Learning Brands

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Learning Brands

In the digital space, organizations can unravel branding opportunities associated with learning.

WIRIS

For those who wish to remain relevant technologically as well as in the conversations, there is little choice but to set up internal insight-generation processes. R&D operations are the most common sources, and often considered synonymous with insight. However, new knowledge could come from any place in the organization. Case studies, new experiences, unique vantage points are key differentiators in the marketplace; and they make great basis for learning opportunities.

However, not every organization is convinced that sharing their insight makes business sense. In fairness, in many cases it is the wrong thing to do. It can also be done improperly or for the wrong reasons. But when the organization shares actual insight, meaning accurate information that showcases new understanding about a common problem, the benefits are manifold.

Open organizations, including businesses based on Moodle or other free software, should not have concerns about sharing their insight with a community that has allowed them to thrive and incorporate data and technology openly. In any case, a business mindset that considers the health of the ecosystem is still not widespread enough.

Learning with brands

Perhaps part of the problem lies with unsettled ethical considerations at the time of aligning learning with branding, promotion or other marketing-related goals. In reality, when the relation is inverted it is easy to see how much marketers have taken advantage of new knowledge about how people learn. Put simply: Marketers continue to exploit the power of teaching and educating consumers to the benefit of awareness, retention, or lifetime customer value maximization, among other goals.

So if brands have been teaching people for years about skills that only apply at the moment of purchasing from that brand, what is wrong with sponsoring the acquisition of skills, knowledge or abilities beyond the scope of consumption?

This is not to say that the proposition is not full of ethical and educational perils. Among other things, because when the consumer accepts a learning proposition, he invests a lot more than money. Time, energy, and even parts of his world view and the networks to which they belong.

Here are some brands that leverage learning and marketing:

  • Given their power in the marketplace, large technology companies profit from certification courses that are valued by employers. Microsoft, Amazon or Oracle are the obvious examples.
  • Intel AI Academy and IBM Cognitive Class take a more forward-looking approach. By offering a free training about upcoming technologies that emphasizes their own solutions, they hope to build future customers for their future income streams early on.

Brands that learn

There is a less conflicting link between brands and learning in the digital space. It has to do with a company’s ability to understand and interact effectively with customers on the digital medium. Paying attention to customers in a systematic way could be a great source in the process of designing internal training. It could even become itself the basis for training. Properly filtered out and curated, user-generated content offers invaluable learning and insight generation potential.

In any case, learning is pretty much a commandment for the modern, digital organization. Open source businesses have no excuse, as they can leverage new knowledge faster and generate a higher rate of synergy. As long as you continue to learn and enable learning, self-actualization and personal and professional development, the chances of finding a place among people’s preferences will remain high.


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