SOURCE: The Boston Consulting Group

The Boston Consulting Group

October 14, 2014 09:59 ET

Companies Must Unite the Employer, Corporate, and Product Experience Into One Brand

Organizations Today Must Elevate Employer Branding to Its Rightful Place Among the Other Major Pillars of Brand Management, BCG Maintains

BOSTON, MA--(Marketwired - Oct 14, 2014) - Employees have become an essential component of brands, according to a new report by The Boston Consulting Group (BCG). The report, titled One Branding: Uniting the Employer, Corporate, and Product Experience, is being released today.

"Branding was once highly product oriented," said Antonella Mei-Pochtler, a senior partner and lead author of the report. "But brand experiences are now largely shaped by the people on the front lines who interact daily with customers, who have rising expectations. Employees have become, in effect, brand ambassadors."

Consumers today, led by the digitally native Millennial generation (ages 18 to 34), increasingly require a holistic and authentic experience across all the online and offline ways they interact with a company. Brand management of the future, therefore, requires even fuller and more consistent engagement among the people inside and outside the company -- both those who experience the brand and those who represent the brand, according to the authors of the report.

The problem is that companies too often focus on only one or two aspects of their brand image. Frequently, they ignore employees as brand advocates or else narrowly relegate marketing communications for employees and recruits to the human resources department. People often assume that a strong product or corporate brand alone will attract candidates and customers. If product and company brands are to become part of people's lives, however, they will first have to be "lived" by employees.

"Not every company must be a leader in all three brand-management disciplines," said Rainer Strack, a senior partner and report author. "But companies must gain a basic command of each, as they discover how to differentiate in the areas important to their business. Only then will they achieve more integrated and consistent brands."

The authors of the report call this new concept of integrated, employee-powered marketing one branding. To discern how companies are giving employer branding an equal place inside a unified brand, BCG interviewed executives in the European operations of ten global companies in diverse industries with leading brands: adidas Group, BMW Group, eBay, Deutsche Lufthansa, Deutsche Telekom, Heineken International, Google, Otis Elevator Company, Ottobock HealthCare, and Zalando. In our work with companies around the world, we have found these leaders' insights to be broadly applicable to many other regions.

These companies show how tight links among all the aspects of brand management ensure that brands leverage their most significant asset -- employees -- to create more powerful and relevant brands for today's changing world.

A copy of the report can be downloaded at

To arrange an interview with one of the authors, please contact Eric Gregoire at +1 617 850 3783 or

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