Employer Branding Initiatives of the US Army - HROB Case Studies | Case Study|Human Resource|Organization Behavior|Case Study|Case Studies

Employer Branding Initiatives of the US Army

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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

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Case Details:


Case Code : HROB131 For delivery in electronic format: Rs. 400;
For delivery through courier (within India): Rs. 400 + Shipping & Handling Charges extra


Strategic Human Resource Management / Employer Branding / Brand Management / Marketing Communications / Experiential Marketing
Case Length : 28 pages
Period : 2007-2009
Pub Date : 2010
Teaching Note : Not Available
Organization : US Army
Industry : Government
Countries : US


This case is about the employer branding initiatives adopted by the US Army. Since the early 1970s, the US Army had been known for its recruitment efforts that aimed to encourage people to take up a career with it. Experts felt that it was one of the first organizations to practice employer branding more than a decade before the term 'employer brand' was coined. However, recruiting for the US Army became a challenge with the country engaged in wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Moreover, the recruiters also had to overcome certain misperceptions held by young Americans about considering a career in the US Army. This the US Army did by taking various initiatives that included recruitment advertising campaigns such as the 'Army Strong' campaign and the 'Officership' campaign that strove to showcase the benefits of a career with the Army.

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These noteworthy campaigns were supported by innovative recruitment tools such as the 'America's Army' game, Virtual Army Experience, and the Army Experience Center that aimed to bridge the divide between people's perceptions of the Army and the real experience of people actually working for the US Army.

Experts felt that these campaigns and experiential marketing initiatives had led to an increase in recruitment numbers in the US Army and had also enhanced its employer brand. While some experts appreciated the US Army's recruitment advertising campaigns and its use of experiential marketing as a promotion tool, these initiatives also attracted criticism from certain quarters. Critics contended that the US Army was duping young Americans with their advertising and recruitment tools by projecting the career in the Army as a fun-filled and thrilling experience - something that was far removed from reality.


Understand the importance of employer branding and its relationship to the ability of an organization to attract and retain talent.

Evaluate the employer branding initiatives taken by the US Army to bridge the gap between people's misperceptions about the US Army and the real experiences of being an Army officer.

Understand the issues and challenges in planning and implementing an employer branding initiative.

Understand how experiential marketing can be effectively used as part of an employer branding initiative.

Explore strategies that the US Army can adopt in the future to enhance its employer brand.


  Page No.
Building a Great Employer Brand? 1
Background Note 2
US Army's Recruitment Initiatives 4
Other Recruitment Tools and Experiential Marketing Initiatives 9
Results 15
Criticisms 18
Looking Ahead 20
Exhibits 22

Key Words:

Employer branding, recruitment advertising, Brand engagement, Marketing communication, Brand marketing, Experiential marketing, Virtual Army Experience, Army Experience Center, America's Army Game, Army Strong campaign, Officership campaign, Sponsorships, Social media, Public relations, economic slowdown, US Army

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Human Resource and Organization Behavior | Case Study in Management, Operations, Strategies, Human Resource and Organization Behavior, Case Studies


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