Every company selling a product or service is out there to market a brand, whether that company is a large multinational organization or a medium-sized business. This brand needs to be easily distinguishable from the competition, and create clearly identifiable, positive associations.
A brand management portal (also commonly referred to as a “brand center”, or “brand portal”) will help you accomplish this. There are three reasons why brand management software has a place in your company:
1. Protect Your Company’s Brand Identity
In order to build a sustainable brand, your company’s visual identity must be communicated in a consistent matter, and through all available channels. As a rule, all collateral must include the latest font and logo, the marketing and design teams must be fully aware of all aspects of brand history and vision, and all relevant parties must have access to the most current printing templates.
In order for all team members to be up-to-date, a branding repository for all branding-related files must exist. Often, such a repository ends up being a non-editable PDF document, which takes a long time both to update and enforce. After all, it is next to impossible to confirm that the hundreds of employees working at a large multination corporation are all referring to the correct document for their visual identity needs. Poor version control is the bane of every brand managers’ existence.
A brand portal takes over the functions of read-only visual identity documents by providing all relevant parties with easily attainable and updateable branding information. Both internal and external parties can thus access branding guidelines from anywhere around the world. Individual branding elements, such as fonts, footers and logos, can be made available for direct download, ensuring that all materials produced company-wide are on-brand.
2. Review and Approve New Marketing Collateral
To make sure that your marketing/branding department only produces materials that are 100% aligned with your branding guidelines, whether it is a brochure, a poster, or a blog post, each document needs to be reviewed and approved by a brand manager. When this is not done, a company opens itself up to a blurring of its brand identity as inconsistencies creep into official marketing communications.
Nevertheless, enforced brand control increases the length of the production process. A simple review stage involves the reviewer receiving a document, making the necessary edits, getting the edits over to the creator of the document, and the document creator finally making the necessary alterations. Each step of the review stage opens up the entire media creation process to miscommunication, misunderstandings, and unnecessary duplication. The burden of sending drafts back and forth, whether by email or snail, is cumbersome at the very least.
Brand management systems, however, lighten brand managers’ workloads considerably. With workflow tools, brand managers are able to keep parallel projects and pending tasks under control through one tool, to designate responsibilities, and even to focus communications between departments and external partners on the task at hand. For example, requests for changes or alterations can be made directly online within the project management tool.
3. Create Multilingual Marketing Collateral
Whether its brochures, business cards, or email footers, companies from all industries require large quantities of digital media. Within organizations operating across several countries, all media produced must also be translated, usually several times over. Collateral templates need to be created in several languages. These additional steps inevitably negatively influence the time to market and increase production costs. Even if the text in need of translating is short, translation agencies need to be directly involved in the media creation process.
Brand management systems take into account that translations are an important aspect of time to market for corporations. An integrated “publishing on demand” (also known as “web2print”) tool will make simple text alterations straightforward. A publishing on demand template need only be created once, even though it can be reused and adjusted as many times as necessary. Moreover, publishing on demand tools can also include automatically adjusting if, for example, the translated text is longer and takes up more space than the original.
The direct benefit of publishing on demand is, of course, that all employees can directly create (and even print!) collateral through their web browser – no special design or IT skills are required.