Post-Industrial Institute -PII

Helping leaders build the organizations of the future

The Challenge

Conceptually develop a brand linked to the business aspirations

20 years ago, the Post-Industrial Institute -PII- was founded in California by Frode Odegard with the aim of reinventing Lean Management in modern knowledge-based organisations. The original name of the company was the Lean Software Institute, which was soon changed to the Lean Systems Institute.

After 10 years, it began the development of a new approach to management science with solutions and practices suitable for a world in which the combination of exponential technologies (including artificial intelligence) and decentralization were challenging traditional ideas about organizations and careers.

The name of the company was changed to the Post-Lean Institute in 2017, to reflect that many of the assumptions behind Lean Management were being challenged. In 2021 the company name was changed again, to Post-Industrial Institute, since the reference to Lean was becoming less meaningful.

In terms of branding and following what had already been started by our good friend Sergei Mitrofànov (RIP 1968-2022), the initial challenge was to:

  • Adjust its brand promise based on the perceived transformations in how organisations work as a result of decentralization (accelerated by the pandemic) and the rapid growth of AI
  • Finalise the branding process ensuring a coherent and consistent structure with what the IIP is and offers – from brand positioning and personality to tones and manners
  • Adjust and establish the institute’s key messages

Our Answer

A structure that goes from the institution to its brand, from brand to personality, and from latter to its key messages

We started with a plan that envisaged a series of meetings intended to fill in the gaps in Sergei’s work. Soon after we started, we discovered that it was necessary to delve deeper, discuss, and define issues that went beyond the brand and went deep into the very reason for the existence of the business, its legacy, and ambitions.

The key was to provide answers to:

  • How to transform the institute and grow through its brand, culture, and experience?
  • What is its institutional raison d’être?
  • Who are the stakeholders?
  • Where should the competition take place?
  • How will the match be won?

The process took the form of psychoanalysis sessions. In the end it was a deep consultancy work based on conversations at the highest level between the founders of the Post-Industrial Institute and Allegro 234:

  • Definitions
  • Talks
  • Discussions
  • Questions
  • Homework
  • Thoughts and feelings 
  • A large number of “whys”, “why this?” And “why that?”

The Results

A brand which supports the next Post-Industrial Forum in the short term and is poised to create lasting value for the whole institution over time.

We created the “IIP Strategic Platform”, a living document that drove the discussion throughout the conceptualisation of issues such as:

  • Business defined by the products and services offered, key audiences, differentiating technology and know-how, and the big idea behind PII
  • Purpose as a daily concept, mission as today’s definition and vision as tomorrow’s ambition
  • Business values transformed into key brand attributes
  • Competitive arena definition
  • Positioning statement considering functional benefits, reasons to believe, results for key audiences, emotional benefit as the feeling of key audiences when living the IIP experience
  • Brand personality
  • Buying persona, brand voice, and key brand message
  • Formal characteristics of PII tones and manners, and narrative pillars

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