One of the core concepts of developing a strong brand is distinctiveness. This is achieved through the consistent use of a set of visual (and audio) codes that are uniquely “you”.
Why are distinctive brand assets important?
People are busy and have their own lives to think about, so generally don’t care or think about your brand, unless they are in the market for what you are offering. Even then, if you’re not physically available in that buying situation, you have little to no chance of securing a sale.
Distinctive brand assets support physical availability by providing sensory cues that help you get noticed, stay top of mind and reinforce associations with your brand. Using Mcdonalds as an example again, it’s one of the main reasons they have adverts running in close proximity to their restaurants.
Developing a set of unique brand assets that are associated with your brand in the minds of your customers is a lengthy process. Think years of exposure, and requires ruthlessly consistent use in all the communications and promotional activity you undertake.
So if behind the scenes your assets are all over the place you’re not giving yourself much chance of success.
Firstly, with no internal point of reference the people creating your advertising, packaging and other collateral are going to have no baseline to work from. What follows are constant changes, unconnected new ideas and external work that makes no contribution to building associations with your brand externally.
Secondly, when teams save files on badly organised and unstable internal servers, use Dropbox, Google Drive, or worse, save files to desktop hard drives, files get lost.
Thirdly, with creative assets like photography saved across different locations you miss the opportunity to have an overview of the overarching style and whether or not they fit in with your brand aesthetic.
Throw in to the mix a) teams and external partners working remotely or from different offices, creating and saving work to even more locations, and b) the requirement for these teams to use the core assets consistently and share work they create across the different locations, it’s no wonder so many brands fall short when it comes to developing distinctive assets and achieving any kind of salience with their target market.
The good news is that there’s a better way to manage your brand…brand asset management software.
While using a brand asset management platform won’t guarantee success in developing distinctive brands assets, it will remedy all the behind the scenes issues previously highlighted by offering the following:
- One single place to store all your brand assets.
- Cloud based storage that can be access from any location.
- Organisation and search to help you easily find the assets you need.
- The ability to share files or groups of files with anyone in your organisation wherever they’re based.
The key is to find a system that doesn’t add to the complexity you are looking to fix. It needs to be simple to use, and enjoyable too, in order to maximise organisational uptake.
Several key features are all that’s needed – upload, organise, secure storage, remote access and easy to download and share. The rest is just bloat that gets in the way of simple brand asset management.
- Associations/positioning and codes – save these as a cheat sheet that all staff can reference.
- Simple brand guidelines. All this document needs to do is show examples of how to use your associations and codes and style of photography. Complexity is the enemy here.
- A library of creative assets – video, photography, audio.
- An easy to use system for storing, organising and sharing your assets.