The Accidental Corporate Brand

I’m helping to write a proposal this week for a piece of business that we’d really like to win. My first step in the proposal process is always company research to look for alignment or commonality between our organizations. Their web site told me what was important to them, it outlined their long-term goals, and detailed their penetration into the European market. All very interesting. But when I left the corporate web site and researched the employees on LinkedIn — my favorite social networking site — that’s where I began to get a feel for the life of the company. In about 90 seconds I learned their two most senior HR people are in newly-created positions. I learned they employ ISO specialists. And I learned about a new shared services initiative that seeks to impact the entire organization.

This started me thinking about how our individual social networking activities coalesce to form a picture of our company – seemingly by accident. Collectively we speak volumes about our employer.

My curiosity aroused, I just had to look up my own company to see what our social networking brand looks like. The first thing I learned is that we really like LinkedIn. There are 11,798 people from my company on LinkedIn! Second, we’re not big on profile pictures; less than half of those I looked at posted a public photo. Third, we’re not a wordy bunch. Most profiles I scanned contained job titles only – oh, and lots and lots of acronyms. What is PGDBM – PM and IR?

This is such a contrast to the company I am studying. Have you researched your own company to discover your accidental corporate brand?

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One Reply to “The Accidental Corporate Brand”

  1. The words, “The Accidental Corporate Brand” caught my eye. I enjoyed your perspective and I agree with your assessment. We actually quantify “accidental branding” in a continuous research project that has been underway since 1990. We define it as when a company’s business processes, culture and communications are out of alignment. I’d be delighted to provide more details if you are interested. Cheers!


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