Do your marketing materials need more consistency?
If you answer this question with a yes, you might take a closer look at brand asset management (BAM) software.
Brand asset management software enables your organization to structure all of your digital assets more efficiently and to decrease the workloads of your marketing and design teams.
Therefore, we are going to take a closer look at brand asset management software and how it can contribute to your bottom line.
How Does Brand Asset Management Work in 2021?
A brand asset is a category of your marketing assets that includes documents, images, videos and any other visuals that support your brand communication. In many cases, individual brand assets, such as logos, are used to create your marketing materials.
Common brand assets include:
- Brand name / Brand logo
- Brand taglines and slogans
- Brand images
- Brand videos and commercials
- Communication material, such as newsletters, press releases or point of sales (POS) material
- Internal brand guidelines
Coca Cola is one of the best known companies due to its successful branding strategy. Over more than one century, Coca Cola’s brand name, logo and image have undergone only minor changes.
How does Coca Cola – a globally operating business with hundreds of thousands of brand assets – ensure brand consistency and reduce redundant work across different locations? This is where brand asset management (BAM) comes into play.
BAM is the process of creating, storing and distributing your brand assets. One of the main goals of BAM is to establish and implement brand guidelines to ensure the best possible output at the highest consistency while simultaneously reducing work duplication and other inefficiencies.
For example, globally-operating mobility fleet operator Sixt uses Third Light’s digital media library so that its videos, images and other media can be tagged and easily be found by all of Sixt’s global staff members. Before using a centralized management system, Sixt and its partners had to transfer brand content manually through tools such as WeTransfer or similar services, which was inconvenient and time-consuming.
Source: Third Light
As we can see from the previous example, BAM is dependent on the right brand asset management system in order to reap the desired results. Therefore, we dedicate the next sections to surveying BAM software and explaining how your business can profit from the right BAM tools.
What Is Brand Asset Management Software?
Brand asset management software is the most important ingredient when it comes to implementing an impactful BAM strategy. Brand management software applies the principles of digital asset management to create a solution through which you can specifically manage all of your brand assets more efficiently. While most people are familiar with digital asset management software, BAM software is less well known among marketing and design professionals.
Typical brand asset management software includes the following features:
- Asset creation and approval – Good brand management software should help you streamline your content creation process by offering basic review and approval options.
- Indexing – In order to easily find all of your assets, your digital asset management software should have thorough indexing features.
- Version control – Security features, such as version control, prevent staff from accidentally deleting valuable files.
- Access control – Sensitive files should only be accessed by authorized people. Assets should further be restricted according to their markets or regions in order not to mix up brand messaging.
- Distribution features – Brand management software should allow you to easily share your assets with third parties.
- Collaboration features – Many brand management software solutions offer a wide range of collaboration features to work on specific projects in one single interface.
Now you should have at least some ideas of why brand asset management software is indispensable. Its rich features set the foundation for a successful BAM process which will also have positive spillover effects on your content governance and content workflow. In fact, brand-related assets are needed in almost all parts of the business.
You might want to find out more about the tangible results of BAM and how it can directly contribute to the bottom line of your business. These and other questions will be answered in the following section.
Why Should You Make Use of Brand Asset Management Software?
Since you have a better understanding of how asset management software can contribute to your brand management strategy, it’s time to answer the most important question: How can BAM software contribute to your bottom line?
To start the conversation, let’s take a look at the most common advantages that asset management software can bring to your business.
Avoid duplicate work
Imagine a scenario where each business function or regional unit needs to produce its own digital assets as there is no centralized software accessible to all team members. This would create a lot of additional work. Since asset management software serves as a valuable marketing resource management tool it helps your business avoid duplicate work, saving valuable work hours of the marketing and design teams.
Features such as review and approval functions, collaboration tools and a unified interface allow all team members to work more efficiently on any brand-related task.
BAM software enables your team members to collaborate more efficiently, which usually results in higher quality output to reach your key performance indicators (KPIs).
As all assets are available in one centralized place, BAM software helps you implement your brand guidelines and delivers higher brand consistency among all your assets.
Better collaboration between team members
Since all your team members across different functions can access a single platform and make use of integrated collaboration tools, your staff can work much more efficiently within and even outside your organization.
Features such as version and access control contribute to the security of your company. You can be assured that only approved staff are able to access sensitive data without the risk of losing important brand material.
Improved content planning
Having all your assets in one centralized place lets you make better decisions, e.g. how many assets need to be produced for a specific marketing campaign.
It should be pretty clear by now that brand management software has many positive effects on your business, which will directly and indirectly contribute to the bottom line of your business.
With the right BAM software, your staff can find all brand assets in one centralized place, which alone saves thousands of working hours across your organization. Furthermore, your brand guidelines can finally be implemented.
Overview of the 10 Best Brand Asset Management Software
In the following section, we are taking a look at the best BAM tools, which all contribute to your successful brand asset management strategy.
Filestage – asset review and approval
Filestage is a cloud-based online proofing software that streamlines your asset review process. This approval software has many collaboration features that go far beyond common BAM software tools.
With Filestage, you can upload and share almost all types of brand assets as well as assign review and approval teams so that the entire review workflow takes place in a single platform. Instead of managing endless email chains and running after decision makers, Filestage provided automated notification features to remind your team members of tasks and deadlines.
No matter if you run a small marketing team or a global organization, Filestage will make the life of your team much easier while ensuring high-quality and consistent output across all brand assets and beyond.
BrandMaster – from asset planning to execution
BrandMaster is a cloud-based brand management platform that offers a variety of brand asset management tools to boost your brand. In addition to useful BPM tools which can be used to plan and create new brand-related workflows, BrandMaster includes brand identity guidelines, marketing communication and BAM tools.
These features allow you to plan and implement your entire brand strategy within a single platform. Beside its management platform, BrandMaster also offers many free brand management resources that can be downloaded from the website.
Brandfolder – digital asset and brand management platform
Brandfolder is a digital management software brand, which helps marketers and creatives manage and distribute their assets. Brandfolder enables your team to see how well the brand assets are performing by employing proprietary AI and ML technologies.
This will help you see who is using your brand assets, where they are being used and what the highest-performing assets in your portfolio are. Therefore, Brandfolder can contribute to your business process management strategy by letting you make smart decisions on how to allocate marketing resources.
Brandmaker – AI-powered BAM performance tools
BrandMaker is much more than just a regular BAM software. With BrandMaker, you get a wide range of tools to budget, plan and execute your brand campaigns as well as to create and distribute your content.
The digital asset manager of BrandMaker leverages your digital brand content and offers a central place to manage content for all formats and devices. Additionally, with the help of AI-logic, you can identify websites where your images have been published in order to track performance and to control your brand guidelines.
Bynder – for streamlined asset creation and storage
Bynder is a great digital asset management and brand platform that allows you to manage and centralize your assets in a single place. Plus, Bynder offers a platform to create all of your brand guidelines for more brand consistency across all products and markets.
From automated brand video creation tools that help scale up your video production to digital and print brand templates – Bynder provides a great variety of tools in one place that help you streamline your brand and marketing processes and free up valuable time for all of your team members.
Extensis – brand management for smaller teams
Extensis Connect is a digital asset management platform dedicated to small and medium companies. It offers all of the necessary and affordable BAM tools for your marketing and design function.
With Extensis Connect, you can finally say goodbye to fruitless searches for files that leave you empty-handed. Moreover, you can avoid back and forth with your team members by making use of one centralized digital asset management solution.
In addition to Extensis Connect, there are many more tools and solutions you can incorporate. Extensis Portfolio is a digital asset and BAM tool that serves as a central source for all images, videos, audio files and documents, while Suitcase Fusion offers one place for your entire font collection.
Filecamp – low-cost DAM and file sharing solution
Filecamp offers one quick stop for all of your brand images, photos, videos, creative files, documents, presentations and much more. This cloud-based BAM software solution has powerful tagging and search features in place, making finding your brand assets much more convenient.
Additionally, Filecamp allows you to assign an unlimited number of users to all of its plans so that you can easily scale the platform. No matter if you are looking for a low-cost digital asset management solution, a media library software or file sharing and brand guideline solutions – Filecamp is a solid choice.
MarcomCentral – AI-powered BAM software
With MarcomCentral, you get an efficient way to centralize all of your digital brand assets so that you can easily organize, find and share your brand files. Customized meta-data tagging allows you to add tags or search keywords to brand assets as well.
Alternatively, you can even use Artificial Intelligence to do the work for you. Furthermore, you can make use of the distributed marketing platform to customize and share your brand and marketing content easily. You will also get all the tools needed to track the usage of each and every asset.
MerlinOne – unique automation features
MerlinOne offers an easy-to-use AI-powered BAM software that can be used from the get-go without any previous training. Its intuitive interface allows you to share and distribute your assets with ease.
Furthermore, its innovative platform allows you to automatically apply relevant metadata, saving you valuable time, especially if you use a lot of images. MerlinOne offers additional features that make the platform stand out from the crowd. From facial recognition and visual similarity AI to video & audio auto transcoding, MerlinOne has many features to boost your brand asset management strategy.
Percolate – enterprise content marketing platform
Percolate gives you a single web-based platform that helps you optimize all of your content and brand operations. As content can often become a bottleneck for marketing teams, Percolate provides a single platform to manage all of your processes – from strategy and planning to development and execution.
Percolate enables you to produce more content at a higher quality and lets you navigate your assets much more efficiently. If you need a bundle of tools that span the entire content marketing lifecycle, Percolate offers the right platform.
How Do You Create a Brand Asset?
Now that you understand brand asset management and the necessary software, we outline the brand asset creation process in four easy steps.
1. Ideation & Briefing
No matter what kind of brand asset you need, the first stage consists of the ideation process. Ideation is a creative process that aims to generate innovative ideas for your next marketing assets.
To get started with your ideation process, take inspiration from the 7 all-time greatest ideation techniques. Once you’ve envisioned your idea for a new post, video or branding campaign, you need to brief all content creators involved (which usually consists of the design and marketing teams).
Depending on the project’s size, the creation process might take days to weeks and sometimes even months. Huge projects might involve even more team members, such as copywriters or videographers, and much coordination.
You need to make sure to add a buffer between the creation deadline and the delivery date because, in most cases, the first draft needs further revisions. If you do not have an appropriate review and approval tool at hand, this buffer period needs to be very large to safeguard for potential bottlenecks.
3. Review & Approval
Everyone who has experienced bottlenecks due to numerous revisions, chasing decision-makers and lost information inside various email threads knows that the review and approval process can be quite complex and nerve-wracking. Software such as Filestage is an invaluable asset to help streamline this process.
With Filestage, all stakeholders can view the assets and leave comments in one centralized platform. Content editors can easily access feedback and ask questions if something is unclear. This ensures an easy communication flow between content creators and reviewers.
Online proofing software also saves valuable time, which is one of the scarcest resources in any brand-related project management task. In addition to saving time, approval software also ensures that you can produce better content at a much higher consistency, as the platform enables your team members to share ideas and uncover even the smallest mistakes in your marketing and design outputs.
4. Upload, Share, Publish with your Brand Asset Management Software
Once the final version has been approved by all stakeholders, you can easily upload, save and publish your brand assets with your brand asset management software.
As you can see, brand asset management software offers many unique advantages that directly or indirectly contribute to the bottom line of your business.
Brand asset management helps your organization produce better results, increase brand consistency and streamline all workflows involving brand assets. We hope we have given you a better understanding of the importance of brand asset management as well as the usefulness of review and approval software. Now, you can have all of the necessary tools to reduce bottlenecks and unleash the full potential of your design and marketing departments while ensuring brand consistency in all of your communication.