Ben Wise on Branding

Watching the world through the lens of the brand

Posts Tagged ‘Workopolis

Don’t Engage If You Can’t Engage

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Self-professed social media gurus will be quick to tell you that brands need to engage with consumers online. Get on Twitter and Facebook and consumers will love you for it.

However, before jumping in, brands need to ensure that they have the true commitment required or they may end up hurting their brand instead of helping it.

Last week I wrote a post on Workopolis’ brand refresh. Someone from the PR firm reached out to me through Twitter asking if I would like to speak with someone from Workopolis about their brand. As well, a Workopolis employee commented on the post. My first instinct was they were doing a great job by reaching out and showing a willingness to engage in a dialogue with me about their brand.

But I soon learned that the company lacked follow-through. I responded to both saying I would love to speak with someone further about the brand. It has been almost two weeks and I still have not heard back.

I wasn’t expecting a response to the original blog post and was delighted when I received one. I was, however, expecting a response once they reached out to me and found myself disappointed.

This goes to show both the potential and the danger of social media for brands. The commitment in terms of time and human resources are high, as are the risks. If a brand isn’t ready to use social media properly, they will continue to put themselves at a greater risk of harming their brand.

What do you think?


Written by benwisebranding

May 28, 2010 at 8:24 pm

Workopolis Brand Refresh – Boom or Bust?

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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

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