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Brand Design Management Goes OnlineEmployees, external partners, agencies. Sooner or later, they all need access to brand design guidelines and assets in order to properly understand, maintain and carry forward a brand’s visual design. Today, difficult access to design assets is a roadblock. Instead, the easier the access, the more efficient and accurate the application of the brand guidelines, and the stronger the impact in the digital world.
Employees, external partners, agencies. Sooner or later, they all need access to brand design guidelines and assets in order to properly understand, maintain and carry forward a brand’s visual design. Today, difficult access to design assets is a roadblock. Instead, the easier the access, the more efficient and accurate the application of the brand guidelines, and the stronger the impact in the digital world.
It is not uncommon for the journey from briefing the project participants to the understanding and seamless implementation of the brand guidelines to resemble an Olympic discipline.
For the warm-up, one searches for and finds the necessary data on the physical and virtual shelves—possibly even across different departments or folder structures. Once all the information has been updated, the first hurdle is cleared. This is followed by a short sprint including a baton in the form of brand guidelines, logos, videos, and other assets. The next hurdle is not long in coming.
How will the baton be passed on? Via e-mail, transfer server, or the classic CD manual? If the transfer is successful, it is only to be hoped that the finish line will be reached soon afterwards: The finish line being the successful reception and implementation of the brand design across all brand channels. During this entire process, it is important to keep up the pace and not let the competition overtake you.
Sound familiar? For many companies, this obstacle course is still a reality. Brand definitions and elements are scattered on computers, digital systems, or physical locations. What to quickly find a certain logo or video and use it directly or share it with external parties? Not a chance. The process is time-consuming and can only be carried out with several clicks.
Rules and administrative tasks eat up valuable time that is missing in more important areas. For the brand, as an important starting point for transformation and growth, this is at best a brake, at worst a stumbling block.
In our digital and fast-moving world, the challenge is not to lose touch. As customer expectations for branding, interaction, and user experience continue to rise. So does marketing, and the requiring of new tools, skills, and knowledge on an ongoing basis. So too does openness to new ways of doing things and saying goodbye to impractical habits.
Today, interaction with a brand must above all be easy and convenient. ‘Smart’ is the keyword. Brand elements must be retrievable at any time and from anywhere in order to be translatable into consistent brand experiences. Classic handouts can no longer do this.
Companies have a real chance to make the running and master the obstacle course. The prerequisite is the right access and accessibility of guidelines and brand elements. In this case, that means web-based branding guidelines and smart brand design management.
What may sound complicated at first glance is actually quite simple. With online portals, every brand today has web-based collection points available for guidelines, logos, images, videos, or other assets. Instead of being stored on physical shelves or in different locations, the data can be updated and hosted in the cloud. In a so-called brand portal.
These questions can be answered with the help of the brand perspective. Because this provides orientation in defining the strengths of a brand, and in the question of how these can be developed into real enthusiasm factors.
This does not happen on its own but has to happen within the organisation. So the first thing to do is to inspire the employees to emphasise their own strengths even more clearly. However, an entry in the MBO objectives is not enough for this. At this point, we support the brand managers in getting the topic onto the C-level agenda so that the necessary resources (human and financial) are made available.
This is followed by the supreme discipline: the ‘doing’. Together with the brand managers, we ensure that the goal does not remain a vision, but becomes reality. Because nothing valuable is produced unless you actually do it. For us, brand-oriented management means building on the strengths of a brand. These strengths generate appreciation among customers and contribute to value creation. This is then reflected in the NPS and, above all, in customer loyalty and new customer acquisition triggered by ‘word of mouth’.
If you want to move your brand manual to the cloud, you have a choice of different solutions: a simple one-pager or an expandable platform. The one-pager, in particular, offers clarity and an overview, with brand-relevant materials stored in one place. Everyone, from colleagues and partners to suppliers and agencies, can thus find and use the same current brand guidelines, assets and specifications at any time and from any place. But what about new brand assets for new channels, for example? Smart brand design management is intended for flexibility, customisation, and scalability. That's why you can edit and expand the one-pager as needed.
Central management of assets and guidelines
The latest version is always available online
Accessible at any time and from anywhere
Quick access with just a few clicks
Download and share directly from the platform
User-friendly through smart tools
If you want to go one step further and make your entire brand development smart, you should take a look at the platform solution. With cloud-based software, not only can professional guidelines be created and managed. In addition, such a platform enables collaborative and dynamic further development of the brand. The goal of the web-based solution is to use resources wisely through the smart management of brand guidelines, thereby creating better brand experiences.
We are happy to overcome the hurdle of the move together with you. We make sure that everything that is in your CD manual today is in the digital brand portal tomorrow and always at hand. If something is missing, we are also happy to design the appropriate brand assets with you from animations and videos to 360° virtual reality tours. Let's talk about what a solution for the smart handling of your brand guidelines might look like.
For years and decades, it was the epitome of every brand design project, the pride and joy of the agency and the client: the corporate design manual. The reference work by which all those professionally involved with a company's brand should act and think. So much for the theory.
Design thinking, product design, industrial design, fashion design, and organisational design. Everything, it seems, is about design these days. What design means, however, is often unclear. A brand designer’s understanding is different to that of an organisational developer.
A main focus for brand managers these days is the Net Promoter Score, NPS for short. They want as many ‘yes’s’ as possible in response to the question ‘would you recommend us?’ The initiatives in the companies that follow the NPS programmes, however, start with the ‘no’. With great effort, analyses are carried out, information is collected and projects are started to combat the reasons for the ‘no’.