What’s the link between creating a learning organization and building a great brand?

If marketing has had to adapt to a new digitally enhanced environment and adopt new tools and terminologies, I think some of the same ingredients to building a great brand can cross over with the creation of a legitimate and powerful learning organization.  Here’s why!

Marketing of the 5E’s

Key drivers, learning organization, The Myndset Digital Marketing and Brand Strategy

In 2010, I wrote about the marketing of the 5E’s as being the key new drivers of brand marketing.  These 5E’s come in complement to the classic 4P’s, not as a replacement.  A brand must properly execute the basics.  For two of the P’s – place and publicity – we have seen a substantial evolution via the new digital options.  Place and publicity now must include the digital options.  But, where brands can make a difference in today’s context is by layering in the 5E’s: engagement, exchange, emotion, experience and essence.  {Click to tweet if you like!}

Why these 5E’s make sense

The more upscale the brand is, I argue, the more essential it is to explore all 5 levers.  By layering them into the relationship with the customer, a brand will raise the perceived value.  All of the levers speak to a more human component of the brand.  Where the 4P’s tap into a more rational angle and help drive the transaction, the 5E’s are providing personality and attachment to create a more vibrant brand experience.  In short, the 5E’s are about the relationship.  It should be noted that this type of marketing is much less pertinent for low value commodities.  Surely, no one is looking to have an emotional experience when buying a screwdriver or wants to have a belabored conversation with a shampoo manufacturer.

Where relationship fits into learning

Learning, learning organization, The Myndset Digital Marketing and Brand Strategy
When one thinks back to the best course one ever took, inevitably the first point of call will be the teacher.  If one considers the qualities of that teacher, more than likely, he/she was using one or more of the same 5E levers.  I wrote previously (“Great Teachers”) about some of my favorite teachers at school and, to each one, I could list how they were innately fantastic at integrating the 5E’s into their courses.

5E’s in a Learning Organization

For companies keen to foster learning within their organization, the question for the HR/Learning for Development department becomes: How are you integrating the 5E’s into the learning environment?  A Learning Organization enables constant learning, not just in a classroom, but throughout the daily routine of business.

Below is a table juxtaposing how the 5E’s can fit into marketing and learning.

Marketing Learning
Engagement Are we getting the customer to participate and engage with the brand, creating a reason to come back? Does the teacher inspire the student/trainee to invest his or her own time?  How truly engaged is the teacher?
Exchange Are we listening with a certain objectivity, to enter into a relevant conversation? Is learning happening in both directions between teacher and student?
Emotion Are we tapping into the target’s feelings? Do we pass through the emotional “pores” to access the rational?
Experience How memorable is the point of contact or moment of truth?  (e.g. creating unique events or original points of sale) In what ways can we make the learning more “real”?  (e.g. role playing, re-enactment)
Essence To what extent do the brand’s core values resonate with the consumer? Does the learning make sense given the student’s context?

The 5E’s leading to meaning

As Seth Godin said in his typically pithy way: “Great marketers don’t make stuff.  They make meaning.”  And, in a similarly strategic sense, in the case of learning, a great learning organization provides an enriching educational experience for its employees, aligned with the business objectives and that resonates with the employees at a personal level.  {Click to Tweet}

Please do give me your reactions!

  • yendi

    OK, I do not have an emotional experience when I go shopping for screwdrivers, but I want to rely on a place/shop with advice. Too many sales assitants are as ignorant as I am.

    • http://themyndset.com Minter Dial

      Conversation is one thing — Instruction and information is another. The salesperson on the floor has a massive challenge in providing value, especially to the informed shopper. It should be noted that for items that are of low value, low implication, consumers usually don't spend as much time pre-informing themselves. There is a real need to help train, organize and structure salespeople's role on the floor differently, depending on the category.

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