Building a better workplace with the BrandLab

It’s official—we’ve hit 1k followers on LinkedIn. To celebrate, Horizontal Digital is pledging $1,000 to our longtime nonprofit partner, The BrandLab.

Our relationship with this Minneapolis-based nonprofit is a testimony to Horizontal’s community-first core value. And since two interns from The BrandLab—Bryan and Jolie—helped pave the social strategy for our new brand last summer, we thought it was fitting to honor them with this milestone. Here’s a quick recap of our partnership and an introduction to The BrandLab’s incredible work.


Summer internships: A legacy of real value

The BrandLab places students from diverse ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds with internship opportunities in marketing and advertising. In 2020, The BrandLab is on track to place 80 interns in the Twin Cities and 35 interns in Kansas City, the nonprofit’s second location.

“We believe every student has potential regardless of his or her background,” says Ellen Walthour, Chief Executive Officer of The BrandLab. “The crux of the issue is exposure, access, opportunity and equity.”

Last summer, Bryan and Jolie joined Horizontal Digital’s Marketing and Brand Design team to help us plan and execute our company rebrand. These two talented students didn’t get assigned busywork and coffee duty—they devoted their college capstone projects to the launch of our new social identities. We hosted a training session to give Bryan and Jolie a taste of everyday agency life and also provided resume building and interview skills practice.


Pro bono Salesforce implementation

Traditionally, The BrandLab used spreadsheets to track program participants, donors and fundraising. They had implemented Salesforce’s Nonprofit Success Pack—but they didn’t understand how to use it and reverted to spreadsheets. This past winter, our Salesforce implementation team set up a clearer path to help The BrandLab employees visually track where a student is at in their journey. And thanks to automation, The BrandLab can watch how relationships evolve over time.

 “Horizontal didn’t cut any corners because we were a nonprofit,” says Walthour. “We felt like a real client. It makes me think you’re really walking the walk.”

 Overall, our training with The BrandLab was a major success. They now have 360-degree views of their interns and are comfortable using Salesforce to track fundraising and donor relationships.

 “It’s all connected to the sustainability of the organization,” says Walthour. “With Salesforce up and running, we’re able to  communicate internally much faster.”


Official Pledge 1% partner

Horizontal Digital is donating 1% of everything to the greater good—1% of our profit, 1% of our time and 1% of our product helps support the communities where we live and work. As our first beneficiary of Pledge 1%, we’re giving $1,000 to The BrandLab. Want to learn more about The BrandLab? Click here to get involved or donate. 


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