The Corporate Brand

We all know very well that a corporate brand implies recall, faith, meeting expectations and a kind of promise that is compelling as regards its products and services. It is meant to generate definite tangible and intangible gains for all stakeholders. Brand value proposition statements help stakeholders understand how effectively the brand is meeting their needs.

A corporate value proposition is a vehicle to deliver the brand value. It must be unique and distinct from the competitors. It helps develop your company’s face to the world. However its promise to fulfill the expectations of all the stake holders is a reflection of the organization’s core capabilities, processes and competencies. This is illustrated in the international airline value proposition –

What is a HR Brand?

By HR brand we mean an employer brand that attracts the best talent, makes it stick and unleash its potential to emotionally engage employees and retain them? Can the HR brand value extend beyond employees?

The HR brand would be limiting if HR people were to build it independent of the corporate identity i.e., its external and internal branding. The HR brand ought to be aligned to the corporate to draw strength from its image as a good corporate citizen one that provides value consistently and ethically.

One practical way is to leverage the essence of corporate mission and value statements to energize the HR brand. This is reciprocal as the HR brand will also inspire the employees to add value to corporate mission.

Southwest Airline links the employee brand message to the corporate mission very well

Southwest's mission

Southwest's message to Employees

HR Brand and its value proposition

How can a HR brand deliver tangible benefits to the internal as well as the external stakeholders? It can through its value proposition.

Value is defined by the receiver!

While doing so it is important to bear in mind what Dave Ulrich has to say “value is defined by the receiver, not the giver; any value proposition begins with a focus on receivers, not givers”.

HR value proposition can provide tangible benefits

Value for top talent means they want to be a part of a winning team, and they want opportunities for career development. HR can build an employer brand identity based on their existing external branding foundation with a brand message that can be meaningful both externally and internally.

Value for the investors, management and all employees is received through high market valuation of the company.

HR provides tangible monetary value

The primary finding of the first ever Watson Wyatt Human Capital Index study reveals that company’s that have superior human capital practices create superior returns for their shareholders through higher market valuation. The results are astounding – please read more:  http://www.watsonwyatt.com/us/pubs/insider/showarticle.asp?ArticleID=7136

It becomes abundantly clear that HR can deliver tangible value even in monetary terms provided its human capital processes are in sync with strategic needs of the organization and of the needs of its employees.

Do give your comments and enrich the post! Thank you.

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About dilipnaidu

An open mind! Love to share my thoughts and a keenness to learn. An engineer and a MBA I had a wonderful innings in the Army and later moved to consultancy and teaching. My current interests are reading, music, growing culinary herbs, playing golf and yoga. I am serious on "Living life less seriously". A warm welcome to you be well and be cheerful always.

10 responses »

  1. Binod Luitel says:

    Hello sir,

    Your article has incited me to think about the companies who consistently and ethically maintained and delivered values to all stakeholders. A big esteem goes to Hewlett-Packard for the philosophy it articulated and lived with the values even at the odds and adversity.
    HP declared its people-oriented philosophy in “The dignity and worth of individual is a very important part, then HP Way.” It has a tradition of treating every individual with consideration and respect and recognizing personal achievement. There is a feeling that everyone is a part of team, and that team is HP.
    Founder, Bill Hewlett says, the people orientation at HP started early. In 1940’s Hewlett & Packard decided- “ Not to be a hire and fire company.” Rather than lay people off, top management in the organization took a 10 percent cut in pay. Everyone worked 10 percent fewer hours and HP successfully weathered the 1970’s Recession without having to sacrifice full employment. It was indeed, a courageous decision.
    IBM can never be forgotten for its philosophy ” Our respect for the individual.” as its own history of the intense people orientation. They treat people as adults and as partners. They treat them with dignity, with respect; they treat people as the primary source of productivity gains.
    Delta Airlines is one of the handfuls to go thorough deregulation in the airlines industry with few scars on its unblemished record of strong financial performance. They have a relationship with their people (social capital) that are most difficult to break into. The volatility of fuel prices and attacks of Sep11, 2001 pushed the airlines industry over the edge and Delta including many others took strategic process of downsizing. Not to break the strong bond of social capital, company went with a name of the Delta Workforce Programs, which gave employees with six voluntary programs to consider. The program included leave programs where employees were given flight privileges, pension credit time for the leave period upon their return, and ability to bid for jobs while on leave. The intent was to keep connectivity of employees to Delta and the communities it served. This shows that Delta is a people company. It advertises “The Delta Family Feeling” and lives that philosophy.
    I think these companies are real examples of how organizations can enhance its corporate value proposition and which works as both employer and employees branding.

    Regards,
    Binod

    Like

    • Dilip says:

      Hey Binod,

      How nice to hear from you after a long time. I am thankful to you for these interesting inputs. I too am fascinated by ‘The HP Way’ as well as IBM’s commitment to culture building. But I now can add ‘The Delta Family Feeling ‘ to my list to refer to whenever required.

      Thank you and do remain in touch – always

      Cheers

      Like

  2. supriya dhende says:

    Dear Sir,

    Value is pretty straightforward when it comes to capital assets. When it comes to human capital, measuring value becomes more difficult. Still, it can be done in a way that makes sense for business leaders.We all have a stake in the value being created by these learning expenditures. In the 21st century, global economy intangible assets such as know-how are what create the majority of the value. This is a major shift from the 20th century, when investments in plant and equipment were the primary engine of value creation. The good news is that this shift puts learning leaders at the heart of the value creation process. The bad news is there is little agreement about how to measure the value side of the equation. This may help countries having tie-up with Indian firms to understand the value creation process of these firms to sustain growth.HUMAN CAPITAL IS ARGUABLY THE MOST VALUABLE ASSET HELD BY AN ORGANIZATION TODAY.”Although we would agree that most CEOs are acutely aware of their investments in their most valuable asset (salaries, benefits, training, recruitment programs and the like), almost none could tell you what their most valuable asset is worth.” Organisational performance is a recurrent theme in various domains of management because performance improvement is the time test of any strategy.According to the authors organisational performance is the subset of organisational effectiveness.In order to be effective, organisations must be able to understand the relationships between these different forms of capital. Human capital alone will not create value. People have to be motivated and managed by the use of good HR practice and given the opportunity to develop and use their skills to create goods and services which can be sold. If the knowledge they are creating cannot be embedded in goods and services that are in demand, then this human capital will have no value to the business. However, every organisation needs to decide which specific measures are relevant to them in the effective communication of the value and contribution of human capital both internally and externally.In these volatile economic times it is important to maximise the value of your biggest asset, people.

    This is what I would like to add in the above explanations.

    Regards,
    Supriya Dhende

    Like

    • Dilip Naidu says:

      Hi Supriya,

      You have discussed the challenges that HR is coming to terms with. Also that in the new economy it is the intangible assets that will make the difference between winning and losing.

      The challenge is in the communicaton of HR’s contribution in a language that is understood by the CEO and the CFO.

      In this post itself the Watson & Wyatt Group research findings shows that specific human capital management (HCM) practices can add-or subtract-millions of dollars from the bottom line. Increasingly, investors will understand this and deploy their resources accordingly.

      Their first HCI research demonstrated a correlation between superior HR practices and increased shareholder value. The study identified 30 key HR practices associated with a 30% increase in shareholder value creation.

      Your comments indicate that you have grasped the essence of Strategic HR very well. Keep it up and wish you luck in your examinations.

      Regards.

      Like

  3. Dilip Naidu says:

    Wow Ashish,

    Superb! you have spoken like a true marketing professional of the future. The more marketing people believe in teaming-up with HR and vice-versa the better will be the outcome.

    Thanks 🙂

    Like

  4. Ashish Mahto says:

    I believe a brands’ reputation is not controlled by the brand; instead the people control it. Thus, their experience with the brand is what creates a brands reputation. Companies should be putting greater effort towards strengthening their customer’s experience, in order to grow their brand reputation organically. Customer care is a great opportunity for marketers to team-up with HR personnel to determine the individuals; they should be hiring to create a cohesive brand experience.

    Let me give you an example. Apple does a great job in truly creating a brand experience. Their image is very sleek, modern and trendy. The employees are young, hip and more importantly tech lovers. But where they score the most points is with their service. Ever noticed the ratio of customers to employees? One time I counted one employee to every five customers in an Apple store. That’s amazing! Apple has really created a customer experience that focuses on quality service while maintaining a cohesive brand image.

    Regards,
    Ashish

    Like

  5. Excellent write-up indeed! Ultimately what I got out of this is that aligning the HR function with the broad business objective can really work wonders for any company. Today, as we see that what is considered to be extra-ordinary turns into mundane in no time – be it business processes, or technology etc, it is then human resources that make a big difference in any organisation’s sustainable growth and success.

    I totally agree with Vedant when he quotes the examples of Tata, Religare and Reliance!

    Best Regards,
    Hitesh.

    Like

    • Dilip Naidu says:

      Hi Hitesh,
      Your views are in sync with the Resourced Based View (RBV) theory propagated by Wernerfelt, Rumelt and later Barney. I.e., to transform a short-run competitive advantage into a sustained competitive advantage requires that its resources that are heterogeneous in nature and not perfectly mobile must effectively translate into valuable resources that are neither perfectly imitable nor substitutable without great effort – therefore sustainable. And it is the strategic HR that can make this happen.

      Thanks a ton.

      Like

  6. Vedant says:

    Hello Sir

    HR also plays a vital role in any professional company. If your HR is strong, ultimately you will have good employees as well as they will work more in a productive way for company. WHY?? Everybody wants to join MNCs, because they have strong HR, everyone wants to contribute itself in company respectively as per their role. It also helps in increasing the Brand Equity of the Brand.

    Employees of the company work together as a TEAM. If the TEAM is refined and good then any company will achieve their targeted goals. TATA, Religare, Reliance and many more have already setup the examples for the Indian Companies, few of them follows the path and rest are following the same old format in their companies.

    There are few companies of HR as Brand like Ma Foi, Unison International, etc

    Regards
    Vedant

    Like

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