrella? And if so, how can they support each other?
First, we must state that THERE IS NO ONE ANSWER. How can there be when multi-brand organizations aren’t all the same? They don’t have the same architecture at all. Are they like Amazon, whose core brand owns hundreds of sub-brands, but all of which exist as subservient to the big A? Or is it more like Yum! brands where the child brands (Taco Bell, KFC, Pizza Hut) are treated as completely independent? And what about mega CPG companies like Unilever or P&G where there is a clear connection to the parent brand, but the child brands have their own claim to their own brand (and even compete against other child brands)?