In 2007, Liverpool Victoria invested in a major rebranding programme, and later that year LV= was born. There was an extensive campaign to launch the new brand that included TV, press, online and outdoor. The new LV= brand, complete with its vibrant green heart, soon found its way into the public’s consciousness.
At the heart of the new LV= brand is the proposition ‘Sharp with a heart’. LV= worked with the agency ThirtyThree, and its brief was to take the new consumer brand and communicate its values to potential candidates. “We were quick to embrace and utilise ‘Sharp with a heart’ as we felt it had as strong a brand essence for the employer brand as it does for the consumer brand,” says managing director of the agency’s Bristol office, Andy Bamford. “The LV= difference is the LV= service – which is what LV= people pride themselves on delivering.”
To get under the skin of the organisation and discover what it was that made LV= a great company to work for, ThirtyThree worked closely with its marketing and HR teams, attending LV= induction days, workshops and brand presentations.
The feedback from employees was so universally positive that it didn’t take long to realise that the green-heart device really did encapsulate the LV= employee experience. The brand and value proposition had to be the people. “It is they who bring LV= to life. Their values and aspirations give the company its soul and spirit,” says Bamford.
Thirtythree introduced the strapline ‘a job you’ll love’, and designed a style and tone of voice, which while complementing the consumer brand, would still give a distinct and different employer brand; one that would stand out and resonate with the audience.
“From the start we wanted LV= employees to make the employer brand their own, which they have, through three photoshoots and two video shoots,” says Bamford. “The employee involvement and investment have exceeded all expectations and have gone a long way to establishing a real affinity with the new employer brand.”
How the campaign worked
The brand was launched in 2009. Externally, six-and 48-sheet poster sites were strategically located near LV= offices, communicating with current and prospective employees alike. ThirtyThree ran posters in trams and buses, and created a series of pop-up banners for use at careers fairs and exhibitions. The new suite of outdoor advertisements utilise image-recognition software, enabling users to interact with the posters. “You take a photo of the poster, text it to LV= and receive a callback from the person in the poster talking about the jobs, culture and life at LV=,”explains Bamford.
Internally, communications included a brochure promoting LV= leadership development programmes and material promoting the employee-referral programme.
Digitally, LV= is now active on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. Regular tweets around news, company updates and charity initiatives ensure that content for followers has variety and is not simply a list of job vacancies.
The hub of the brand is a careers website that is intended to bring the employer brand to life. “We designed the site to be an active experience,” explains Bamford. “And while it has all the information candidates need to make informed career decisions, it’s presented in a way that’s enjoyable and user friendly. It clearly communicates the LV= personality in a way that is honest and believable, never resorting to cliché or hyperbole.”
To ensure consistency across all channels and media, internally and externally, the agency developed and implemented specific recruitment brand guidelines. Creative thinking and executions continue to position LV= as an innovative employer – from talking posters right through to a social media strategy and recent participation in the Bristol Twestival, a fundraising event that is driven by Twitter.
ThirtyThree’s brief was to reduce the reliance LV= had on recruitment agencies. Historically it had recruited more than 75% of all hires via agencies.
In the past year:
- Direct applications doubled in number
- 82% of all hires are now direct
- LV= hired 1,030 new starters in the past year
- Cost per hire has reduced from around £2,000 to under £900 generating a saving of around £1.1 million in the past year