Here’s the Most Important Indicator of Your Company’s Brand Reputation

February 7, 2017

4:30 pm

In a world of rapid-fire tweets and constant news cycles, it’s more important than ever to stay on top of what your company’s brand reputation is — and where it might be headed in the future. Take this year’s Superbowl ads, for instance, which were seen as political by some for seemingly simple messages about American values. Even the New York Times was taken by surprise, quickly changing the lede of one article from saying “political statements are out” to highlighting Coca-Cola, Airbnb, and Budweiser for “ads that touched on immigration and diversity.”

So how can you monitor your brand? By checking in with the leading trends. Here’s a look at the biggest takeaways from a recent study on the subject from the Employer Branding Academy.

How to Identify Awareness Levels

To properly measure brand reputation, you’ll need to know what a variety of demographics think about your company, based off their understanding of it and their personal values. It’s tough to measure, of course, but there are a couple levels of awareness that you can rely on to pinpoint how each demographic thinks.

First up, familiarity:

“What percentage of your target audience has heard of your organization and know what your organization does? It’s important to distinguish between familiarity with your products or services, and familiarity with the kind of employment opportunities you might offer. In many cases potential candidates may exclude themselves from considering your organization as a potential employer because they only associate you with the jobs they can see or imagine.”

Next, consideration:

“What percentage of your target audience would consider you as a potential employer? If possible you should try and determine relative levels of consideration among active job seekers vs. passive targets. High levels of consideration among active targets could be driven by the perception that you hire a lot of people rather than your relative merit as an employer.”

And finally, preference:

“What percentage of your target audience rates your organization higher than your immediate talent competitors as a potential employer? While a high level of consideration is no doubt satisfying, preference is the ultimate objective getting the talent to prefer you over your competitors.”

The Most Important Element of Your Brand Reputation?

Here’s the key info you’ve been waiting for:

“The most important measure from an external employer brand reputation and recruitment perspective is advocacy, since the preparedness of employees to communicate positively about their employer through social media and refer good candidates have increasingly become the bedrock of effective social marketing. The other common term used for this measure is the Net Promoter Score, which represents the net sum of positive employee advocates and negative detractors.”

In other words, you’ll need to keep your employees so happy with the company that they’ll occasionally let their social media followers know that your company’s great. You can’t fake that kind of goodwill, and everyone knows it.

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Adam is a writer with an interest in a variety of mediums, from podcasts to comic books to video essays to novels to blogging — too many, basically. He's based out of Seattle, and remains a staunch defender of his state's slogan: "sayWA." In his spare time, he recommends articles about science fiction on Twitter, @AdamRRowe

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