8 Signs Software Could Solve your Brand Management Problem

Lara Sinclair — 27th September 2021

Effective brand management, or the process of monitoring, maintaining and managing brand reputation to improve the audience’s perception of your brand, doesn’t happen by accident -- it happens by design.

Even then, organisations may have many of the key elements of a strong brand in place, such as a well-positioned, appealing brand, managed by a talented marketing team, in adherence to a clear brand style guide and things can still go off the rails.

Brands are living, breathing, changing things. A company’s brand is driven by more than the promises you make and how well you deliver against them - it can be affected by internal factors as well as external developments, trends and events.

Good brand management relies heavily on brand consistency, delivered in all channels and environments, to communicate the brand promise and build brand awareness, brand recognition, brand trust and brand value.

“Consistency is the secret ingredient to making customers happy,” according to McKinsey. When brands are poorly managed and brand consistency is compromised, brand recognition, brand trust and brand value erode over time.

In your quest for a strong brand, it will be important to have the right support systems in place, such as well-defined brand guidelines, effective briefing, approval and asset management, efficient creative and production processes, and reduced reliance on manual workflows.

The right brand management software can solve a broad range of brand management problems. If you are experiencing any of the following brand management issues, it may be the right solution for you.

1. Physically decentralised and disconnected team

Whether you’re working remotely, or always based in a different physical location than many of  your marketing stakeholders, being separated from your colleagues complicates brand management by making it harder to get on-brand work created, edited, approved and in-market quickly.

This is particularly true if teams are based in different markets, time zones or local geographic areas and need regionalised, localised or personalised variations of approved assets.

How software can help

Brand management and templating software solves this problem by putting editable on-brand assets at the fingertips of your stakeholders, allowing them to self-create, personalise and localise those assets within strict limitations so whatever they create remains on-brand.

Your on-brand marketing materials are centralised, accessible and easy to reference in the creation of updated versions. Bakers Delight, one of Australia’s largest franchise retail businesses, uses Outfit to empower their franchisees to create local area marketing content. You can read about it in this case study.

2. You have a style guide… but it’s not always obvious

So much time and effort goes into the creation of brand guidelines to keep all your marketing collateral and assets on-brand. But the hard part is ensuring the organisation not only knows where and how to reference the style guide, but does so correctly.

When teams fail to implement brand guidelines properly, it doesn’t take long for marketing collateral and other materials created throughout your organization to begin representing your brand in an inconsistent light.

 

How software can help

On-brand responsive templates for all your commonly used asset types can enshrine your brand guidelines and automate the process of observing those rules within your brand management software system. That means anyone can create on-brand marketing materials, whether they have design experience or not.

3. Marketing is spinning its wheels

When the marketing team spends the majority of its time updating existing materials, or policing or rebriefing stakeholder-produced materials to ensure what is produced meets your usual brand standards and is aligned with your brand strategy, that’s a sure sign something’s out of kilter.

It not only leaves marketing scrambling to produce the work it needs to move the organisation forward and generate growth, but it creates long lead-times for even minor changes to existing assets to work their way through the system, creating frustration and inertia within organisations.

How software can help

Brand management software empowers marketing stakeholders throughout your organisation by allowing them to make the minor changes they need to on-brand asset formats and produce a version for marketing to approve.

This not only reduces the amount of time marketing needs to spend on production, but it allows stakeholders to create a first draft of new assets within established formats and effectively ‘reverse brief’ that work to the marketing team. Approvals can be managed centrally within the brand management system to save time and minimise risk.

4. Production costs are rising

Many marketing teams have limited production resources and rely on external providers. When lots of minor updates and changes to existing assets are required, that can cause production costs to spiral -- particularly if feedback, amendments and approvals are managed by email,  chat or other tools that aren’t designed for the purpose.

How software can help

Using brand management software allows minor production changes to be made to approved on-brand formats without design involvement. Responsive templates can be edited easily and cost-effectively to generate the bulk of your marketing assets, leaving your external designers and creative teams to produce the high-value work you really need them for. Durham University, one of the world’s oldest educational institutions, uses Outfit to save on production costs as they have a very lean budget. Understand how they’re using it to combat rising production costs in this case study.

5. You need some quick wins… emphasis on the quick

Long marketing request turnaround times, or a reliance on manual processes to complete small marketing jobs, quickly becomes counterproductive when marketing teams are under pressure.

If it takes weeks to get marketing assets completed and approved when it just shouldn’t, or your team spends hours manually updating assets with personal or local details, it could be time to seek a faster way.

How software can help

New, on-brand assets can be created within minutes using brand management software, reducing lead times to the bare minimum while minimising risk. Choose a brand management software system that integrates with your CRM and marketing automation tools, and you’ll be able to create thousands of personalised or localised assets in a similar time frame using data automation.

6. You need to scale marketing ahead of budgetary support

Marketing teams are sometimes charged with supporting the growth of organisations - for example, into new markets - before extra resourcing becomes available to the marketing team. Similarly, marketing may be expected to expand brand awareness or conversion by using new channels to market without additional personnel, dramatically increasing the volume of output.

How software can help

Using brand management software, stakeholders in new territories can access regionalised versions of on-brand assets. Responsive templates can also be created or edited to produce on-brand variations of existing assets to populate new channels to market at little cost and minimal time outlay.

7. Rebranding is painful

When you know you need to rebrand but the very thought of finding all those in-market and in-use assets and updating them makes your head spin - or if you’ve just been through a rebrand and now you need to ensure your brand refresh is properly implemented - technology can make it a much simpler, easier and faster process.

How software can help

By templatising and centralising all your on-brand assets while enshrining your brand guidelines, you’ll ensure all new versions automatically observe your new brand guidelines, regardless of how well those guidelines are understood by the individuals creating the assets. In addition, built-in asset restrictions ensure users can only access those assets they are authorised to use. The Australian National University did just this and saved almost $1 million in design costs -  you can read about it in this case study.

8. Brand hierarchy… it’s complicated

Just as organisations grow, develop and sometimes become complex structures, brand hierarchies can expand or evolve into complex ecosystems too. There may be a simple system for keeping all those elements working in perfect harmony - but the marketing team can’t keep spending all their time explaining and policing it.

How software can help

Logo lock-ups, co-branding conventions, on-brand colour variations and other elements can be managed with ease using brand management software so teams always have the correct version of the branding elements they need at their fingertips and can’t deviate from acceptable use.

How does Outfit’s responsive brand management and templating software help build brand value?

Outfit’s responsive brand management and templating platform enables marketing teams to increase brand recognition, brand salience and brand value by empowering organisations to stay on-brand.

Our templates and tools make it easy and efficient for marketers and their stakeholders to update, amend and create brand-consistent marketing assets regardless of the size, location or design skills of your broader organisation.

Reach out for more information about how Outfit’s brand management and templating software can help you solve your brand management problems and build brand value at your organisation. Request a demo here.

 

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