Giving your customers, stakeholders, ANYONE involved with your brand the best branding experience possible is a given for brand and marketing managers. But the secret ingredient to perfecting that experience is none other than brand consistency.
That all comes down to making sure that your brand assets (images, videos, other materials that make your brand what it is) are kept consistent in the first place, in terms of their creation as well as delivery. The problem is that maintaining that consistency is bar none impossible when done either manually, or with so many tools that the whole process becomes more hassle than it’s worth. A brand asset management solution strikes the balance.
Let’s take a look through what brand asset management has to offer in the way of brand consistency.
Suggested reading: There’s a whole range of benefits to taking up a BAM system than guaranteeing brand consistency — find out what they are with our handy guide How to Perfect Your Brand Asset Management Strategy.
How BAM brings consistency to your branding
Brand asset management is basically what it says on the tin — the organisation and management of your brand assets (images, documents, videos, etc.) in a central source to make your admin process all the more streamlined.
Unfortunately, many companies make this harder than it needs to be by employing insufficient tools such as CMS platforms and barebones digital asset management systems. Most are not aware that brand management software acts as an all-in-one solution, that comes decked-out with features that make managing your brand assets a piece of cake.
The critical features of a BMS include…
Access to web-to-publish templates
Your design team members are probably already overwhelmed with new projects and revision requests. With editable templates, you can spare them the torture of changing the colour of a heading ten times for ten different channels.
Web-to-publish templates help to simplify brand management by allowing users to quickly make edits to pre-approved documents. Brand consistency is maintained whilst also saving time that’s normally wasted on the mundanities of the approval process is saved.
Templates are also crucial in promoting consistent branding across all of your company’s departments and branches. Create a master artwork template for each asset in your system that users can either localise within the system itself, or choose out of versions of that artwork that have already been localised based on things like language, images, colours, etc. All while maintaining overall brand consistency.
When the inevitable rebranding season comes around, web-to-publish templates will allow you to rebrand without going crazy. You won’t have to worry about losing time and effort updating multiple assets across your library. You’ll just have to update one template and be done with it, knowing that everyone in your teams will only have access to the latest, up-to-date version.
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The creation of approval workflows
Using a BAM software, you can transform all of your complex brand and marketing approval processes into simple, effective workflows. Each workflow within the system carries a unique ID that is associated with the final approved asset for easy reporting later on, and is broken down into stages, allowing you to easily see which stage is currently active, and which steps need to be taken next.
In order to create on-brand assets consistently, you need regular and productive communication on what work is being done on your assets. BAM software like Brandworkz have annotation and auditing capabilities that allow users to comment on changes made by other users. Approvers can review and annotate directly within the system, eliminating the need for a third party tool to manage your approvals.
To make sure everyone is in the know on all branding activities, BAM software allows users to receive notifications about changes and updates in the workflows they are a part of. The dashboard provides a skyscraper view of all processes, for proper planning and overview. From this central location, administrators can ensure all assets being made or updated are on-brand and consistent.
Centralised access to brand assets
A BAM system is doubly helpful in keeping all of your approved assets centralised to one location, making it easy for you and your team members to access all of them within one location.
The centralised nature of a brand asset management platform aids brand consistency by providing:
- Download management: Administrators of the system can control who is able to download specific files and what format they can download them in. Also, users can preview a file before downloading it to ensure it’s what they need.
How it aids brand consistency: Admins of the system can make sure only necessary parties have access to their allocated assets, in any and every format needed. Download control also promotes security of brand assets, thereby preventing malicious attacks that can harm brand reputation and consistency.
- Easy sharing: Users can group files into temporary albums which can then be emailed directly or a viewing link sent to the recipient. The sender can set time limits for downloading as well as control which formats are available for download. After sharing, the sender can view all activity done on the album through reports provided by the system.
How it aids brand consistency: Users can easily share on-brand approved content without having to rummage through thousands of files on their personal computers.
- In-depth searching: With advanced search capabilities like Brandworkz’s Faceted Search and Suggested Search functions, no stone is left unturned in a user’s quest for a particular asset in the system. Full reporting is also provided about all searches to grant further insights.
How it aids brand consistency: Once again, no need for staff to manually sift through a heap of brand assets to find one item. A simple search on the BAM software is enough.
- Metadata management: The BAM system keeps detailed records about each brand asset. These records include important information such as upload date and file format, details that are crucial to giving you and your team insights on the value of assets and how to manage them.
How it aids brand consistency: Metadata is what allows users to organise and search through files in the BAM system. Users can read an asset’s metadata to know whether it is up-to-date or not, preventing use of outdated content.
- Effortless uploading: Admins of the system can create a custom folder structure that matches your organisation’s existing structure. Permissions can then be granted to users to dictate who can upload what. Users of the system are able to upload files right from their desktops, and the files they upload can be fed into the approval workflow before it is available for other users to download.
How it aids brand consistency: Upload of assets to the shared pool is controlled, and therefore the chances of off-brand content making its way in are slim.
Comprehensive, constantly up-to-date brand guidelines
Openly sharing your guidelines on your BAM software allows a company to form better relationships with both its staff and its customers. With your team members, it enables them to fully understand your goals and values, making it easy for them to align themselves to your mission.
Changes in the business landscape are inevitable and so is the change of a brand’s guidelines. A BAM software allows edits to be made within the software, guaranteeing that everyone always has access to up-to-date guidelines and policies. This minimises the risk of undermining brand consistency by creating off-brand, outdated content.
Storing and sharing brand guidelines digitally by using a BAM system also has the benefit of reducing cost and physical storage requirements that come with printing and distributing physical copies of your brand guidelines.
Finally, in the case of a company operating in different regions, a BAM software makes it easy to update guidelines across all locales. A change in the main guideline files automatically reflects in all the copies in other languages.
Suggested reading: A digital asset management system often goes hand-in-hand with branding. Check out our blog How to Choose a Digital Asset Management System for insights on how to choose the right one for your brand.
Brand consistency is the ultimate goal
At this point we’ve established three things: One, that brand consistency is not just beneficial, it is expected by your customers. Two, consistent branding depends heavily on proper management of brand assets. And three, managing brand assets is best done with brand asset management software.
Brandworkz offers the most complete brand asset management solution, if we do say so ourselves. We’ve won awards (that we didn’t judge) so don’t just take our word for it. Take a free test drive of our software and let us rock your brand management world.