Branded training is an easy thing for L&D teams to overlook. Between identifying opportunities for training and creating laser-focused learning, the visual side of things can get lost by the wayside. However, implementing branding within your elearning is more important than you may think.
Think of how much time and effort your organization puts into developing branding and tone of voice. Branding is the foundation on which your public image is built. If the foundation isn’t in place, the whole house could come falling down.
When it comes to training, how does branding play a part? Learn for yourself as we examine the importance of keeping training resources on brand.
Why is branding important for a business?
Branding is incredibly important for businesses at all levels, for a number of reasons. More than mere logos and catchy slogans, your brand identity represents the personality of the organization. It can instantly communicate your values and standard just as potently as words can.
A clear brand identity is more important now than ever before. In the social media and smartphone age, customers are exposed to new brands each and every day. Having branding which is synonymous with quality and credibility cuts through the noise, making your offering more visible and trustworthy than the rest.
Branding is just as important for employees. In fact, statistics show that 80% of recruiters view employer branding as correlating directly with ability to hire talent. Branding says a lot about who you are as an organization, and a clear vision which aligns with personal values can be incredibly appealing to new hires and existing talent alike.
This is where branded training comes in. Elearning is a representation of your company and is just as suitable for branding as physical documents and the interior of your office. The best brand training examples unite your learners while shining a light on the ethos which underpins your organization.
Here are some benefits you can expect to encounter when your turn to branded training.
The advantages of branded training
Employees respond well to training that they can instantly recognize as official and important. If you neglect to implement branded visuals, your training runs the risk of feeling generic, regardless of the content itself.
Customizing elearning is an opportunity to align the training with company values and identity. It also shows that care is taken when creating training materials, offering further proof that staff development is taken seriously. If you want your employees to use attention to detail in their work, branded training helps you practice what you preach.
Stand out from the crowd
Your brand is your USP, selling what’s great and unique about the company to new customers and employees. The more you can get your branding out there, the better. Applying branding to training separates it from off-the-shelf online learning courses from a visual perspective, heightening the visibility of your brand in a saturated field.
Consistent branding goes a long way to enhancing company credibility. We’re creatures of habit, us humans, and familiarity breeds comfort. Branded training helps to develop trust in your brand, offering a mark of authenticity and quality to each page of the elearning course.
Keep your brand alive
Digital training is an opportunity to remind your learners what your brand looks and feels like. This will encourage them to thread that brand identity throughout their own communications, whether that’s in their customer conversations, their email copy, or their PPT slides. It’s a trickle-down effect.
5 ways to brand your elearning course
Branding your elearning course allows your carefully polished brand image to shine through within your resources, but how can you quickly and easily turn online learning into a reflection of company image? Here are 5 simple things to consider when making brand and elearning materials go hand in hand.
Color theory doesn’t only apply to the silver screen. Allocated color schemes say a lot about your business and evoke responses from customers and employees alike. Most elearning authoring tools offer the functionality to customize templates. This applies to themes and color schemes.
Everything from navigation icons to background colors will be modifiable, allowing you to implement your color palette throughout the learning materials. If you don’t already have your colors set, just remember that less is more. Stick to three colors maximum.
Much like color schemes, you can display your company emblem and messaging within elearning templates. Similarly, if producing elearning videos, you can create intro and outro screens, as well as keeping the logo visible on screen throughout the learning. There are a number of ways to showcase symbols that make your brand recognizable.
Consistent branding isn’t just about how things look, but also how they sound.
Your company will have its own “tone of voice” — a way of speaking in written and verbal communication that personifies the brand. This will include, at the very least, a defined level of formality, whether that’s friendly and conversational, or one that mirrors academic prose.
And just like with a person, your company voice might be American, English, or Australian. And it will have its own preferred terms, lexicon, and way of referring to it as an organization.
If you don’t have a style guide in place to define your company’s voice, you might want to start compiling one so that you can apply to all your future training materials.
Bespoke workplace imagery
Candid imagery of the workplace in action is among the best ways to integrate branding and company personality into the online training experience. Whether a glimpse of a bustling office or warehouse machinery in use, branded imagery enhances the relatability and realism of the elearning materials.
Not all organizations have libraries of branded visuals. If you don’t have photos that belong to your brand, you can source some that look like they do.
When selecting photos from stock libraries, ask yourself:
- Does your brand use “cut-out” or isolated images, or are people and objects always featured in situ?
- Does your brand prefer photos of people in natural poses (as opposed to people staring into the camera, for instance)?
- Does your brand tend to use bold and colorful photos or less saturated alternatives?
- Does your brand use photos with filters and effects applied?
This might sound pedantic, but you will soon notice the visual chaos creep into your training materials if you don’t apply consistency!
Icon and illustrations
Your brand will likely have a defined style for icons and illustrations. This helps express its values and personality – whether quirky or sophisticated, arty or scientific, modern or traditional.
Features that define this style include how flat or tonal these images are, whether or not they have an outline, and whether they have a colored or transparent background… Though this is just scratching the surface!
If you need bespoke icons or illustrations created, you should stick to your brand’s established style. If you can source pre-made ones from an internal library, even better! Weave these throughout your training materials to create a sense of continuity and familiarity.
Brand identity isn’t just shaped by content – the images, video, audio and text we input into a page – but how that content is laid out.
Some brands opt for clean, minimalistic pages with lots of white space, whereas some may be rich and glossy, with full-bleed photos and videos. Either way, the decision is deliberate.
In laying out your pages, consider things like how many columns there are, whether you can overlay text and images, and how much negative space there is. And of course, when it comes to elearning, whether the content is displayed along scrolling pages or across linear, click-next-to-continue screens.
Designing your page layouts to align with your brand can take time. This is why we recommend setting up bespoke branded templates that can be reused by your organization again and again.
Organization specific fonts
Fonts are a big part of an organization’s branding. You’re bound to have a go-to for e-mails and documents, keeping both internal and external messaging looking consistent. This can carry through to elearning course design by simply altering the font type to match. Maintaining a single font extends brand identity through the elearning.
Add social media icons
Social media is just as much a part of your brand as logos and color schemes. It’s a gateway to new and old customers, allowing you to speak directly to them in your company tone of voice. Be sure to include clickable links to all social media within the training to give a seamless experience and extend the journey for your learners.
To maintain brand consistency, you can also customize your social media icons in line with your branding. Why not embed links within bespoke imagery or apply company color schemes to button design? Whichever route you go, social media icons are a necessity within your branded training.
How Elucidat supports branded training
Here at Elucidat, we understand the importance of personalizing the visual design of your courses. That’s why we rolled out the Elucidat Styles feature, making creating a branded look and feel easier and more intuitive than ever.
This customizable feature puts the control in your hands, offering quick course branding in one place. Everything from specific colors to fonts and logos can be implemented to tell the story of your brand with ease.
Could your L&D team benefit from an elearning authoring tool that allows brand and customization every step of the way? Book a personalized demo today and find out what Elucidat can do for you.