Designing and implementing great content are just two parts of the L&D function. Typically, there are also challenges in engaging your stakeholders around the programs you offer, gaining buy-in and achieving execution. By creating effective branding and internal marketing campaigns, you can give your L&D programs a professional look and feel while driving visibility and engagement. Here are some tips on building your L&D brand.
Start with creating an overarching brand. Think about the emotions or values you are trying to evoke. What will connect best with your end users? Are you trying to inspire a level of professionalism? Fun? Career progression? Growth? Use those words to create a brand name. Align your language with your organization’s values and strategic objectives. The key is to keep your brand simple and inspirational. Kickstart this process with a workshop where people from across the organization can contribute their ideas.
After you’ve chosen a name for your L&D brand, tie in the design elements. For example, if your brand name inspires development, you may want to choose building blocks. Next, choose colors and fonts to use for all your training materials. Hiring a graphic designer helps. He or she can suggest colors, fonts and design elements that will capture your vision. Once you’ve decided on these elements, create a brand standard so that others know how to use your design.
Consistency is key. Once you have a brand and design, use your branding in everything you do. Onboarding, leadership development and everything in between will need to match your brand. It’s OK to differentiate your programs by using complementary colors for each, but everything should tie into your main brand design.
To create recognition, use your brand and design ubiquitously. Training materials, participant guides and online modules should all have components of your brand in them. Go a step further, and create banners to place both inside and outside your classrooms, providing visibility to your programs and reinforcing your brand. Purchase SWAG (stuff we all get), such as travel mugs or branded notebooks, for participants. For a small investment, your participants will be carrying your brand with them for months after their class.
Once you have established your brand, you can use it to create one-page visuals of your strategy and your programs. Stakeholders will find it valuable to have an illustration for each of your programs, and your branding will help tie everything together. For example, create a trail with stops along the way so that stakeholders can see what the learning journey looks like for a new employee, Or show a pyramid of levels that walk a stakeholder through a leadership program. An infographic is another great way to showcase your programs.
Marketing your brand and your programs is crucial to your L&D department’s success. You may know what amazing things your team is up to, but does everyone else? Start by using existing corporate communication channels to promote your programs. Consider using internal newsletters, social media groups and intranet links to talk about what you’re doing. Again, be visual, using pictures and quotes from the people who have been impacted by your training. If you find that there aren’t internal communication vehicles for you to use, you may need to create them.
Aligning your training to your company’s strategy is essential. When you market training, be sure to call out how it’s helping achieve your organization’s goals. Create visuals to explain recent success or initiatives to your stakeholders, and they will begin to see that what you do is pivotal to the organization’s success.
By creating a strong brand, you’ll help your organization recognize your programs. By creating simple visuals, you’ll gain better buy-in from your stakeholders. In the end, you’ll have the impact you’re looking for in your people and your business.
Want to learn more on how you can transform L&D using branding and marketing strategies? Come to TICE 2019, and attend Marjorie’s session.