The employer brand: origins of brand equity

Simon Barrow
Employer brand and M&A consultant
Tim Ambler
Adam Smith Institute

Sales and marketing concern themselves with enhancing their company's value in the outside world of consumers and suppliers. Yet the origins of brand equity are inside: how the management treats its employees, the experiences employees have and how this world gets translated into positive customer experiences. Marketers have an important role to play in getting it right.

The experience of flying with Ryanair largely creates that airline's brand equity – and that experience, as for any service company, is largely generated by its people and website, itself generated by Ryanair employees.

After years of being rude to passengers, Ryanair changed tack and profits rose 37% to September 2015. "If I'd only learned in college that being nice was good for business, I'd have done it years ago," chief executive Michael O'Leary told Bloomberg TV. Of course, the staff only changed their behaviour because they wanted to. Forcing any change on an unhappy workforce is counterproductive.