I don’t know this for certain, but I imagine there is a law of physics that explains how energy dissipates as it gets farther from its source. (I’m also hoping there is an explanation for why my car breaks down right after the warranty expires.) It would also demonstrate how a greater source would result in energy taking longer to expend itself. With this law in hand, I would then propose to measure the reach of individual employer brands. A stretch, you say? I think not.
Here’s how it would work.
Every employer brand has an epicenter from which all corresponding attributes emanate. For most companies, this epicenter is a physical location. And the more employees an organization has in a given location, the greater the potential of the brand.
So, let the number of employees in a given location = V.
In addition, every organization has a different level of cultural vitality.
Let cultural vitality = I.
However, every organization also faces obstacles that diminish the potential of its employer brand. These obstacles could be internal, materializing in the form of counter-productive (at least from the standpoint of brand development) policies or practices. These obstacles could also be external (more powerful brands in the vicinity, declining sector, etc.).
Let the sum of all obstacles = R.
And what does W stand for? The actual power of the brand.
For those of you who recognized this as a rip-off of electrical formulas (V = voltage, I = current, R = resistance, and W = wattage), you win a prize (perhaps something fitting like a Sony lithium battery).
There are actually some useful lessons in this strange little exercise. For example, large, centralized companies have an advantage over smaller, decentralized companies in a given region. They may not have applied their advantage, but it is there nonetheless (why is that one word anyway?). It also serves as a preliminary strategy for brand building. Powerful brand epicenters can focus on achieving differentiation or even esteem, while less powerful epicenters may want to focus on basic awareness.
Next time out, a formula for finding missing socks.
Inspired by Al Gore in his movie, An Inconvenient Truth, I offer my big idea for reducing our dependence on oil: parking lots made from solar panels. The idea alone should drive down the price of oil to 10 cents a barrel.