Finally, the warmer spring weather is creeping across the country. And naturally that makes me think of convertibles. Whenever I see some lucky person driving with the top down I automatically wish I could be speeding down the road with the sun on my shoulders, too.
In a world of “buy the best,” whether it’s recruiting software or a convertible, the question is, how do I choose which one I want?
Do people shopping for convertibles buy from BMW or Audi because of brand loyalty? Or do they buy based on car features and buyer recommendations? Or, even more likely, do they buy because of the image they have of themselves in relationship to the type of car or its brand?
When it comes to convertibles, many people may be less concerned with the logo on the outside of the car than the comfort, performance, or some other benefit that it offers.
But how does brand loyalty – or lack thereof – apply to staffing and recruiting firms like yours?
Hinda Chalew, Senior Vice President of Interactive Services for Staffing Industry Analysts, makes a good point when she says in her article, Is Brand Loyalty Dead? that no longer do clients stay with a staffing and recruiting company because of the brand. Now, staffing companies are only as good as their latest hire.
What’s In A Brand?
What is really behind a brand? A brand implies ownership (real or perceptual) of:
- Products or services (what)
- Method of delivery of the product/service (how, where, when)
- Persona of the product/service (who) – more importantly, the style, reputation, perception or experience associated with the product
Word gets around fast when a product or service fails. A hiring manager for a company is going to think twice about a staffing firm that doesn’t provide top-notch candidates. There are just too many competitors for a firm to stick with one hiring company if that company can’t provide the best.
The problem becomes a situation of brand loyalty breakup. Excelling in just two out of three of these elements might dramatically affect your brand success. You may have a great product but if your delivery is off, or if the customer experience is less than satisfying, people may drop your brand for another.
Implications of Dying Brand Loyalty
If “ownership” implied by a brand is becoming less important due to the democratizing influences of the internet, i.e., the vast amount of information and the atmosphere of comparative shopping, what are the possible implications?
- Commoditization: As consumers (B2C or B2B) see more wide-spread comparative info, it becomes apparent that products/services as offered are increasingly similar. Key differentiating factors may become irrelevant and boil down to who has the best price.
- Perception: The “perceived” value – which may be completely unrelated to the actual value of the product/service – may be valued higher in the decision-making process. Perceived values can be influenced by a variety of factors, but are also subject to increased scrutiny by tech-savvy buyers.
- Experience: The value of the consumer “experience” with the product/service – even those from total (and unqualified) strangers in reviews (think Amazon or Trip Advisor) – may have considerably more weight in the buying decision than ever before.
So how do staffing and recruiting firms create product/service loyalty in a market of dying brand loyalty? The same way recruiting software companies engage with customers: they use marketing. Marketing defines “why” consumers should buy the product/service.
Revive Your Staffing Firm’s Loyalty Base
Brand loyalty for traditional reasons may be dying, but if your staffing firm understands the nuances of attracting loyal customers in an era of commoditization, fluctuating perceived value, and amplified customer experience, you can still stand out amidst the competition.
Here are three ways you can create brand advocates for your staffing and recruiting firm.
1. Define the “why.”
The adage “facts tell, stories sell” is what should drive your efforts to define the “why.” This is your chance to tell consumers your story, and in the process, engage them. The companies that do the best job of sharing their stories are the ones who shine above the rest of the field.
2. Consider the different needs of clients.
You have to market to both prospective clients and current temps. Obviously it’s essential to provide the best services – communicating success can be part of the “why” clients should use your staffing firm. On the flip side, it’s equally as important to market to temps because if they aren’t happy, they’ll find greener pastures elsewhere.
This two-pronged approach takes into account the needs of your audiences. While you are telling your story to your external audience, you also need to use marketing to nurture your internal audience – your temp workforce.
Hinda Chalew offers some great advice on how to excel here. “It is relatively easy for marketing to create a list of all active temps, by job category and send them an email once per week.” This email should include:
- A personal note to show you care about them
- A listing of your current job openings
- Tips on how they can apply for future work
- Tips on communicating well with their recruiter
- Training tips for their next job
3. Listen and respond socially.
A single vocal customer or temp or a small minority may have a disproportionately negative or positive affect on the brand. So, it is important that marketers be more informed and proactive in monitoring and responding appropriately to social activity related to the brand.
The next time you see a convertible racing down the road, think about the product your staffing and recruiting firm is putting out into the market – does your marketing attract envious customers and keep happy temps in this market of dying brand loyalty?
Learn detailed information about how to improve your productivity and reduce operational costs by downloading the Bond AdaptSuite Staffing and Recruiting Software brochure.