Does your brand appear consistently across your company and all your marketing channels and platforms? Can your employees and partners find up-to-date brand assets like logos and images easily? Brand awareness is necessary as it drives people’s attention towards the brand, helps in differentiating between competing companies, and increases sales. How can a brand achieve that? Take a quick look at a guide to effective brand asset management.
The world of branding has changed from the days when brand managers only needed to worry about getting the logo and the email signature right in company communications. Brands need to deliver assets consistently to many more channels and platforms now. Thus, the way in which these assets are used and distributed is critical.
When your brand is presented consistently, you build greater brand awareness. You secure a competitive edge over your competitors, you’re more successful in attracting good talent, you build and retain customer loyalty, and investors trust you more.
How do you ensure that your brand is always represented correctly, especially when the number of brand assets is large? An organizational process called brand asset management can help you.
What is brand asset management?
Brand asset management (BAM) is the process of organizing and distributing a company’s brand assets using purpose-built software. Any branding-related documents, files, or images such as logos, templates, brand style guidelines, digital or print artwork, social media visuals, or internal memo designs are included.
Traditionally, brand managers would upload brand assets to a central repository and then inform their team about the updates. The assets would then be distributed via email making it difficult to control versions and ensure brand compliance.
Because of the large number of channels and platforms and consequently, the large number of assets, it is impossible for the brand manager to track and ensure adherence to the latest brand guidelines.
If team members don’t know where to access the latest assets or guidelines, they may re-use old templates, guess the brand’s font color, or pull stock images from Google.
Content audits do not resolve this problem because they only check a small sample of outgoing communications. Thus, brand managers cannot be sure of brand compliance.
What are the benefits of brand asset management?
- Brand managers can be sure that brand integrity is protected since brand assets are used and distributed correctly.
- The voice and tone of the brand are represented consistently at every customer touchpoint by adhering to brand guidelines. Channel partners also represent a cohesive brand image.
- Employees save time and increase productivity because they don’t have to hunt for the latest brand guidelines or assets.
Let’s understand what brand assets are and discuss a few examples.
What are brand assets?
Brand assets are brand elements, such as a logo, font, color palette, jingle, mascot, or product packaging that distinguishes a brand as unique and well-known.
Brand Elements Become Brand Assets Only When They Are:
a) Unique – Customers should associate the element with your brand, not with that of your competitor’s brand.
b) Identifiable – Customers should instantly recognize your brand name from the element.
Brand assets are important because consumers should be able to recognize the brand name in any type of brand communication.
Distinctive assets can creatively signal the brand’s identity in advertisements without actually showing the name.
Brand assets increase the brand footprint in an advertisement. They also improve the in-store performance of the brand by creating a recognizable connection between brand assets shown in advertisements and those shown on the packaging.
Some Examples Of Brand Assets Are:
a) Amazon Packaging
Amazon’s boxes are easily recognizable due to the smile logo and the printed tape that has details of Prime offers. Even from afar, people can tell that the delivery is from Amazon.
[Source: Yahoo Finance]
b) Nike’s Swoosh Logo
The distinctive logo has become an extension of the brand. Even if the name of the brand is not displayed in marketing collaterals, customers still identify it like Nike.
c) Coca-Cola’s Brand Colors and Typography
Coca-Cola has been an instantly recognizable brand for over 130 years. Its bright red and white colors and unique font have a high recall factor because it is consistently used across advertisements, packaging, and other promotional materials.
[Source: 1000 logos]
d) McDonald’s Golden Arches
McDonald’s is recognized the world over by its twin golden arches even when the name is not mentioned. The brand’s jingle “I’m lovin’ it” is also equally famous.
e) Apple’s Half-Eaten Apple Logo
Apple is the world leader in branding. Its distinctive half-eaten apple logo and typography are famous and the brand stands for quality.
[Source: Wikimedia Commons]
The way consumers perceive Apple accounts for almost 64% of the company’s total value!
Top Tools To Have In Your Brand Asset Arsenal
When you need a consistent presence across all touchpoints and channels, you need to have excellent test management tools in your brand asset arsenal.
Common Brand Assets Include:
- Brand Name or Logo
- Slogans or Taglines
- Videos and Advertisements
- Brand Guidelines
- Communication materials like Newsletters or Press Releases
Brand management tools are often called “the single source of truth” because they support asset creation, organization, and distribution through the entire asset lifecycle.
Companies use brand identity kits to overcome the problem of inconsistencies in branding. These kits consist of the most business-critical visual assets and brand information like logos, color palettes, typography styles, and information about how to use them across platforms and audiences.
Brand asset management tools house brand identity kits in a central location that employees can easily access. Creatives and marketers can pull pre-approved brand asset kits to use in brand communication instead of hunting for up-to-date elements or re-creating them each time.
Let’s Take A Look At The Top 6 Tools You Can Consider To Develop And Manage Your Brand Assets
Marketing trends have shifted to include more video content because consumers prefer video content to other forms of content.
But some companies struggle to create video content at scale due to a lack of tools to create and distribute video content, lack of expertise, or lack of in-house creative resources or budget.
Video asset creation tools are the solution to these problems. These tools support video creation and editing to help designers or marketers quickly create high-quality marketing videos, without requiring professional editing skills.
The video assets are stored in a central library and can be automatically distributed across various channels.
Let’s take a look at Videoleap, a powerful video editing app with high-end features.
[Source: Videoleap on the Apple App Store]
Videoleap by Lightricks is an easy-to-use and intuitive video editing app that allows users to create promotional and educational videos and videos for social media.
Both free and premium versions are available, which makes it easy for amateurs and professionals to create videos using the features they need. Pro designers can create polished brand videos, whereas regular users can create simple effects.
The free version has plenty of features, too — text options, green screen, keyframing, color adjustment, and a few audio tracks.
- Layering – Several clips can be merged and text added on top.
- Special Effects Transitions – A variety of effects can be used to create action-packed videos that hook viewers.
- Ability To Add Audio – An audio library is available for users to choose from. Keyframes can be used to match the audio to the video.
- Cloning – Users can add themselves several times to a project to create the illusion of having a twin.
- Chroma Key – The background of a video can be removed and the subject of the video can be shifted to a different background.
02. Elementor’s Full Site Kits
Your website is an important brand asset. Your online marketing efforts will lead back to your website, so you need to project a cohesive brand image. The last thing you’d want is to use inconsistent brand elements and confuse your audience.
Let’s take a look at Elementor’s Full Site Kits that help designers and marketers preserve brand assets like logo, color palette, fonts, tone of voice, and imagery across websites without having to build from scratch each time a new website is created.
Elementor is a drag-and-drop WordPress website builder plugin that allows you to create pages and whole websites that look different from the standard WordPress theme templates.
It’s one of the most popular visual website builders for WordPress owing to its beautiful interface, advanced customization options, and the fact that you can build a feature-rich website with no coding knowledge.
Elementor’s Full Site Kits are a bundle of templates, headers, footers, pop-ups, landing pages, global fonts and colors, and even single posts–basically, everything needed for a website.
Thus, designers can create proven web design elements and brand assets for a website for one kit and then export it to apply to new branded websites.
Site Kits help web creators or designers save time and reduce frustration by not having to create each website from scratch.
They can also maintain brand consistency by adhering to brand elements like color palettes, fonts, and visual elements. Hence, they can scale their operations with ease and efficiency.
Elementor has more than 80 full Site Kits for various industries that comprise theme builder parts, content pages, and popups with the same style and design.
Web creators and site owners need not worry about crowding their websites with flashy elements that look good but ultimately, slow down page speeds without adding to the user experience.
Since the templates have been pre-verified for SEO performance, designers do not have to worry about the website’s Google search rankings.
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03. Adobe Illustrator/Spark
Logos communicate brand values through shape, color, and design. To be impactful, a logo should communicate what the company is about and should be unique to distinguish it from the logos of competitors.
Your teams and partners should have a digital repository with pre-approved logo creatives to use for their branding materials or just for reference.
Maintain image fidelity with high-resolution formats like JPEG, PDF, or PNG. Provide instructions for use to prevent the use of incorrect dimensions, colors, and modifications. Include all variations of the logo adapted to different channels.
Also include minute details like how much white space should surround the logo and how big or small it can be to prevent unrecognizable distortions.
Now Let’s Take A Look At A Few Logo Creation Tools That You Can Consider When Choosing Your Brand Asset Stack
1. Adobe Illustrator
[Source: Pinterest ]
Adobe Illustrator is the market leader in vector drawing software due to its comprehensive toolset, a wide variety of capabilities, and integration with the Creative Cloud Suite.
- Its logo design software makes it easy to create a powerful logo for any industry or medium, be it print, digital, or video.
- It helps you make scalable assets without losing resolution.
- You can take a rough sketch of your logo, trace the keystrokes, and convert it into a printable vector asset.
Adobe Illustrator works well for packaging and die lines drawing because the interface allows a large artboard and the details can be accurately plotted even for the smallest measurements.
However, the platform is more suited to people who have some knowledge of the Adobe Creative Suite rather than beginners.
2. Adobe Spark
Adobe Spark has been created by the team behind Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Photoshop. The difference is that Spark is beginner-friendly whereas Illustrator is more suitable for experienced designers.
[Source: Adobe ]
However, Spark has limited customization options and flexibility.
You can use the platform for free and download the logo design you created for free, but you don’t necessarily get commercial rights to it.
Spark’s icons are sourced from The Noun Project and you’re required to check whether the icon you’ve chosen has commercial rights. If it does not have those rights, you have to pay to license it to use it for your company.
Apart from logos, Spark allows you to create web pages, short videos, and social media posts. You can design logos in many languages, including Chinese, Hindi, French, and German.
Visual content helps raise brand awareness, engages website visitors, and generates marketing leads.
Infographics help simplify complex processes or demonstrate the latest research in a user-friendly way. Most marketers use them as part of their content strategy to quickly deliver marketing messages.
Brand infographics trigger visual memory, helping the brand stay uppermost in the minds of consumers for a long time. Using elements of your brand kit such as your logo, color palette, or icons in company infographics is a good way to increase brand recall.
You can consider some of the following graphic design tools to help you visualize data and create striking graphics.
Venngage is an online infographic design tool that enables you to create infographics, posters, reports, and presentations for marketing collateral using pre-built infographic templates or from scratch.
[Source: Venngage ]
It has a wide array of easy-to-use features like a drag-and-drop interface, customizable themes and templates, free-form design canvas, icons, and clipart elements.
Useful for both beginners and experienced designers, it’s a powerful branding tool for a marketing team that wants to create impactful visual content cost-effectively.
It has a stunning user interface packed with every conceivable tool for editing design templates including aspects of color, size, text, opacity, or content.
Venngage has a useful infographic distribution feature wherein users can seamlessly share the finished infographics on social media. It has features to allow you to publish and embed finished designs on websites or download them as image files or PDF files.
Venngage further supports branding efforts with its Brand Kit that users can develop with their brand assets to ensure that all visual elements are on-brand for each project.
Piktochart is a cloud-based infographic design tool and presentation building app that is suitable for visualizing data.
It has intuitive graphic elements that allow users to create infographics, online presentations, brochures, and posters.
[Source: Piktochart Knowledge Base ]
- Supports remote collaboration to enable team members to work on creations together.
- Packs in around 750 highly polished and professional templates for various fields like business and education.
- Supports video integration and offers a media library of 4000+ copyright-free icons and photos.
- Interactive maps and charts.
- Full desktop publishing capabilities.
- Works well with Windows and Mac.
- Strict design guidelines for appealing images.
- Visuals can be exported in PNG, JPG, PDF, and PPT formats.
A good infographic maker is required for organizations that want to enhance external communications and internal collaboration. Piktochart is best for companies that need to communicate with investors, clients, and stakeholders.
05. WiseStamp Email Signature Generator
An effective email signature should be on-brand, well-designed, and communicative. Since email is the most-used channel of business communication, signature branding can raise brand awareness and increase engagement with your content.
When an email signature is designed well, it promotes the brand’s values positively and professionally. Details such as signature size, type of contact information, social badges, and CTAs are important. Other elements such as logos, fonts, color palettes, and images should also match the brand identity guidelines.
Company-wide signatures have to be consistent if you’re building a brand. Employees can use pre-approved email signatures across departments and functions to present a uniform image.
You can consider WiseStamp’s professional templates to create a memorable signature that represents your brand.
[Source: Wisestamp ]
WiseStamp is an online platform for creating and implementing branded email signatures.
Using this generator, organizations can effectively promote their brand and consistently market their contact information, socials, and services in every email they send.
It is user-friendly, can be set up quickly, and has a simple interface.
- Centralized signature management enables unified adoption of standardized signatures across an organization.
- A variety of pre-styled signature templates can be edited as per requirements without the need for HTML coding knowledge.
- Also enables the creation of branded signature from scratch with a blank template.
- Can be linked to Google Analytics for tracking signature clicks or contact detail clicks.
- Supports Gmail, Outlook, Yahoo, iMac Mail, Android, and iPhone.
Signatures are available in a wide variety of configurations and layouts. They can be customized to add portrait photos and contact details like phone, email, website, and address.
Social media account badges such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter can be included along with embedded third-party apps.
Premium features such as image and effect animations and white labeling are also available.
Thus, WiseStamp is ideal for organizations that want to project a uniform brand image in their company emails.
For large companies or teams, it can get difficult to implement version control and ensure smooth access to files manually. Team members also waste time trying to locate relevant files.
Hence, brand asset project management software & systems are needed to keep brand assets organized in a central location, which can be accessed by authorized users.
Brand Asset Management Software Offers The Following Advantages:
- Better equipped to store rich media such as videos, images, and other marketing assets.
- Allows you to organize brand assets better using advanced tagging and labeling.
- Offers better version control than manual organization methods.
- Keeps brand assets secure with user permissions and access control.
Three Brand Asset Management Software Options You Can Consider:
Brandfolder is popular digital asset management (DAM) platform that offers a user-friendly interface to make brand asset management easier and more streamlined.
[Source: Brandfolder ]
Brandfolder can help you to organize, share, and collaborate on files quickly without having to learn complex procedures.
Major Benefits Are:
- Single location for all digital and brand assets.
- Locate media files and other brand assets quickly.
- Manage brand collections.
- Automate sharing and collaboration of files.
- Watermarking, copyrighting, permissions management.
- Use facial recognition technology to generate auto tags.
- Allows integrations with Open APIs, Google Workspace, Microsoft Office, Salesforce, and Adobe.
Since the application is cloud-based, brand assets can be conveniently retrieved from anywhere at any time.
Filecamp is a cloud-based Brand Asset Management (BAM) software solution that helps companies organize and share their brand assets such as images, logos, colors, and brand guidelines.
Unlimited users in all plans, each user configured with their own set of user-, and folder permissions. Unique custom branding options will make sure everything is in sync with your brand guide. More than 1500 brands from all over the world trust Filecamp with their digital assets and brand guidelines.
Major Benefits Are:
- Granular Access Control
- Multiple Themes
- Keywords & Tags
- Automatic Tagging
- File Labels
- Search & Find
- Share & Distribute
- Custom Pages
- Custom Thumbs
- File Links Request
- Download Options
You can use a free trial version to check whether this service meets your needs.
Frontify is another cloud-based brand asset management (BAM) platform that enables you to centralize your brand assets. It is easy to use, even for amateur designers.
[Source: Frontify ]
You can create brand guidelines with the Frontify Style Guide to organize and showcase your brand and ensure consistency at every touchpoint. Immensely popular, it is used by around 4,000 brands all over the world.
Other Features Are:
- Creative collaboration to facilitate project rollouts.
- Digital and print templates for marketing materials.
- Security and support at the enterprise level.
- Built-in, highly customizable workflow.
- Online review functionality.
- Visual and intuitive interface.
- Newsletter feature for change management communications.
Frontify integrates with many platforms including Adobe, Figma, WordPress, Sketch, Vimeo, Microsoft Azure Active Directory, and OneLogin.
There are plenty of brand asset management tools in the market. You can choose the right ones based on your brand strategy, your brand goals, and your budget.
Hopefully, this list has helped you identify the top tools to develop each type of brand asset.
Brand asset management helps your team organize their day-to-day work, not waste time looking for the right assets, and speeds up their workflow.