The year was 1985, but the lesson stays true in 2023.
Back then, Coca-Cola needed to change something or risk losing its edge to younger and brighter competitors. New Coke was meant to be the answer to the sweeter Pepsi, which was then performing better in blind taste tests.
If you haven’t heard of New Coke or the change in Coca-Cola’s flavor, it’s probably because this was one of the Coca-Cola products that sank like a stone. To be fair, the multinational conglomerate made all the right moves leading up to the launch, and focus groups seemed quite happy with the new formula. But it all went downhill from there.
As it turned out, Coca-Cola’s biggest selling point was the taste of familiarity. Users didn’t want a sweeter drink, they just wanted the Coca-Cola they had tasted all these years. A few months later, the brand launched its original formula as Coca-Cola Classic and recovered precious sales in due course.
While the brand can’t be blamed for getting things wrong here, a bit more information could have helped them avoid this despite their best intentions. A clear understanding of what makes their product desirable would have helped them maintain brand consistency. If Coca-Cola had the right information on their customer’s preferences, New Coke might have remained an unexplored idea in the minutes of a meeting sometime in 1984.
Thankfully for brands today, brand asset management software (BAM) solutions have advanced significantly in recent years, so costly errors like this can be avoided before any more time is spent on exploring them. Besides helping you maintain consistency and accuracy in your messaging, there’s a lot that brand asset management software can do to support your marketing campaigns. But before we get into it, let us first clarify what defines BAM as a solution for businesses today.
What is brand asset management?
Brand asset management refers to the process of organizing, storing, and sharing a brand's digital assets, such as logos, images, videos, and other marketing materials, in a centralized system.
The main purpose of BAM is to ensure that all marketing materials are consistent with the brand's guidelines and messaging while making it easier for marketing teams to create and distribute marketing materials efficiently.
Brand asset management solutions are mostly used by marketing teams, brand managers, and other stakeholders who are responsible for creating and managing a brand's image and reputation. By streamlining the creation and distribution of marketing materials, BAM can help businesses save time, reduce errors, and increase efficiency. Additionally, by ensuring consistency in branding and messaging, BAM can help businesses build trust with customers and establish a strong brand identity.
Using brand asset management to boost marketing campaigns and sales
As Coca-Cola learned the hard way, there is huge value to be gained from staying consistent in your brand identity. You can build customer loyalty, increase your reach and brand value, and ultimately drive sales. And whether you’re as big a brand or one which seeks to expand across geographies, it can be challenging to maintain a powerful and consistent message at the same time.
You’re mostly dealing with diverse groups of people, whose interests vary despite their mutual interest in your brand. You’re also managing a ton of digital assets to cater to these interests and only one set of guidelines that influence these assets. Let us look at some of the key blockers that affect marketing campaigns and sales today and how brand asset management can help address them.
Challenges to increasing sales through marketing campaigns
1. Inconsistency in brand messaging
The more your brand lacks clarity in its voice, the less anyone would be convinced by your products and services. For bigger brands, loyal customers may still forgive the occasional deviation, but if you allow your brand to stray more often, it will be harder to retain customers in the long run.
The BAM solution: Brand asset management gives your teams a centralized library that stores all your digital assets in one place. You can even maintain your guidelines here so everyone on the team can access them whenever they need to keep every design on-brand. Compliance teams can also review files quickly with accurate annotations, so no error is ever missed out.
2. Extended creation and distribution cycles
Creative projects often take time. It’s a given that designs will go through multiple iterations shaped by feedback from the various teams involved. And if getting the right sign-offs doesn’t take long enough, overseeing their distribution is a whole different ball game. You will need to make sure your creatives hit the right channels, keep an eye on how they’re doing, and make changes in real time if necessary.
The BAM solution: Brand asset management software can save your team precious hours during any campaign. You will be able to streamline your approval cycles by automating due dates and reminders for involved stakeholders. Organizing your assets by platform will ensure your creatives go out as they should and you will find yourself with more time to respond to creative changes if and when they’re needed, which could make a significant difference to how your campaign ultimately performs.
3. Gaps in collaboration
When you’re working with larger teams, it’s always likely that there are instances of miscommunication or simply feedback that wasn’t caught at the right time. With so much riding on your campaigns, you can’t afford to miss critical feedback that could affect your campaign performance.
The BAM solution: With brand asset management software, you can set up workflows that ensure each of your creatives is reviewed thoroughly and cleared only after sign-offs are received from every team involved in the review. This way, there is greater accountability during the review process and errors can be eliminated before creatives are finalized.
4. Insufficient customization
Marketing gaffs that occur in translation happen way too often for brands to ignore the importance of gaining cultural context for localized campaigns. You can’t just translate your creatives from English and expect them to mean the same thing in another language. In such cases, it helps to create localized variants of your designs and their copy that are more relevant to your audience in that region or country.
The BAM solution: Brand asset management solutions allow you to scale your content rapidly with templatized designs and smart proofing to ensure your designs are error-free before they go out. Dynamic feedback lets you flag changes with accurate annotations and comments, so the necessary changes are made without any ambiguity in communication.
5. Limited data and analytics
If Coca-Cola had the right information on their customer preferences, New Coke would never have seen the light of day. Their sales numbers would have stayed strong and they might even have found better ways of driving it higher.
The BAM solution: You can use brand asset management solutions to see how your assets perform once your campaigns go live. You will be able to experiment with your brand messaging to see what works better with your audience. Artwork Flow’s upcoming Creative Intelligence solution will also give you more information on your most successful assets. Everything from the ideal tone of voice for your brand to the colors that they prefer to associate with your brand can be used to tweak your campaigns for greater success.
Brand asset management best practices to drive sales
Even as you improve the quality of your marketing campaigns with brand asset management software, there’s a whole lot more you can be doing to increase sales through these campaigns. Here are some of the best practices you can implement through your teams to maximize returns through your marketing campaigns.
1. Upload, proof, approve, repeat
Don’t delay proofing your creatives once you upload them to your brand asset management library. The faster you can proof your creatives and get moving on your campaigns, the better you will be able to analyze their performance and make changes accordingly.
How Artwork Flow can help: Artwork Flow’s brand asset management library helps you set up review workflows for your creatives quickly, so you can start proofing immediately and get them campaign-ready faster. You will soon be able to implement your brand’s guidelines directly through the library and ensure any creatives you upload are on-brand or what’s missing if they’re not.
2. Create a robust content taxonomy
Finding the right creatives can consume precious time that’s better spent elsewhere. You can reduce the time it takes to find any given creative with a content taxonomy that works for your requirements. Organize your files by campaign, brand, product, or any other category specific to your business and retrieve the assets you need with ease.
How Artwork Flow can help: Before you start creating a digital asset taxonomy for your creatives, you can use Artwork Flow’s asset library to generate smart tags that define your products better. The AI-powered solution also reads your assets to extract colors used in the assets, the emotions conveyed by any humans in the creatives, as well as the brand names present in the designs, so you can streamline the process of creating an effective taxonomy modeled after your operations.
3. Automate content creation
You may never be able to entirely automate the creation of designs for your audience, but you can certainly come close with today’s content creation solutions. Templatizing your designs for any campaign will let you focus more on the messaging behind your designs and the impact they could create once your campaigns are live.
How Artwork Flow can help: Artwork Flow’s upcoming Creative Studio is the answer to your content automation needs. Use templates to create and scale designs that represent your brand and make edits as you need before finalizing your creatives for any campaign. Your processes will get more iterative and you will be able to optimize your creatives better over time.
4. Plan with a local-first approach
The best way to personalize your campaigns is by thinking about your distinct local audiences during the initial stages of planning. This will allow you to create localized designs with greater efficiency for more impactful campaigns across geographies.
How Artwork Flow can help: Artwork Flow’s proofing tools are designed to help you nurture localized marketing campaigns until you’re convinced they’re the best possible versions for specific audiences. You can also proof text in over 40 languages for spelling errors, so no forgettable stories to tell from these campaigns!
5. Build operation-specific workflows
Improving the efficiency of your operations leading up to a launch can make life a whole lot easier for your teams. Not only does it save you time, but it allows your team to innovate better and add more value to your campaigns. When you set up workflows that account for your team’s operations and how folks on your team interact with each other, you will be able to ensure a smooth movement of work with fewer bottlenecks or complications.
How Artwork Flow can help: Artwork Flow’s creative collaboration tools help you set up complex workflows that account for your team’s requirements and operations. You can easily loop in the concerned stakeholder involved at each stage and use a best-in-class workflow visualizer to set up the flow of tasks as per your needs. You will have greater visibility into the progress of your projects while they’re in progress and it will be easier to step in and resolve issues as and when they arise.
From protecting your reputation to consolidating your brand value, brand asset management can be used to strengthen your marketing campaigns in many ways. If you want to take this a step further and extract more returns from your investments, Artwork Flow’s brand asset management solution helps you set up best practices that allow your team to deliver marketing campaigns of the highest quality, every time. To see how Artwork Flow would work for your operations, get started with a free 7-day trial today or book a personalized demo with our experts.