A study of why Peninsula (PENI) ranks better than its own BrightHR (BRHR) brand on the Embryo Index

Peninsula, founded in 1983 by Peter Done, employs around 750 people and offers services such as human resources, employment law, health & safety, and employee well being. It also owns BrightHR which has made great strides since it was created some four years ago. BrightHR is a HR management app for small businesses.

As they have both been added to the Embryo Index recently, we thought it would be a good idea to compare the older brand versus the new brand across various factors.

A great start…

Off the bat, as soon as Peninsula was added, it moved straight into the #2 spot within the index, just a few points shy of UKFast’s leading score. Peninsula’s score of 2137.55 is very, very strong and this shows how well-known the Peninsula brand is locally by business professionals – a testament to the longevity and marketing tactics of the company.

Even though BrightHR score trails by some 1230.78 points when compared to Peninsula, their score of 906.77 is actually very good in the grand scheme of things. The average score across the index is 303.44, showing that although the BrightHR brand is new, it is certainly way ahead of many businesses that have been around for many years more.

But what are the reasons for Peninsula’s higher score, and can BrightHR reach the same heights?

Working with the Press

Peninsula is a master of working with the local press (as well as national press), which can be seen by their excellent 100/100 press score. From acquiring businesses, to charity work, and record sales reports, Peninsula is a mainstay of publications such as Manchester Evening News, Business Manchester, The Business Desk, Insider, Prolific North, and Huddled. BrightHR’s much smaller score of 15/100 is OK, but should probably be higher, based on other businesses of a similar age and the marketing power it has behind it.

Web Authority Score

This is very interesting indeed! ‘Web Authority Score’ is calculated by us to show the number (and quality) of inbound links that point towards each website in the index.

Even though Peninsula has been around since 1983, and presumably has been on the internet since the late 90s, its score for ‘web authority’ is only just beating BrightHR’s score in this area – both scores are very high compared to most companies in the index. This is undoubtedly down to the more web-focused nature of the BrightHR product, with more conversations happening, and more reviews and articles written by users on other websites, linking back through to the BrightHR domain.

This shows that BrightHR has a bright future in terms of future web presence and therefor continued business growth. If it can reach such a good web authority score in a relatively short time, then you can see how this is going to continue to rise. Due to excellent links from sites such as cipd.co.uk, hrmagazine.co.uk, virgin.com, Forbes, the Peninsula Group website itself, and more and more clients as they sign up to BrightHR, this score is only going one way.

Take a look at the superb link growth that has occurred since BrightHR came to be in the graph below. You cannot value a company based on the number of links it has, but I can have a pretty good guess that BrightHR is going to go from strength to strength as a business – as these links seem to be earned naturally, meaning that the product is producing results, and more and more companies are signing up to it.

Social Media Clout

Coming into this part of the Embryo Score, I expected this to be a close match, with BrightHR looking to close a relatively small gap, probably having caught up to Peninsula in just a few years. However, this is not currently the case, with Peninsula’s social channels having much more clout at the time of writing.

I have no doubt at all that BrightHR will eventually surpass Peninsula’s scores in this area, but I am rather surprised, to be honest, that the gap is so large at present. As a software/mainly online brand, BrightHR should be making more of social media, I feel.

The Word on the Street

In our ‘On the Street’ Score, we combine various activities such as networking, seminars, round tables, and attendance at local events, how well senior people within the business are known across the city, charity work, thought leadership, and sponsorship and advertising of city-based events. This helps to ensure that the Embryo Index not only rewards companies that have strong online presences, but those that win business in other ways.

As expected, Peninsula’s score this area is very strong – one of the very strongest on the Embryo Index. They excel in networking of various forms within the city, have excellent thought leadership content, engage deep within the business community, and are known to sponsor. BrightHR on the other hand, due to their more online-focused nature, do less of this type of activity, although they do have some excellent thought leadership content. These scores are what I would expect before looking at them more closely. This is an area that BrightHR could improve upon – IF they wanted to be more of a brand within the city, although I am not so sure that this would be something that is top of their agenda.

Web Traffic Score

When it comes to web traffic, both websites reach our maximum score of 100, which several of the larger companies in the Embryo Index also do. Because of its strong web authority, BrightHR is ranking not only for “HR software”-type searches, but ranks amazingly well for key HR terms, such as “Bradford factor”, “compassionate leave”, and “appraisal” – opening the software up to a new audience many thousand times per month. This is a fantastic way to build on their already solid online brand awareness. Peninsula, on the other hand, also ranks extremely well for HR-related keywords, and many terms that relate to HR-type complaints – again bringing a wide audience to the brand each month. Once again, their excellent web authority score is a major factor in this.

Could BrightHR Match Peninsula for their Total Embryo Index Score?

The honest answer is… “probably not”. The reason for this is, that while Peninsula is much more of a ‘feet on the ground’ business, BrightHR is an out and out online/software business that doesn’t need to be doing the same kinds of activities that Peninsula has used to become the powerhouse that it is. The Embryo Index tries to take into account activity that affects the business population of Greater Manchester, rather than the whole country, and simply put, BrightHR doesn’t need to be concentrating on the city, as their customers can be as easily marketed to in any location of the United Kingdom.

Whilst it would be a nice thing if BrightHR was to involve itself in more local charitable activity, local sponsorships, locally-targeted thought leadership – it would simply be that – ‘nice’ – and not the best use of their marketing, nor business development time and budget.

You can see each of the company’s Embryo Index profiles here, as well as their ‘versus’ page:

If you would like to know any more about the Embryo Index, or about our SEO services, or PPC, or social media management, then give us a call on 0161 327 2635.


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