organisation’s people management practices can significantly affect the way its
brand is perceived, according to new research.
and People Management: What’s in a Name?, published by the Chartered
Institute of Personnel and Development, identifies four distinct stages of
development in the relationship between branding and HR.
each stage, branding and HR policies are combined to varying levels and affect
the overall strategy of the organisation accordingly.
Dr Graham Martin said the report allows organisations to identify where they
sit in the identified stages, and to develop their understanding of how
branding and people management are combined.
is critical is to acknowledge that they can and should work together: a
company’s HR practices support its branding proposition and vice-versa,"
four stages in the development of the relationship between HR and branding are
identified in the report as:
Stage one: Branding is seen as a well-defined and protected signifier or
logo for particular products, services or businesses, while HR plays little or
no role in supporting the brand. This
is more common among smaller, newer companies that do not necessarily see
brands as embodying values.
Stage two: Companies may have a master brand or logo but also place more
emphasis on the vision and values behind it. The role of HR is to support those
individual brands, and highlight the ways they relate to employees’ values.
Stage three: Companies can capitalise on the vision and values of a
strong corporate brand to bring about organisational change, for example in
bringing together previously disparate business operations.
supports this by designing programmes for change, while the brand provides a
compelling employment proposition for staff as well as an identity for
customers. However, these changes can be difficult to implement universally and
usually require years to become fully embedded.
Stage four: The corporate brand is now the centrepiece of the overall
strategy and HR has a pivotal role in allowing employees to act as "brand