How do you go about launching a new professional staffing brand? Is it important to set brand guidelines and maintain consistency when building your reputation? What works on social and digital in the staffing world?
I spoke to Ian Grundy who is the Head of Marketing and Communications, APAC at Adecco Group and he talked us through the steps they took when launching the Spring Professional brand and the lessons learnt along the way.
How did the brand Spring Professional come about?
Adecco, as a brand, is very well established in the Asia Pacific region, but it's primarily established as a general staffing brand. Within the group, one of our strategic areas of focus is now professional staffing, the situation where you have experts talking to experts and working in specific niche areas.
So back at the end of 2012, we decided we wanted to launch a brand in the Asia Pacific region for professional staffing, and we selected Spring Professional. Spring was a brand that already existed in the UK, and we had a very small office here in Singapore.
We slightly reworked the brand. We took it as a master brand, which is Spring Professional, and then under that we launched Spring IT, and Spring Engineering. It was for two reasons, really. One is that, as we know, there are huge opportunities in the recruitment area of the IT and engineering sector. Secondly, these are also areas that we knew very well within the Adecco Group, we've got a lot of expertise in IT and engineering. So it was a logical place for us to begin our journey in professional staffing. It's primarily focussed on permanent roles, and it's mid-to-senior level.
What was important when launching the new brand?
I think really important for us was consistency. How we approach setting up a new brand - and it's probably not too dissimilar from any large organisation that's looking at setting up a brand - is you want to ensure that you have your brand guidelines, your brand consistency, and your governance is in place right from the beginning. I think you get a lot of momentum from having that in place.
You know, brand guidelines are really there not to control what happens, but to show what's possible. I think our approach at Spring has always been that we wanted to have fun with the brand. We wanted it to be interesting to clients, and interesting to candidates, as well as credible to both of those audiences as well. So I think overall it was ensuring that consistency from day one.
What social and digital channels work best for Spring Professional?
We are very targeted in how we approach audiences. I'm a believer in the idea that having millions of followers or contacts or connections is fruitless if it's just numbers. So we spend a lot of time and investment in making sure that when we're identifying audiences - say for the IT or the engineering businesses - that we're talking to the right people, those that are either involved in a role at that time or are interested in the future in looking at some. I think first of all it's very targeted.
I think secondly, we do look closely, in each country that we operate in, at which social and digital platforms are gaining the most traction. We know that markets like China and Japan can be very different to the rest of the world. Obviously China's got many restrictions in place with some of the larger, more well known international platforms. We also know in China, just by the pure size and scope of the country, there are a lot of homegrown platforms, so we have to be part of those platforms as well, and adapt where necessary. As you would expect, platforms such as LinkedIn, such as Facebook, such as Twitter, have their different opportunities for us, but we approach them very specifically with our recruiters by learning and developing our education about how best to leverage these platforms and what the opportunities are.
Read the full article: How to Spring Forward with a New Brand, feat. Ian Grundy of Adecco Group.