Brand development is one of those factors of branding that never really goes away. It’s obviously a priority when you’re first putting your brand together and trying to figure out how you can best convey the value of the products and services you offer. But in our constantly changing world of more competitors, more distribution channels, more employees. The only solution to get yourself up to speed is through MORE effective brand development.
That’s why we’ve put together this handy guide on how you can, well, DEVELOP a brand development strategy that will both help you maintain your strong brand identity as well as win against any challenges that come your way!
Suggested reading: Knowing the common problems that your brand development strategy is meant to solve is, safe to say, ideal! Find out what that looks like with our blog 5 Challenges Your Brand Development Strategies Should Solve!
Step 1: Assess your brand assets
Your brand assets are the building blocks of your brand. So your first port of call should be evaluating how helpful they are in getting you towards your goals of effectively adding to and building a brand identity. This comes down to figuring out:
- Brand asset value: Basically analysing how crucial the brand assets you have are towards helping you a) create a brand identity that’s both unique and accurate and b) aligning your brand with your target audience. On a more practical level, this also includes assessing their ROI and how much they warrant your budget being spent on them.
Also, a lot of the value of your brand assets can be enhanced just by making them more accessible. That means keeping them all in one place so that you and everyone in your team knows where they are, which is made all the better if you have permission-based access to guarantee that specific people can work with specific assets. Doing so means valuable time and money doesn’t have to get wasted in duplicating or searching for any of them!
- How brand assets are used: Though you as a brand manager play a major part in the decision-making around assets, it is really your teams that have to work with them on a daily basis. So figuring out how your assets, templates, downloads, etc. are being used by your teams — particularly which are being used most or least often! — is key to telling which should be prioritised and how in your brand development process.
It’s worth us calling out how helpful brand management software can be when it comes to this whole step. The right BMS platform will have some super helpful features like
- A digital asset management (DAM) system: A DAM is a powerhouse of a repository system that helps you store, centralise, manage, AND update all of your brand assets within the one reliable platform.
- Reporting and analysis: Most BMS systems have a function that reports on the granular details of how your assets are performing. Meaning which are being used, how, how often, and by who — all of which are critical to impacting how your brand development strategy should revolve around said assets going forward.
Step 2: Prioritise your team’s workflows
Remember what we said about the importance of paying attention to how your teams work in influencing your brand development strategy? Of course you do, it was only 100 words ago! Well, we’re mentioning the point again because it is just that important to prioritise. Streamlining your teams’ workflows and processes will automatically streamline how effective your branding is.
We know that keeping track of your team’s tasks is easier said than done. But here’s the kicker: Unless you make sure that you and your team members stick to your brand development strategy, all your ideas and plans go right out the window.
Luckily enough, a digital solution like a BMS platform aids in this department yet again. But only if it has specific functions like:
- Approval workflows: This feature grants you total visibility over what your teams are up to without having to do the grunt work of constantly checking in on them, effectively saving on your time and resources. On top of that, it grants you control over what’s going on without letting your employees feel like they’re being crowded over. You get to accurately assess how your existing processes, assets, and tasks are performing so that you can then decide what should be replicated/optimised for your future brand development strategy.
Web-to-publish templates: And speaking of optimising your brand development, templates can help make your employees’ lives far easier while enabling consistent branding. They take away the risk of any of your assets ending up at odds with each other and your wider brand personality. Plus, you can edit them based on any changes in brand development you come up with, and not have to worry about anyone missing out on said updates as they’ll be within the one system and available to all at the same time!
Step 3: Align your teams with your wider branding goals
If your internal teams aren’t on the same page about what your brand stands for and how it presents itself, even your best brand development strategies will go down the drain — and go down fast. Having your team on the same page also helps maintain brand consistency, as well as solidify your brand positioning. That comes from having:
- Comprehensive branding guidelines: Any and every organisation is going to have some kind of “branding bible” already in place, but common hurdles like employees missing out on updates to these guidelines or not being able to access them can quickly become a pain. Editable guidelines can be amended based on your brand development plans with the guarantee that teams will only ever be accessing the most up-to-date information.
- Brand asset showcasing: By actively showcasing top-tier examples of brand assets and campaigns that your employees have done, you get to both foster a real sense of positivity and collaboration, as well as prevent them from reinventing the wheel by showing them best practice.
Step 4: Clean up your MarTech tool stack
The range and variety of MarTech tools available is never-ending. There’s always some new kind of application or software platform to take up that promises to take your brand development strategy to the next level. You might even think that using every tool under the sun will help you for the long run.
Unfortunately, that’s not at all the case. Using too many digital solutions leads to clutter and where there is clutter, there will be inefficiencies.
That’s not to say that digital solutions aren’t the way forward, because they absolutely are in getting your brand development up to speed. It’s just a matter of cleaning up your tool stack so that you’re only utilising the most cost-efficient and growth-enabling solutions possible.
- Brand management software: We’ve briefly covered some of the key features that a BMS platform can provide to help with your brand development. In this case, we’re speaking to the benefits of just having the platform itself. Because a BMS system provides a whole host of overarching capabilities, you effectively get multiple solutions in one investment.
- Top-tier integrations: Speaking of MarTech tools and applications, there are inevitably going to be some that you’re not going to want to part with because of the value they pose to your brand development. To retain their benefit and get to capitalise on the value that a BMS platform will bring, look for one that prioritises seamless integration. That way, you’ll get to both efficiently clean up your MarTech tool stack and even stand to enhance the capabilities of those same core apps!
Suggested reading: Brand consistency is the end-all, be-all of your branding and — with the right solution — not that impossible to achieve! Read our blog Why Maintaining Brand Consistency is Easier Than Ever to find out more.
Win your branding with brand management software
All in all, brand management software poses a ton of benefits in helping you create a brand development strategy that only keeps you winning. That’s why we developed our own solution, Brandworkz. Our platform allows you to design, create, manage, and update your brand and marketing assets as well as processes, all in one place.
Here is a little taste of what you will get from Brandworkz:
- Customisable templates that allow for low-level changes without needing approval.
- Tracking, auditing, and approval functions around all of your assets.
- Renewed brand consistency across the board and no matter how many developments and updates you choose to go through.
So to start winning your branding goals and objectives today, book a demo with us!