Branding is one of the most important things you can do to help your business stick in the minds of the people who interact with it, to create a good sense of what your company is about, and to ensure that everyone representing you gives a consistent message. With good brand asset management, you can make sure that everybody who needs to create and release any kind of branded material for your business is using the right stuff, and can easily comply with your brand guidelines. There are some great ways to use technology and software to do this these days, and having a proper brand asset management (BAM) approach is going to be more important than ever this year.
Here, we look at what BAM is, and why you may need to review how you're doing it if you don't have a particularly streamlined or efficient approach at the moment.
What Does BAM Do?
Branding, can of course, involve a huge array of things, from uniforms and decals on company vehicles, to stationery and the appearance of your website. Most of these things exist in some form as digital assets, for instance image files, colour palettes, font sets, and even video and music. Whether it is the logo you need to get embroidered onto shirts for your promotional staff to wear, or product images you want to use in a brochure, all of the things that make up your brand are usually held in a digital format - somewhere.
It is that somewhere that brand asset management aims to address. BAM systems seek to keep all brand assets in a repository with controlled access, with measures in place to make sure they are version controlled, compliant, and can be checked in and out when worked on. Many BAM systems also allow for extra functionality, for example systems like Templafy that allow users to work with the brand assets in their chosen software suites (for instance Office), without leaving the suite, and also verify compliance before publishing any work containing assets.
Why Is A BAM System Valuable?
Of course, you can do things the old school way, and simply have a directory on a shared network where people can find files that contain your brand assets, however there are lots of drawbacks to this. Out of date assets can end up still being used where people have saved local copies for their own purposes. People can save non-compliant things (for instance logos they have resized themselves or changed things about for various reasons) which can end up being reused. People who are authorized to make changes to brand assets may not be able to collaborate on them effectively, and assets may not work properly when imported into certain software suites or manipulated on mobile devices.
Systems specifically designed for BAM (or digital asset management or DAM, of which BAM is a subset), remove all of these problems, and a good one will also be extremely easy for your teams to pick up and work with.
Why Do You Need To Up Your BAM Game This Year?
If you don't already have good BAM within your business, you have probably already begun to notice that you have a lot more brand assets in a lot more formats than you used to. Where once brand assets would have just been a few different versions of your logo, and perhaps some things like templates for documents and PowerPoint presentations, once businesses began producing more web content rather than just having static pages, more brand assets appeared. As things like video content become more important to brands - something that has been a trend in the last few years and is set to be bigger than ever in 2017 - you may find you need brand assets that might include animated versions of logos, signature music, image watermarks, and all kinds of other great stuff.
Additionally to having more assets, you are also probably drawing on those assets more than ever, as you seek to keep putting out branded content on social media, on your blog, and anywhere else you can. You need your teams to be able to find assets effortlessly, work with them on the device and software they want, and put out brand compliant work without it needing to go through lots of stages of approval. Implementing good BAM is pretty much the only way to achieve these things.
What Should You Do Next?
If your BAM isn't up to scratch, it is advisable to do an audit of your brand assets and look into procuring (or even developing) a BAM system that is going to be appropriate to your needs. Yes, this may seem like a daunting process, but the time saved and the improvements in your content development will be well worth the small initial outlay.
This is a sponsored post from Simon Brisk, business consultant at Click Intelligence