As any brand management professional will know, it can be a pretty overwhelming task to manage all of the little things that come with doing it well. With the variety of assets (things like images, graphs, and videos that make your brand what it is) and team members involved, each playing a crucial role in the process, it’s no surprise that brand managers have turned to using technology as a solution. The pros of a brand asset management system are in the name – but it’s still important to know the specific factors you should be keeping in mind to guarantee that you’re making the best choice possible.
Suggested reading: Brand asset management is the first step in optimising one especially crucial bit of your branding — your visual identity. Check out our blog Enhance Your Visual Identity With Brand Management to find out more.
Adaptable to marketing changes
One of the features to look out for when choosing a brand asset management software (or BAM for short) is how versatile it is. The system needs to be well suited to a wide variety of brand assets. While that, of course, includes the assets you already have, you need to have enough room for the ones you’ll bring in in the future. It’s no fun to believe you’ve found the answer to all your problems, only for that solution to cause more problems later on.
It’s important that your BAM system EASILY welcomes updates to your asset portfolio; these updates range from uploading new assets to making edits to CMS pages. For a BAM system to work effectively, it needs to be kept up to date with all branding and digital strategies. If the whole team finds that it’s a massive pain to keep the system up to date, then the system could end up causing more frustration than it’s worth.
An important aspect of adaptability is ensuring that the system works well with any assets your team members use, or might use later on.
- Easier creation processes: The ideal BAM will actually make any changes and developments in your marketing all the easier with advanced creation capabilities. Look for a system that has functionalities like templates and design work that can be done within the platform, so that you can simultaneously manage AND create on-brand assets.
- Digital asset management: Brandworkz solutions include access to top level digital asset management (DAM) software, which provides special support for frequently used file types. It also ensures that no matter how many assets you have, take out, or introduce, they will all be kept centralised to a single, easily accessible system.
Adaptable to your workflows
This point is SO important to choosing a BAM that we gave it two whole sections! Really though, it’s one thing for a tool to be able to roll with the punches when it comes to how your branding and marketing change over time — it’s another for it to be able to work well with your existing ways of working.
It’s all too easy to get starstruck at the idea of a new, no doubt helpful, piece of software that ends up causing more trouble than it’s worth because of how much chaos it can cause in your martech stack. So, look for a BAM system that is:
- Tailor-made: Many brands find the BAM system offered by Brandworkz to be incredibly effective, in part because of how well it can be tailored to their existing processes. Brandworkz supports integration with a number of other industry applications, including Adobe Creative Cloud and Microsoft Office.
- Reporting and analytics: It’s all very well having a bunch of data on how you’re performing, but if that data is hard to interpret, it will mean nothing to most people. Prioritise a system that provides interpretable reports on how all your assets are performing, to help you make better decisions on what to change and what should remain.
You want your job as a brand manager to be easier, not be confused by an overly complex piece of software — and that’s where a great BAM system especially shines. By saving time spent on important yet mundane tasks, BAM systems can enable your teams to spend more time and resources on creative and productive tasks — the things they REALLY excel at. There are several questions that you need to ask when choosing a new system:
- How easy is the BAM system to use? An important thing to keep in mind is how long it takes team members to get used to the BAM system. Ideally, it should be intuitively designed, and require minimal training to get to grips with the layout.
- Is the new BAM system better? The BAM system you choose should actually be an upgrade on your existing systems or manual processes. Make close comparisons on each aspect of your current and prospective systems, making sure that the new choice will save on resources and provide real value.
- Does the BAM system enable asset optimisation? The system needs to centralise your brand and marketing assets in a way that enables CLEAR management. Team members need to be able to clearly see each asset’s capabilities, how often they’re used and why, all on a platform that’s easier to read and contains useful metrics.
- Does the BAM system make asset storage easier? It’s all very well if the new BAM system supports getting approved assets into the appropriate systems, but it won’t be much use if teams can’t work out how to actually do it. Make sure that each task can be done quickly, potentially with simple shortcuts.
Suggested reading: Brand management has seen real shifts over time so it’s important to make sure you’re aware of what’s to come — our blog The Evolution of Brand Management can help with that!
👉 Improve your brand with The Brand Management Handbook. Check it out! 👈
A common concern among brand managers is that a new BAM system will force a change in the way they develop and control their assets. While it’s great to optimise the efficiency of your workflows, branding is still a highly creative process. A BAM system should be able to accommodate the particular features that make your brand stand out from the rest.
- Consistent and creative: The BAM system needs to provide a fine balance between brand consistency while at the same time leaving room for creativity. Brand consistency is crucial to both keeping your workflows running smoothly and cementing your brand’s image.
- Cutting the workload: The quickest way to suss out whether a BAM will effectively cut the workload is by seeing how it uses asset data. An example of this could be how well the system manages metadata. If that management is subpar, you might be better off just using a traditional, old school file management system, but then run the risk of missing out on the advanced qualities of a state-of-the-art BAM system.
One way that Brandworkz cuts the workload while increasing brand consistency, is through using a system that takes full advantage of the benefits provided by metadata. These benefits include:
- A customisable tagging system for information you need to be easily identified.
- A power search option that automatically extracts and stores file information.
- Keyword generation, powered by AI, based on image contents.
- Metadata checks during the upload process, to ensure all assets contain valuable data before they’re uploaded.
Honestly and in spite of the name, asset management should be the bare minimum standard of a BAM system. The difference between a good and a GREAT system is that the latter will help you to OPTIMISE those assets. We call those BAM tools “bonus features” here, but really, Brandworkz considers asset optimisation to be integral to branding.
- Brand guidelines: As you’ll know, a key element to achieving brand consistency lies in the effective use of brand guidelines. Strong brands don’t make it up as they go along – their approach to every single detail will be clearly listed. Brandworkz makes it so you can easily access those guidelines, rather than sifting through hundreds of pages of messy PDFs, and with the guarantee that you’re only ever accessing guidelines that are up to date.
- Editable templates: Templates can restrict creative freedom, but when they’re done well, they can actually enhance it, while ensuring consistency. Templates that can be edited and updated strike that balance between saving time, maintaining consistency, and promoting artistic freedom.
The features above, and more, can take your BAM into the future, by effectively bringing about a cycle of constantly effective, approved brand asset development and management.
Suggested reading: Check out our Brand Management Tips for 2022 to keep your brand management ahead for the rest of the year (and beyond)!
Get a system that supports and boosts your brand
Choosing an effective and efficient brand management software is one of the best ways that you, as a brand manager, can up your game. The right management tool can save time, improve brand consistency, and provide invaluable analysis of how assets are performing, in real time, bringing an end to useless guesswork.
It’s important to find a single, multi-purpose solution rather than a variety of tools. In the long run, using multiple tools will lead to more confusion, and they’ll likely not be able to support certain functions, such as an analysis of all asset data, from logos to social media.
Brandworkz sets out to provide the BAM solution that brands need to be at their best. From reporting and analysis, to workflow and annotation, we’ve thought of every possible tool that could be useful for brand management.
We appreciate that choosing a brand management software solution is a big decision. We help our clients make informed decisions before choosing to go with our solutions, so that they’re absolutely certain they end up making the right choice. So take a chance on seeing the benefits of a BAM system for yourself by booking a demo, on us.