HR businesses need to get personal


HR Consultancies pride themselves in having a deep understanding of organisational challenges, an empathic approach and acting as trusted advisors to business leaders.


But from an outsider’s perspective, it’s clear that many consultancies have struggled to create a brand that genuinely articulates their expertise and difference.


This inability to create compelling brands is becoming a pressing issue for one simple reason. Business leaders are increasingly being targeted by software solutions offering them inexpensive options to traditional HR.


As start-ups, these SaaS brands have invested in their brands, have well designed and written websites, and compelling propositions — making them appear an effortless choice. Sat alongside this new competition, established HR consultants look far from dynamic and often quite dated.


Here’s the challenge…and also the opportunity. HR consultancies have the expertise that a software solution can never provide; and when people are the most important factor in any business, this understanding and expertise counts.


Consultancies are in danger of losing out to SaaS because they are struggling to build brands that can communicate their expertise and the value they bring.


Recognising the broader communication challenges that an industry faces is one of the first steps to creating a brand with gravitas and the ability to connect. Here’s three ways HR consultancies can do this:


  • Lean into your expertise

In a market littered with software solutions, you need to develop a brand that is meaningful and memorable, and one that accurately expresses your difference. Too many HR consultancies underestimate the power a brand has to create connection with an audience.


  • Emphasise the value you add

A consultant’s most successful output — the positive effect on a workforce — often can’t be easily described or shared. If you don’t produce physical products, you need to develop a brand that can demonstrate the value you bring to your clients.


  • Choose a partner who thinks strategically

Your brand needs to have both a distinct look and voice. To achieve this you need a creative partner who can think strategically to develop a brand that’s appropriate for your business, your ambition and your target audience.


Here’s how we’ve solved these challenges for another people-focussed consultancy:


Progressive CEOs see Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) as a priority for building a successful culture and business. However branding in the DEI sector does very little to dispel negative opinions, communicate insight or push the conversation forward. We worked with Delta, a leading international DEI consultancy to create a brand that could express their expertise and talk directly to their C-Suite audience.


To start, we identified two central challenges that the entire DEI industry struggles with — how to visually represent complex themes, and how to demonstrate their working process. The new brand is underpinned by a strategy that taps into the wider expectations of a global CEO. The visual brand is centred around illustrations that bring context to challenging subject matter such as neurodivergence or allyship — topics that are otherwise almost impossible to represent in photography.


Delta’s new brand positions them as thought leaders in a field full of bland brands. See the full case here