Brand asset management, also called BAM for short, is commonly defined as the administration of an organization’s branded creative assets and brand guidelines. Though on the face of it the practice appears narrow in scope, there are a broad range of duties a brand asset management team is responsible for, including:

  • Categorization, storage and retrieval of branded creative assets, such as vector files for logos and templates for office suites.
  • Oversight of the license agreements, distribution and use of rights-managed stock imagery.
  • Provision of brand standards to all stakeholders, both within and outside an organization.
  • Enforcement of brand guidelines for all internal and external communications.

To carry out these responsibilities reliably and efficiently, marketing teams of larger, more complex organizations may employ specialized BAM software, such as Brand Ensemble.

Why is brand asset management important?

To answer this question, consider the size and scope of the audiences who work with your brand on a daily basis.

Most obvious are the creative teams who require the assets and guidelines to develop on-brand marketing campaigns. But dig deeper and you’ll uncover wide array of internal and external stakeholders.

  • Customer-facing employees who present the brand in-person, both verbally through conversation and physically through their uniforms.
  • Facilities management teams that construct and install branded signage on your organization’s properties.
  • Manufacturers responsible for the application of your visual identity on supplies and finished products.

Not unlike your marketers and agency partners, these team members make frequent use of your brand in their respective roles and, therefore, require the necessary guidance to work with it.

Brand asset management provides that guidance.

It centralizes a version of your brand and makes it available to everyone in your organization in an accessible, actionable format. Doing so empowers everyone on your team to communicate your brand truth reliably and consistently, thereby minimizing any risk to your brand’s equity.

What does brand asset management software do?

The investment an organization makes in specialized BAM software can pay dividends. But what are the features that should be available and what kind of results should you expect?

To answer these questions, we’ve outlined four key actions a worthwhile BAM platform must be able to perform.

Well-developed BAM software incorporates specialized functionality designed to automate and centralize routine tasks in the brand asset management workflow.

For example, help desk functionality found in many platforms consolidates and tracks requests for assistance, while built-in notifications alert relevant stakeholders to guideline updates and new iterations of previously downloaded design assets. As the BAM platform routinizes day-to-day administrative tasks, your team is afforded with the time and up-to-date information necessary to deliver faster, better work.

Every specialized BAM platform will host a copy of your brand guidelines. How it makes them available is the question you should consider.

Web-based guidelines, as opposed to printed guidelines or shared PDFs, ensure a broad audience has the most current standards available to them in an accessible, immediate and actionable way. Disparate sources of information are consolidated into a single educational resource, which eliminates the potential of brand misuse, as well as the added costs that’d be spent on creative revisions.

Tools are just as important as rules when it comes to well-executed brand work.

Some BAM platforms, such as Brand Ensemble, are developed with workflows designed to streamline an organization’s brand approval process, thereby reducing campaign deployment timelines. Self-service design tools for templated print and digital creative means brand-approved brochures and display advertisements can be rapidly created without the need of a designer, who is consequently free to develop more complex, imaginative work for the company portfolio.

Don’t overlook a BAM system that motivates your team to collectively develop and share brand experiences.

Consider a platform with functionality to publish, showcase and review creative works, so design teams can listen to constructive feedback and act upon it to iteratively improve design work. Finally, be sure your BAM platform has a place to share your brand story and build a brand community, so as to foster a sense of ownership and pride in your brand for every member of your team.

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