Your brand is the most valuable thing your company owns. But if maintaining its consistent use is giving you a headache, you need to look at the tools your team is using. In today’s fast-paced world of marketing, digital asset management is the cornerstone of strong brand management. Here’s why.
If branding is about creating memorable and on-message assets, brand management is about getting the most out of them. But even leading companies can fail to maintain the integrity of their brands, through inconsistencies like outdated visuals or incorrect colours and fonts.
This is often as a result of many parties being responsible for producing or publishing content. Branding inconsistency can suggest that your business doesn’t know what it’s doing; can you be trusted? At worst, your prospective customer will question what they see and abandon their interest in your product or service.
While customers are less likely to buy from brands that appear unprofessional, poor brand management also creates inefficiencies in the way you work. Without any centralised source of truth, designers have difficulty maintaining consistent brand identity.
Brand assets come in many forms, with a lot of work going into getting these materials right. A logo, for instance, has detailed characteristics in terms of size, orientation, and colouring, chosen based on extensive research. So having a strategy in place to ensure the finalised versions of your latest assets are always used is just as important as creating them.
Enter Digital Asset Management
The increasing volume of content facing any marketing team is scary, let alone ensuring the right content is used. So many teams have turned to purpose-built software to help overcome this. Digital asset management (DAM) platforms make it easy to organise, manage, and distribute your assets – essential to good brand management.
These tools ensure teams are using the right materials and adhering to the same standards, helping you get the most out of your investment in brand development. And once implemented, DAM democratises how assets are used, allowing multiple individuals and departments to share content seamlessly.
Let’s look at five advantages:
1. Maintain Brand Standards
Even though organisations invest a lot into their brand standards, that doesn’t mean everyone is familiar with them. Without a clear system in place, around which assets should be used when, your team is more likely to grab whatever they think will work for the content they’re creating.
As a result, they end up using materials that don’t adhere to brand guidelines, leading to inconsistencies and eventually undermining your brand’s integrity.
By creating a single source of truth, you can far more easily present and manage a coherent, public-facing image.
2. Centralised Content can be Optimised
The best starting point is to place all of your guidelines and approved assets somewhere centralised, which reduces the risk of anybody using something that isn’t good enough to go out. You can immediately remove any ambiguity about which assets are “safe” to use.
After centralising your assets, you need to provide guidance on how content should be used. For instance, a logo that’s optimised for social media won’t work for a website header, or imagery for Instagram might not work for LinkedIn.
Likewise, if no system is in place for licensed content or relevant permissions to feature people, you could find yourself in legal trouble. Fortunately, DAM platforms provide an array of controls that allow you to manage your brand effectively across multiple touchpoints.
3. Use Metadata in your Brand Management
When all assets are managed in one place, it’s easier for teams to find the right materials when they need them. DAM platforms can label each asset with metadata that makes it seamless to find using keywords, dates, dimensions, and other unique identifiers.
Metadata attached to assets can also provide directions on how the assets should be used. For example, as part of campaign or in a certain market. These search features help ensure that the right content is being published.
4. Portals Provide the Right Content to the Right People
Just because a brand asset has been approved doesn’t mean that everybody should have access to it. DAM tools allow you to customise usage rights for anything stored in your system, so you can set up a freelancer-specific portal, for example.
This means that your campaign content for a product launching in a specific region is only made available to your designers and marketers there, preventing your product or campaign imagery being unwittingly used elsewhere in a market where the product is unavailable.
Mistakes with licensed assets can become expensive quickly, exposing you to legal action and damaging your brand, so placing expiry dates on individual assets or entire portals can help you to retain control. At the same time, digital rights management tools within DAM, enabling features like watermarking, can help you determine if assets were used without your permission.
5. Bring Together your Internal and External Collaborators
Once brand assets have been created, they need to be accessible to everyone who needs to use them, which is a challenge when multiple people are collaborating. Consolidating assets that would otherwise be scattered across multiple systems is a good start, but if your tools don’t make sharing easy, that creates more delays.
DAM platforms allow you to connect collaborators to the assets they need, so they can work more efficiently and scale production as you grow.
Today’s creative teams consist of both internal and external designers, so it can be hard to manage permissions across multiple platforms, especially when files pass back and forth constantly. Shared workspaces that consolidate every asset streamline everything, and ensure that everyone is working from the latest materials, so teams can work more quickly.
Email and public cloud storage aren’t efficient when it comes to ensuring people are working from the right files. With a DAM platform, you can bypass these headaches by using shareable links and web portals, where users can access files directly.
These links can be set to expire, while portals provide access to curated assets without the need to manage individual user privileges. Both options allow collaborators to process approvals or get the assets they need for a specific project.
You Can’t Build High Without your Cornerstone in Place
Ultimately, with a DAM platform like Canto in place, you can take control over your assets and use them more efficiently. It’s the easiest way to build a consistent, scalable process. Rather than wasting time searching for resources scattered across multiple locations, or managing access privileges over several platforms, you can organise your brand assets and simplify content creation in a collaborative way.
Delve deeper into the topic with practical tips to maintain brand consistency and scale content creation in the Essential Guide to Brand Management from Canto. Download your free copy here.