Within the last decade, there has been a huge shift in the way that brands are perceived and a huge amount of power has been given to both consumers and employees when it comes to changing that perception. So, what’s changed and what can you do to make sure your brand makes it through this new world of work unscathed?
Word of mouth has always been the most powerful way to build up the reputation of a brand. People trust the people they know – whether it be their friends or family or even friends of friends. For so long, employers were able to control their brand so that they were able to look like the best brand to buy from as well as the best brand to work for.
So, what’s changed?
There have been plenty of advancements in technology as well as shifts on the Internet that mean that employer brands are not quite so safe anymore – but the biggest of these threats is by far the reviewer websites and social media.
Why does it matter if consumers have a say?
Social media and other industry specific reviewing websites like Yelp or TripAdvisor have created a huge shift in power. Consumers aren’t just consuming passively anymore, nor are their opinions (good or bad) being kept within the confinements of their immediate social circles. Now, they have a platform to share their opinions publicly and to even get a response from the brand. It’s like word of mouth has just been given a jetpack – news travels extremely fast on the Internet and brands need to be careful that they don’t miss a trick.
Of course, it matters that consumers can share their opinions but it matters even more that brands respond quickly and appropriately to the reviews posted about their services, products or their organisation on a whole. The response to a review can show the personality of a brand in just a sentence or two – revealing whether they are a brand consumers want to buy from and employees want to work for or whether they are a brand everyone wants to steer clear of.
Why does it matter if employees have a say?
Millennials are now working their way through the workforce and more than ever, they want to work in great workplaces that offer them great opportunities as well as security. It makes sense, if you have a friend who has worked for an organisation before, to ask them what that job was like, what the environment was like and what the management was like. This isn’t always possible, however, and that’s where employer reviewing websites like Glassdoor or Fairygodboss step in.
With a chance to share the important details about workplace environments, Glassdoor says they have a “growing database of millions of company reviews, CEO approval ratings, salary reports, interview reviews and questions, benefit reviews, office photos.”
Now, it’s no longer a lucky dip in the company you work for and millennials are taking advantage of it. Instead of being chosen by an employer, employees are now choosing the place they work and employers are working hard to make their brand one that is well-recognised, beloved and sought after.
This new, supercharged word-of-mouth system is shifting the power game – are you playing it right?
To learn more about what employers should be doing to prepare for the future of work, download Pendragon’s eBook: ‘The New World of Work’.
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