Hey, Genius. We want you. We know you’re genius in some way or another. Whether you’re code crazy, binary brilliant or master of origami dollhouses, it’s all good by us. So if you’re feeling genius at the moment, or just want to tale a cerebral siesta, come take a look around. ((Retrieved from http://hey-genius.com/ on July 16, 2008.))
Hat tip to Fistfull of Talent who’s Kris Dunn says:
Seen an Apple ad lately? Then you know Microsoft is getting hammered in the branding business. Just for the record, in those Apple ads, Apple is represented by the cool tech guy, Microsoft is the overweight, uncool guy who likes wearing a suit. But you knew that – you’re sharp…
To it’s credit, Microsoft knows it has a problem and is taking steps to try and get the cool factor going again.
Here’s what I think Mircrosoft is doing wrong though. Smart people are going to Google and Apple not because they are going where smart people are, but because this is where the market perceives all the cool work to be happening. After all, stodgy operating systems and Microsoft Word is pretty dull. The Hey Genius campaign doesn’t address the core problem of the employer brand – that they are seen as an old company with no interesting work for innovative young people. For this campaign to work, they don’t need to acknowledge that there is a diversity of really smart young people around, but instead they need to show those young people why Microsoft is also cool.
Hear from a Program Manager, Software Development Engineer & Software Development Engineer in Test talk about their recent internships at Microsoft and the impact they’re now making on the company as full-time employees. ((Ibid))
I mean seriously, Gen Y doesn’t care about the impact they make at the company. They want broader opportunities – they dream of changing the world and having a global effect by creating things at work. And within those broader opportunities, they want to have incredible learning experiences that propel them to new and better work, that is equally exciting and global.
The point being, if you need to revamp your employer brand, make sure you understand your audience. I feel like in Microsoft’s case, this new take on the employer brand is inward looking, and still misdirected.