August 2021 / News

How the Pandemic Sparked a Brand Revolution for the Leadership Trust

How the Leadership Trust revolutionised their brand during the pandemicThe Leadership Trust has been at the forefront of leadership development for nearly half a century, running a range of experiential programmes that have been attended by over 80,000 individuals from across the world. Organisations from various industries have benefited from the Leadership Trust’s unique approach, supporting CEOs, managers and entrepreneurs in their quest for greater leadership. While the brand has been around for several decades, the freight-train impact of COVID-19 led to a positive period of self-reflection and a well-received brand refresh which has elevated their service offering to unprecedented heights. We sat down with Chief Executive Officer Léa Cléret and Communications & Marketing Manager Tinuke Bernard for more insight into the brand’s new look.

What was the trigger point for the brand refresh? Why was the timing right?

Léa: In terms of timing, we think it was spot on. Our product has changed post-covid, along with our team dynamic, our work environment, our relationships with productivity and even our resources. And with all these changes, our priorities have shifted too, and we want to attract companies that have the same values we share in a post-pandemic world. Leadership development in 2021 is changing. It’s about leadership with purpose and we want to be there to help companies contribute to social change. We are changing, society is changing, we are getting braver and braver. And we needed branding which was reflective of this.

Tinuke: Our branding had been the same for quite some time. When we did an assessment of our website, it was clear that it was content heavy and overwhelming, with no clear indication of what we actually did. It was time.

What has been retained from the old branding, if anything, and what has specifically been changed and why?

Léa: One of the big decisions we had to make was whether to keep the full ‘Leadership Trust’ name in the new logo. We decided to continue with the spell out approach as opposed to an icon only. We have strong foundations and heritage and wanted to honour that by retaining this feature but adapting it in a way that illustrates our forward-thinking approach. The font was changed slightly to reflect this.

Tinuke: We kept the green too! Although it is no longer the only main colour as we expanded our palette to include more accent colours. These options are all interchangeable and lean towards a bolder, fresher approach.

Léa: We think of this new branding as a bridge. We are bridging the gap between the past and the future, continuing to honour our military heritage. Many people think that military training is all about drills, but few know that what made Leadership Trust so successful was because it is based on the military training done around optimising emotions and building high-quality relationships. but ensuring we extract only the parts we feel are compliant with this new, post-pandemic era.

What is the visual meaning behind the logo?

Léa: With the L and T in the logo they sit together and when used elsewhere, they spread out. It represents what happens in the space between, the self-reflective space that we create for our clients at Leadership Trust. Very responsive and dynamic as a logo, it can be used in different ways. It represents what we aim to do: push you out of your comfort zone but at the same time, still protect you. The angular element represents that you can’t side-step the process and will be confronted with truths you may not have accepted before.

How has it been received so far?

Tinuke: We have had feedback that it looks fresh, modern, and more streamlined. And that our service offering is also a lot clearer now than it was before.

We personally love the new branding. How will you measuring or benchmarking its success and what do you see in Leadership Trust’s future?

Tinuke: Getting new clients. I think if we are able to successfully attract the kind of clients we have been hoping to, that will be the greatest indicator of success.

Léa: We want to be seen as a lifelong partnership, not just one touch point. We are moving away from the event services space and moving more towards education. Something you dip in and out of over your entire career, either through community, courses, etc.

What are some of the themes or key words that the branding evokes for you? What lies at the essence of the brand?

Léa: Safe space, loyalty, trust, expertise, mix of rigour and care and a challenger.

Tinuke: Opportunity, unlocking potential, confident, bold. With all the white space we now have, you have time to fill in the blanks yourself and make your own assumptions.

Was the brand refresh accompanied by any narrative changes or business changes?

Léa: Both the narrative and business model have undergone changes with the branding. Our narrative has moved towards a more holistic approach to leadership development . As for the business model, we have been exploring virtual learning a lot more due to the pandemic. We were very careful because we didn’t want to simply become a provider of intellectual downloads, we wanted to engage with online learning in an experiential way, or at least contributes to it. In the past our business was built primarily on the intensive, interactive face-to-face courses we ran. Now we are clearer about our target market and how to meet the needs of different people at different stages of their leadership journey.

We are working on an online resource with publications, videos, opinion pieces and other useful material which can be accessed by paying subscribers. We also have a range of online courses, some pre-recorded and others which involve human intervention. Our flagship course remains the Leadership in Management course, which is a face-face-to-face medium. This course will be reserved from 2022 onwards for a very specific group of clients, who have the capacity to take on the involved nature of the source material and training. From an international point of view, the greater online learning potential is a definite plus. We have also refreshed our Singapore website which will be going live soon. This will enable us to start focusing our efforts in the Asian region once more.

“We want this to be a lifelong partnership, not just one touch point. We are moving away from the event services space and moving more towards education. Something you dip in and out of over your entire career”-Léa Cléret

What in your eyes makes the Leadership Trust unique from your competitors?

Léa: We opt for a more nurturing, caring and developing approach, versus competitors who favour the traditional methods of aggressiveness, resilience and getting the most out of people. A lot of our programme is self-directed with facilitators pushing you to get what you need out of the course. The syllabus is not rigid and allows individuals to find the answer within themselves.

Who do you think the Leadership Trust programmes appeal to?

Tinuke: It’s not about getting your team to achieve corporate targets, it’s for those who want to make sense of why they go to work. The people who are asking themselves why they are doing what they are doing, how can they do it better. It’s about being purpose- and people-led.

Léa: When you take care of your people they will perform at their best. Companies willing to take the leap of faith and invest in wellbeing and training for their staff are the ones we feel will be drawn to the course. While we are still performance driven, it is through the betterment of staff that results are achieved and it’s companies with this mindset that we would likely appeal .

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