There are many reasons why brand management is a difficult process to undertake without the assistance of specialized software.
Regardless of the size of the company, there will most likely be hundreds, if not thousands, of existing files to manage. There will also be new brand assets – both digital and print – created every week, and there could easily be an entire team of people involved in their creation.
Manually overseeing every single one of these items, and ensuring that they all adhere to your company’s branding, is a pretty sizable job to say the least.
Luckily, we’ve dedicated this article to explaining the benefits of brand management software and outlining everything that you need to consider when choosing and using this innovative tool.
What is Brand Management Software?
Brand management software is a specialized piece of digital software that is designed to help brand managers and marketing teams keep marketing materials consistently on-brand. This software is specifically made to make the brand management process easier.
Brand management includes the strategy and process that help businesses to carefully manage all of their branded content. This practice ensures that all of the company’s content is consistent, mistake-free and on-brand.
Accordingly, brand management software is vital for helping companies build a brand that successfully draws in and resonates with their target market. Once this has been achieved, brand management software also helps maintain this success, and it ensures that new materials – whether they are email headers, TV commercials, social media posts, or a new product label – are equally as effective.
This software is particularly useful for large-scale businesses or companies that operate in creative industries, with a high volume of assets and digital media.
So, the job of brand management software is to help managers build brand consistency in a more strategic, efficient and streamlined way. With the assistance of this tool, a company can quickly establish a clear and thoroughly considered brand management process that can be implemented successfully across a wide variety of project types.
What are the Main Features of Brand Management Software?
Brand management software provides a wide variety of different functions and capabilities to help managers establish a more efficient and effective brand management process.
These intuitive features will assist you throughout the process of brand management – from the first idea generation sessions right through to the final sign-off and your asset’s eventual online upload.
The main features of this type of software include the following:
- A centralized online storage system for digital assets. This digital asset management function includes a well-organized network of folders and archives.
- A centralized platform that can be used to share new assets as well as to undertake their review and amendments. This function is designed to make the content review and approval process more smooth, formal and efficient.
- Users can store their brand guidelines within the software. This helps managers to implement a clear system with guidelines that are easy to follow and access.
- A document management system for brand assets.
- In terms of any external parties who may participate in your asset creation process (such as clients or contractors), these users are able to access an easy-to-use and on-brand platform to access assets.
- Online analytics tools which managers can use to gauge the success of marketing efforts.
- Multi-platform capabilities which, for example, can help managers to effectively schedule and dispatch new content across different social media channels.
- An efficient communication channel through which different team members can discuss the company’s marketing strategy. This is a great strategy for managing your marketing campaigns.
- A pool of pre-approved marketing materials that serves as a quick-access resource from which users can easily access on-brand materials. This has the added bonus of limiting the workload of the marketing department, as they won’t be repeatedly asked to create one-off assets by individuals from other departments.
- Plus, you could use this feature to provide ready-to-use templates (e.g. for branded presentations) so that employees from other departments can create their own branded content.
- Content marketing tools, such as content marketing planners, and calendars which detail the schedules of social media posts.
The list above gives you a snapshot of the wide variety of features available to creatives and those involved in content management when they introduce brand management software to their process. However, it’s important to note that depending on the software type and provider that you choose, the features on offer may vary.
These tools can benefit companies across a wide variety of industries as they assist with all manner of projects that marketing teams are assigned on a day-to-day basis.
Additionally, each of these features has been intuitively designed to fit into the typical process of asset creation in a way that makes brand management not only more effortless to undertake, but also far more likely to succeed. With these features on hand, teams can significantly boost their digital productivity and collaborative efforts.
What are the Benefits of Using Brand Management Software?
As you can imagine, this software is an imperative part of a company’s marketing strategy and is a fundamental consideration for company growth, too. The implementation of brand management software brings with it a wide variety of benefits.
Managers should use this type of software as a core part of the creation process for every single type of brand asset. Furthermore, in order to ensure consistency and efficiency, it should be used throughout all parts of the process – from creation to publishing.
Below, we’ve outlined just some of the key benefits that come with incorporating this tool into your process.
- Streamlining your system. This form of content management aid promotes the establishment and usage of clear, uniform steps – such as those outlined in your brand guideline document and your review and approval process. This will ensure that your team approaches tasks in a consistent way, helping everyone stay organized.
- Keeping everything organized. It also, in effect, doubles up as a piece of digital asset management software. With a centralized, cloud-based network of storage folders, it offers users the chance to sort through all assets and store them in a clear, easy-to-follow way.
- Saving time and money. With this software and all of its handy features, your brand management process will be far more efficient and quick to undertake. Plus, existing branded content (which already adheres to your company style guide) can be found and reused more easily. This will save you the cost of having to create new assets every time you receive a new request.
- Making brand consistency easier to attain. This is a huge benefit. Consistently producing on-brand content is something that all businesses strive to achieve, especially if they are aspiring to grow. It is the cornerstone of brand management strategies. Specialized software makes it far simpler for brand managers to oversee all of the company’s branded assets – including having the ability to approve new artwork and designed assets – while ensuring they are in-line with the company style guide and fixed brand guidelines.
20+ Brand Management Software Solutions to Simplify Your Workflows
Now we’re on to the nitty gritty – finding the right tool for you.
Below, we’ve listed some of the best brand management software in existence today and provided the strengths and weaknesses of each, to help simplify your decision-making.
Filestage is an online proofing software that helps marketing and creative teams simplify the review and approval process for any kind of asset. Its centralized platform makes it easy to share, discuss and approve images, videos or text files with colleagues and external partners.
Reviewers can leave clear and precise feedback directly in the file as well as discuss their comments with each other and request changes. Content editors can then go through the list of feedback, make the amendments to the file and share the new version for another review round or final approval.
This way, teams can ensure that every approved marketing asset aligns with brand guidelines and is free of mistakes. Furthermore, Filestage improves collaboration and reduces miscommunication in the review process.
IntelligenceBank is an all-in-one digital asset management and BrandHub tool that is designed to provide efficient solutions to business marketing operations. It helps brand managers ensure that each and every brand asset remains entirely brand compliant.
IntelligenceBank is also made to promote flexibility, particularly when working collaboratively with other teams or invested external parties. This single cloud-based system can be easily accessed by users across different teams and locations.
Plus, its intuitive advanced search, custom metadata and AI tagging features mean that brand assets can be easily located by all users. All of these features are geared towards helping companies increase the ROI that their content drives.
Celum’s Content Hub tool is a piece of digital asset management software designed to solve multiple problems at once. Not only does it provide an easily accessible online storage system for your files, it also allows you to manage these files more efficiently by enabling you to align them with your existing Product Information Management (PIM) system. Additionally, you can even align product information with corresponding multimedia content.
This is also a great assistance for companies that possess an omni-channel selling strategy. With Celum, users can convert their files to the desired output format and then integrate the required asset to best fit the requirements of each commerce tool that the company uses.
In addition, users can access brand guidelines through the tool and then incorporate it into an automated review and approval process.
Canto is a digital asset management solution made for companies that possess a seemingly never-ending supply of brand assets. This highly powerful piece of software can be used to store and protect a huge number of online files, documents and multimedia.
In addition to storing these assets, Canto also helps brand managers better organize their system of files (including different versions and outdated content), then share them across teams and with external stakeholders, all in one platform. This sharing can be done with a simple online link, cutting out the need for huge email attachments or printing out an image to show it to a colleague.
Wedia offers a cloud-based digital asset management tool specifically designed for marketers. With this content management software, marketing teams can manage a large volume of brand assets that encompass a variety of different file types.
Furthermore, Wedia not only assists with the management of these assets, it also facilitates a far more streamlined marketing process across the board. This includes speeding up the ideation process and the production of new assets, managing their creation in a way that ensures brand consistency, and making it easier to create personalized customer experiences through this content.
BrandMaster provides a centralized solution to a company’s digital asset management strategy. The tool is designed to be scalable and can meet the requirements of a company of any size.
This brand management software provides a platform designed for marketing teams. In fact, it was actually developed by experienced marketers, so you can be certain that it offers an intuitive solution to the common problems faced by marketing teams.
BrandMaster opens up a clear overview of a team’s workflow – covering everything from the planning stages to the creation of the asset, then its eventual publishing, sharing and then the digital analytics of the campaign, to evaluate its success. And, in so doing, improved visibility makes delivering work on time much easier to achieve.
Frontify is a brand asset management software that facilitates more powerful marketing, to connect with the target market by creating engaging customer experiences with your brand. This cloud-based tool enables brand managers to build a centralized platform which truly reflects their brand. This means a firm sense of brand consistency and easily accessible brand guidelines, all while improving the efficiency of the marketing process.
As a brand management solution, Frontify is designed to fit with the marketing operations of any company size, and the brand portal can be up-scaled to better suit your company’s operations as you grow.
Bynder is a digital asset management digital asset management platform that enables teams to undertake real time, cloud-based collaboration when creating new brand assets.
The software is designed to assist brand managers in a number of key ways, including the management of digital assets and the centralized storage of these files. Bynder also provides a collaborative creative workflow space and brand templates (which closely adhere to the company style guide) for both digital and printed brand assets.
Marketing teams can also create sleek and impressive video content through Bynder’s latest addition – a specialized Video Brand Studio, specifically designed for the management of video-based branded assets.
Brandworkz provides an intuitive solution to brand asset management. It enables users to build a more distinctive, consistent and recognizable brand, which will allow them to stand out in a crowded marketplace. Additionally, Brandworkz can be modified to best suit the needs of your branding team.
Available features include a digital asset management platform, a workflow and annotation function, and a brand showcase tool which can be used by the brand manager to demonstrate successful branding examples to the larger team. All of these tools take marketers through the full journey of creating a new brand asset, from the web right through to publishing.
Third Light offers a highly efficient and easy-to-use digital asset management platform. The features within this tool include a direct messaging function that gives teams the ability to seamlessly collaborate on online projects in real time.
A company’s digital assets can be stored in Third Light’s online, cloud-based file system, and each piece of media can easily be accessed by the user and then be synced, shared and edited as needed.
This brand management solution is especially designed for the use of companies that possess a high volume of digital media, such as agencies, photographers, videographers, and publishers.
Filecamp is a piece of media library software that doubles as a highly effective digital asset management solution. This cloud-based tool allows users to create their own on-brand platform where the entire bank of the company’s digital assets can be stored in an easily accessible and clearly organized system of folders. Filecamp’s intuitive tagging feature also means that a particular asset can easily be found through a simple search.
Moreover, this piece of software is designed to fit the operations of users from any company size, and the tool does not require users to go through any training before being able to successfully use it.
Asset Bank provides users with a highly flexible piece of digital asset management software. The tool is designed to help brand managers from organizations of medium to large size achieve a higher level of brand consistency.
Asset Bank possesses a wide variety of high tech features and integrations, including a sophisticated facial recognition technology feature. Branded content that is up to date, approved and on-brand can easily be located by team members through this well-organized system of digital assets.
Widen Collective is a piece of brand management software designed to fit the operations of marketers from medium or large companies. In addition, its features are specifically made to assist with the workflows and projects of creative teams working in industries like manufacturing, consumer products, fashion, food and drink, healthcare, hospitality, and education.
This brand management platform has been noted both for being easy to use and offering a wide number of features at an impressive value. Plus, in addition to its brand management tools, Widen can also assist users with DAM and PIM workflows.
Imagen is a tool designed for businesses and organizations working in the sports sector. It provides marketing managers with a high speed media management platform that keeps their branded assets completely secure. Plus, the platform itself can even be personalized so that it fits with your company brand guidelines.
Imagen’s cloud-based platform is structured in a way that is remarkably easy to use, meaning other team members or invested external stakeholders can access required files without difficulty. This digital asset management tool also uses highly intuitive artificial intelligence to provide users with a complete overview of their assets, ensuring that all material is being utilized to its full potential.
Kontentino offers marketers and brand managers a piece of brand management software specifically designed to assist with social media projects. Social media presence is a huge priority for marketing teams, and Kontentino helps creatives utilize their branded digital assets in the best possible way when promoting their company.
Kontentino’s features include the ability to streamline the workflow of your marketing team and schedule content, as well as make use of clear organizational planners, an easy-to-use drag-and-drop social media calendar, and a dedicated client approval component. All of these aids to social media management make the collaborative creation and management of projects far more efficient.
Lytho provides brand managers with all of the tools needed to create consistently effective and on-brand content. Through this centralized online platform, managers can seamlessly connect other team members and external stakeholders to the project and gather the feedback of each individual in a highly efficient fashion.
With Lytho, users also gain access to an impressive digital asset management solution through which they can keep their files safe, eliminate the occurrence of duplicates or lost files, and carefully control the usage rights of each of these valuable assets.
Brandmaker is especially designed for the usage of enterprise marketing leaders. With this tool, they can leverage existing digital assets to create impressive, stand-out marketing content which remains firmly on brand. The software works with any file type, size and format, and can be used across multiple channels and campaigns, including social media platforms.
Brandmaker helps companies establish a far more effective customer experience. This means creating content that successfully engages the target market as well as using Brandmakers Performance Measurement and Optimization function to analyze the results of a particular campaign and assess its success.
With Brand24, users can establish a strong, engaging and impressive online reputation for their brand. This sophisticated piece of brand asset management software is designed to provide an affordable and easy-to-use tool for managing public relations as a whole.
The tool instantly connects users to the mentions that their brand has received across social media, as well as news, blogs and customer reviews. Additionally, Brand24 offers an automated sentiment analysis function – an advanced tool that can be used to immediately see brand mentions under the classifications of either positive or negative. This is a great way to gauge and then manage the impression that your consumers have of your brand.
Brandfolder is made with large enterprises and mid-size businesses in mind. The tool provides teams with the ability to streamline their workflow and create new, on-brand assets far more efficiently.
This software also offers a range of specialized features, all on one collaborative online work platform that is both secure and fully scalable. Brandfolder is adaptable to the changing needs of the business, and external stakeholders or other team members are sure to find the platform easy to use and access. Plus, this software integrates seamlessly with other apps and tools that your branding team is currently using.
BrandKit is a highly user-friendly piece of digital asset management software. With this tool, marketers can manage their online assets with a tool designed for branded content.
BrandKit also has a smart auto-tagging feature. This is achieved using a machine learning function alongside a hybrid proprietary algorithm. As a result, users can easily search for a file, without spending ages navigating through a vast sea of files. Other intuitive features include easily identifiable usage rights and a quick-share function (which works in a very similar way to WeTransfer).
Brandox provides brand managers with a sophisticated, dynamic brand management portal. Its user interface is designed to be highly user-friendly and quick for brand managers and their teams to learn how to navigate.
Brandox is specifically designed to suit the typical workflow of marketing teams. Branded assets can be uploaded to the cloud-based platform into one centralized online location. This makes it far easier to access files, update old versions, and create and store new branded content.
Moreover, the software offers companies the ability to have unlimited users while establishing a simple file sharing system (both internally and externally).
Templafy makes the distribution of key branded assets a significantly quicker and more efficient process. With this piece of software, users can update, manage, oversee and then share their key online files. As a result, Templafy makes achieving brand compliance across all platforms and file types a far more attainable goal.
This tool is specifically designed for brand managers and CMOs who are working in large enterprise companies. Furthermore, it is a useful addition to teams that use Microsoft Office applications as a regular part of their workflow.
Swivle enables users to establish a streamlined, efficient and brand compliant brand asset management process. This tool is an ideal addition to the workflows of teams that are working within the creative industry. It can also be used by brand managers who are trying to keep new content consistently on-brand.
Swivle is a cloud-based piece of software especially suited for teams managing a large volume of files and assets. It even comes with a meta-tagging function and a free on-boarding option. Plus, this software allows users to quickly and easily share their files, both internally and externally.
The Best Free Tools to Support Your Brand Management
If you don’t yet have the budget to acquire a paid brand management software, we recommend making use of free tools that will support your team in the creation and management of branded assets.
By incorporating free brand management software, you can make your brand management process as sleek, efficient and well-managed as possible. Below we’ve listed some of our favourite free tools that are specifically designed to support the implementation of brand management. Talk about a win-win situation!
Frontify is a piece of cloud-based brand management software that enables you to quickly and easily centralize your branding strategy. In addition to its paid-for version, you can opt for a simpler version of its brand management software that is completely free.
Lucidpress provides a great, free version of its asset creation tool which offers fixed branded templates. This easy-to-use software enables teams from small businesses to create sleek and effective brand-compliant marketing content without the need for a designer to be constantly available.
With Lucidpress’s lockable templates, marketers can ensure that their teams create engaging new content without ever straying from the brand guidelines.
Canva provides a great, free version of its branding asset design software. This tool enables marketers and branding teams to establish customized and brand-compliant design templates, collaborate in real time, and utilize 5GB worth of online storage for their digital assets.
How to Find the Best Brand Management Software for Your Team’s Needs
In the above round-up, we’ve provided you with details of some of the leading pieces of brand management software on the market right now. This has resulted in a pretty long list.
But each piece of software is unique in its offerings and capabilities, and you should be aware of the pros and cons of each one. In fact, it’s absolutely essential that you do your research before committing to one software package; otherwise, it’s a lot of money wasted. Plus, it can be difficult to change software providers once installed, learned and used by your team.
So, here are our top tips to help you find the best brand management software to suit the unique needs of your team.
Identify the features that your team needs.
Carefully consider your team’s workflows, and think about what processes are undertaken each day. Then, identify areas where the efficiency of your operations could be improved. This will help you to figure out what challenges your branding team is facing, and will also allow you to identify which features of brand management software you need to prioritize.
Consider who will be using this software the most.
Similarly, think about which members of your team will be using this software the most often. This will help you to identify the accessibility features that your chosen software should provide. For example, if you will regularly need to access the feedback of external stakeholders, then you should choose a software that makes the external sharing of brand assets.
Narrow down your options.
Once you have identified the most salient features for your team, you need to make these your key requirements for a piece of software. Therefore, you can eliminate any pieces of brand management software that don’t provide all of these features.
Consult your IT team.
Some pieces of brand management software will require the assistance of IT specialists. If you do not have ready access to an IT team, who can assist with your brand asset management process, then you will need to choose a piece of software that is highly user-friendly and can be used without prior specialized knowledge.
We recommend that you make the most out of the free trial options offered by many providers of brand management solution software. Test around 2-3 different pieces of software before you commit to buying any product, as that will help you identify the software that best suits your needs.
By approaching the decision in this way, you can confidently select brand management software that enhances your current way of working rather than forces your whole team to alter their workflow.
This will put you in the best possible position to optimize the way that you approach brand management and allow you to use this technology to intuitively adapt your processes. You will be able to unlock more efficient solutions to sharing and storing your digital assets while achieving brand consistency on a far more reliable basis. Plus, you can reach all these goals without having to completely overhaul current practices.
Example of a Brand Management Process Managed With Brand Management Software
Now that we’ve taken you through all the necessary steps for choosing the best piece of brand management software for your team, as well as the benefits that such software will bring, we want to finish this guide by showing you what your new process can look like.
Below, we’ve outlined a typical process for the creation of a new asset that is brand compliant and well-managed.
In this example, we’ve detailed the brand management process for the creation of a short video for a company’s social media channels, created based on existing brand assets (i.e. branded images and pre-written texts).
1. Search for suitable images or animations in your brand management software.
Your software acts as a centralized location to access all of your company’s branded digital assets. This allows the video creator to access on-brand, pre-approved and up-to-date versions of marketing materials. Team members can search through this portal to find appropriate images or animations that fit well with the type of video that they are attempting to create.
2. Create the video.
As the videographer creates the new video, they can consistently refer to your company’s brand guidelines. The video creator can make use of the existing branded assets available on your DAM platform and create the new video based on this aesthetic. Furthermore, the software can help the videographer better tap into the right storytelling advertising techniques for your brand.
3. Review and approve the video.
Once the videographer has created the video, it’s time to check its quality and brand consistency. To simplify the review process, the videographer can upload the video to Filestage and invite the brand manager as well as colleagues and any other stakeholders to leave feedback and identify any areas that need improvement. Once the feedback process has been completed, the video gets the final approval.
With Filestage, you can ensure that this step is carefully managed. This online review and approval software makes the feedback process far more dynamic, efficient and ultimately successful. Essential edits will no longer be lost in a thread of emails, and back-and-forth conversations can take place through a quick and easy online messaging platform.
Filestage allows users to implement all of the key principles that make up the brand management process.
4. Publish the video on social media.
After this series of edits and approvals, the video can be published onto your company’s social media channels.
With the assistance of brand management software, you can ensure that this new asset has been correctly optimized for each social media channel. This will keep your content as effective, attractive and professional as possible.
What’s more, a number of the above brand management solution tools also include analytics features that allow users to track the engagement and success (through a number of different key indicators) of their latest social media campaigns.
5. Save and store the video.
As the final step, once your video has been shared with your audience, you can upload it to your brand management software. This will keep your video secure and enable the rest of your team to access and/or reuse it in the future.
This level of collaboration and engagement is, without a doubt, the best way to keep each new asset completely brand compliant. By keeping this entire workflow – from the initial search for media and the creation of the content, right the way through to the editing, publishing and storing of the asset – carefully managed and fully centralized, you can create better assets, quicker. That way, you can create content that will successfully engage your consumers and boost your brand awareness (amongst many other benefits).
As you can see, brand management software is an essential part of successful companies. These intuitive, dynamic and highly specialized tools are made to be easily adaptable to your team’s existing workflow. As a result, there is no massive overhaul or complex training required.
We hope that this all-in-one guide to brand management software will help you seamlessly integrate this tool into your current workflow. Then you can start reaping all of the rewards that come with establishing a cloud-based, omnichannel and marketing-led brand management process.