The Greater the Brand, the Bigger the Career

The Greater the Brand, the Bigger the Career

Big brand, big talent.

According to a recent Korn Ferry survey, brand-name power does more than drive revenue and profit. It drives talent.

The survey of more than 200 global executives across multiple industries revealed that nearly nine in ten (87%) believe that working for a well-known, branded company leads to greater future career opportunities. While brand-name appeal may not be that surprising, the wide margin in respondents’ answers is very telling. Only 9% of people did not see a strong connection between brand recognition and career opportunities, and 4% were unsure.

A well-established brand is so important, in fact, the majority of executives surveyed were willing to give up salary for it—at least in the short term. Well over half (59%) of executives said they’d prefer to work for a branded firm in a position that paid 10% less, rather than join an “unbranded” firm with a job that paid 10% more.

That’s not to say that these executives will take less salary forever. However, they clearly equate brand-name strength with staying power. Many of us remember all too well those heady dot-com days when the next best idea and a plan for an IPO translated into the promise of millions. Dazzled by the flash and sizzle of a newly minted company, we didn’t foresee the fizzle and the burnout—until it was too late.

The preference for brand strength today is also a sign of the times, five years after a global economic crisis and prolonged recession. Today, executives see better prospects for bigger jobs and more money in the future with brand-name companies. In fact, a total of 69% of executives surveyed considered it extremely or somewhat important to work for a branded company.

What of their current jobs and employers? While 59% of executives surveyed said they currently work for companies with a strong employer brand, nearly one-fifth (16%) gave the lukewarm answer of “maybe.” If that noncommittal response doesn’t scream for some internal communication, I don’t know what does. If executives aren’t sure whether their employers have strong brands, then how can anyone else?

Ditto the response to how well companies express their employer brand values, with nearly half answering “maybe” (22%) and “no” (25%). Do these companies really fall short on delivering their values, or is it a case of poor communication? If companies want to attract and retain high-potential talent, they better broadcast the desirability of their brand and values. Otherwise, talent is going to walk out the door and join companies with stronger brands—or that do a better job of trumpeting them.

Brand strength is a must-have to win the war for talent. Companies seeking to recruit, hire, and retain high-potential executives, better boast a strong brand. And, they need know how to communicate that brand-name advantage – loudly, clearly and regularly.

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