3 years ago

Samaritans

Stuart Cripps-Schnoor

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THE BACKGROUND
The Samaritans brand identity has recently been given a new look. To support their new identity the Samaritans required a new brand centre to align all their marketing communications across print and digital, whilst protecting brand guidelines and visual identity, allowing ambassadors access to branded templates to personalise and amplify their messaging. The brand centre would act as the central source for creating and producing all brand assets from social media banners, to large format, stock, digital print and merchandise. 
Not only was their aim to make their services more accessible, particularly to younger people but also to highlight their additional services including face to face, text/email, counselling, information and support beyond their 24-hour helpline. 
With over 200 branches across the UK and Republic of Ireland and more than 20,000 volunteers it was imperative that the central office could support the staff and volunteers in delivering the complete range of products and materials.

WHAT WE DID
 Our Brand iQ platform provided the technology to allow users the ability to order both digital and physical assets whilst extending the localisation of items through personalised items created by the users. Following a detailed 6 months scoping process involving teams across the central office, from volunteering, fundraising, procurement, legal, finance, IT, creative, marketing, a detailed brief of all the requirements was drawn up.
 A key project requirement was the ability to allow users access to create and order personalised materials whilst being able to add merchandise stock or print on demand items to a single order. Our platform was setup to ensure each UK wide branch had access to the main brand, as well as localised branded templates and colour palettes, essentially personalising the content, categories and items available.
Brand iQ fulfilled the requirement of the brief. Some of the benefits are highlighted below:
  • A single sign on easy-to-use online ordering system (SSO)
  • Customisable artwork through editable templates 
  • Bi Lingual resources
  • A photo library of pre-approved images.
  • A full print service, including print on demand
  • A full stock service, allowing for popular materials and merchandise to be printed in bulk and stored until call-off.
  • Pick-and-pack service for ordered materials
  • Stock management system.
  • Warehousing of all products
  • National / global delivery of ordered materials
  • Complete financial visibility
  • Reporting and content consoles
  • Fully automated approvals
  • Permission based content displays

THE TECHNICAL BIT
With the Samaritans organisation moving to single sign on (SSO) across all software providers, Brand iQ was the first technology solution to be integrated with their OKTA identity provision for verification through One-Time Password (OTP). Working closely with the IT team to ensure secure directory integration and adaptive authentication the Samaritans central team now manage and maintain the user directory. This has allowed the Samaritans the flexibility to set role-based permissions for each user and in turn create personalised platform view and content.
The solution has been built around our proprietary platform, Brand iQ. A bespoke platform written using the Laravel PHP framework for its excellence in speed and security. The platform is hosted using a high availability virtualised solution (Digital Ocean) and benefits from robust daily backups to the Amazon cloud (AWS) with a 1-hour disaster recovery solution in place.
Securely managing user data is essential. The platform uses AES-256 level encryption and conforms to ISO27001 for data security.
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