The digital revolution of the last two decades has dramatically changed the playing field for brands. The rapid creation of new communication channels has enabled consumers and other stakeholders to take on more influential roles in shaping brands’ identities and connections.

What happens behind the scenes – brand management and operations – is critical to getting branded assets to perform at the top level. Brands need to increase the efficiency with which they produce brand assets and ensure that they are compatible with all relevant channels and platforms – the right brand technology tools play a crucial role in achieving this goal.

Unfortunately, the “digital transformation” hysteria of the last decade (and the subsequent often poorly thought-through investments) has caused many brand leaders to have reservations about investing in new brand technology solutions.

In the first instalment of this three-part brand technology blog series, I will share our insights on the benefits of brand technology and why it is well worth the investment.

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The three core benefits of brand technology

The right brand tech solutions can simplify and optimise brand management processes, benefitting the brand in a multitude of ways:

1. Increased efficiency

Building a brand with on-brand communication is never just a single-step process. Nor is it the work of a single internal team. It requires multiple, sometimes overlapping, steps and constant collaboration between various players inside and outside the organisation. It also involves the exchange of large quantities of files between teams and individuals. Keeping track of these files alone is a tedious, time-consuming task that can significantly slow down processes. A study by Harris Interactive shows that an employee spends approximately 18 minutes locating a single document. For brand teams, this can include sifting through thousands of old and outdated versions of images or resorting to Google to search for brand assets — which, according to a 2022 Templafy survey, 69% of employees admit to doing.

Document management issues have become a bigger problem during the pandemic. With the majority of the global workforce now working at least partially remotely, accessing and sharing files has become even more challenging.

"Optimising brand management processes requires tools that allow seamless collaboration and uninterrupted working."

Optimising brand management processes requires tools that allow seamless collaboration and uninterrupted working. A Digital Asset Management (DAM – a singular interface that makes it easy to search for and share files, photos, and other branded materials), for example, can help with these document management issues. It acts as a comprehensive media library where brand assets and guidelines for their usage can be centrally stored and automatically updated. Essentially, a DAM reduces repetitive tasks, removes collaboration barriers, and makes sure everyone is using the most up-to-date version of all brand assets.

Other brand technology tools are also designed to help improve the speed and efficiency with which branded assets can be created, reducing the need to create materials anew to meet increasingly diverse platform requirements.

2. Greater brand consistency

The use and distribution of brand assets do not start and end with marketing and creative teams. Everyone in the organisation distributes brand assets in one way or another — most predominantly through email communications — and it is so much easier to stray from correct usage without a tool that helps all users stay on-brand. Investing in the right brand tech tools is also about ensuring brand consistency.

For example, VIM Group recently worked with a multinational company operating several commercial brands across more than 100 global sites. This company had nearly 500 versions of the same global email signature, creating a fragmented impression before VIM Group introduced and implemented a template management system. Centralising the creation and management of these branded materials has helped the company to unify its digital signatures and create a more cohesive identity.

Besides templating solutions, smart guidelines and education & training software can also help ensure consistency across all touchpoints. These tools provide brand teams and collaborators with the most up-to-date information on using their existing assets and code blocks that help them create new ones. This means that no matter the touchpoint or collaborator, anyone with access to the guidelines and education software can create brand assets and materials consistent with the brand’s guidelines.

Consistency in branding does more than just make your brand look good. A Demand Metric study on the financial impact of branding shows that brands with more consistent brand outputs enjoy better visibility, which, in turn, results in an increase in revenue. In fact, the study finds a 23% jump in revenues for brands that present themselves with better consistency.

3. Reduced cost of brand asset production

Creating every new brand asset from scratch, repetitive manual tasks, and working across multiple platforms on the same branded material can needlessly increase the cost of producing assets. Using tools that automate content creation and centralise media resources and guidelines helps cut back unnecessary internal and external costs associated with content production — from streamlining the process to increasing the reuse of branded assets.

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Additional benefits of brand technology

In addition to the three core benefits of increased efficiency, helping to ensure a more consistent and coherent brand presence at the touchpoint level, and reduced costs, Brand Technology offers some less obvious but perhaps no less important benefits for brand owners.

The ever-improving functionality of brand technology enables savvy brand owners to:

Empower employees with the right tools

The right BrandTech solutions enable different teams to participate in tasks that would otherwise have been too complex or too technical for them. One of the most common examples of this is employing IT resources in marketing teams to help with the technical aspects of content creation. Tools that automate this process, for example, empower marketing teams with content creation while freeing up to 95% of the unnecessary IT resource used in marketing.

Change how they and their department are perceived within the organisation

With the right tools, anyone from within and even outside the organisation can create materials that meet brand standards. This means that brand leaders can evolve away from the role of “brand police”, becoming the valued provider of useful tools that enable internal and external colleagues to do a better job, more cheaply than was previously the case.

Measure brand performance

The right BrandTech solution also provides data analytics to help brand leaders make the best decisions for the brand’s future. In a KPI-driven business landscape, measuring the performance of an intangible asset like brand is always a challenge. A tool like VIM Group’s Brand Dashboard is a centralised channel referencing a variety of tools and channels to provide real-time brand performance insights across different metrics, i.e., engagement, loyalty, presence, and through different phases of the brand funnel.

Ensure better compliance with copyright and licensing requirements

Digital rights management is a frequently overlooked aspect of brand asset management, that the right brand technology tools can simplify. A DAM, for example, can ensure that employees don’t run the risk of inadvertently using copyrighted materials or materials with an outdated licence.

"Navigating the bewildering landscape of brand technology tools and solutions before deciding how best to invest is an entirely different journey."

Navigating the bewildering landscape of brand technology tools and solutions before deciding how best to invest is an entirely different journey, one that I will talk about in later blog post.

Hopefully, this post has been helpful in laying the foundation for the first step for brands to get ahead in this primarily digital, rapidly evolving business world: to fully appreciate the potential benefits of the right brand technology.