30 Fabulous Companies of the Year 2020

Blu Ivy Group: Employer Branding, Employee Experience, and Culture Architects


“Our passion is to always do better for our clients. We are always thinking – what’s next – what can we be doing differently that will help our clients develop an amazing culture and employer brand.”

Employee experience is critical in today’s competitive talent landscape, regardless of the size of an organization. Related to a number of positive business outcomes, companies with high employee experience scores are likely to outperform their competitors in revenue and profit as well. This means that employee experience is not just about workplace culture, it’s about organizational success. With that in mind, it’s no surprise that employer branding and employee experience firms are becoming more and more prominent. Through their research and programs, employer branding and employee experience consultancy firms introduce fresh perspectives on workplace culture and help uncover strengths and threats. Best of all, employer branding helps organizations to understand what employees and leaders value most in their employment experience, and recommends bespoke strategies and programs that drive lasting culture impact. Top employer brands  are typically recognized as ‘Employers of Choice’ and ‘Great Places to Work’. Ultimately, the main aim of employer branding and employee experience firms is to cultivate environments that attract and engage top talent consistently – environments where both employees and organizations can thrive.

Given the preceding, we’re thrilled to present Blu Ivy Group.

Blu Ivy is an employer branding and employee experience consultancy that builds award-winning cultures and authentic employer brands.It helps organizations connect emotionally with both job seekers and employees, boosting awareness, organizational pride, and in turn, driving tangible business results. The company provides creative communications, digital and social media talent strategies, brand ambassador programs, and employer branding videos that resonate with talent at all levels and create magnetic workplace cultures.

The company was founded in 2012 and is headquartered in Toronto. Today, Blu Ivy Group is global in reach, serving clients across the U.S., Canada, Europe and Asia.

In Conversation with Blu Ivy Group Leadership: Leandra Harris (MD and Co-founder) & Stacy Parker (MD and Co-founder)

Q. What was the reason behind the genesis of Blu Ivy Group, Ms. Harris?

Founded in 2012, we left our corporate executive roles in HR and Marketing to share our passion and expertise in culture and branding. We knew from experience that organizations needed a new approach in order to attract and engage talent. And we knew employer branding was the solution. This was the data-driven solution executives had been seeking and we foresaw that it would result in far greater partnerships between business, HR leaders, and employees.

Q. Why the name Blu Ivy, Ms. Parker?

The name reflects our values and goals. The color blue represents stability and trust in branding, which is core to our company values and approach. Ivy visually represents the many aspects of the business that employer brand impacts: Recruitment, Retention, Communications, Reputation, Social Media, Leadership Development, Succession Planning, Employee Voice, and Brand Ambassadorship. The Ivy also represents the rapid growth and long-term results that employer branding can impact.

Q. What challenges did you face in your initial years? What can your peers learn from it, Ms. Harris?

Starting your own company isn’t for everyone. It is a lot of hard work and every day is a new challenge. But we have grown tremendously over the years, personally and professionally. If you are passionate about your purpose and work with great people like we do, that makes all the difference. We have also learned that we’re on an ongoing journey – and during the way, it is important to celebrate milestones.

Q. How successful was your first project roll-on, Ms. Parker?

We are thrilled to say that the first clients we signed seven years ago remain incredible and loyal clients of ours to this day. Although client retention and delight are critical to us, we admit that each project and client offers us tremendous learning opportunities and guidance on how to evolve our business and services to best meet their needs. I would say many of our strengths and differentiators today were born out of challenges or gaps we had in our delivery early on. Thankfully, we build such trusting and open dialogues with our clients that mentoring and continuous improvement is a commitment we offer each other over the long haul.

Q. What are the five factors that have been the biggest asset to your organization, Ms. Harris?

  • We are a research and creative service company so our people are truly our greatest asset.
  • We are warm, compassionate, creative and collaborative people. Our clients know their company best so we enjoy working with them to uncover what is special, and we use a combination of both traditional and customized solutions to enhance employer brand loyalty, awareness, and preference.
  • We have the best creative team. Our creative team understands that they need to capture the true picture of what is it like to work in an organization but in a way that differentiates that company from the competition.
  • We build great cultures. We understand that employer branding is more than creating recruitment marketing strategies. Employer branding is about providing a holistic talent and communications solution for attracting talent and building the best workplace cultures. We identify employer brand threats and employee experience solutions that improve engagement and business success.
  • We are agile and learn quickly. We have made mistakes and they have made us better. We have had challenging clients and they have made us better. We don’t let our ego or processes get in the way of providing great services and products to our customers.

Q. What makes your company stand out from the competition, Ms. Parker?

Our passion is to always do better for our clients. We are always thinking – what’s next – what can we be doing differently that will help our clients develop an amazing culture and employer brand. We always think about how can we help our clients succeed within their roles and arenas, what hurdles do they face, how can we help them overcome those issues, and how can we help them align to what the CEO needs most.

Q. Do you have any new products ready to be/getting ready to be launched, Ms. Harris?

Right now, we are working on some innovative marketing and activation services,  to help our clients keep ahead of the competition and attract the talent they need. Furthermore, we recognized that most employer brand solutions on the market today are designed exclusively for the Fortune 1000 sized companies and budgets.  We are excited to be launching new tools and services that are designed to support more of the SME market and ensure that this growing part of the economy has equal access to building top employer branding and culture strategies. 

Lastly, we are beyond thrilled to be launching some incredible tools to help our clients measure the impact of their employer brand, employee experience and culture. Regardless of size, these insights are critical to ensuring the work has the right impact, and that future decisions on talent are based on data driven insights.

Q. Where do you see your company a couple of years from now, Ms. Parker?

We have experienced tremendous growth since our inception, more than doubling our business year over year and growing from a Canada-based organization to a global leader in employer branding. Our service offering, client base, and geographic reach continue to expand, and the industry is really exploding. To us, this growth means that we are making a bigger impact than ever before. And our client referrals mean that we are doing it the right way. The caliber of our team and the fun we have with each other means we are staying true to why we do it. The awards our clients have nominated us for, the recognition we are garnering in the industry, and the wins our clients are attaining is validation that this work matters and we’re building something special. We are excited about our future!

Leadership | Blu Ivy Group

Leandra Harris, MD/Co-founder: In Her Own Words We all have that one thing in life that we were born to do, that we love to do. Working with organizations to define their unique purpose is that ‘thing’ for me. I love helping organizations become their very best. It’s why I started the Blu Ivy Group back in 2012.


Stacy Parker, MD/Co-founder: In Her Own Words It’s been almost a decade since I was introduced to employer brand strategy, from the concept founder himself – Simon Barrow. I knew that he was onto something groundbreaking and that I wanted to play a big part in it! For me, employer branding is the perfect intersection of brand, culture, communications, and experience. The work we do wins us awards and that makes our team and our clients smile.

“Our service offering, client base, and geographic reach continue to expand, and the industry is really exploding.”