Headspring (formerly 'Financial Times | IE Business School Corporate Learning Alliance' (FTIECLA)) Is a customised executive education supplier. We bring a unique blend of business insights and expertise to the programs we co-design with our global clients. We combine the knowledge and expertise of Financial Times journalists with the academic rigour and innovation of the IE Business School, Madrid, as well as a network of business educators and an alliance of business schools whom we collaborate with to deliver timely, relevant corporate learning.
In 2019 FTIECLA decided to re-brand in order to give a clearer vision of who we are & what we do; to have a unique brand name that conveys a story which doesn't have saturated use in the market already; and to simplify our brand name and logo.
We created 'Headspring' (The term for the source of a stream or river). The project was led by the internal Marketing, Creative, and Events teams and supported by contracted agencies and freelancers. Headspring is a clear, easy-to-remember name which enables a brand story to be aligned to it (Headspring is the source of information/knowledge - that's fully customisable - can go in any direction).
We evolved this project over a period of 18 months. After approximately 10 months of significant research projects, we finally found our new brand name and had conceived most of our headline USPs, our mission statement and values.
Our new brand stands for something different - we know that we are genuinely different as a company in our marketplace, we know that we excel in certain topic areas and we know that the combination of the resources we can draw from the Financial Times and the IE Business School in Madrid are truly unique - but how could we best convey this to our audiences and draw in new interest from our markets?
We decided as a team that the best way to launch our new brand with a bang was to host an event (or in this case, two events) that were stand-out showcases of what we could do for our clients. We also had a desire to lead with a captivating topic that was a hot subject of the day - namely - the dawn of AI and machine-learning versus the human-led future of work. We also had a brief from the company board to host the events in iconic-landmark venues so as to strengthen the impact of the events and showcase that we are different, and do things differently - giving our prospects and clients a premium, memorable experience.
On the 12th June 2019 we launched at the iconic Tower Bridge in London, and on 26th June we launched at the innovative Fundacion Francisco Giner in Madrid. Headspring’s Events, Marketing, and Delivery teams, working with external agencies and freelance support, delivered two launch events that were designed to truly engage our audiences with industry-relevant talks alongside truly immersive interactive areas where visitors could (amongst other activities):
• Interact with Peppa the Robot who asked question related directly to Headspring’s (then) recent YouGov collaboration survey report: ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE ON THE HORIZON: A report on how professionals in Europe and UAE understand the imminent age of AI in the workplace. What does the future of work look like for those most likely to be impacted by automation? What does the rise of cognitive technology such as Artificial Intelligence mean for business leaders and their teams? Are people in the corporate world apprehensive about the security of their jobs? These are some of the key questions that a new international report, launched by Headspring, aims to answer. Headspring partnered with YouGov to conduct a substantial survey with one key ambition: overcome misconceptions about AI and provide HR and L&D leader with applicable insights into how people working in their organisations understand the impact that AI is going to have on their jobs and their careers. YouGov and Headspring surveyed a total of 4,515 people in seven countries: United Kingdom, Germany, France, Spain, Denmark, Sweden and United Arab Emirates.
• Play Headspring’s award-winning immersive VR experience 'Earth-to-Mars': We had a custom-built booth built for the two events which made up a simulation of a control room on earth – complete with a built in screen and a ipad ‘control’ tablet which a person could use to guide the person in the other booth which was a mock-up of a Mars Lunar Base in which a ‘pilot’ would have to navigate a series of complex challenges whilst on the Mars basecamp – guided only by the single operative in the Earth control room. The ‘pilot’ on Mars had a VR headset by which to experience the basecamp. This 2-player game’s concept is related to the fact that leaders work in challenging circumstances — needing to stay focused under pressure, dealing with complex and conflicting priorities, and pivoting when needs require. The serious game, Earth-to-Mars, uses Virtual Reality to simulate such pressures in a learning experience co-developed by eLearning Studios and Headspring. ‘Serious Play’, an international learning conference, awarded a Silver Medal to this leadership game. Earth-to-Mars is the first of its kind in the executive learning space, allowing leaders to test themselves in formidable situations.
• Play the FT's award-winning Uber Game: The Uber game won a Gold Medal at the annual Serious Play Awards. The interactive news game transports players into the driver seat of a full-time Uber driver, with the aim of providing a deeper understanding of what it is like to try to make a living in the gig economy. The annual Serious Play Awards recognise outstanding achievement in the field of games and simulations. As game-based learning becomes mainstream, training products that allow participants to interact with them are shown to help build skills and knowledge retention. The game was produced in-house at the FT by an interdisciplinary team. The game accompanies an article, ‘Uber: The uncomfortable view from the driving seat’, in which the FT’s Leslie Hook interviewed real drivers, delving into the realities of the career. The Uber Game also won an Award for Excellence for experimental design at the Society of News Design Awards and a Bronze Award for innovative format at the 26th Malofiej International Infographics Awards.
• Attendees could also take part in some interactive group learning workshops facilitated through the IE University Foundation Series Programs.
• The events also included a number of talks alongside a panel debate. Two sample session details are:
'Making work human: creating purpose and happiness in an AI-driven workplace',
Mo Gawdat, Former Google [X] Chief Business Officer. One Billion Happy Movement.
'What the Robots Can’t Do -- Educating a 21st century workforce',
Rana Foroohar, Global Business Columnist and Associate Editor, Financial Times.
Both events were fully branded in the new Headspring livery and attendees experienced a seriously slick brand experience from beginning to end. In London the reception area at tower Bridge was branded as was the lift taking them up to the walkways where one walkway was the experiential experience area and the other was for the talks and panel debate. In Madrid, attendees knew nothing of the experiential experience area until they were guided by staff from the lecture theatre to a secret wall that slid back to reveal Peppa the Robot behind who welcomed them to the experience area!
The event’s both had great PR coverage and feedback was overwhelmingly positive.
Our Madrid launch event saw 79 attendees attend and our London launch event saw 90 people attend, both events had approx’ 65 attendees each who were potential new business leads. The events themselves, in addition to follow up campaigns and communications saw Headspring land 20 new business opportunities worth a total of 1.5 Million - 244k in opportunities from the Madrid event across 7 pipeline opportunities (50k direct from event attendance) and 1.3Million from the London event across 13 pipeline opportunities (60k direct from launch event attendance).
Also - between the end of May and mid-August 2019 (which saw the launch of the new brand, two launch events and multiple launch-related print and digital campaigns) we saw a website traffic increase of 182% year-on-year (46,205 from 16,400 web visitors) and a sustained bounce rate reduction of, on average, 25% across this whole time period.
7 September 2020