Developing innovative brand management toolkits

By developing innovative brand management toolkits the charity sector is undergoing a fundamental shift from a simple ‘us and them’ communications approach, to empowering supporters, campaigners and fundraisers.

Macmillan was probably the first to head in this direction by empowering their supporters through their My Macmillan portal, in which fundraisers can order quite a wide range of assets, including large banners and t-shirts. Their system is simpler, and less about creating bespoke materials, but it does represent the core idea of empowerment while managing the quality of brand usage.

I’ve been involved in the development of new brand management ideas for a few years now, introducing and implementing a brand asset management system at Oxfam. This system was later expanded to contain editable templates and were specifically created for global emergency appeal materials that could be generated and sent to print (web-to-print) by pre-selected Oxfam staffers around the world. It was a first tentative step towards empowering other members within the organisation to take branded assets and create new comms materials.

The benefits of this kind of web-to-print system are many. In the case of Oxfam the system really comes into its own during an emergency appeal, where response times are critical. It means that the charity is not dependent on all key staff being present to produce materials – which can be tricky on weekends or holidays – and so have much faster turn-around times for assets such as posters, leaflets and in particular press adverts.

The Rainbow Trust Children’s Charity has now taken this idea a full step further, and developed an innovative and by far more sophisticated online toolkit enabling supporters and staff to create their own bespoke, on-brand, promotional materials without the need for lengthy design processes.

Following their recent rebrand in 2014 the charity developed an industry-leading platform designed to provide a simple user experience through a set of editable templates. While there are several out-of-the box solutions already available, the charity went to great lengths to build a bespoke system from scratch, allowing greater flexibility and user friendly production process. Each user will be able to select a theme, add an image from a pre-existing selection and insert details about their fundraising event.

The web-to-print toolkit is part of the organisation’s drive for consistency, increased brand awareness and simplicity for its supporters. And, in turn, this will also drive forward greater cost efficiency savings as well as save on production time.

Kate O’Neill, Digital Marketing Manager at Rainbow Trust says: “Our new online toolkit will allow users to create and edit their own materials with ease, whenever they need them, in minutes. It’s really important that our brand is used consistently to build awareness and to strengthen Rainbow Trust’s image in people’s minds. Building a strong brand leads to increased awareness and ultimately allows us to help more families.”

Would a brand management system benefit your charity?

If you think a web-to-print management system could be of use to your organisation, do get in touch. Having implemented and used systems of this kind our expertise will allow for quicker development times and lower costs.


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I do design and copy for people and great causes.