How to achieve the ultimate asset: brand consistency

The marketing sector can be a complicated place as new marketing tools and techniques are launched, almost on a weekly basis. Powered by The Drum Network, this regular column invites The Drum Network's members to demystify the marketing trade and offer expert insight and opinion on what is happening in the marketing industry today that can help your business tomorrow.

Multiple campaigns, social media, websites, blogs, print campaigns, audio visual content – it all falls to the marketer to create, manage and share accurate, multi-channel content at every stage of the customer journey in order to enhance the brand.

Abigayle Norman is content marketing manager at Brandworkz

So it’s no wonder that many marketers are turning to digital asset management (DAM) platforms to help in the task of centralising, managing, sharing and distributing content. But a DAM platform alone is not enough in this content-saturated, customer-distracted world, where brand is more important than ever for creating prominence and differentiation.

A stand-alone digital asset management platform is like a building site where all the necessary materials are in place without a blueprint for fitting them together. But incorporate DAM within an integrated brand management system and you can manage, build and promote a consistent brand globally – as well as controlling the complexity of those digital assets.

Keeping it consistent

Of course, this issue of brand consistency has ever-increasing significance. While a CMO may have complete control over the marketing content released into the marketplace, he/she can no longer control it once it is out there. Consumers talk to each other in social channels, look to customer reviews before buying and create their own content.

Branding has become a complex network of content generated by marketers, third parties, and consumers themselves. And that is why a clear, consistent brand becomes crucial for ensuring a positive customer experience – whether online, in print or in person.

In order to cut through the noise and to position your brand positively in the consumer’s mind, you need brand consistency across all channels and touch points. For the simple truth is that brand inconsistency leads to poor brand experience.

A fine example

Coca-Cola – now there’s an outstanding example of how brand consistency increases company value. Its brand is worth 50 per cent of total company value – in dollar terms, that’s $73 billion. Because Coca-Cola always communicates a consistent brand message in all its channels and touch points globally, it can charge a 112 per cent premium for its brand. How’s that for an intangible business asset driving competitive advantage and sales!

But it’s not done by magic – it’s all about brand management capability.

Educating the ambassadors

The bedrock of brand consistency is brand education. First off, your people must have easy access to the ingredients they need to create great marketing materials – but they also need to learn how to use those ingredients.

A central brand management portal will give them access to all the right information about your brand stories, positioning and values so they can deliver on the brand promise, whatever their job role and wherever they are in the world. After all, your employees are the best brand ambassadors you have.

The key to creating a great brand experience is first to understand the customer journey and then to deliver content and involvement at the right points in that journey. Internally, that means breaking down departmental barriers and joining up teams. If campaigns and content can be showcased across teams and geographies it can be used and reused in the right contexts, helping to promote a consistent brand image at every touch point and in every channel globally.

So what’s the bottom line?

We say digital asset management is absolutely the business – if you are looking simply for a way to store and manage marketing content. But if you need to create and share accurate, multi-channel marketing content at every stage of the customer journey and ensure your customers get a consistent experience you need – just as absolutely – to add the power of a good brand management system.

Abigayle Norman is content marketing manager at Brandworkz

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