Brand-led learning: Kineo makes the case!


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Brand-led earning programs can make the difference between blah-blah-blah elearning and programs that really connect with people's hearts and minds to change behavior and make them feel a part of the bigger picture. So what is brand-led learning? And is it safe to do this at home?

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  • Thank you everyone for attending today and welcome to the first of many webinars we will have in this series over the next 6 months. I’m Nick Murphy, the marketing associate at Kineo’s US office and I’ll be your narrator throughout the webinar. As most of you probably know, your microphones are off, but if you have any questions throughout this presentation- feel free to write them in the chat box located in the lower right hand of your screen- and I’ll do my best to have our presenters answer them for you either during or after the presentation. Before we get the ball rolling, for those of you who aren’t familiar with Kineo- Here’s a little information about us- We are a global eLearning company that helps businesses improve their performance through learning and technology. We operate in many countries. The presenters we have today, including myself are from the U.S. but our Headquarters are in the UK, and we have operations in China, Australia, Sweden, New Zealand, South Africa, and Israel. We are very happy to present to you today’s webinar, which focuses on the always entertaining brand-led eLearning.
  • (Add a brief description of your role at Kineo) (Maybe what you understand about brand-led eLearning)?
  • I suggest re-reading this title: “Sometimes the program doesn’t feel like your company’s and people notice” “Company’s” seems to be out of place. (NM)
  • Think about some of the popular brands we recognize. Type out the top brand names that come into your head…*Apple, Virgin Records, Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts, Nike, the list goes on. The brand geniuses behind these companies have the power to create desire – often desire for something you didn’t know you wanted. The same goes for learning designers! You are trying to bring about a change (Did you know you were in the persuasion business? Well -you are.) Your stock is in learning experiences, not marketing ones, but you’re trying to connect to the same mental circuitry – just through different channels. You know a good brand experience when you have one. In essence a brand is about the personality of the organization and its products or services. This personality creates thoughts, feelings, perceptions, images, experiences, beliefs, and attitudes. The sum of all the points of contact with the brand is generally known as the brand experience.
  • In the same way brands add value to a product or service, so brand-led learning can add an extra level of value to the overall learning experience. This is in no way to reduce the impact of good instructional design or cognitive engagement through screen-based interactions. Of course all of the hard work and science that goes into learning design still counts. But a learning design that’s cognitively sounds, yet lacks personality is not going to fare very well at the party. There are too many other messages fighting for you learners’ attention. If learning is the only one that doesn’t pack a brand a brand punch, well you may as well not show up to the contest.
  • Brand-led eLearning incorporates the persona, value, and key messaging of organizations. Brand-led eLearning compliments solid instructional design and shows how best practice is always in sync with the core values of the organization and the way the learners are being asked to learn is equally in synch with that brand and set of values.The value of brands to businesses has been recognized for some time. Learning is an activity that allows employees to reflect and commit to changing their behavior as part of the learning process. It is therefore a prime opportunity to reinforce the brand and its values through the learning from elements such as visual design to tone of voice and behavior examples used in case studies and scenariosIn the same way brands add value to a product or service, so brand-led learning can add an extra level of value to the overall learning experience. This is in no way to reduce the impact of good instructional design or cognitive engagement through screen-based interactions. Of course all of the hard work and science that goes into learning design still counts. But a learning design that’s cognitively sound and yet lacks personality is not going to fare very well at the party. There are too many other messages fighting for your learners’ attention. If learning is the only one that doesn’t pack a brand punch, well you may as well not show up to the contest.
  • Learning is one of the key activities where employees reflect and commit to changing their behaviour as part of the learning process. It is therefore an ideal opportunity to reinforce brand values through the learning from elements such as visual design to tone of voice and behaviour examples in case studies and scenarios. So, learning has to work both ways: reflect the brand, but also to help people understand the brand. No pressure then. So before you can really start apply a brand-led learning approach, you need to first understand your brand. Really understand it. This means going beyond the logo and your color palette to tone of voice and behavior. Here’s some ways you can start this journey…
  • IN practice: Start at the beginning Want to check if you’re living up to the brand experience through your learning? Find out what your brand values are.
  • The easy bits, what the organization communicates to customers, are usually written down clearly. You’d have to go a long way to find an organization that doesn’t have set of values, a brand promise, a ‘who we are’ website section. Most will even help you out with a style guide and a tone of voice guide. These are your starting points – but they’re rarely the whole story. Go out andgoogle your company. Are there facebook pages? Fan pages? What do people say about you on Twitter? Websites? Take a look at CEO commentary, vision and values sections, annual report. Check out advertising and any other promotional material.
  • And of course, ask the Marketing department. What do they say the brand stands for?Too often in e-learning projects, the connection with the marketing team to the e-learning project is to be asked to provide style guides andimage libraries. Useful, but to say thanks and leave it there would be to completely undervalue your potentially most effective collaborator after your Subject Matter Expert. Marketing (let’s let that capital M stand by extension for PR, communications, in-house Advertising and outsourced agencies) will bleed the brand if you cut them. So use this. They spend their lives creating branded experiences to sell ideas. They know what will work to convey the message, and will cut through anything that doesn’t add to the brand experience for the learner.
  • Brand values are often very subtle and revolve around a set of beliefs and behaviours. They may incorporate a tone of voice, a style or way of doing things. Some organizations value collaboration over more directive leadership. Others value staff flexibility and quick adaptation, whereas others may seek to restrict flexibility to ensure consistency, possibly to ensure safety or compliance with regulations. To find this out, you need to become more immersed in the organization and take your cue from how people behave. Some form of questioning to try and build up a personality profile of the organization can help here. Observing how people behave internally – what behaviour is valued and rewarded?
  • Employee surveys – how is the brand perceived internally? Does the employer have the same internal and external brand perception?
  • And finally…Give it the Pepsi challenge! If you hid the logo and did a find and replace of organization name for ‘company x’, does this course feel like it could be for any organization? If so, it’s not brand-led. It’s definitely not fun, and we can guess it’s worse than boring.
  • Start at the beginning – what’s your onboarding or induction learning like? You may mention thebrand values in there, but does the learning experience embody them? At this first moment, learners are most vulnerable. They’re looking to you to help them understand what the brand really is – from the inside. And they’re expecting an experience that lives up to the brand. That may mean light, snappy, informal – or it may be the opposite depending on the organization. Whatever the organization’s brand values and identity is, it must be baked right the way through the onboarding process. It’s your last chance to make a first brand-led learning impression.
  • You’re going to need to turn the brand values into something that you can tangibly use in the design, to guide your choices. So you’d do well to write them down. They can become a brand promise for the learning experiences that you plan to use. And this is not about defining and understanding the brand values of the learning team. Remember, this is about understanding where you work and who you are and how you help people live that brand identity through everything that they do.
  • If you want to design a branded learning experience, then you need to go way beyond compliance and the visual identity guidelines. Your brand (interestingly enough) MUST influence every aspect of the design.
  • Every aspect of the design must be influenced by the brand. We would argue that the designer who is not immersed in the brand is not able to add value to the learning by reinforcing the brand throughout the design of the eLearning. Let’s look at some different brand-led approaches and you can make your own judgment.
  • This is about more than slapping the company logo in the top right corner.L&D can have a brand within the organization. Your L&D team probably has a set of its own values and objectives – might even have a sublogo. How do you go beyond just putting a logo on, and really applying your L&D values?The brand promise is based on being “at the heart of the image.” This is an expression of the essential value and promise of brands. Thus as you can see, throughout the learning we deploy high quality images, and create eLearning which is beautiful to use. The visual feel matches that of the product concerned. Let’s take a look at some example screens we created for some of our well-known clients.
  • We worked with the team at Timberland to develop innovative, interactive approaches which enable the user to use understand and appreciate the brand’s message.
  • Consistent messaging- which includes not only visual design and style, but language as well.
  • Create a consistent visual tehme.Here’s an example of keeping a consistent theme with Mozilla. It tied the graphical and textual element with a consistent theme and brand to the learning. We developed a visual theme using their brand’s colors woven in throughout the entire experience. It played to the goals of being warm, informal and yet innovative since they are using the Adapt framework, which really helps take their course to the next level.
  • Mozilla is taking advantage of the adaptive design. There learning course allows you to scroll down on your phone instead of across, allowing you to see all of the questions with the flick of your finger on your phone’s home screen.
  • We worked to develop a style and communication and tone of voice that depicted UNICEF’s message.
  • It’s more than good looks.The energy of the materials, and the tone of voice and language you use needs to be as on brand as any images associated with it. Here’s an example from a large entertainment company who’s brand values reflect fun and excitement. They chose to create a comic book theme where the learner is a super hero to really engage and entertain the learner, but also to showcase their brand values.Quick thought: What gives your eLearning personality? Why type of tone do you have? Need help? Talk to your marketing team!
  • urn the mirror on ourselves here and talk about 5 things we at Kineo always try to do in our learning experience – just from a content writing perspective i.e. Keep it lightGive it spiritHave a conversationCall for actionBe adult I found when we did those, it was just as important to talk about what how we’re not going to write.  Wonder if you can pose questions to people or give a tip  - e.g. you need to define what you don’t like or your learning hall of shame, to help you articulate your brand values for learning to yourself.A quote from Compass about us was – I’m paraphrasing but was something like ‘we use this phrase in the business – when we see something not right and we want it better, or we have basic source content – is to ‘do a Kineo on it’ I smiled when i heard that – the best brands get turned into verbs and become synomomous with their industry e.g. Xerox, hoover --- we aspire to the same. That’s why we chose a verb for our name – to move and stir things up – and that’s at the core of our brand values.  But of course when we’re designing elearning for you – it’s your brand values we want to apply – ours are there as the intel inside in the design. 
  • Brand-led learning doesn’t just apply to the e-learning but also to the delivery platform or learning management system – it’s the front door, so it had better be on brand. The same brand values-led approach applies equally importantly to the platform. Here are some examples.
  • There’s a real opportunity with the LMS to make sure that it’s on brand – again visuals count here, but it’s also about conveying personality through different tools such as: blogs to add further personality, use of surveys to seek feedback on the experience, ad banners to promote new learning opportunities and features.
  • “I get how we can have our brand values in our induction or product knowledge training. How do we get it into compliance or leadership..?”
  • In a nutshell, let’s review and synthesize…
  • Look, listen, talk to people- especially the marketing department. Remember the internal brand perception might be different from the external.
  • Bad courses with nice logos are not brand-led learning. Your whole design approach from overall model through the tone of voice needs to reflect the brand.
  • Don’t let HR, compliance, or anyone else ruin the brand experience – be strong and get the marketing people to back you up. (As you can see you’ll start developing a nice relationship with your marketing team as your brand-led project continues). Think about it: You wouldn’t let a TV ad overrun 50% and have 30 messages, or you’d lose your customers. Treat your learners with the same respect.
  • Learn from the ad agencies. Try a branded piece with a pilot group. Ask them questions related to the brand experience. Take their feedback seriously and adjust until it’s right.
  • Looking to bring more brand into your e-learning? Lucky us, we get to with some of the world’s leading brands, including Coca-Cola, Nike, McDonald’s, Google, British Airways, M&S, Tesco, Nikon and HP. They’ve entrusted us to create learning experiences that live up to their brand. Works for them – how about you?
  • Brand-led learning: Kineo makes the case!

    1. 1. Brand-Led eLearning
    2. 2. Cammy Bean VP of Learning Design Meghan Young Sr. Solutions Specialist
    3. 3. As a learning designer, it turns out that you‟re in the persuasion business.
    4. 4. You hope to persuade people to pay attention.
    5. 5. You hope to persuade them to change behavior.
    6. 6. But sometimes your learning initiatives just fall flat…and nobody shows up.
    7. 7. Sometimes the program doesn‟t feel like your company‟s and people notice.
    8. 8. Take a brand-led approach to create a desire to learn and connect back to the organization‟s core values.
    9. 9. What are some of today‟s top Brands? And what makes them so great?
    10. 10. The best brands create desire. They have the most passionate fans.
    11. 11. - John Stewart (Former CEO of Quaker) “If this business were split up, I would give you the land and bricks and mortar, and I would take the brands and trademarks and I would fare better than you.”
    12. 12. Poll “Does the learning experience you’ve created embody your brand values? • Absolutely. Everything about our learning program reflects our brand. • Not really, we just put our logo in the top corner. • I’ve never thought about brand with regards to elearning before so I can’t say.
    13. 13. So what is brand-led learning?
    14. 14. Remember, we‟re always selling!
    15. 15. Immerse yourself in the brand: find out who you are and what you stand for.
    16. 16. How do your customers see your brand?
    17. 17. What does marketing say? What do they say the brand stands for?
    18. 18. Poll Are you currently working with your marketing team as you develop learning strategy and design? • Yes, we get the style guide with logos and fonts and make sure we follow that. • Yes, we make sure we really understand how marketing sees our brand identity – beyond the logos. • No, never thought to do this but what a great idea!
    19. 19. How do your people behave? What‟s the organizational style?
    20. 20. What do your employees have to say? How do they see your brand?
    21. 21. Do your learning programs pass the Pepsi Challenge?
    22. 22. What does your new hire training look like? Feel like? Does it embody your brand?
    23. 23. Take a first stab yourself. What are your brand values? Get out a pencil and write them down. Now.
    24. 24. So now what? How can I do brand-led learning?
    25. 25. Take the brand beyond the visual and push it into the blood stream. Brand-led learning goes all the way through the experience.
    26. 26. Let the brand influence every aspect of the design. • Learning model and execution • Art direction • How you will emotionally engage the learner • Interface design • Use of images, audio and video • Tone of voice • The tactile screen experience • Messaging style • Questioning style • If/how you support and call for action • If/how you assess
    27. 27. First impressions DO matter. Get to the heart with on brand visuals.
    28. 28. Example 2
    29. 29. Example 3 • (Add in screenshot from BELL)
    30. 30. Example
    31. 31. Does your brand personality come across?
    32. 32. Turning the mirror on ourselves…what makes the Kineo style?
    33. 33. Remember the front door! Brand your LMS & platforms.
    34. 34. Create a brand-led learning campaign.
    35. 35. Remember the PSA?
    36. 36. All this time, Marketing, we wanted the same thing. But you always seemed so...obsessed with style. Yes, darling Learning, but I’m not like the others. I am content marketing*. I care about the relationship.
    37. 37. What is content marketing? • Creating and distributing relevant and valuable content • To attract, acquire, and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience • With the objective of driving profitable customer action
    38. 38. Three lessons from content marketing. Campaign for change Design for engagement Embed results
    39. 39. What do the “marketeers” try to do?
    40. 40. Turn prospects into fans.
    41. 41. Using a wide range of channels.
    42. 42. Through a sustained campaign that creates measurable results.
    43. 43. It‟s all about persuasion, baby.
    44. 44. Let‟s look at an example.
    45. 45. The Change Campaign Background • Raise employee awareness about threats to privacy and information security • Get people to take important compliance-related policies seriously • Empower people to take action and ensure compliance Challenge • They don‟t do „boring‟ – Had to engage to get their attention and deliver results • One-off wasn‟t going to stick
    46. 46. 1. Campaign for change “Put Yourself in the Picture” Campaign with: • Video promos • Posters / flyers • Branded sweets • Themed menus • Competitions • Tip sheets
    47. 47. 2. Design for engagement Focused e-learning module, underscoring key policy and regulation campaign messages. Supported by: • Posters / flyers • Video trailer • Competitions • QR coded chocolates
    48. 48. 3. Embed for results • Ask for change • Provide support • Keep the messages coming! Reward participation: • PowerPacks • Certificates • Tip Sheet • Data decoder wheel
    49. 49. Measure the results (what really matters). •Employees reaching out to Information Security for help determining whether emails are legitimate •Chief Privacy Officer receiving more requests for guidance on security and social media issues, (e.g., protecting credit card data, development of special rules, acquisition of tools, and additional training) •Projects are engaging Legal and Information Security earlier than they did before
    50. 50. And remember, this was compliance training…
    51. 51. In a nutshell…follow these steps for great Brand-led Learning…
    52. 52. Immerse yourself in the brand. Understand it. Live it. Breathe it. Represent it.
    53. 53. Don‟t stop at visual identity. Extend the brand through all levels of your learning.
    54. 54. Stay the course.
    55. 55. Test your market.
    56. 56. Build a brand-led learning campaign.
    57. 57. Poll What do you think? Are you ready to roll with brand-led learning? • No way. We don’t even know what our company brand and values are. • Yes, but we’ve got work to do! • We’re already doing this so I’m feeling pretty sassy right now.
    58. 58. Get in touch, we‟d love to help! 312.846.6656 or 781.944.7689 @cammybean