Why you should think about branding your online course - Part 1

Corporate identity sells. Since you are trying to offer your knowledge through an online course, it is a good idea to think about branding your e-learning materials. Here are several things to consider before starting to create your course and trying to turn it into a brand.

The Benefits

Corporate identity matters and consistency is the key. Therefore, stay true to these facts as you build your company identity. The e-learning field is vast, which means that you have to be different to be noticed. Spend extra time on achieving your main goals. Then use the right tactics to send the appropriate messages to your audience. Brand identity incorporates many things like design, color, font, logo, and tone of voice, as well as a unique spirit and brand personality.

Before executing your marketing strategy, find your unique qualities and build your visual elements around them. Your brand identity is a good place to showcase your integrity, professionalism, and the way you view life. More importantly, brand identity creates a personal connection between you and the people you are engaging. Therefore, the clearer and more consistent you are in your brand style and messages, the more appropriate online audience you will gain.

Consider Your Brand Archetype

The 12 main brand archetypes follow the standard personal archetypes classified by Carl Jung. So choosing the right archetype will give you many answers. Moreover, it is important to select the other visual elements accordingly. Above all, keep in mind that there rarely are clear archetypes. Usually, there are one or two dominant ones within a combination of three. So while choosing the best fit for your brand, aim for one major type and another supporting one.

Here is the classical list:

1. The Innocent Person

  • Goal: To be happy
  • Traits: Strives to be good and stick to certain morals and is pure, young, optimistic, simple, romantic, loyal
  • Example: Dove soap, Coca-Cola

2. The Regular Guy 

  • Goal: To belong and connect with others
  • Traits: Down to earth, supportive, faithful, folksy, person next door, connects with others
  • Example: Home Depot, eBay

3. The Hero

  • Goal: To help improve the world
  • Traits: Courageous, bold, honorable, strong, confident, inspirational
  • Example: Nike, BMW, Duracell

4. The Outlaw

  • Goal: To break the rules and fight authority
  • Traits: Rebellious, iconoclastic, wild, paves the way for change
  • Example: Harley-Davidson, Virgin

5. The Explorer

  • Goal: To find fulfillment through discovery and new experiences
  • Traits: Restless, adventurous, ambitious, individualistic, independent, pioneering
  • Example: Indiana Jones, Jeep, Red Bull

6. The Creator

  • Goal: To create something with meaning and enduring value
  • Traits: Creative, imaginative, artistic, inventive, entrepreneurial, non-conformist
  • Example: Lego, Crayola

7. The Ruler

  • Goal: To control and create order from chaos
  • Traits: Leader, responsible, organized, role model, administrator
  • Example: Microsoft, Barclays, Mercedes-Benz

8. The Magician

  • Goal: To make dreams come true and create something special
  • Traits: Visionary, charismatic, imaginative, idealistic, spiritual
  • Example: Disney, Apple

9. The Lover

  • Goal: To create intimacy and inspire love
  • Traits: Passionate, sensual, intimate, romantic, warm, committed, idealistic
  • Example: Victoria’s Secret, Marie Claire

10. The Caregiver

  • Goal: To care for and protect others
  • Traits: Caring, maternal, nurturing, selfless, generous, compassionate
  • Example: Hallmark, Johnson & Johnson, Heinz

11. The Jester 

  • Goal: To bring joy to the world
  • Traits: Fun, sense of humor, light-hearted, mischievous, irreverent
  • Example: Oreo, IKEA

12. The Sage

  • Goal: To help the world gain wisdom and insight
  • Traits: Knowledgeable, trusted source of information, wisdom and intelligence, thoughtful, analytical, mentor, guru, advisor
  • Example: BBC, Google, Philips

What Else To Consider When Branding Your Online Course

First of all, your online course incorporates many things. It’s not only about you but about your materials. It is also about the whole environment and your way of teaching. Your branding is the picture frame where you can display your knowledge. That’s why you should show it to the world in the right way.

Now that you have selected your online course’s brand archetype, you can start building your visual identity.

Colors

First, think about color schemes and then follow them. Afterwards, choose active colors for active archetypes and calm colors for calm ones.

HINT: Take a look at some logos from the same brand archetype as yours to get some ideas about style and general messages. Therefore, once you have selected the colors for your course, your online students will be able to easily recognize your presence.

Fonts

Most importantly, select only from those fonts that correspond with the general impression of your brand. First of all, every font has its own energy and meaning. Therefore, make your font fit with your colors and your entire brand identity.

HINT: Adapt your branding to the specific knowledge that you will deliver – the teaching style of a math teacher is completely different from that of a teacher of literature. Finally, focus on your subject and the style will follow.

Layouts

First of all, focus on your subject once again. Try to make each material visually compelling and clear. The fact that you have a brand identity does not mean that you have to overload your content with it. The same goes for logos, colors, and brand information. Your course identity should be like an invisible line that connects all of your materials.

HINT: Use different tools for presentations and test them on your audience. Your goal is to be clear and attractive so as to be better received.

Images

Imagine your online course as a digital gallery. You should follow the same style throughout the entire course and make sure that it corresponds to the brand identity. Therefore, think about your layouts and select images that will facilitate understanding, as well as increase engagement rates.

HINT: Create a mood board with different images. Find the ones that correspond to your subject and brand identity. Then stick to the board when you select the images for your course.

When working on your brand identity it is important to find your unique style, which then should be incorporated into every part of your course – homework, tests, certificates, etc. If you can stay consistent, then you will soon see the success that you want to achieve in your online teaching.

 

 

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Tanya Ilieva has strong experience in journalism, advertising, creative copywriting and digital marketing. She has a PhD in Graphic design from Faculty of Journalism and Mass Communication in Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski”. Some of her creative works in advertising has been rewarded both in Bulgaria and abroad. Her fields of interest include: philosophy of language, semiotics, visual metaphors, linguistic.
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