For over 70 years, Lifelong Learner Holdings has owned businesses providing testing, assessments and talent management solutions to business and organizations across the private and public sector.
In 2019, LLH acquired a collection of businesses focused on career services learning and credentialing (prior to testing) including OnCourse Learning Real Estate, G-Metrix, AHIT, and Stringham Schools. Lifelong Learner Holdings approached WANT Branding to create a Brand Strategy that would optimize how the business would go-to-market.
We worked with Lifelong Learner Holding’s leadership team over an 8-month period to brand the new organization. First, we conducted numerous stakeholder interviews with the parent organization as well as stakeholders across the four acquired businesses. We also completed a thorough competitive brand audit, and reviewed existing documents and research on target customers for the business.
To determine the best go-to-market brand architecture, we explored a range of options including a house of brands approach where each of the four businesses would operate independently, as well as a branded house/master brand option where all businesses would operate under a single brand. We also explored a hybrid approach where business brands would be endorsed by a parent brand. Beyond the brand architecture options, we also looked carefully at whether there should be visual connection in logo design (symbolic, design, or color scheme) across the business brands.
Ultimately, we recommended a master brand model with all businesses operating under a single brand but with a category/descriptive modifier to help clarify the type of training being offered. We also recommended a single visual brand identity system.
Our Brand Definition exercise explored numerous ideas that coalesced customer needs, the unique qualities of the organization, and differences vs. competitors. We chose the brand positioning idea of ‘Your Future Starts Here’ to denote the idea that career development, and a brighter future would begin with this new brand.
The naming exercise yielded hundreds of ideas but one clear winner emerged: ‘Mbition’ The idea was chosen for its ability to evoke a new company committed to enabling learners achieve their ambitions. The ‘M’ at the start of the name added both visual distinction and supported the idea of ‘maximizing ambition’.
The ‘Future In Flight’ logo we created for Mbition conveys ambition, altitude, and professional growth. Finally, the sub-brand lockups for Mbition Learn Real Estate, Mbition Learn Home Inspection, and Mbition Learn Technology reflect our go-to-market recommendation in a consistent, memorable identity system.
Finally, we created a three-phase transition scheme for moving the acquired brands –OnCourse Learning Real Estate, G-Metrix, AHIT, and Stringham Schools – to the new Mbition brand that would enable customers to understand the brand evolution and to ensure no loss of equity.
In the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, the new Mbition brand launched in July 2019.
And, while most of the learning and credentialing has shifted on-line, the response to the new brand has been overwhelmingly positive and has helped to align the acquired businesses under a single, dynamic brand.