Branding for the times: what is driving the trends in brand technology?
Besides rapid technology advancement, two other factors are driving the continuous evolution of brand technology: changing consumer expectations and behaviours and the ever-expanding range of communication channels.
Today’s consumers expect an influx of relevant content. And they have no reservations about scrutinising these materials to the smallest detail. They demand accuracy, fairness, transparency, accountability, and authenticity from brands. Thanks to the easy access to communication channels, they are unafraid to call out brands that don’t fulfil their promise or display questionable behaviour. These communication channels have also created a sense of communal thinking amongst consumers, further raising the stakes for brands.
What, then, can we expect from brand technology in the immediate future?
On the one hand, we can expect to see more of the same brand technology solutions we have seen in the last decade: tools designed to help brands create and distribute more personalised marketing content through relevant channels.
On the other hand, we can also expect these solutions to be faster, smarter, and more precise. They are designed to cut back repetitive tasks and enable teams to create content with minimal assistance from IT resources or design specialists. Many processes will be automated. Artificial Intelligence (AI) will also play a more prominent role in these new tools’ functionalities. AI’s image-recognition capacity, for example, will make it easier to search, label, and sort thousands of photos or identify duplicates down to the pixel level in a matter of seconds. These added functionalities will simplify managing brand assets in the DAM system. For example, it will make it easier for employees to find the elements they need to create new content.
Essential brand technology tools for future-proof brand management
Organisations need to equip their teams with the right tools that can support their brand management strategies, particularly in the areas of asset creation, asset organisation and management, asset distribution, and performance measurement:
- Digital Asset Management (DAM). Brands are already dealing with an astronomical volume of content, and they are continuously creating more to stay relevant. This equates to a larger quantity of assets that need to be constantly managed and updated. That is why a smarter Digital Asset Management (DAM) system is imperative to manage and update these ever-increasing quantities of assets efficiently. The DAM stores, manages, categorises, and updates all brand assets. It is also the easiest and safest way to access brand assets and share them with internal and external collaborators.
- Web-to-publish. The speed and efficiency with which branded materials — both digital and print — are created is more crucial than ever. Content creation typically requires the use of multiple tools and the collaboration of various teams, making it both costly and time-consuming. This is where web-to-publish tools come in handy. Web-to-publish tools, like template management software, make the creation and re-use of branded assets easier and more efficient by letting brands: (1) create materials that meet the brand’s standards; (2) create materials swiftly; and (3) create assets with minimal design- and IT-skill.
- Brand Dashboard. Having more options to connect with target groups also means more channels that require constant monitoring. To create content in tune with the relevant audience, brands need tools that measure and provide insight into brand performance (i.e., brand presence, brand interest, brand appreciation, and brand engagement).