Ben Wise on Branding

Watching the world through the lens of the brand

Workopolis Brand Refresh – Boom or Bust?

with 9 comments

Canadian job site Workopolis is undergoing a major repositioning. Previously, they have touted themselves as “Canada’s biggest job site.” The new campaign, which Gabriel Bouchard, the company’s Chief Brand Officer, called the result of “a long strategic process that led to a repositioning of the company”, moves the emphasis to the user with the new tag line “Time to shine”. The new positioning is certainly a step in the right direction but is still a couple of years too late.

Out With The Old

Being “Canada’s biggest job site” implies the obvious functional benefit that users will be able to find any job they want. Equally obvious is the downside that the site will attract a lot of competition, which is only exacerbated by the recession. I think what happened here was that the leadership of Workopolis realized that with new competitive pressures, particularly from LinkedIn, they needed to refresh their brand strategy.

In With The New

Giving job seekers their “Time to shine” moves Workopolis along the brand positioning spectrum from a functional to an emotional benefit. Users gain self-confidence and respect when they shine, and this is certainly something that many are looking for after a long recession. Without a doubt, a move toward an emotional brand positioning is a smart choice, as it has the potential to create a more ownable and lasting connection with consumers.

The Verdict

Unfortunately, the brand refresh does not go far enough in addressing the threat that LinkedIn represents. LinkedIn, set up as a social network for professionals, provides additional functional and emotional benefits to consumers that Workopolis simply cannot match. LinkedIn offers not only job posting, but the opportunity to connect with other users, develop your personal brand, and grow your network.

There is always a risk in relying on functional benefits, but until they are replicated they offer the most compelling brand to consumers. And since these benefits exist even for people who are employed, LinkedIn is able to create loyalty among users who reap ongoing benefits. Furthermore, social networking platforms by their very nature offer emotional benefits simply by being a social network, which can create a feeling of acceptance and belonging. See this old post about the emotional benefits of social networks.

The bottom line, the Workopolis refresh is a bust as it is not a big enough shift to make them competitive with LinkedIn and other more sophisticated job sites.

What do you think? Does Workopolis stand a better chance with their new positioning?


Written by benwisebranding

May 11, 2010 at 12:51 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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9 Responses

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  7. Hey, thanks for your feedback on our re-launch, Ben. Smart candidates have always known that networking is an important part of any job search. Social networking websites are a natural evolution of this. Workopolis isn’t threatened by these tools, or even in competition with them. We’re using them as new ways to help our employers and candidates find each other, to make the right connections. We are the only career site in Canada with a YouTube channel, we have a dedicated Twitter feed with new industry and location specific job postings daily, and we actually use LinkedIn’s job aggregator to further extend our customer’s reach. We have also made exciting changes to our own functionally to job seekers a chance to explore what companies are really like to work for. Most people want more than just a job; they want to find the right opportunity – the one that gives them a chance to shine. We’re just proud to be a part of helping them accomplish that.

  8. Hi Peter – thanks for your comment. Always nice when the brand is willing to join the conversation, so good for you!
    I understand your points, but with a longer term point of view, I don’t see how Workopolis will generate loyalty among people with jobs, compared to LinkedIn where many continue to check the site regularly and gain benefit even when employed. If I check their site every day now, why would I start going somewhere else if I started looking for a job?


    May 15, 2010 at 12:05 pm

  9. […] week I wrote a post on Workopolis’ brand refresh. Someone from the PR firm reached out to me through Twitter asking […]

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