Miley Cyrus: Trainwreck or Branding Genius? The importance of Employer Branding

Miley Cyrus.  My teeth cringe at the mere utterance of the name, images of fuzzy bear suits and horn-like pick tails flood my head.  You know where this is going- like it or not, the “Miley Cyrus” brand has grabbed popular culture by the throat and refuses to let go.  The brand has transcended Miley Cirus the person and become Miley Cyrus the idea. To say Miley Cyrus is trending, is an understatement: this week she headlines E-News, US Magazine and is even spotlighted by MSNBC’s Ronan Farrow.  And how long has it been since the Oh-so-scary VMA “performance” that caused such a stir?  August 2013…in pop-culture that is sooooo five minutes ago! The story here two-fold:  A creative brand + deliberate effort to stay current = successful branding.  Twerking aside, Miley Cyrus has been able to create and maintain a brand that is, like all successful brands, relevant.  How can this idea translate to your employer branding you ask? First: What is your brand ?  What idea do you want to convey to everyone you come in contact with?  Be Creative.  Jim Keenan discusses the impact of innovation and creativity in “What True Creativity Looks Like”.  How will you distinguish yourself from the sea of competitors?  What will get you noticed?  Creative branding is absolutely key to setting yourself apart as a company. Employer branding done right will continuously draw prospective employees that are excited about your company.  Some compelling data from Forbes contributor Josh Bersin:

“Our latest data shows that businesses around the world spend over $3,300 per hire on recruiting and this budget has increased by almost 6% in the last year.  This means that US corporations spend nearly $72 billion each year on a variety of recruiting services, staff, and products – and the worldwide number is likely three times bigger.”

  Read his article about Corporate Recruiting here.  With so much spent on recruiting, more attention needs to be paid on employer brand to attract the RIGHT people; and more of them. Second: Social relevancy.   This requires constant work to keep the brand interesting NOW.  Like Miley Cyrus, stay current, don’t be yesterday’s afterthought.  Social media marketing is a tool used to upkeep and maintain employer branding.  What you put out there through outlets like Linked-in, Google+, Facebook, Twitter, etc., should speak directly to your brand, and if your content keeps up with trends it will increase its reach and success. Now who ever said you couldn’t learn a lesson or two from today’s raunchiest tongue-hanging, wreck of a superstar?


Keenan is A Sales Guy Inc’s CEO/President and Chief Antagonist. He’s been selling something to someone for his entire life. He’s been teaching and coaching almost as long. With over 20 years of sales experience, which he’ll tell you he doesn’t give a shit about, Keenan has been influencing, learning from and shaping the world of sales for a long time. Finder of the elephant in the room, Keenan calls it as he sees it and lets nothing or no one go unnoticed.