Mental and physical availability in employer branding

One of the key points mentioned by Prof. Byron Sharp -director of the world’s largest marketing research centre Ehrenberg-Bass Institute and marketing professor- in his co-authored book “How Brands Grow” is mental and physical availability.

Physical availability refers to how easy it is for category buyers to find and buy your brand, and this availability is a product of Presence, Prominence and Relevance

Mental availability is the propensity for the brand to is considered in purchasing situations. For this to happen, category buyers must first be exposed to your brand and coded it in a way to keep it in their minds. For this, you need to make your brand famous and distinctive and build associations between your brand with the reasons and occasions for category purchase.

Let’s consider this in terms of employer brand management

In one of my previous posts, I talked about the AIDA model in employer branding, an abbreviation for Attention / Awareness, Interest, Desire and Action.

  • Attention / Awareness: I know. (Draw attention, raise awareness)
  • Interest: I like (Give information, arouse interest)
  • Desire: I want (Create the desire to be preferred)
  • Action: I’m taking it (Convince for action)

Companies that are strong as a product/service brand are “generally” advantageous in raising awareness as an employer. But there is significant competition in the labour market to attract highly qualified candidates. Therefore companies allocate large budgets and produce powerful content to raise awareness in many different ways, such as branded university events, participation in career days, social media, job boards, etc. They are working on the first three steps of AIDA to create awareness, interest and desire.

We can say that they do a lot for mental availability. What about physical availability? The transition point from being a candidate to being an employee requires physical availability.

  • Are candidates aware of your job opportunities? Which channels do you use to post vacant positions?
  • Do you have a career site? According to our Graduate and Candidate Experience surveys, the number 1 information source for candidates is your company’s career site.
  • Is it easy to apply? Do the candidates struggle for minutes and give up? Let’s say it takes 15-20 minutes to complete your application form. Candidates do not have that much time to spare for every company.
  • Have you done SEO? (I will explain SEO for the employer brand in a separate article)
  • Is it mobile friendly? (Compatible if you’ve done SEO).
  • Do your postings allow social sharing? Does it reach more people this way?

Physical availability is as important as mental availability. Allocate your budget to both to attract high performers.


To learn more, you can join a free week session of Employer Brand Academy certificate courses here or you can download my free ebook creating an authentic employer brand here.

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If you have a question or have had a similar experience, please leave a comment below so that fellow employer brand professionals can learn from your experiences.

Author: Ali Ayaz
Ali Ayaz is an Employer Brand and HR Consultant with Modern Management Consulting who is well-versed in Employer Brand Development, Candidate and Employee Surveys, Recruitment and Employee Engagement. Having successfully completed Employer Brand projects with multinational blue-chip companies in Automotive, Banking, FMCG, IT, Telecom and Retail industries, he teaches employer brand management, human resources and fundamentals of management at Employer Brand Academy (online) and European School of Economics (London). He is the author of the e-book “How to Build a Robust Employer Brand Strategy” and founder of the Employer Brand Academy. He is a chartered member of CIPD - the professional body for HR and people development.

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