The Australian National University Case Study

The Australian National University (ANU) is Australia’s number one higher education provider. Located in Canberra, ANU has a cohort of more than 20,000 students and almost 4,000 professional and academic staff. Unlike any other university in Australia, ANU was founded in 1946, in a spirit of post-war optimism, with an important role of helping realise Australia’s potential as the world recovered from a global crisis.

Industry

Higher Education

Locations

5 campuses

Compelling Event

ANU needed a University-wide design templating platform to enable their many marketing and communications professionals to design and develop on-brand marketing collateral in a timely and efficient way. In addition to this, they required a platform to support the extensive rollout of the university's refreshed visual identity—specifically to empower colleagues in understanding both the brand elements and how to apply it consistently.

Location

Canberra, Australia

Challenge

The Australian National University’s central marketing team was being inundated with design requests and didn’t have the capacity to manage the amount of jobs coming in from stakeholders. With this in mind, a large investment was also being spent on outsourced design work, resulting in major cost implications. It was clear that ANU required a way to scale their output and service to efficiently serve the organisation. To combat this internal issue, ANU were actively assessing it’s marketing technology capability to ensure they were set up for ongoing success and scale.

Solution

ANU partnered with Outfit in late 2018 to create efficiencies across all university teams to increase their speed-to-market capability and execution consistency. This in turn resulted in the empowerment of ANU staff to produce their own content while ensuring brand compliance. With Outfit’s custom templates, everything from posters and flyers, to EDM’s, event collateral and social media assets, were reflective of the ANU identity and allowed for consistently produced on-brand assets.

Benefit

Since launching Outfit, adoption continues to grow month-on-month resulting in more marketing and communications staff feeling empowered to create branded content. In addition to this, ANU has experienced a reduction in design spend across the university and an increased speed in delivering marketing materials to market.

6,268

Content pieces exported

19,457

Hours saved

$849,240

Cost savings

Outfit gives us peace of mind that ANU staff are properly adhering to the brand. More importantly, and since launching the refreshed identity earlier this year, the Outfit platform has been crucial in supporting staff in learning how to use the brand elements. It’s been a great support tool for us in rolling out a new brand, as all the key elements are locked down so there’s no concern about staff breaking or altering the logo or key brand elements.

Laura JacobsManager, ANU Identity, The Australian National University

Challenges

Significant brand fragmentation issues led ANU to look for a technology solution to help them with their design struggles. Laura Jacobs, Manager, ANU Identity and currently the University’s internal Outfit project manager, says the central graphic design studio was overwhelmed with requests and didn’t have the capacity to take on new work. 

“There was this huge backlog building up; people were getting frustrated, and more often than not would outsource the work, which sometimes resulted in off brand materials being developed” she says. 

In addition to this, ANU had a refreshed brand identity on the horizon and didn’t want to suffer from previous brand inconsistency issues. But, they weren’t naive to the fact that not all ANU staff were as handy at InDesign as their central design studio.

Without Outfit, we would have spent a lot more money engaging graphic designers because we didn't have the capacity to take it on centrally.  We also spent way too much time reviewing, tweaking and approving designs created by freelancers.

Laura JacobsManager, ANU Identity, The Australian National University

Solution

ANU needed a solution that:

  • would be easy for non-designers to create on-brand content and reduce the central design team’s workload 
  • locked down brand assets to ensure brand consistency to support the roll out of the refreshed ANU identity brand
  • was simple to use and flexible enough to make changes without needing ongoing support
  • was a quick and easy way to for managers to approve content and,
  • could support our decentralised structure while empowering our colleagues to manage their own workflows and approval processes. 

In came Outfit’s brand management and templating platform. Since early 2019, 6268 content pieces have been exported and the monthly export number has increased month-on-month post the new brand identity launch. Laura credits the success to good planning and insights from Outfit’s customer success team, including the dedicated support provided by the university’s Customer Success Manager. 

“ The amount of time and effort that we put into scoping the new templates, understanding how they could be built and testing them,  made the process so much more seamless. It wouldn’t have been possible without the dedicated support and knowledge from Outfit’s team,” she says.

Outfit gives us peace of mind in terms of how people are using the brand. We can feel confident that they're not going to stray from the Guidelines as they’re using our beautifully designed and brand compliant templates in Outfit.

Laura JacobsManager, ANU Identity, The Australian National University

Benefit

Since implementing Outfit, ANU has saved more than AU$840,000 in what would have been freelance design costs. Not only have they reduced overheads, but they’ve also experienced a reduction in the central design team’s workload, freeing them up to work on more high-level strategic marketing campaigns with minimal brand check approvals required.

Possibly the greatest benefit experienced is ANU staff using and applying the new identity with ease. “Everybody loves it,” says Laura. “We saw a huge uplift in engagement after launching the brand.” 

In addition to people using and loving the platform, Laura’s also finding Outfit’s detailed reporting beneficial to support her ongoing reporting requirements and tracking in regards to the brand rollout.

Outfit really allows us to empower our colleagues to be brand consistent in a timely and efficient way.

Laura JacobsManager, ANU Identity, The Australian National University