Branding your Talent / Learning Management System

February 18, 2016

Written by: Warren Phillips

Branding your Talent / Learning Management System should be more than just adding a logo and being true to corporate colors.

When users access your system, it is an ideal opportunity to reinforce your company values, generate interest and create a welcoming, pleasant place to collaborate and learn.

By optimizing the brand experience of your customer, you greatly increase the odds that your system will be utilized to its fullest. And the result says “You are Important to Us”.

What’s in a Name? – You have lost an opportunity to excel if you name your system the “XYZ Learning Management System”. A good name establishes a memorable brand. And add a Tag Line! Consider what your system offers such as collaboration and social learning. Here is an example and some links to samples of portal names and taglines.

Suggestion! Have everyone vote for the best name and tag line for your learning ecosystem / community. You can create a free account on SurveyMonkey ( Form a steering committee that will judge and select the final name. Give an incentive to those who submit the best ideas.

Logo – Your logo is a small powerful image that should be instantly recognizable. It represents your identity and mission, and should mean something to your target audience. Who’s going to be using your courseware?  If it is educational content for organizations, the design should be different than if it is training for medical students.

Touchpoints – Here are some customer points of contact within a Talent / Learning Management System where you can Brand your solution.

  • External References – When anyone refers to your System, they should follow guidance in your Talent / Learning Management System Style Guide. Provide a public link to the document and provide access to approved logos of several sizes to make it easy for others to comply.
  • Logon Page – Logo, Background Image and Message sets the tone for users logging in.
  • Header – Logo & Navigation Colors.
  • Footer – Links to information such as an About Us page that also reinforces the brand.
  • Home / Welcome Page – Banners and HTML Areas/iFrames – Is your message engaging and welcoming? That page is the first impression of the system once a user logs in.
  • Other Pages / Workspaces – Can contain HTML layout, graphics and content consistent with the brand experience.
  • Reports – If possible, add report themes that include the branding.
  • Completion Certificates – Can reference the portal name and include the logo.
  • Notification Emails – Add the portal name to the Subject Line. Receiving a generic email titled “Course Assigned” is likely to be ignored or even worse deleted. Whereas an email titled “RDL University – Course Assigned” is clearly understood. And in the Body of the email you can also continue the theme “Congratulations – You have been assigned the following course in RDL University”. And if the Notification is HTML enabled, include a visual Signature Block with logo.
  • Catalog – Images and Descriptions can contain elements of the brand. The goal is to maintain a consistent theme across offerings.

Marketing Expertise – Talk to the marketing department. This could also include your website team. They will have all of pieces that you need (layouts, images, colors) based on corporate branding standards. But do not stop there. Involve them in your design process! 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. This is more than just what the screen will look like, or where the logo will go.

Collect the following:

  • Corporate Style Guide, Document and Presentation Templates.
  • Images – Does training, marketing or website team have an image library? Or perhaps they purchased access to an image repository. For example, if you work for a hospital, you could find pictures of facilities, lobbies, and employees in action.
  • Logos – Get as many logo sizes, shapes, colors and types as possible. While logos can be used within the system user interface, they can also be used to carry the brand experience into the content. For example, you can brand the beginning of a course, and integrate the corporate icon into the content.

Create the following:

  • Talent / Learning Management System Style Guide – use it to document the standard for your branding experience.

Success – Your system becomes more than a Talent / Learning Management System for your customers. Instead, it’s the first port of call for anything company-related. It’s a learning platform, an information portal, and a company-wide social network. A place to connect, get answers and learn.

HRchitect has an expansive knowledge of evaluating, implementing and adoption of Talent / Learning Management Systems. Our expertise can be the difference between a fully adopted system and one which is used only when required. We can provide consulting for various components of your learning process.

Warren Phillips

About Warren Phillips

Warren Phillips is a Senior HCM Consultant with the HRchitect Consulting team. With over 30 years of experience in the training industry, Warren has led the implementation of training initiatives and Talent Management Systems for a wide range of commercial and government projects. He is also an expert in the technical side of training. An experienced training developer with a solid understanding of adult learning theories, instructional systems design, and user interface design for instructor led, self-paced and blended learning solutions.