A common mistake when contemplating a company brand is to focus wholly on the logo, for example, the McDonald’s brand to many would be the unmistakable Golden Arches or the Nike brand is the ‘Just do it’ tick.
However, it is safe to say that a company brand is embedded much deeper within the organisation, encompassing the personality of the company, its style, products, services, culture, internal and external relationships and values.
An effective and successful brand must:-
• Deliver a message
• Attain long standing and loyal relationships (both internally and externally)
• Be easily recognisable
• Build upon trust
• Connect with prospects
Any contact with a brand is known as a brand experience. So whether you go to McDonalds to purchase a Big Mac and leave or you complete a McDonalds’ job application form or you use the toilets in one of their restaurants, you are having a brand experience and all this helps form a brand opinion. This brand opinion needs to be consistent and most importantly, positive.
It is often presumed that a brand must be at the forefront of the customers, clients and prospects’ minds but this is also true for the organisations employees as, essentially, they are the forefront of any organisation and predominantly the main contact and therefore brand experience that customers have with a company.
So where does e-learning come in to this?
The employees of an organisation are key conveyors of that organisation’s brand, and in order to reflect the brand correctly, they must be immersed within the brand and most importantly they must understand it. E-learning is an essential tool which doesn’t only allow them to learn the do’s and don’ts of the organisation they work for but also reinforce the brand from the basic logo and colour use to tone, behaviour, approach and culture. Employee learning must be understood and utilised as a vital activity which allows them to reflect on their behaviour and approach to work and hopefully recognise and commit to where changes need to be made.
If a company pride themselves and their brand on being informal and genial, then this must be conveyed in their e-learning platform. This is best done, not just through visual style but through the user experience; the ‘tone of voice’ used in wording, video and audio, the learning tools chosen i.e. making it fun with interactive games or puzzles, case studies to example the behaviour and approach that is expected in particular situations, even the choice of font can be instrumental in cementing the foundations of a brand.
Whether e-learning is required for induction purposes or for continuing CPD, the courseware must be consistent and aligned with the brand and organisational values. Don’t forget, it’s absolutely fine to mention your brand values in your courseware (particularly for induction learning) but the courseware must embody these values too and not just be text pasted onto a set of style guides and images supplied by the marketing department. By all means, make use of the style guides and images, but manipulate them to create a learning experience that mirrors the brand and tells the user exactly who the company is.