Here’s Why You Need A Brand Central Platform
March 16, 2018
Managing brand assets can be a challenge, and yet for companies big and small, their brand is perhaps their most valuable single asset. This means that proper brand asset is a must for every company. Collecting, controlling, organizing, securing, and distributing brand assets is vital, and a brand central platform can provide companies with the tools they need to properly manage their brands.
Brand central software programs feature a wide range of tools that allow companies to organize, store, and control their brand assets. By using a brand central platform, your company will be able to easily and securely store valuable assets, like logos, images, videos, banners, rich media creatives, advertisements, presentations, templates, audio files etc. Your company will also be able to control who can access what. Not only can you control sharing with employees, but you can also easily share and manage access with outside companies, such as ad agencies, journalists, and other stakeholders.
Brand central software is a valuable tool that can ultimately increase efficiency, result in better outcomes, and help secure your most valuable asset, your brand. Companies operate in a complex environment, and it’s more important now than ever before to make sure that intellectual property is being properly secured and controlled.
Brands Are A Constant In A Complex World
In the past, companies were much more clearly delineated. General Motors and Ford had their factories and offices, Disney had its studios and theme parks. These days, companies are often centered more around brands and ideas, rather than physical spaces, or even legal structures, like corporations. Sure, Ford still has its factories and offices, but now the motor giant works with countless outside companies.
From suppliers delivering motor parts, to advertising agencies, and strategic consulting firms, there are now dozens, if not hundreds of companies now working to support Ford Motors and its efforts. The one constant among all of these efforts? Ford’s brand.
The same is true of Disney, they work with dozens, if not hundreds of companies to produce movies, run its theme parks, and other efforts. In fact, nearly every easily recognizable household brand is in a similar position. From Dow Chemical, to Apple computers, the actual companies themselves are but one strand of a complex web that produce and sell products, whether those products are smartphones or household cleaners.
Nearly everyone would recognize Apple’s brand, yet how many could identify Foxconn, the company that builds many of Apple’s gadgets? How about TBWA/Media Arts Lab, the ad agency that is responsible for many of Apple’s most iconic ads? Or how about NXP Semiconductor, the company that produces the near-field technology needed to run Apple Pay and other services? Few people would recognize these companies because they are “ghosts in the machine” that make the larger machine -Apple- run.
Collaboration and Brand Management Isn’t Just For The Big Boys
These days, many small and medium companies are also utilizing outside contractors and companies for a wide range of business operations. Restaurants often contract professional menu makers and printers. Car dealers work with local ad agencies. Small software companies often contract out advertising. On and on the list goes. Within this context, brand management is now a major concern for companies of all sizes.
Brand central platforms can be a great resource for companies big and small. Further, an affordable platform makes it easier for small companies to gain access to the resources and capabilities of larger companies. Small companies often have to rely on outside contractors, such as free-lance web designers, to help run their businesses. Hiring in-house talent can simply be too expensive. A brand central platform will make it easier for small companies (and big companies too!) to manage all of these outside stakeholders.
Secure Access, Secure Your Brand
One of the many benefits of a brand central platform is tightly controlled user access. The brand manager gets to decide who can access content and why. Given the large number of companies and contractors that will be using your assets, securing your assets is more important now than ever before. Fact is, you can’t keep all of your files on your local hard drives, but at the same time, you don’t want them floating around the Internet unsecured.
Luckily, a brand central platform can help keep assets organized and ensure easy access for authorized parties. This will increase efficiency, and will ensure that everything is fully accounted for. Further, with brand central, you’ll be able to increase security. What if you accidentally mix up Dropbox files and drop some files in the wrong place? You could accidentally share sensitive information with the wrong party, and deny someone access to documents and information that they need to complete their project.
Fact is, your brand is perhaps your most valuable asset, and managing your brand assets, and access to those assets, is now vital for every company. Companies like Apple and Ford will fiercely defend any attempts to misuse or copy their brand, and for good reason. Brands are what customers identify with, and if someone is selling subpar knockoffs of your products or services, it will damage your brand, and eventually your sales. At the same time, the offending company will be stealing sales.
That’s why a “brand central” management system is so important. Brand central software can help companies of all sizes manage and secure their brand assets. Instead of letting brand assets float around in email and personal Dropbox accounts, a brand central platform allows the “central” company to closely control and monitor its brand assets.
Make Sure Your Strategy Is Aligned
One of the biggest challenges of coordinating multiple companies and contractors is keeping everyone on the same page. With so many different actors helping to promote and drive the company and its efforts, it is easy for different people and parties to start pulling efforts in different directions. This makes coordinating efforts essential.
A brand central platform can make coordination much easier. Having a centralized resource that allows you to create, manage, distribute, retrieve, and archive brand assets can go a long way in helping you create, distribute, and coordinate your brand strategy. In the past, brand guidelines and design manuals were often printed out and distributed via DVD and CD. This was a huge hassle, updates required redistribution, and you could never be sure that your assets were safe. With an online platform, however, you can enable easy (and instant) access, and ensure that all of your assets are up to date.
In the past, coordinating efforts within a company was difficult. Given how many contractors are working with companies, and how many outside stakeholders (such as newspapers) might be working with a brand, coordination without a brand central system is next to impossible. With a brand management system? Aligning strategies, efforts, and assets can be easy.
Manage Brand Access, Monitor Brand Use
Brand central software can often provide usage statistics, letting you know who is using what, and when. This can help you monitor trends and detect anomalies. Such insights can also provide security benefits, helping you monitor for misuse. At the same time, a brand central platform can also help you get a bird’s eye view on how and when your brand assets are being used.
This type of powerful data analytics can help you ensure that your brand assets are secure, and can also provide insight into usage behavior. Is a certain logo or other asset being favored? Why? Are any assets being neglected? Are out of date assets being used? Data insights can provide you with actionable insights, which in turn can help you improve your company’s performance.
Data analytics has become a powerful tool in various other fields. Website usage, consumer shopping behaviors, workplace efficiency, on and on the list goes. So why not unlock the power of data analytics when it comes to managing your brand? With a brand central system, you can make data analytics real and tangible for your brand management efforts.
Brand Central Management Is Quick and Easy
Companies can have thousands of brand assets. Managing all of them can be a real challenge, and if something gets lost, it can cost the company time and money. Further, if someone can’t gain access to a particular brand asset, work and development might have to be stopped until the proper assets are put in place. With a good brand central software system, organization is quick, easy, and pain free. Granting access is also painless, and so is managing other aspects of your marketing and brand workflows.
With a brand central system, you won’t have to waste time playing phone or email tag with people trying to hunt down logos and other assets. It happens all the time, you’re busy, the phone rings, and it’s Suzy from Public Relations and she needs the new logo in .jpg format, not .eps. Or maybe it’s Jim from software development needs to know the company’s official color codes. Some days, it’ll seem like the phone is ringing non-stop, and that your email folder is constantly refilling itself to the brim. With a brand central platform, employees will be able head to the secured site, and download exactly what they need in the format they need.
Time is very valuable for companies of all types. Time wasted is money wasted, and increasing efficiency can pay big dividends. This is true for major multi-national corporations and local mom-and-pop shops and every company in-between. By making it so easy to create, manage, distribute, retrieve, and archive brand assets, a brand central platform will be able to deliver real, tangible results for your marketing department and company.
Even slight increases in efficiency can help increase outputs and reduce waste. Slight efficiency and time savings, in turn, can save companies tens of thousands of dollars or more. At the same time, even slight improvements in the effectiveness of a company’s marketing efforts can produce huge results in terms of sales and brand recognition.
Brand Central: A Resource You Need
At the end of the day, a brand central platform is a powerful and highly useful tool that companies of every size should consider purchasing. Whether you’re running a small mom and pop shop, or the marketing department of a major multi-national corporation, a brand central platform will help you organize, secure, and provide access for a wide range of market assets. With brand central software you can manage all your high and low res images, logos, product shots, audio, video and other communications materials with ease.
In the long-run, this will increase efficiency, and help you improve your outputs. Not only will you be increasing efficiency, but at the same time you’ll be removing a major headache. No more struggling to manage countless projects and contractors. No more email tag. No more outdated logos floating around. A brand central platform makes brand management easy and efficient.