Thoughts, Insights & Words of Wisdom

Are you coffee or are you a Starbucks?

Brand. If you’re working in Learning and Development, Training or Coaching, you’ve got one. Today, more than ever the perception people have of your core purpose, how they relate to the learning experiences on offer and the value they gain from them is what will set you apart from the competition. Are people choosing your L&D brand to support them in their daily work?

A brand is the sum of someone’s experiences with a product or service. That same concept applies to learning. – Jayzen Patria

Purely by coincidence, I received two emails this morning – one about an upcoming members live event and one RSS notification from a blog I subscribe to – both featuring Jayzen Patria.

Until a few hours ago, I had no idea who Jayzen Patria was.  So, I Googled him.  Turns out, he’s a bit of an expert when it comes to branding learning.

If you’re still non the wiser,  Jayzen Patria is for former Executive Director of Global Talent Development for NBCUniversal.  Most recently he led executive development and architected the Talent Lab, NBC’s uniquely branded corporate university.  Today, if you go by his LinkedIn profile, he considers himself a noted speaker, facilitator and performance consultant.

But the main reason his profile caught my eye and my curiosity was aroused, is that he also describes himself as ‘helping transform organizations through the power of their people’, which is very much aligned to our company’s own purpose – unlocking potential through extraordinary training.

So, I watched a short Vimeo clip (see here) and I read his expertise page where he explains it like this:

“Apple. Nike. Starbucks. We are surrounded by and love brands. They make us feel connected and engaged and ultimately make us pay more, do more and contribute more. Think about it: coffee is one of the world’s oldest commodities and for nearly a century, it was American tradition to drop by any restaurant or diner and have a bottom-less cup coffee for a just a nickel, dime or quarter. Today, we all wait in long lines for a Starbucks beverage that costs more than a gallon of gas. That’s the power of brand!”

He goes on to suggest that the biggest mistakes made today in terms of branding are assuming you have no brand and that branding is an optional exercise.  Having recently gone through the process of rebranding our own small business, I completely agree that EVERYONE and EVERY ORGANIZATION has a brand.

But how do we, as trainers, facilitators or coaches manage that brand? We communicate our brand through everything we do and every choice we make; our brand helps others to decide whether they want to work with us and spend their time and energy (and often limited budgets) with us.

Ask yourself, “What would happen if my company was filled with super-premium, branded workers who know how to demonstrate value instead of just a building filled with commoditized employees?” Then ask, “Is my organization coffee or is it Starbucks?” – Jayzen Patria

So if we took a poll right now, what would people say about you? How would they describe you? Think about feedback you’ve had from your clients, bosses or peers.  What are the commonalities?

It’s food -or drink – for thought, isn’t it?

We are a people development company so we are always open to new ways of doing things and what we can do differently.

For many, learning is challenging.  But it also offers lots of opportunities to reflect, do things differently and grow as a result.

We would love to hear what your own challenges are  and how we might be able to support you.  We’ve always offered free strategy sessions, and will continue to do so, making more time available for you to book in for a virtual coffee.  You can do so here, or by getting in touch with our Head of Client Partnerships.

It’s free so what are you waiting for?


First time here? Thank you for reading our blog – if you liked it, there are more posts here.  We would love to hear your comments and please feel free to share it.

Want to find out more about how we use our EXTRAORDINARY brand to unlock potential through training?   You can email me directly or take a look at the rest of The Extraordinary Training Company website.

We help to create great teams, improve productivity and develop leadership skills. Interested? Then click here to find out more.

Author: Jane Rennie

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