How one brand name lets 23 institutions expand internationally

How do you develop a name that allows you to expand internationally under one common vision on education?

In 1996, Robert van Zanten laid the foundation for NCOI, the Dutch Commercial Training Institute. Back then, it was a challenge for working people to get an accredited, hands-on education while doing their jobs. Van Zanten revolutionized education by tailoring it to individual learning needs and making it accessible to working professionals. NCOI quickly grew to become the largest training institute for working Holland.

Its mission was to make lifelong development possible for everyone, regardless of age, life stage, profession or personal situation. Through educational solutions that are flexible and accredited, focused on personal development and the demands of the field.

Based on this vision and values, NCOI grew into a group of more than 25 renowned training institutes, each with its own brand name and identity, target group and product range, under the name ‘NCOI Group’.

United for international expansion

NCOI Group recognized the need for international expansion and sought the expertise of Globrands to help find a group name that matched its vision and international ambitions. The challenge was to create an international, unifying name for the 23 entities while maintaining their distinct brands and identities.

The positioning and brand story we developed provided a sharp briefing, focusing on a brand name and identity that would appeal to “people who work” and were based on the NCOI Group keywords of flexibility, achievement, professionalism, realization, personal, human, ambition and well-being. Also important were notions such as flexible, positive, energetic (‘adapting education to the needs of our partners and the individual’) and referring to the domain of development (‘keeping up the pace’).

Our goal was to find a word, a term or rather a symbol that reflects the professional character of the holding, expressed in the terms concrete, straightforward and with a clear reference to the domain: qualitative learning, education, development that would appeal to the multinational target groups and the people working in the group.

For people who do what makes them happy

A name that would fit the changing job market that calls for well-prepared starters and flexible working people willing to adapt their career. People who make the most of their talents with each step in their career, be it upwards or sideways, who fulfil their ambitions and do what makes them happy. An important task the group wants to contribute to.

Our advice and the longlist of possible names inspired one of NCOI’s team members to put the name Salta Group on the list. Salta comes from the Latin word “Saltare,” which means to jump and dance. The organizations’ education and training programs allow people to leap forward in their development and dance through their careers.

Salta is about the learner leaping ahead

The group focuses on the learner. Not on the materials, the teacher or the training module, but on goals, dreams, ambitions, opportunities and desires. To enable development that matches individual needs and creates perspective, with personal guidance and room for individual interpretation. Because learning is different for everyone. With customized education, the possibilities are endless. Therefore, after discussion, research and careful consideration, it was jointly decided that Salta Group best met all the criteria and preconditions.

Lifelong development across borders

Salta Group now operates in many countries in the context of Lifelong Development. It started with the acquisition of the Belgian activities of Kluwer Opleidingen, now called NCOI Learning, and currently has a leading position in training the working population of Belgium. With the EdTech platforms, international activities are growing at a rapid pace, with customers and users in many European countries such as Germany, France, England and Spain and also outside Europe, such as in South Africa, the United Arab Emirates, Suriname and the Caribbean Netherlands. In the coming years, Salta Group expects to further expand its activities abroad.

Alex van der Weide, group communications director:

“We were very pleased with Globrands’ structured approach. And impressed by the longlist of possible (and even available!) name options they produced. It was also helpful that they presented them with pros and cons for each name. The name that we ultimately chose together, enables our group to realize expansion across borders”.