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James Del-Gatto at our Recruitment Directors Event
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James Del-Gatto at our Recruitment Directors Event


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  • Talk you through the journey steps we took to build the Oyster brandand I’m going to focus on the unseen parts, the planning, thinking and researchWhat goes into brand project before the logos are even sketched, in fact I will cover brand building you can do without touching graphics.Shaping employees for the brandMy aim is to translate the vague and ambiguous language of brand and branding into something you guys can actually use, the practical steps, I hope you can start planning next week.
  • Trying to persuade sales people to build a brand has been a challenge.
  • Brand is important to recruitment agencies, bull horn research
  • Research from the world’s leading management consultancy into financial value of a strong brand
  • The market is turning but we’ll all suffer increased competition, not just other agents but substitutes liked LinkedIn and in-house teamsNeed to stand out, for the right reasons, cut through the noiseAgain Bullhorn research suggests more competition main concern in 2014
  • Touch of neuroscience – always be skeptical if anyone claims based on neuroscienceAwareness, creates images, you build associations with those images (eg recruitment consultant) they are stored as memories, those have emotions attached if make feel good links to actionsIf you do get this right, positive image you’ll slowly build brand reputation across your market – the greatest gift you can achieve.Things people look for: momentum, see brand going somewhere, clarity and distinctiveness, match their own valuesThe simplest answer is that a brand is a set of associations that a person (or group of people) makes with a company, service. These associations may be intentional – that is, they may be actively promoted via marketing and corporate identity, for example – or they may be outside the company’s control. For example, a poor press review for a new product might ‘harm’ the product manufacturer’s overall brand by placing negative associations in people’s minds. Effective branding elevates a company from being just one commodity amongst many identical commodities, to become something with a unique character and promise. It can create an emotional resonance in the minds of clients who choose products and services using both emotional and pragmatic judgements. Whilst most companies and organisations are providing a service of one type or another, for some businesses customer service is the dominant part of the offer. For these companies particular attention needs to be paid to how the brand (the big idea and all its components) are reflected in the way the service is provided and the way staff interact with customers. As in consumer products, B2B companies need to use branding to differentiate, stand-out and create a distinct personality, even if that personality is more corporate and business-like in its tone. The prize for getting this right is a strong brand in the market-place.
  • Brand building, good brand building starts with digging – need to find the truth, the core, the – about the business and the market.
  • First establish what’s important to a clientsThen measure your performance against the same criteria – do you score well where it counts?Blend of structured Quantitative questioning with qualitative conversations, some gemsComment: What can brand do for you – make it clearer the relations they have with clients, nowhere does it show how many and level of relationsConversation with candidates uncovered Oyster had much better relations with senior hiring folk than was made clear on website etc.
  • Armed with market research we jumped into our first workshopOff-siteMix of staffMade funPride in taking partLearn and be listened too – also chance to see you stars, who contributes, who silent,
  • From this workshop and plus the market research ready to write the brand strategy30 page slide deck bit much for Dan Jack devoured itWhere you are what you want to be, what the market wants
  • Contrast between two client basesPublic sector very different – young HR assistant, no knowledge, interest in the contract recruitmentPrivate sector very different, senior cares deeply, very choosyHow to build build brand for both?
  • 2nd workshop designing the recruitment service to bring the brand to life: every day.
  • Designing service looks at hand-off between all the parties.
  • The service design fed into staff handbook, detailing each step.It also included guidelines for writing in the brand style and selling Oyster and the Oyster difference – the goal was to marry up selling the service and delivering it.
  • The recruitment service was branded up as The Oyster Difference and support material of web pages and videos was produced.
  • All the branding was carefully applied across all media
  • Transcript

    • 1. May 2014 James Del-Gatto | Black Slate Building the Oyster Brand
    • 2. James Del-Gatto • 15 years at SThree • 10 brands 2,500 staff • Running internal comms / marketing function • Employer brand • Values programme re-engineered the business with CEO Russell Clements • Re-brand of Oyster – Black Slate • Hydrogen – Comms Manager, Client Proposition
    • 3. Brand basics
    • 4. Brand Data Bullhorn research: Trends 2014 Brand Social: Candidates CRM 30% 17% 12%
    • 5. Brand Data McKinsey research: 2013 B2B Brands 30% 17% 12% +13% +20% 2012 2013
    • 6. Too many Brands
    • 7. What is a brand? Images + Associations + Memories + Emotions= Actions Reward of strong brand
    • 8. Research / Planning Oyster Partnership
    • 9. Our Brand Journey Research / strategy Create: Design Build: website, collateral Launch: Internal, external Market
    • 10. Brand Team JDG Brand Oyster Jack Website Design Clients
    • 11. Building the Oyster Brand Discovery
    • 12. Market research Client’s value Oyster Score Skills, educ. match Culture match Helpful / friendly Screening Quality of advice Market knowledge Manage rec Save time Fast and responsive Candidate relation CSR
    • 13. Brand Strategy Articulating
    • 14. Brand Strategy
    • 15. Public Sector Client Typical Client profile: Role: HR Assistant, local council Gender: Female Age: late 20s Class: working to lower middle Education: basic college Recruitment skills: limited, no knowledge of candidate skills Level of authority: limited Priorities: speed of service, contract fulfilment, strategic budget planning. Justification to superiors for agency fees Private Sector Client Typical Client profile: Role: Senior partner of Property firm, eg Savills Gender: Male Age: late 30s Class: Middle to upper middle class, conservative Education: Surveying degree, professional body RICS Recruitment skills: Skilled, good grasp of candidate profile Level of authority: High Priorities: Requires excellent candidates with academic success, registered with professional body, little time and little desire for rec agencies. Requires permanent staff that are good culture fit. Profile of Clients
    • 16. Brand position of the future
    • 17. • To be the most trusted and respected provider of staffing across property sector • To grow with integrity and set the benchmark for property recruitment • Expertise Delivered • Tenacity/Persistence • Integrity/Transparency • Vitality/Optimism • Fun/Humour
    • 18. Identity – Single Organising Thought How do we perform better than our competitors? By delivering expertise; our own and from the talent pool OUR mechanism to deliver our Vision – Expertise Delivered Expertise - the best people, the right people, the special people delivered through great service, expertise from our own staff - every piece of advice, ever candidate submitted Spotting the best experts available, being known for the quality of candidates we put forward, the quality of advice we offer, being able to act quickly and confidently
    • 19. Designing the Recruitment Service
    • 20. Expertise Delivered Through The Oyster Difference: Service Design
    • 21. Injecting into DNA
    • 22. The ‘Oyster Difference’™ The “Oyster Difference” your recruitment service • Brought to life on website and marcomms • Video: website and social
    • 23. The Brand Identity Managing Creativity
    • 24. • Wrote creative brief • Shortlisted 3 design agencies • Brief for the pitch presentation • Scoreboard to choose • Back to back pitches • Decision makers each step Before the Crayons came out
    • 25. • Agreed all costs before start • We insisted on three routes • Ident for all occasions • Decision makers at key meetings • We were clear on competition • Avoided personal taste • Simple 4 page brand guidelines • Clear hand-over with web team Once they were Out
    • 26. Expertise Delivered Wave good bye
    • 27. Launch • Three-phased launch of new brand 1. All managers, get on-board 2. Staff two weeks before external launch 3. External launch • Delay Marketing until settled in
    • 28. Take-Away Base your brand on research / insight Articulate what you stand for, who you are Develop your brand identity / website on the brand strategy Get expert help even if small doses Building a brand takes time, consistency
    • 29. Keep In Touch • If you’d like help building a specialist recruitment brand, or just want a chat about branding or marketing: