Achieving global compliance to brand guidelines

As more and more companies compete in today’s global marketplace, the differences between their product offerings are shrinking rapidly. More often than not, what this means in terms of business strategy is that the brand remains to be the most-priced asset for a company. So it only makes sense that protection and consistent application of the brand be prioritized as most critical.

Brand teams work hard to perform this critical function by ensuring every consumer-facing activity goes through an approval process mandated by the brand or marketing code. They ensure that every piece of content being used is on-brand and that all brand guidelines are being followed in their entirety – with no exceptions made.  Imagine the endless chains of emails from external partners, FTP uploads and downloads, query after query while searching for information, the DVD file errors, courier delays, duplicated assets, and WeTransfer download interruptions that they face each day.

Our tech overview for the week features a Brand Asset Management (BAM) solution called OnBrand, developed by North Plains’ recently-acquired Vyre. Their tagline, “dissolving complexity,” really starts to make sense once you compare it with other BAM/DAM (Digital Asset Management) solutions such as Asset Bank, Canto, Razuna, Woodwing’s Elvis, Widen, Cumulus, Filecamp, NetXposure, and Third Light IMS – just to name the few we compared with OnBrand.

It is a cloud-based, simple, modular solution that is out-of-the-box and supports the evolving brand ecosystem we face today. It allows a brand’s stakeholders controlled yet unhindered access to assets while protecting them at the same time. It is based on the UNIFY platform and features six modules that can be added on as the needs of a business grow.

The Software as a Service (SaaS) solution comes out on top primarily for its versatility in digital asset management – from brand guidelines, creative workflow and campaign management to smart approvals, reporting, and web-to-print services – allowing assets to be created and managed in a very controlled way. OnBrand ensures compliance to brand guidelines as well as legal guidelines and it also allows for projects to be delivered on time and within budget. Here is one system that was built with a thorough understanding of the pressures and bottlenecks most brands face today.

Protecting and controlling brand communications is a tedious task for any brand – especially global ones – and requires establishing a workflow system and rights management. Someone who needs to use the latest brand creatives for a slideshow doesn’t need high-resolution images; so OnBrand determines user requirements and grants access rights through its system, whether they are direct employees, joint ventures, distributors, agencies or even customers.

It goes a step further though. Digital assets are often duplicated or recreated just because users were not able to find what they are looking for – whether it was because of ineffective search tools or missing metadata. On average, users spend nearly 37 minutes (or 8% of a typical work day) on average just searching for information. Since the OnBrand BAM allows for dynamic navigation, relevancy, predictive, synonym support and query suggestions, it is possible to find assets through accelerated search and retrieval allowing for ease of repurposing and reusing content, saving organizations at least 50% of the time (and thus money) spent searching.

Apart from being a single, central store for guidelines and best practices, the key benefit of the BAM is in how it accommodates the direction coming from board rooms that demands greater efficiency, greater transparency and a greater throughput of work. The system actually helps organizations eliminate waste by laying a strong foundation to calculate costs, measure performance and calculate the return on marketing investment. This kind of intelligence goes directly into the making and improvement of an evolved business plan.

OnBrand can be deployed as a licensed tool or as a service that typically costs £2,500 a month (or £30,000 a year). With the advent of new media technologies, timely creation, management and distribution of visual content has become an integral part of the creative marketing lifecycle. Marketing resource management and achieving global compliance to brand guidelines is not some distant dream any more. The right tools are already out there.