When you talk about Apple, people immediately think of their iconic logo – the image of the fruit with a bite taken out. Similarly, brands like Nike, Adidas, Microsoft, Starbucks, and McDonald’s have instantly recognizable logos. You can even recognize a brand from the color palette or the typefaces they use.
Brands can build their unique identity using images, videos, or audio, through consistent use of their assets. These assets are also known as brand assets since they are intricately linked to the brand’s identity.
Brand assets are crucial since they help businesses stand out from their competitors. Brand assets also build customer loyalty. Businesses can develop a strong and memorable identity that consumers can readily link with their products or services by employing the same branding features throughout all marketing activities. This raises brand recognition, builds trust and credibility, and eventually drives sales. Logos, phrases, colors, packaging, music, and even the company's reputation are examples of brand assets.
Customers are drawn to brands for a variety of reasons, including the emotional connection created by the brand's product, the ease it gives in decision-making, and the social status associated with purchasing from that brand. Brands also use these brand assets to engage with customers and make them familiar with the brand’s products and services. Customers' familiarity with the brand grows when they are exposed to brand assets regularly.
What is brand asset management software?
Branding is an organization's most significant asset since it reflects the Brand identity. Without it, the company would be identical to the competition. As a result, it is critical to successfully maintain and protect the company's branding.
The cornerstone of a successful brand is consistency in design and message, and this is where Brand Asset Management (BAM) software comes in handy. BAM improves brand equity or the value of the brand in the marketplace through the streamlined organization of its assets.
Brand asset management software is used to manage a company's brand assets, such as logos, photographs, videos, and other marketing content. This software platform enables users to store, manage, and share brand assets simply and securely.
To maintain brand consistency and compliance, BAM software often incorporates capabilities like version control, user rights, and metadata tagging. It also provides a centralized platform for collaboration and efficiency for brand managers, designers, and other stakeholders.
The software can be cloud-based or on-premises, and it can work with other marketing tools including content management systems, project management software, and social media management platforms. Overall, BAM software increases workflow automation, brings in accountability and transparency, streamlines brand asset management processes, and guarantees that all brand assets are used consistently across multiple channels.
Why is brand asset management software so crucial?
Today, organizations are competing to make the most of digital branding opportunities while facing increasing financial constraints. Moreover, remote work is now becoming more prevalent as people are building creative content through collaboration. This makes brand asset management even more challenging but also more important due to several factors. Here are a few reasons why BAM has become such a crucial piece of software for brands.
1. Increasing the number of distribution channels
At present, there are countless distribution channels, ranging from desktops to smartwatches, increasing the complexity of brand assets due to variations in size and resolution. Brands need to create different variations of the same asset for different devices. Moreover, the number of channels is also increasing by the day.
2. Increased use of digital media
Brands no longer communicate over print, radio, and television anymore. While legacy channels exist, brands have primarily shifted focus to digital platforms. Internet advertising is the primary driver of brand outreach efforts. Brands need to create and manage assets for use on social media, websites, emails, and more.
3. Integration with other tools
Brands use multiple tools, such as cloud storage, CMS, CRM, and email automation, which are not always interconnected. This can result in long lead times and inconsistent brand assets. Hence, a platform that integrates internal and external systems is necessary.
4. Financial constraints
Marketing budgets are dwindling, so it's critical to make the best use of brand assets while avoiding duplication and rework. In such circumstances, a centralized brand asset management system may more than pay for itself.
5. Asset management
Brands now must build personalized marketing campaigns to appeal to their audience. Such campaigns also generate tons of content and managing these assets can become a challenge. With a large volume of brand assets, it can be difficult to organize them in a way that is intuitive and easy to search. This can make it time-consuming and frustrating for users to find the asset they need.
6. Regulatory compliance
Compliance with brand requirements and regulatory laws may be difficult to maintain, especially in large enterprises with various stakeholders. Ensuring that all workers and teams follow brand requirements may necessitate ongoing monitoring and enforcement.
7. Transparency and accountability
With many assets, it becomes difficult to manage access to them. Moreover, it also becomes challenging to track who made what changes during the development process. A brand asset management solution creates transparent workflows with access control and increases the accountability of team members.
Features of brand asset management software
Brand asset management software provides multiple features that are needed to develop consistent branding through efficient creative collaboration. It enables teams to work with a massive number of assets without spending time searching for the right element. Here are the key features of brand asset management software.
1. Digital asset management
A central location for all brand assets, such as logos, images, videos, and documents. This feature makes it easy for users to find and access the brand assets they need quickly and efficiently.
2. Version control
A system for managing different versions of brand assets and tracking changes. With version control, users can see the history of a particular asset, and revert to an earlier version if necessary.
3. User access control
Permission to control who can view, edit, and use brand assets. This feature ensures that only authorized users can access and use brand assets, maintaining brand integrity and security.
4. Consistent development through brand guidelines
A section for brand guidelines to ensure consistency in design and messaging. Brand guidelines help maintain consistency across all brand assets and ensure that all users are adhering to the same standards.
5. AI-assisted tagging
The ability to add metadata to assets, such as tags, descriptions, and categories, to make it easier to search and find specific assets. This feature makes it easy for users to find and use the brand assets they need.
6. Brand compliance
Monitoring and enforcement of brand guidelines to ensure all brand assets are used correctly and consistently. Brand compliance helps maintain the integrity of the brand, ensuring that all assets are used correctly and consistently.
The ability to share and collaborate on brand assets with other users, both internal and external. Collaboration tools make it easy for users to work together on projects and share brand assets with others, regardless of their location.
8. Reporting and analytics
The ability to track usage and engagement with brand assets to gain insights into how they are being used. Reporting and analytics help organizations understand how their brand assets are being used and how effective they are.
9. Workflow automation
Automate asset approvals, content distribution, and other tasks with workflows to streamline brand asset management. Workflow automation helps organizations simplify their creative operations, saving time and reducing the risk of errors.
10. Integration with external tools
Integration with other marketing tools, such as content management systems, email marketing platforms, and social media management tools, to make it easy to use brand assets across multiple channels. Integration with other tools helps organizations use their brand assets effectively across multiple channels, maximizing their impact and reach.
Advantages of using brand asset management software
1. Streamlines creative collaboration.
As writers, graphic designers, brand experts, marketers, and others collaborate to develop the final content, a single creative asset moves from one workstation to another. Furthermore, working with a global workforce can be difficult unless technologies are available to facilitate access to real-time information.
BAM facilitates collaboration among internal and external parties. It replaces email exchanges and messaging tools by providing a unified platform for users to collaborate in real time through comments. It acts as a single point of contact, ensuring that there are no gaps between invention, management, and delivery. BAM enables stakeholders to collaborate on the same asset without the use of emails or instant chat.
Even if an item has several variants, a powerful BAM will allow you to save, retrieve, and restore every version kept in your media library. As a result, even if a file is inadvertently misplaced or erased, it can be easily recovered.
BAM increases asset management transparency, which speeds up work across the board. However, there can be no smooth cooperation without a linear workflow that defines who is responsible for what.
2. Ensures consistent use of brand assets.
Organizations can centralize their brand assets and rules and give all key stakeholders controlled access to ensure they employ the most recent and approved brand elements in their campaigns, white papers, or other communication.
Brand assets, such as approved films, photos, or texts can be organized into libraries for different departments, such as ready-to-use brand assets for social media or client presentations.
BAM is essential for asset generation and administration, as well as ensuring that the correct asset is used for any given purpose. Access control becomes critical in this situation.
3. Acts as a centralized repository.
BAM solutions serve as a central repository for your company's marketing assets. Assets may be quickly recovered with metadata tagging via keyword or campaign search, potentially saving a significant amount of time and money. According to studies, American workers spend over 20% of their time looking for information. Designers, marketers, and brand managers can use BAM to avoid time-consuming searches and streamline asset storage.
4. Acts as the single source of truth.
As enterprise marketing teams develop a global content strategy, a centralized, cloud, or SaaS-based solution for digital assets is required. BAM can function as a Global System of Record (SOR) or as a Single Source of Truth (SSoT), which means it is the definitive data source for a specific data element or piece of information. BAM should act as a SOR and a centralized hub for marketing workflows.
5. Provides constant access.
Marketing executives require continuous access to their organization's assets, which cloud-based digital asset management enables. Even huge companies can benefit from features like search and metadata tagging, which allow for easy access to historical and current assets. However, not every employee or stakeholder requires full access. To ensure efficient marketing execution and data protection, access should be granted on a need-to-know basis.
6. Provides workflow transparency.
A lack of transparency may be frustrating for any business. Brand managers at distributed enterprises may encounter difficulties when local affiliates want custom assets. A BAM provides information about who needs assets and how the asset production process is performing for both local outlets and head office marketers. Brand managers can be more efficient if they have defined timetables, targets, and expectations.
7. Makes it easier to find assets.
Without an adequate tool for storage, retrieval, and search, assets might be easily lost or neglected. The ideal BAM tool connects assets to campaigns and other metadata, lowering the chance of overlooking high-value assets. Stakeholders might be granted customized access to guarantee that asset investments pay off.
8. Enables cross-team collaboration through integration.
A BAM that is simple to use can boost promotional activity among stakeholders, especially local marketing affiliates. Integration with print providers, content management systems (CMS), social media marketing, and other platforms can enable local marketers to develop their assets, even if they lack marketing or creative experience.
9. Provides insights on asset usage.
BAM gives brand managers data insights into how, when, and where assets are used. The asset performance insights can be used to improve future campaign design and consumer segment knowledge. Marketing managers can even split test campaigns across similar client segments by providing local affiliates with alternative versions of assets.
10. Supports customer retention and business growth.
A new product launch could go wrong if the necessary multimedia materials are not ready for release.
With content being a vital component in any organization, the ability to buy or develop, maintain, and deliver relevant, acceptable, and high-quality photos and videos on a timely basis may make or break a campaign's success. BAM is now required for businesses to provide greater client interaction, which can lead to customer retention.
11. Improved content planning.
The availability of a centralized repository for all brand assets can lead to better content planning, such as determining the number of assets required for a particular marketing campaign. The benefits of brand management software for a business are evident, as it can have a direct and indirect impact on its profitability. With the appropriate BAM software, employees can access all brand assets from a single location, which saves a significant amount of time for the organization. Additionally, brand guidelines can be enforced more effectively with the help of the software.
Examples of brand asset management software
Here are some of the best brand asset management solutions in the market right now.
1. Artwork Flow: Artwork Flow is an online collaboration platform enabling creative teams to collaborate on projects. It is cloud-based and allows users to customize workflows, assign tasks, and proof artwork files. Users may manage their projects and assets more efficiently with tools like online proofing, digital asset management, and annotation feedback. Artwork Flow has several pricing plans to meet various budgets and needs, as well as a free 7-day trial. Among the many advantages are:
- Ability to establish unique workflows, add checklists, and specify task flows across departments.
- Track the status of the project, engage with stakeholders, and proof creatives online.
- Keep your artwork files organized in a cloud-based digital asset library for simple access and version management.
- Launch your products faster, decrease errors and expenses, and improve brand consistency and quality.
2. Bynder: Bynder is a well-liked BAM system in the market for a reason. It is a user-friendly solution that allows you to adapt the brand asset management framework to meet the needs of your firm. While it does not provide fulfillment distribution, Bynder does provide basic BAM and DAM functionalities, as well as additional services such as digital rights and MRM management. It may be utilized in any sector and provides great customer service, which is uncommon among software vendors.
On the negative side, Bynder is one of the most expensive BAM software solutions on the market, and its level of customization is fairly limited.
3. Brand24: The primary goal of Brand24 is to boost a company's social media influence through brand image. It integrates with your social media networks and delivers notifications when your company is mentioned—a useful feature for rapidly responding to influencer mentions and customer concerns. It is also mobile-friendly and provides customer training.
While it includes good project management features, Brand24 may be functionally constrained due to the absence of critical parts such as asset management.
Brand24 is a better choice for small-to-medium-sized businesses that are still establishing a reputation and focusing on social media marketing.
4. Asset Bank: Asset Bank is a DAM system with enhanced BAM capabilities. It has a long history of providing DAM services, dating back to 1999. It is regarded as an effective solution for businesses that must adapt various asset management frameworks for regional and worldwide markets.
While it can be difficult to use at first and may require the assistance of a trained software specialist to set up, Asset Bank's interface is simple to use. Once under control, their features are extensive and continually updated, providing a personalized experience backed up by excellent customer service.
You must pay a monthly license fee or a one-time fee for an on-premises version, which is more expensive than other BAMs at $8,000+.
5. Bitrix24: Bitrix24 is a BAM for small businesses or remote teams that need to track assets from several places. You can use it on any system, on the cloud, or on your mobile device. It is less expensive than the others on this list, starting at $39 per month. It comes with a slew of supplementary tools that supplement brand assets, such as invoicing and billing, schedule management, and a website builder. However, if you are only looking for a basic BAM tool, these functionalities may be excessive and unnecessary.
While it provides 24/7 customer service through a designated person, the knowledge base and training associated with the product are less user-friendly than that of competing software. Users must look for information in forums and wikis.
Brand assets play an important role in maintaining a consistent brand identity. It helps improve brand equity, increase sales, improve customer loyalty, and provide an edge over the competition. Managing brand assets have become challenging with the shift in marketing strategy, increased number of marketing channels, and personalized marketing while dealing with tighter budgets. For high-quality and streamlined creative workflows, you can try out Artwork Flow for free and see what a brand asset management software can do for you.