How a brand toolbox makes you more effective

Let’s start with the problem: You’re busy.

Your to-do list includes cranking out yet another trifold brochure for the Mass Communications Department (can’t they do that?), a Board of Trustees report cover and, of course, the all-important, revenue-driving admissions marketing project that you haven’t even started yet.

Normally, we'd define the problem, give you a handful of steps to fix the problem and wish you good luck, but, I’m going to come clean; This time, we’re not going to give you any steps. D. White & Company just wants to fix that problem for you by getting the little stuff off your desk so you can do the real work. 

Still want steps? Fine:

  1. Log on to D. White & Company's website
  2. Click on Speedy Services
  3. Click on the Brand Resource Toolbox
  4. Complete the contact form
  5. Get a PO ready
  6. Talk to us for a little while
  7. Have a nice cup of tea

While you’re enjoying that delicious tea (Chamomile? Nice choice.) we’ll be hard at work building a full set of user-friendly templates that you can upload to your website. Your stakeholders will download them and within minutes, they’ll be creating their own, brand-friendly flyers and PowerPoint presentations. That eliminates an all-too common bottleneck on many campuses: Too much work, not enough people. 

This delivers a big benefit to you and your marketing team. Instead of getting backed up with churn-and-burn projects that create a bottleneck for your clients and eat up precious time, you can focus on approving content and taking on high-value projects that support your university’s strategic goals.

What is a Brand Toolbox?

A brand toolbox is a collection of commonly-requested project templates that can be published on a university website. This includes, but isn't limited to: PPT templates, flyer templates, presentation cover templates and poster templates. By streamlining easy, high-volume projects, you empower your stakeholders to interact with your brand, provide brand unity and free yourself up to focus on more important projects. Want to see it in action? Head over to Texas Wesleyan's Resource Toolbox. 

These templates are provided in common, easy-to-use formats like Word and PowerPoint for stakeholders with limited design experience. All your logos are locked so the end user can "plug-and-play" their information without venturing into the design.

Institutions that couple a brand toolbox with regular brand implementation see higher brand engagement and also project efficiency. We're not saying you won't still be busy, you'll just be busy working on things that move the needle. We've found that for most offices, that's a big win.

D. White & Company is staffed by former and current higher education marketing professionals, so we’re speaking from experience on this one: The more you empower your stakeholders, the more quality work you will complete.

How to get the most out of your toolbox

It’s really that simple, but there are some things you can do to make implementation smooth sailing. Here are a few tips for implementing your resource toolbox that we’ve found helpful (O.K., we lied about the no-steps thing. We couldn't help ourselves. We love tips!):

Publicize it

People won’t use what they don’t know about. Schedule a lunch-and-learn or get it in your weekly newsletter. Better yet, do both! It’s important that people know you are offering this new resource to them. Once the word spreads, though, the only thing you’ll have to worry about is what to do with all the time on your schedule that just opened up.

Make it Easy to Find

If you want people to use your resource toolbox, it needs to be located in an easy-to-find-and-download place on your site. We specifically build these templates in easy-to-use formats like Word and PowerPoint. Yes, designers hate these formats. Why? Because they get misused and abused. But in the right hands, a well-designed template in an easy-to-use format can make everyone’s life better – so long as they can find it.

Develop a Brand Approval Process

Depending on the volume of work you do, a brand approval process can allow you to catch brand violations and also lighten your workload. Work with your purchasing department to create an approval code system. Become the evangelists of this process (you have to teach people about it!)

Ask Questions and Keep Building

After you’ve had your resource toolbox up for a little whole, take a look at the download statistics. What’s popular? What isn’t? At the same time, hold some focus groups with your stakeholders. What do they like? What do they need? What isn’t that important? This will lay the groundwork for additional toolbox items. Remember, your brand is a work in progress.