Brown Designated Vendor Program

The Designated Vendor Program provides creative choice and value for offices and departments across campus that choose to work with external vendors for various marketing communications needs. 

The program, developed by the Office of University Communications, includes an application and training process for vendors that have been invited to participate based on an established record of performing services for Brown.

The goal of the program is to create mutually beneficial relationships with marketing communications service providers to deliver better value to Brown offices and departments, while also directing business to participating vendors. Through the program, the University will ensure that vendors working with offices and departments complete training in Brown’s messaging and identity policies and comply with privacy, copyright and accessibility laws. 

Brown clients will benefit from working with vendors trained in University marketing communications standards, and vendors will benefit from inclusion in an approved supplier list. Only pre-approved vendors will be able to perform work for Brown offices and departments, and the University will only process payments for vendors on the approved supplier list. 

Why a Designated Vendor Program?

The Designated Vendor Program is part of a shifting model for providing marketing communications services for Brown. In the past, the University relied heavily on centralized in-house services to support the marketing communications needs of offices and departments. 

Today, the growth of communications that leverage technology, along with the growing need for targeted marketing, has contributed to an increase in demand for marketing services, which is well served by establishing strong relationships with external vendors. 

The University is focused on increasing its capacity to recommend vendors with a strong record of creativity and innovation. We are committed to maintaining a list of vendors with a record of success. 

Program Objectives

The Designated Vendor Program establishes pools of vendors in specified categories of marketing communications services. Each vendor enters into a Service Level Agreement with Brown. 

Participating vendors agree to general terms of service aimed at ensuring the following:

  1. That the University is knowledgeable about and has the opportunity to support strategic projects undertaken by its offices and departments
  2. Alignment with Brown messaging, branding and identity policies and guidelines
  3. Compliance with Brown policies for web hosting and use of Brown University technology, data and other resources
  4. Avoidance of communications collateral and/or tools that violate laws or statutes pertaining to accessibility, privacy, copyright or required permissions for intellectual property
  5. Consistency by individual firms in their pricing for similar services for all Brown clients. (The Service Level Agreements will not establish pricing or rates, but firms must agree to maintain consistent pricing structures to aid Brown in recommending vendors within a client’s budget and to protect against drastic variance in pricing for different Brown clients.)
  6. Contracts for Brown clients that are transparent in presenting agreed-upon scope of work and pricing