American entrepreneur Lisa Gansky once said “A brand is a voice and a product is a souvenir.” But defining ‘brand’ will mean different things to different people. For some, it’s the name or the symbol of a company, such as Nike’s ‘Swoosh.’ For others, it could be the type of product manufactured – a ‘Hoover’ vacuum cleaner, as an example – or even the emotional and psychological relationship we strike with companies. In reality, there is truth in all these definitions. But Gansky summarised it well when she referred to a brand as a voice, greater than the sum of its parts.
From the design of a logo, to every customer interaction, a brand is the DNA of an organisation. So, it stands to reason that when companies want to differentiate themselves from the rest of the pack, having a recognisable brand goes a long way to winning customers. But, to turn a one-time buyer into a long-term fan, there is one more factor to consider, and that is consistency.
How can companies ensure consistency with branding? The answer is digital asset management (DAM). But before we look at the ‘how’, let’s explore the ‘what’ and the ‘why’.
What is true brand consistency?
True brand consistency looks like Apple, Google, Microsoft, Amazon, Facebook, Coca-Cola, or any of the other companies listed in Forbes’ ‘World’s Most Valuable Brands’ list. It’s when an organisation delivers elements and messaging associated with its brand in a manner that conforms to a set of uniform guiding principles, making it instantly recognisable. And by aligning all representations of a brand, such as logos, colours, fonts, voice, and messaging, with defined corporate values and a clear identity, it is possible for any organisation to achieve brand consistency.
Why is consistent branding important?
People are more likely to spend money on brands they know and love, and when surveyed, over three-quarters of consumers have had relationships with specific brands for more than 10 years. This means that when a person is ready to make a purchase, it is the brands they remember and trust that will have the competitive advantage.
In today’s digital age, technology has opened up a plethora of potential new channels. Augmented reality, social media, chatbots and AI have made their way into the marketer’s toolkit, and organisations are constantly experimenting with new customer touchpoints. But, regardless of the touchpoint – or the location of the customer – this can’t be to the detriment of a consistent, harmonious, brand experience. One voice, multiple channels, the customer at the heart.
How to achieve consistency
As a brand grows, so will its library of assets; from videos, to graphics and photos, and more. Every new product or service launched will require new content to support the brand’s marketing strategy. And creating content takes time, money, and resources, which will be wasted if there is no plan for maintaining and storing them.
For example, if a brand is launching into a new market, it will require localised content. DAM solutions facilitate the creation and usage of content within an organisation, from the genesis of an idea, through to asset creation, product distribution of those assets, and impact evaluation. Depending on the geography of an advertisement for example, the same image may be used, but the text will differ. Organisations therefore need a single source of truth – a centralised location for all content assets – where marketers and sales teams alike are empowered and able to access approved and easily adaptable content, whenever they need it.
Instead of employees wasting time looking for the right assets for each campaign, DAM solutions give back time to teams so they can focus attention on value-added tasks to move the organisation forward. And by providing visibility across the whole content lifecycle – from planning, to creation, to management and publication – organisations are able to optimise their marketing efforts through richer, more consistent customer experiences.
DAM also empowers marketers to track and assess the performance of assets, both on an individual asset level, or on a wider scale. This enables brands to measure success, and make improvements where needed. Is the right picture being used? Which touchpoint has the best customer engagement?
In summary, putting the right people, processes, and tools in place, will better position organisations to deliver consistent branding, aligned with the product or service they are selling. It is about the smarter use of content to achieve superior customer experience and efficient use of employees’ time. Time spent being creative and delivering value – and revenue – to the organisation, rather than getting lost down an admin rabbit hole. And that’s why marketers should give a DAM.
Written by Jake Athey, Marketing & Customer Experience, VP, Widen
GDPR Summit Series is a global series of GDPR events which will help marketers to prepare to meet the requirements of the GDPR ahead of May 2018 and beyond. Further information and conference details are available at http://www.gdprsummit.london/
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