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What is brand asset management (and why do strong brands demand it)?

What is brand asset management?

However big your business, whatever it does and wherever it operates, your brand is its greatest asset. But brand identity goes way beyond just a logo and a mission statement. Strong brands depend on troves of specialised and approved assets. Protecting them – and serving up the right ones – is a marketing fundamental. Here’s how brand asset management turns mission-critical into mission accomplished.

Brand Familiarity

Brand Familiarity

Brands have real value: More than half of consumers prefer to buy from a brand they’re familiar with.

Brand Consistency

Brand Consistency

Failure to consistently deliver the brand promise can be costly. In 2017, United Airlines’ stock fell $1.4 billion after a passenger ejection sabotaged ‘Friendly Skies’

Time Savings

Time Savings

Brand asset management slashes the time wasted looking for brand assets, saving up to 84 minutes per day, per employee.

Enhancing Brand Starts With The Right Stack

A strong brand isn’t just the face of a business, it’s the heart, soul and personality of your organisation. From your logo, through your website copy, to the way you answer the phone, the brand depends on consistent design and messaging.

Ideally, the brand’s identity is distilled into tightly controlled brand assets – a set of designs, images, fonts and other documents that present the business exactly as it wants to be known. But business is messy, and the reality is often confusing, as teams and partners try to find files in random directories, with little indication of which content is final and approved.

When your brand depends on consistency, growing and strengthening it means clamping down on rogue file versions and homespun sharing. It’s here that brand asset management (BAM) can help. Brand asset management platforms end identity confusion by offering a single source of truth for all the assets that define your business. And they help you promote and grow your brand with easy, secure sharing among your creative and commercial partners.

Does your brand need brand asset management? The answer is almost certainly ‘yes’. Read on to discover what it is, how it works, and why it’s essential to building a stronger identity.

What is brand asset management?

Creating and growing a brand means having a consistent presence across every touchpoint and channel imaginable. It means not just a company logo, but imagery, straplines and bios sized and tweaked for every print, digital and social space in which you’re active. Break it down further and it means fonts, colours, artwork, copy blocks and any number of other creative assets – all of which you might need to call on to represent the brand, or to create new branded materials.

There’s no limit to the number of assets a brand might generate, but you’ll quickly hit the limits of any manual management system. File folders fill up, and with multiple contributors and users it’s hard to enforce a consistent storage and naming system within them. Without proper version control and compliance management, you risk the cost and embarrassment of unfinished, unapproved or legacy material being published. And when you or your partners operate globally, ad-hoc sharing arrangements put your valuable IP at risk.

Improvised arrangements don’t just risk confusion. It’s far too easy for crucial files to go missing, leading to the costs and delay of recreating them. And when marketing teams need to demonstrate agility and efficiency, rummaging around for assets costs valuable time.

Brand asset management exists to take the hassle out of storing, iterating and sharing the digital materials that define your brand. It’s closely related to marketing asset management, but BAM focuses more tightly on identity assets, rather than all marketing materials. Much like marketing asset platforms, BAM platforms eliminate the confusion of multiple, untracked file versions, and the guesswork. Tellingly, if branding consistency has the potential to increase revenue by 33%, almost half of company employees don’t believe they have the necessary BAM tools to implement it.

What are your brand assets?

  • Logos – cropped and styled for different channels and uses
  • Fonts
  • Designs and imagery – graphics, photos, headers, portraits
  • Copy blocks – bios, boilerplates, histories and other often-used copy
  • Brand guidelines – colour, style, placement and presentation guides
  • Videos – Brand explainers, interviews and other communications

What does a BAM do?

A brand asset management platform is designed to address all the headaches of maintaining coherent digital assets for your brand. Fundamentally, a BAM offers a centralised and authoritative repository for all of your brand materials. Within this most important role, the BAM also ensures that all brand assets are stored securely, retrieved easily, and managed to avoid duplication and confusion.

Delivering on this promise means integrating multiple file and version management technologies. Assets are defined with the help of searchable data, for example tags like ‘Facebook’ and ‘header’, or ‘CEO’ and ‘bio’, along with standard metadata such as creation and upload dates. Coupled with powerful and intuitive search features, this means stakeholders can quickly retrieve the exact assets they’re looking for. Importantly, they’ll get the right version, too.

Modern cloud-based solutions go one better, easily managing the sharing and distribution of assets between multiple contributors, stakeholders and partners. With a cloud-hosted repository, it’s simple to provide secure access to regional teams or to home working colleagues, ensuring that everyone in the business has the assets they need.

BAM platforms with distribution features can readily extend this access outside the business. For example, with a fully featured cloud-based DAM you might create a branded resource portal, useful for providing journalists with press packs, or any interested party with the brand content they need.

Three Brand Asset Management use cases

What are the benefits of a BAM?

A brand asset management platform takes the confusion and complexity out of managing even the largest collection of digital assets. One of the key benefits is that valuable files no longer go missing, saving the time and expense of duplicating them.

A BAM also offers multiple efficiency savings for busy marketing teams. Intuitive and fast searching slashes the time spent finding assets. Meanwhile, version management ensures marketers work with the correct iteration or execution of a file, rather than the nearest match they could find. APIs and other features let teams plug brand asset management directly into their workflows, streamlining common tasks and creating further efficiencies.

Brand asset management is also a crucial tool for managing the creation and approval of assets among multiple stakeholders. By providing a central, version-controlled repository, it ensures clarity on revisions and source material, removing the potential for error when working with agencies and creative teams.

Cloud hosting extends secure access to external partners, plugging them directly into your processes, rather than via unmanaged third-party solutions like DropBox. Critically, a BAM platform controls access, protecting valuable assets in storage and transit, and limiting ongoing access only to finalised   Consistency of presentation is crucial to business success, increasing brand recognition and ultimately building trust. It’s no wonder that 50% of companies say that their customers “expect great design and cross-channel consistency from their brand.” Yet 29% admit they have no formal brand guidelines or ways to enforce them. As demand for content grows, the need for brand consistency becomes ever more urgent.

Who needs to use a BAM?

A brand asset management platform is the ideal way for any marketing team to take greater control over the digital assets that define their brand. While useful to organisations of any size, the benefits multiply with the scale of the business. The more brands you manage, partners you work with, rules you have to follow – and the more often you tend to redesign – the greater the time and cost savings will prove.

Brand asset management helps marketing and CX professionals manage customer expectation and experience of the brand. By serving up consistent visual and written content, BAMs help extend the brand feel beyond high-touch properties like the web, into individual touchpoints and experiences. From consistent email signatures through to templated chat responses, BAMs help even the largest operations to act with a coherent personality.

BAMs are also a vital tool for anyone charged with managing corporate identity. Here, their central, managed repository is vital to consistently representing the business. Again, versioning and easy search features make BAMs the ideal platform for corporate identity management.

But asset management platforms aren’t just valuable in-house. Creative, marketing and public relations agencies can all benefit from a BAM’s ability to ingest, store and serve up the valuable IP of multiple clients. For creative agencies, they can help reduce friction and failures in approval and feedback processes. For marketers and comms teams, they can provide a controlled way to link your clients’ assets with the customers and journalists they’re trying to reach.

Brand asset management benefits

Single Source of Truth For Digital Assets

Single Source of Truth For Digital Assets

Workflow Integration and Support

Workflow Integration and Support

Supports Distributed Working and Business Continuity

Supports Distributed Working and Business Continuity

What is Brand Asset Management to you?

Whether your focus is growing brands, or ensuring consistency in messaging and CX, you need to look seriously at the difference brand asset management could make. By eliminating errors, and streamlining the creation, approval and retrieval of brand assets, a BAM platform improves your agility and efficiency, and makes your budget go further.

Getting your assets under control also raises the standards of what you deliver. You’ll save time through quick asset retrieval. The money you save on needless duplication can be invested in more polish or a greater push.

Categorically, brand asset management will strengthen the identity of your brand. It will improve the consistency of the way your brand looks, feels and behaves with customers. And by improving the way you track, understand and share revisions, it’ll ensure you never again release materials that haven’t been cleared, localised or approved.

Brand Asset Management in Action

Some of the world’s biggest brands trust Imagen to help protect, organise and distribute their assets. Discover more about how brands like BP, Reuters and the BBC use our platform.

Logo: Cimpress



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