How To Avoid The Seven Deadly Sins Of Brand Asset Management
Everyone is pretty familiar with the seven deadly sins -- lust, gluttony, greed, sloth, wrath, envy and pride. As a marketer, I would argue that there are seven even more deadly sins when it comes to brand asset management.
Consistency, compliance, collaboration, connection, communication, control and cost -- all innocent words in and of themselves, but if you break down any of these “sins” collectively, they are powerful enough to destroy your hard-earned brand reputation. Let's go into each of them in more detail:
- Consistency – It takes years for companies to build a brand and create a relationship of trust between the brand and the consumer. Brand reputation and how it is represented across media is critical to how you get that trust. Lack of brand consistency leads to brand confusion, lack of trust and ultimately, the dilution of your brand.
- Compliance – Do you have control over who, where and how your brands are being used? Do you have the final say in how your assets are being leveraged to ensure that they are followed in a compliant manner? Poor compliance can lead to legal and rights infringements and could result in costly fines.
- Communication, collaboration, and connection – The essence of building a brand is through communication and collaboration across teams responsible for managing your brand and your assets. Poor communication and collaboration lead to poor connections between teams, which can lead to costly mistakes.
- Control – The only way to maintain brand consistency is to have control over who sees what and how you enforce alignment within the brand guidelines and over the brand assets. In today's digital-savvy world, even the smallest of mistakes can go viral within seconds. Without tight control over your brand, you run the risk of quickly ruining your brand reputation.
- Cost – One of the key challenges for any marketer is to do more with less. If brands are not managed consistently, more money can be wasted doing damage control and fixing the image of the brand.
The key to avoiding these seven deadly sins is to effectively connect disparate marketing users and creative partners, and streamline processes between them. This ensures that your brand assets are used consistently and compliantly in marketing and communication campaigns.
Building a brand involves investing in and ensuring its integrity. Being able to manage your brand effectively is an integral part of that investment, which includes protecting your brand while being able to be leverage it in the right place at the right time, with the right message. This means that brand managers must be able to deliver consistent messages across multiple touchpoints -- from asset management, brand guidelines, creative workflow, project approvals, and campaign management to resource management.
Successful brand management involves creating a brand community -- building teams with the people involved in creating the assets, those responsible for approving them, and those whose job it is to promote the brand across multiple channels and regions. A central resource for all approved assets that encourage user adoption through collaborative tools will enable users to perform tasks such as submit project requests, coordinate internal and external project teams, assemble project and content files, request approvals for assets being used, centralize project discussions and enable feedback mechanisms, track and manage version controls, and produce project ROI reports.
Teams need to be able to share assets among users in order to provide control and transparency and auditable visibility into who is using your brand assets, as well as how and where they are being used. There should also be a means of providing usage rights information, with automated expiration dates, to ensure compliance across all teams. Once processes are streamlined and marketing users feel more connected and engaged, the brand community is empowered to create assets within the community at a local level -- and ultimately, promote adoption at a global level.
Implementing brand asset management solutions to avoid these deadly sins altogether can bring a marketer and the brand to a happy conclusion where both the marketer and the company are rewarded with a strong brand identity that strongly promotes the company's vision and goals.