The Best Brand Management Software


The Best Brand Management Software


Blog Thumbnail Brand Management Software
Brand Managers, those responsible for creating and maintaining positive brand imagery, need tools of trade just like any professional. Particularly in the content creation vortex we currently find ourselves in. For the most part, these ‘tools’ translate to brand management software. The best brand management software can see you through from strategy to content creation, launch, campaign management and post analysis. They include clever tech and workflows to help make brand management easier. This guide provides the ultimate checklist to help you determine precisely what having the best brand management software means.
 

First, a snapshot of what brand management software does

Brand management software helps businesses manage and uphold their brand identity across all channels of exposure. Broadly speaking, it includes features that soften some of the all too well-known brand management ‘pain points’. The best brand management software centralizes, organizes and automates many functions that make life as a brand manager a whole lot simpler. For example, it can:
 
  • Create and share brand guidelines so standards can be maintained.


  • Make creative assets such as images, videos and audio files as well as completed campaign material easy to find and share.


  • Provide detailed information on each creative asset such as creation dates, version control, licensing rights and technical information.
  • Streamline the content creation process from brief to launch and ongoing upkeep.
  • Facilitate collaboration across departments and with external agencies and partners to help streamline feedback, proofing and approvals.


  • Stop the hunt for the right asset version, feedback buried in fragmented email loops and approvals scattered across multiple platforms.
 
      And ultimately…
 
  • Get great brand compliant and legal approved content out the door fast
The best brand management software centralizes, organizes and automates work.

How to know if you have the best brand management software:

 
This checklist is a comprehensive guide to getting the best brand management software. It catalogs the high level functionalities most commonly needed by brand management teams to meet either their current or future needs. 
 
Clearly the objective is to make sure your brand management software ticks as many of these boxes as possible. We’ve broken down these features into three core functions of brand management, which ideally should be centralized in one platform.


 

Brand strategy


Your brand strategy includes an analysis of your brand’s purpose, its points of differentiation, your audience, market dynamics and ultimately, your value proposition. Importantly, it underpins how you’ll communicate it to your audience over time. The best brand management software will include these features to help you during that process:
 
  • Ability to share documentation and collaborate with key stakeholders
  • Allow people to collaborate on documents such as brand audits
  • Track document versions and comments
  • Link to confidential primary research data
  • Include rich media such as video and audio files
  • Build a staged timeline for completion
  • Automate regular strategy review cycles
  • Provide an audit trail of who has approved each stage
  • Integrate within a creative workflow so it can travel with subsequent marketing campaign and task briefs 
Brand management software allows users to share documents effortlessly.

Brand consistency


Once a brand strategy has been agreed, then comes the equally important task of developing brand ID, messaging, visual style and tone of voice. A set of brand guidelines is required so everyone is on the same page when it comes to the rules involved with portraying your brand. This ensures consistency across all channels which is the biggest building block for any brand.
 
In years gone by, brand guidelines were trapped in static PDFs with no interactivity. Consequently they were often lost in the ether or were just plain out of date. Today, brand guidelines best practice rule number one is to house them online. That way, all approved users can download the latest logos and use the online brand guideline portal, or BrandHub as we call them, to streamline communication and facilitate fast brand approvals. There are all kinds of online brand portals on the market, but the best of the best brand management software will include the following functionalities:
 
  • Enable online access for 24/7 authorized access

  • Provide granular permission based access that can be split any way you like, for example, by brand, sub brand, internal, franchisee or to external partners.

  • Be fully customizable to suit the very brand guidelines you seek to distribute.

  • Displays rich media such as video and audio to bring your guidelines to life.

  • Provide downloadable editable, pre-approved creative templates.

  • Include a channel that streamlines brand task requests to marketing.

  • A dedicated stand alone area to funnel brand approval requests from brand partners or global offices.

  • Automates responses to commonly asked questions.

  • Links approved users to your wider bank of digital creative assets such as photographs, web graphics, videos and audio.

  • Updates any aspects of your brand guidelines in real time.

  • Provides analytics and reporting on downloaded content by team members or asset.

  • Offers user training via ‘How to use’ guide.
Brand management software includes online brand guidelines which act as a central source of truth for all things brand.

Brand asset management

 
While you may have tight rein on your brand guidelines, creative content libraries can often contain off-brand or out of date assets. On top of that they are more often than not stored on various hard drives or multiple cloud storage accounts with little or no mechanisms to help you find them. Needless to say this is a nightmare for brand managers who need to get brand approved content live in world record time.
 
Centralizing your creative content in a Digital Asset Management system (DAM) that links to online brand guidelines and marketing workflows is a critical part of brand management software. It allows all team members to self serve rather than have one creative asset gatekeeper. 
 
The list of individual features available in a digital asset management tech stack is exhaustive and is best viewed via an Request For Proposal (RFP) template. We’ve compiled a list of the primary digital asset management capabilities offered by the best brand management software below as a first step. Each combines to enable efficient asset storage, advanced search, tracking and easy sharing in one portal that is the central source of truth for all content. The best brand management DAMs facilitate: 
 
  • A systematic structure for organizing files.

  • Metadata tagging to embed information such as usage rights, creation date etc.

  • Automated keyword tagging (custom and AI) for fast retrieval.

  • Search with granular filters.

  • Ability to curate collections of assets.

  • Secure file transfers and shareable CDN links.

  • A direct push of assets to websites and social media apps.

  • Version control and side by side comparisons.

  • Batch processing for uploads, cropping and downloading.

  • One click asset transformation, (file type and resizing).

  • Auto generate closed captions from audio and video files to text.

  • Add custom watermarks to prevent unauthorized sharing.

  • Set asset review dates to manage usage.

  • Integrate commonly used third party software such as Adobe, Getty and Shopify so you never have to leave the platform.

  • Generate analytics on team member activity and track asset usage. 
The best brand management software links taggable digital creative content to your workflow. 

Brand campaign production 

 

One of the best things about brand management software is its ability to facilitate collaboration between internal and external team members with creative workflows. There’s a workflow for all kinds of brand management processes – whether you’re working on a major brand campaign or a one off task. The best part is, many of these can be automated.

You’ll know you have a top brand management software solution when these functionalities are included:


  • Kanban boards that manage job creation and timelines.
     
  • A formalized process to send briefs and creative to designated approvers – with a full audit trail.

  • Configurable briefing templates and intake forms that contain all required information such as deadlines and budgets.

  • Links campaign work to master strategy documents and briefs.

  • Editable brand approved templates that enable fast localization to help scale.

  • Annotate and markup creative assets, with a date stamped and reportable audit trail of all feedback and comments.

  • Automatically generate and embed standardized disclaimers in creative work to avoid repetitive legal approval requests and reduce human error.

  • View key information on your projects, approvals and time to market, via reporting dashboards.

  • Collaborate on creative – with complete visibility on project status.
 
 

Other considerations


Make sure your brand management software solution:
  • Has an extensive onboarding program.

  • Has great customer support via both email or phone. 

  • Is supported by all major browsers.

  • Is easy to use with an intuitive interface – people won’t use it otherwise.

  • Can grow with you.

  • Includes options for cloud or onsite hosting.

  • Is secure and HIPAA compliant with mechanisms such as firewalls, SSO and offers two factor authentication.

  • Has a roadmap for emerging technologies.

Lastly but critically, check your vendor track record. Make sure your supplier has a minimum of 10 years in business, with a stable of top tier brands and a low churn rate. Check independent reviews freely available on G2 or Capterra. 

G2 Fall 2023 results. Brand management software.

To find out more about the best brand management asset software solutions, contact us for more information. We’d love to hear from you.

If you’d like to learn more, contact us for a demo.

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