The core tenets of a compelling brand experience in today’s world are fundamentally very similar to what they have always been. Despite changing markets and consumer behaviours, one of brand’s key objectives has always been to forge deep connections with people. What has changed significantly is how brands make this connection. There’s been a conveyor belt of new communication channels and technologies being introduced to the market, each one promising to be better and faster than the last. Having all these new ways of communicating and connecting has put a lot of pressure on brand management and performance.  Brand technology has been instrumental in helping brands adapt to this ever-evolving landscape. Core capabilities have evolved greatly from simple brand asset storage, as in the early version of the Digital Asset Management (DAM) system, into an ecosystem that can be integrated with other functionalities within brand management.

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"Core capabilities have evolved greatly from simple brand asset storage into an ecosystem that can be integrated with other functionalities within brand management."

Digital Asset Management (DAM) system

The DAM, also known as a brand portal or media library, has become the backbone of brand management technology. It’s gone from being a simple storage facility to becoming the engine that enables personalised marketing while maintaining brand consistency. It drives a greater return on the company’s investment in marketing assets and helps optimise the process of creating branded documents and touchpoints. A DAM also helps ensure the business meets its legal compliance and obligations around content use. And it can do all this across multiple regions and languages if required. The DAM sits at the heart of an organisation’s digital asset supply chain and will continue to be the central element of the digital experience platforms of the future.

Recently, other tools have been wrapped around the DAM to create a brand management technology ecosystem. These are for example dynamic brand guidelines, collaboration tools, and templating functionality. The addition of these to the company’s core brand tech is usually a function of maturity (see chart).

Educational tools: brand guidelines

Interactive brand guidelines mean that everyone involved in producing and using branded collateral has the most up-to-date information about how those assets are to be used. In the past, you might have sent out a PDF of your guidelines and hoped everyone followed the rules. Housing these guidelines within your brand portal creates a central hub where all stakeholders can find the information they need from the brand, and which enables them to search for the information they need for a specific task. The bigger and more decentralised the organisation, the more important this function becomes.

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Collaboration tools

Collaboration tools allow you to establish workflows for branding and marketing, making sure that when someone has finished working on a branded asset, it automatically moves on to the person responsible for the next stage of the process. This avoids costs and inefficiencies around version control and prevents bottlenecks from developing when creating material. These tools also allow workflows to be created along RACI (responsible, accountable, consulted, and informed) principles, meaning that people can fulfil their designated roles but not go beyond them.

Template and content management tools

Finally, you can also automate creation through templating, so that you can automatically create content like social campaign posts or display banners.
However, most brand management technology solutions are not a case of ‘one size fits all’. Certain brand tech providers may be more suitable for organisations of different sizes, or in different regions, for example. The complexity of the systems also means that different vendors are stronger in different areas of functionality. In addition, for your brand management technology ecosystem to work to its full capabilities, it needs to be tailored to the precise needs of the business. All of this can make the selection of the right vendors extremely complicated.

Would you like to learn more about the essentials of brand management technology and how a solid ecosystem can boost your brand performance? Download our Ultimate Brand and Marketing Technology Guide.