Fender Academy — A digital platform that reinvents brand and product education for Fender associates.
Fender needed a way to strengthen its training process for both employees and retailers. Identifying this opportunity, we proposed an internal tool that centralizes and drives onboarding efforts, helping the team redefine their approach to product education and brand engagement.
Our strategy was predicated on revolutionizing the perception of employee training. We wanted to introduce a curriculum that’s both stimulating and inspiring. Instead of the traditional catalog or in-person demo, we proposed an incentivized education platform that would engage, reward, and serve as a valuable resource for Fender sales associates and retailers.
Sales lift vs. non-participants40%
Average session duration25+ MINS
Educational material can get stale, so our experience encourages exploration, curiosity, and engagement through inspiring content. With a keen focus on inclusion, we also ensured the content’s accessibility by catering to varying levels of expertise.
Understanding the audience and opportunity.
With potential buyers ranging from high school band members to touring musicians, our educational approach had to appeal to a wide range of interests, abilities, and schemas. Additionally, we needed effective ways to reach sales associates with no direct ties to Fender. Unlike the other audience segments, they needed the most motivation to use the new platform and increase their product knowledge.
Rewriting the rules for conducting brand education online.
We looked at several online schools and training platforms to understand how users are typically educated. While we identified a few takeaways, we knew we could rethink the typical educational structure.
We brought on Harvard consultants to help create quizzes and build a curriculum that was challenging yet immersive. Together, we were able to rethink online education and craft a site structure and curriculum that engage Fender associates of all skill levels.
The entire platform is built to educate as well as engage, feeling less like work and more like play. Users have the opportunity to digest interesting content and learn about the brand through a visually rich curriculum.
Training and engaging sales associates across the globe.
Within the experience, users have the ability to track, manage, and explore educational content. We gamified the experience by implementing a rewards system, allowing them to earn Fender IQ points through chapter cards, course objectives, and lessons. These IQ points allow associates to unlock exclusive products, free live shows, Fender certifications, and other perks.
Half-educational tool and half-sales utility in the palm of your hand.
The entire platform is built with a flexible, modular, and fully responsive system that equips associates with the tools and knowledge they need to facilitate transactions.
They can also initiate the learning experience on their laptops and pick up where they leave off using their mobile devices, keeping them connected throughout their day.
The dashboard provides an overview of sections the user has completed as well as upcoming lessons. Utility is at the heart of the experience, allowing users to learn as they see fit. Comprehensive product details are prevalent throughout the site to educate and assist associates on the sales floor.
In developing this platform, our foremost goal was to support the growth of sales associates while bringing brand education to the digital space. To this end, we built a bespoke front end on a learning management system optimized for continual updates.
Platform content should be easy to maintain and create.
A learning management system with custom components to enable efficient editing workflows.
The Fender brand must engage sales associates.
A responsive front end that makes the experience faster and more kinetic through key interactions, smart UI, and fluid motion.
Educational material requires a degree of empowerment and achievement.
Each module in the system is assigned a weight. When a module is completed, a custom algorithm determines how many points should be added to the user’s Fender IQ based on the weight of the course and the user’s course history.
A technical infrastructure is needed to support scale.
The platform is built inside a managed hosting environment, so technical infrastructure scales with the needs of the site and remains stable during critical content launches.