The issue of inflation continues to pose a significant threat to economic stability, leaving many financial decision-makers with the difficult task of cutting back on spending. As a result, many brand budgets have become vulnerable, putting brand leaders under added pressure to take drastic measures – like pausing major projects or cancelling them entirely.

However, knee-jerk reactions are not the answer. Instead, brand teams should take a closer look at where inefficiencies and unnecessary costs occur and find long-term cost-saving and value-adding solutions like investing in brand technology solutions. It may surprise some that the biggest culprits of brand management inefficiencies are often the seemingly innocuous day-to-day brand-related tasks rather than major campaigns, which typically take up the lion’s share of branding budgets.

Content creation woes

For the most part, creating marketing materials is an exercise in creativity. But a large part of the process is also repetitive; repurposing the same visual elements to suit various touchpoints and purposes. Despite this, many teams are still stuck creating each material from scratch, often resulting in off-brand outputs and wasted time. The issue is particularly prevalent in localised marketing content.

Moreover, the problem is more extensive than just marketing materials: PowerPoint slides, for example, are more time-consuming to create. One survey showed that almost 70% of employees spend one hour per day, on average, creating PowerPoint presentations. Alarmingly, those surveyed say 40% of that time is spent on formatting alone. For a company of 1,000 employees, this translates to a staggering 5,600 hours each month on adjusting dimensions, colours, and brand placements.

Brand policing hardly ever works 

Inefficiency in brand operations goes beyond the content production process. It extends to the content approval process too. Unsurprisingly, this is one of the biggest causes of delays in content speed-to-market.

For most organisations, the issue is due to ambiguities in content approval regulations. Specifically, who gives the final approval for which materials?

While ensuring consistency and quality is crucial to brand management, there are more sustainable solutions than stern brand policing. But without flexible guidelines and clear brand governance standards, the content approval process will remain arbitrary, redundant, inefficient, and yes – costly.

"There are more sustainable solutions than stern brand policing."

Brand asset mismanagement is more common than you think 

The lack of access to correct files and branded materials is also a huge source of inefficiency in brand operations. A survey of 500 marketers by Civey found that 33.3% waste three weeks’ worth of working hours every year searching for brand assets. And that’s not the worst part. Most employees resort to recreating the files they cannot find, taking more valuable time away from important tasks.

Lack of governance around digital brand solutions can be detrimental to brand management  

Often, inefficiencies in brand management and operations are due to the lack of brand technology solutions. But in some cases, it is the complete mismanagement of existing solutions. An excellent example is the lack of clarity over who has responsibility and control over existing tools. This issue prevents the brand teams from regularly maintaining and developing the brand software and providing a daily service for users.

"In some cases, inefficiencies in brand management and operations are due to the mismanagement of existing solutions."

Optimising brand operations and saving costs with the right brand technology solutions 

Investing in big brand technology applications sounds counterintuitive to cost-cutting measures. But if you are looking for a long-term solution that optimises operations and ensures you meet your goals, it might exactly be what your brand operation needs.

Here are some of the best tools to consider:

Digital Asset Management

A one-stop shop for brand assets, as in the case of a Digital Asset Management (DAM) system, not only provides easy access to all relevant files (i.e., photos, logos, videos, etc.) but also offers the possibility of creating complex visual structures. This feature has two main benefits:

  • First, it enables brand teams to identify who can view and download specific files, helping streamline collaborations between internal brand users and external collaborators (i.e., creative agencies).
  • Second, it simplifies digital rights management, including consent management, copyright, and auto-archiving. A DAM system can also help optimise the content creation process. DAM systems make downloading the correct extension or output format easier. This way, employees can easily scale the correct asset to the needed dimensions without added formatting. And by integrating with a CMS (Content Management System), DAM solutions can solve common issues around creating materials/content for different touchpoints without excessive brand policing.

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Template management

By using high-quality, editable templates, employees can create on-brand presentations with ease. But more importantly, template management solutions offer a user-friendly and efficient way to organise and update templates. We’ve seen first-hand that the lack of templates isn’t the problem; it’s how they’re managed. Employees often reuse and merge slides from different master templates, creating a mess of outdated and new versions that are hard to navigate. With template management solutions, employees have easier access to the correct templates, reducing creation times by up to 30%. 

Brand guidelines

It’s important to note that the lack of brand guidelines is rarely the issue in most organisations. Often, the problem lies in the accessibility of these guidelines for brand users. Unfortunately, brand books are typically made available in bulky PDF formats that are neither user-friendly nor dynamic. A brand guidelines tool is a handy solution, simplifying the process of keeping branding rules up to date, equipped with a better UX to inspire repeated use, effectively helping reduce output errors and eliminate the need for brand policing.

Navigating the brand technology landscape with ease 

Of course, knowing which tools are available is only a small, albeit important, part of the process. Finding the best solution requires cooperation between brand leaders and other departments. Maximising savings and efficiencies also require auditing existing tools and removing technology silos.

Despite this, an overview of the common sources of inefficiency – and the solutions designed to resolve these problems – is a crucial first step in optimising your brand operations and cutting down costs.


If you have any questions about brand technology or brand management tools, feel free to reach out! I’m here to help and would love to have a chat. You can contact me at +31 6 21 24 67 57 or at