HRO Today April 2014 - 4

CEO's Letter
" Un " Trusted Brand
We all live in a world populated by brands. Your company is
worried about your consumer or customer brand, your social
responsibility brand, HR, specifically your " employer brand. "
Would you bet your job and career on your provider's
brand? Whether you want to or not, you will.
I am not advocating only engaging the largest provider
companies for your needs. Actually, some global brands may
be in this space but not completely committed to it (more
on that below). I am saying that there are easily identifiable
and public proxies for knowing the commitment a company
has to the line of business for which you may be considering
them.
All vendors (other than start-ups that have no choice)
come into initial meetings regaling you about their size,
geographical footprint, and their overarching commitment
to their business. They tell you they have the most
impressive history, the latest innovations, and the deepest
" passion " for the service or technology in question. If
everyone tells you this, how can you determine who really is
passionate and committed?
One way is to look at their outbound messaging. A sure sign
a company is either preparing to sell or in financial trouble
is that they slash marketing. A sure sign they are unsure of
the product or service they provide out of that division is
that they slash marketing.
If any company tells you that they are a " best kept secret "
in their industry, feel free to tell them that they are just a
badly marketed company. Why go with a company that is
not good at branding themselves and ask them to brand
HR to internal employees or brand the company to external
candidates?
Let's say your procurement team cannot find much evidence
of their presence in the market or in the region you need
services. They're not prominent as a thought leader at
conferences or telecast providers; they are rarely published
and do little advertising. Chances are they pruning costs for
a sale or not sure what they want to do with the business.
How many people saw an advertisement from Chimes the
year before they went bankrupt and stranded thousands of
clients?
One of the best examples of this lack of logic in the market
is the segment occupied by the major multi-process service
[4]
HRO TODAY MAGAZINE | APRIL 2014
providers. They message little or nothing about multiprocess
HRO. To me this may suggest the parent companies
(all are mega-multinationals) are not fully committed or
sure about this line of business, and are not investing in
their brands in this service area. Yet they want clients to
sign on to a five-plus year commitment to a division that
their own leadership seems, frankly, tentative about. Multiprocess
deals are being done, but a lot more of them would
be done if there was more dialogue about the multi-process
service platforms, but there is not.
Providers need to engage their buying audience with
messaging that makes the buyers comfortable, makes them
recognizable as a brand, and makes them seem sturdy
and durable. Perhaps buyers should compare providers'
marketing budgets as a proxy for commitment to the line of
service. I am not sure providers would agree to this, but it
may be an interesting indicator.
Providers will always fall back on their " rich " history, but
does not always tell everything you need to know about
the future. Age is not always a measure of brand strength.
For example, the most recognizable brand in the world is
Coca-Cola. Coke was developed as a tonic by and Atlanta
pharmacist in 1886, but the medicinal ingredients (cocaine
was among them) were removed in 1905 and Coca-Cola was
offered purely as a beverage. About a year later a regional
firm called Faygo was founded in Detroit. Faygo describes
itself on its website as the " The Original Party Pop. " I bet
they would rather be able to lay claim to the " World's Most
Recognizable Brand. " The companies are of similar age, but
who do you think invested more in their business during
early years and even today?
I am sure if you were staring at vending machine behind
some backwater Michigan thumb region gas station, and
you had a choice between Coke and Faygo (and you weren't
from 'round there) you would choose the one you know.
You may want to think about that the next a company you
never heard of tries to sell you HRO services or technology
with a complementary case of Faygo Red Pop.
Elliot H. Clark, CEO

HRO Today April 2014

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of HRO Today April 2014

HRO Today April 2014 - 1
HRO Today April 2014 - 2
HRO Today April 2014 - 3
HRO Today April 2014 - 4
HRO Today April 2014 - 5
HRO Today April 2014 - 6
HRO Today April 2014 - 7
HRO Today April 2014 - 8
HRO Today April 2014 - 9
HRO Today April 2014 - 10
HRO Today April 2014 - 11
HRO Today April 2014 - 12
HRO Today April 2014 - 13
HRO Today April 2014 - 14
HRO Today April 2014 - 15
HRO Today April 2014 - 16
HRO Today April 2014 - 17
HRO Today April 2014 - 18
HRO Today April 2014 - 19
HRO Today April 2014 - 20
HRO Today April 2014 - 21
HRO Today April 2014 - 22
HRO Today April 2014 - 23
HRO Today April 2014 - 24
HRO Today April 2014 - 25
HRO Today April 2014 - 26
HRO Today April 2014 - 27
HRO Today April 2014 - 28
HRO Today April 2014 - 29
HRO Today April 2014 - 30
HRO Today April 2014 - 31
HRO Today April 2014 - 32
HRO Today April 2014 - 33
HRO Today April 2014 - 34
HRO Today April 2014 - 35
HRO Today April 2014 - 36
HRO Today April 2014 - 37
HRO Today April 2014 - 38
HRO Today April 2014 - 39
HRO Today April 2014 - 40
HRO Today April 2014 - 41
HRO Today April 2014 - 42
HRO Today April 2014 - 43
HRO Today April 2014 - 44
HRO Today April 2014 - 45
HRO Today April 2014 - 46
HRO Today April 2014 - 47
HRO Today April 2014 - 48
HRO Today April 2014 - 49
HRO Today April 2014 - 50
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