AILeave a Comment on Why responsible AI adoption matters for your brand’s reputation

Why responsible AI adoption matters for your brand’s reputation

Every week, new AI tools and use cases hit the market. For branding and marketing teams, this can be an exciting prospect, as new ways to work and collaborate are discovered, leading to dramatic time and cost savings and turbocharged creative capacities. 

At the same time, however, the rush to invest in or use free online AI solutions can backfire if care isn’t taken, with potentially huge consequences for teams and their businesses. 

Amongst the new AI tools on the market, Generative AI (GenAI) is particularly important for brand marketing. As with the popular ChatGPT and Midjourney tools, GenAI allows users to describe tasks and let powerful computers get on with generating outcomes. 

These could be AI generated images and brand assets, customer support messages, or new campaign ideas.

Forecasting suggests this market for GenAI is set to boom in the next decade. For brand teams interested in crafting iconic and trusted brands in the 2020s and beyond, the time for getting to grips with these technologies is now.

AI, brand reputation and trust

A survey of communications professionals found that, while almost 86% were optimistic about the potential of AI, 85% were also concerned about the legal and ethical issues.

AI adoption creates opportunities but also seeds new challenges, problems, pitfalls and risks. Customers are curious, but also anxious about what the implications of these new technologies will be for their lives.

Over the coming years, how companies use their AI tools will have a direct impact on their reputation, how much customers trust them, and how markets treat them. 

Modern brands should be aiming to use these new technologies to create real value for customers, businesses and society. It starts with knowledge, understanding, and careful planning. 

Establishing trust in uncertain times

Customer trust has long been understood to be at the core of successful branding. As consumers we simply like to spend our money with brands that we believe in. Research also shows that customers who trust a brand are three times as likely to forgive product or service mistakes.

When it comes to adopting AI tools, it’s therefore important to ask yourself the question – is our company using AI in a way that builds customer trust? Or could our choices be doing the opposite?

Sparebank found this out the hard way, when it came to light that the Norwegian bank had used an AI generated image without being labelled as such. 

This broke legislation on misleading marketing, which requires that subjects used in ads be real users of the product or service. It also potentially contravened Norwegian regulations on image manipulation, which require that images that have been airbrushed or edited are clearly marked in order to reduce pressure that could lead to shame or body dysmorphia. 

The result was a media storm, in which Sparebank were forced to publicly admit their mistake and promise to take more responsibility in future.

The lesson? New capacities created by AI tools might seem great on paper, saving time and money and helping to bring new creative ideas to life. However, if they contravene legislation or prevailing social norms, the best intentions can quickly backfire. 

Respecting privacy with AI technologies

How many people are currently using ChatGPT at work, unaware that information entered into its prompt box is technically in the public domain? 

With most companies building their AI tools on the back of third-party machine learning algorithms, complex issues are raised around data protection and privacy. Without proper assessment and training, well-meaning employees may end up breaching GDPR and other data-protection regulations without realising. 

Until regulators and legislators catch up with AI technologies and provide clear and unambiguous guidelines, this is a potential minefield for brand reputation. 

Companies need to take care not to intrude into their customer and employee’s private lives in ways that overstep reasonable boundaries. 

Consider that, as tools get more powerful, brands will be able to advertise and persuade us with increasingly subtle and powerful strategies. Where is the line drawn between personalised, data-driven marketing and outright manipulation? 

Or consider that there is at least one AI wellbeing tool in development that purports to allow companies to track productivity alongside employee wellbeing. All good – but what if the algorithm shows that employee productivity drops beyond a certain degree of wellbeing?  

These might be speculations, but they could very soon become realities. As the famous theorist Paul Virilio once remarked,  “the invention of the ship was also the invention of the shipwreck.” 

Companies need to tread carefully to ensure that good intentions don’t accidentally lead to intrusive or manipulative practices, which, once publicly exposed, will meet with an understandable and expected backlash. 

Implementing ethical AI solutions 

With all this said, what can companies do to minimise the risk and maximise the value that AI can contribute to customers, employees, and society?

We can begin with a simple principle of humility. Despite our best attempts to guess, no-one knows for certain what the impact of AI will be. As we saw with Sparebank, what likely began as a reasonable business intention – “let’s use these new tools to save time and money” – quickly turned into a public scandal. 

Sparebank quickly admitted it got it wrong, which may in the long run work to its favour. In times of uncertainty and change, transparency and honesty go a long way towards (re)building trust. 

Brand teams should keep this in mind. Over the coming years, more companies are likely to have their reputations tested as they experiment with AI technologies. The most successful will find ways to innovate, while maintaining respect for their customers and sensitivity to when ethical lines are crossed. 

Creating an ethical charter is one way that companies can ensure their intentions are aligned with positive societal outcomes. An ethical charter defines clear values for how AI should be used, providing a framework for decision making when boundaries get murky and regulations aren’t much use. 

Papirfly’s ethical charter, for example, covers four major principles:

  • Be a good corporate citizen when it comes to the rightful privacy of our users
  • Ensure we act in an unbiased manner – always – as we’d expect to be treated too
  • Build in the highest level of explainability possible, because output is important
  • Overall, our task is simple – we must build technology that is designed to do good

Within each of these principles are further specific guidelines for how AI should be built and used within our business. 

Naturally, ethical charters will vary from company to company to reflect their specific needs and markets. The aim should be to create a strong company culture, laying the foundations for ethical decision making and a reputation that customers can always trust. 

Towards an AI powered future

Artificial intelligence depends on responsible humans making clear decisions within strong ethical frameworks. 

To learn about how Papirfly is ethically innovating the challenges of branding and AI, check out these links. 

At Papirfly, we are committed to using AI to enhance every user’s experience, all while continuing to empower the world’s biggest brands with our all-in-one brand management platform. 

Learn about how Papirfly is ethically innovating the challenges of branding and AI.

Brand consistencyLeave a Comment on BOOsting brand consistency in your Halloween marketing

BOOsting brand consistency in your Halloween marketing

Something wicked this way comes. While Halloween is a thrilling time for marketers to get into the spooky spirit of the season to frighten and delight their customers, an ever-lurking fear lies behind every door in branding and marketing departments – how can our marketing stand out while not compromising brand identity? 

Creating a Halloween marketing campaign can feel like walking through a haunted house – you’re excited when you step through the door but constantly waiting for something to jump out at you. In some ways, a brand at Halloween is just like a party costume – you can tell the meticulous planners when people have been busy preparing for weeks or when someone has simply ‘thrown on a cobweb’ to look the part.

In this article, grab a shovel and dig up some insights to consider, as you cast the perfect spell to unleash your teams’ creativity while staying on-brand – and a reminder to give every location the bag of tricks to help support global brand consistency on your next creepy campaign.

The magic spell of brand guidelines 

Any go-to-market campaign hinges on collaboration, especially when seasonal events, such as Halloween, mean getting playful within the limits of your brand guidelines. Your brand must still stay intact, so your in-house design team or external agency need to investigate this mystery with you – and figure out how you can play to your super-strengths.

Achieving synergy across everything that makes up your core brand identity – colours, tone of voice, logos, assets and more – is essential to maintain recognition and increase engagement. Every brand is different, so considering each one of these essential ingredients is key to casting the perfect spell.

Beware of brand colour transformations

Your logo is the most important of your brand assets. It’s the visual cue that sparks instant recognition with your audience, and could be considered the most potent ingredient in your brand identity’s potion to enchant your customers. Misusing or making too many drastic changes might scare away the chance for brand recognition, leaving you haunted by a campaign that didn’t quite create the magical results you were after.

While it can be tempting to change your logo with seasonal imagery and a different colour palette – orange and black being the obvious choice – you need to make sure that it’s suitable for your brand identity and tone of voice. Google, for example, can go ‘Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde’, and transform with ease. Complementary adjustments can be made to the website logo with significant effect, as it’s actually part of the tech giant’s playful brand identity to change with the seasons – an event in itself.

Meanwhile other brands can protect their frightening strong status as they play with their brand reputation. Marmite, for example, is known for having an acquired taste. The savoury UK food spread, based on its distinctive yeast extract flavour, famously plays with its ‘Love it or hate it’ slogan – making it the perfect ‘Trick or Treat’ product.

Bringing in new colours for its limited edition Halloween packaging, its iconic logo of white letters on red and jar-and-lid’s yellow and black colour scheme offer a playful way to go-to-market during the spooky season.

No matter what you and your creepy and collaborative team decide, make sure everyone working on your brand knows what you’re doing and how you’re doing it. Providing essential brand assets to all marketing teams and partners can ensure people are empowered to bring your brand to life in a new way at Halloween – without feeling it’s been put together like Frankenstein’s monster. Create brand consistency all year round and put the picture of your brand together so your teams can animate and activate it everywhere.

Be frighteningly good with your brand’s reputation

Your dream Halloween campaign can be a nightmare if you do not stay on-brand and consistent during your campaigns. In order for the aspects of your brand identity to agree to “stay close and don’t split up” you need to know how customers perceive your brand – carefully selecting the right tone and language for your campaign that compliment your products or services to have a hypnotic effect on your audience. 

Of course, product name changes are all the rage at this time of year. ‘Boo-scotch’ M&M’s. ‘Scream’ Ice Cream from Ben & Jerry. Starbucks’ ‘Frappula Frappuccino’. All delightfully dark, while other wordplay like ‘Trick or treat yourself’ and ‘Fangtastic savings’ are used by many online and high street brands.

Big brands’ marketing departments love to hear screams of delight from their customers at this time of year. So much so, customers can eagerly await to see what new tricks the marketing magicians behind some of the world’s most famous names will do each year – and we are often delighted by the surprises they have in store. 

In fact, some iconic brands use minimal wordplay as they really know how to use the right imagery to awaken the spirit of their product:

It’s clear when brands have considered all aspects of their brand identity to deliver amazing assets at Halloween. Whatever’s being cooked up in the creative cauldron, make sure all digital assets are in one place – so every team can take away the breath of their audience. 

Avoid facing a cultural nuance nightmare

Each region your brand operates in may do Halloween differently. With Halloween culture, stories and themes must speak to local tastes. While one nation may embrace particular Hollywood horror characters, others may conjure up more of a witchcraft and wizardry atmosphere.

Of course, it’s important to be aware which countries do something different to Halloween too and to not assume your global creative ideas will work everywhere. For example, in Latin America, Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) is a celebration of life and death and not a cultural ‘version’ of Halloween – besides, they are celebrated on different days, with the region seeing Halloween as more for children than the wider culture. It matters to make sure you know your audience and prepare your teams to speak to them seasonally in their own way.

Fanta Misterio was a bewitching blend from Coca Cola that managed to walk between the two worlds in the runup to both celebrations. Playing on words like ‘fantasma’ – the word for ‘ghost’ in Spanish – shows the wisdom of the Fanta brand to balance global identity with regional resonance, to enchant audiences with spooky puns wherever they are.

Your global campaign must be able to speak to its audience locally, or teams must create different campaigns that appeal to the nuances (and nightmares) of their neighbourhood.

Empowering teams to create unlimited customisable assets in their own language, or adding specific elements only locals would appreciate, can mean everyone can get some sleep knowing the brand is safe and sound. Not having such solutions, and leaving teams to use free online tools that won’t align marketing materials to brand guidelines, could be the thing that goes bump in your bottom line.

Let brand consistency lift your spirits

While crafting Halloween marketing materials may seem like a terrifying task, remember that having a smart creative team, with tools at your disposal to make sure the horror of diluting your brand never sees the light of day, can make this a frighteningly fun time of year for marketing teams and customers.

If you’ve been haunted by the realisation that you weren’t fully prepared this year, see how our brand management platform can empower your team to efficiently activate your brand in every location, and for every seasonal event – so get set for a fiendishly delightful Halloween, year after year.

Digital Asset Management / DAMLeave a Comment on Your 7 steps to Digital Asset Management success

Your 7 steps to Digital Asset Management success

A Digital Asset Management system (DAM) shouldn’t be complicated – it’s a single source of truth across your organisation, and so should be simple to search and share all official on-brand assets.

With a little preparation and planning, your organisation should quickly see the benefits of DAM, when you discover a solution which saves time, improves your ability to create and share digital assets, and enables consistently high-quality customer experiences. 

In this article, we will introduce you to what you need to consider before investing in, and implementing, DAM software.

1. Understand why you need a digital asset management system

Before you start the process of acquiring and setting up a DAM system, you need to carefully consider why you need it.

It’s important that you take the time to think through your DAM challenges and needs, as these will influence your investment. If you cut corners here, you could end up with an inefficient and ineffective solution – just a shiny new object that makes up part of an expensive wider ecosystem, consuming resources without saving time or improving brand asset management.

Once you have a clear picture of why you need a DAM solution, you should do a thorough analysis to establish what the best outcome would be. Consider questions like:

  • Does this system help us reach our project goals?
  • Does this system meet our expectations?
  • How does this fit with the rest of my tech stack?
  • How do we ensure the system has long-term sustainability?
  • How do we ensure the implementation goes smoothly?

2. Establish a proper DAM team

Just as important is making sure you have the right people collaborating. It takes a dedicated team with knowledge and input from multiple departments to implement a strong Digital Asset Management solution.

The team must have ownership of the DAM system from start to finish, setting them up for long-term commitment. For the best outcome, it’s recommended to include colleagues from across your organisation’s production and service operations, to ensure you cover a wide range of expertise.

The team should consist of:

  • DAM initiative leader
  • DAM librarians
  • DAM infrastructure lead
  • Project manager
  • Project steering group

3. Use existing data and digital content

Don’t make the mistake of testing with a “dummy” system. Use your actual data, brand assets and creative files throughout the entire process. If you don’t, you’ll risk building a DAM solution that overlooks critical functionality and workflow needs.

Real data and content gives you the full picture and helps you make the right decisions without making assumptions. 

The following questions will help you to build a system that will offer the full benefits of DAM:

  • Does the system take the file formats we are using?
  • Can the system handle our file sizes?
  • Does the system perform seamlessly with other products?
  • What data is being transferred from the current to the new system?
  • How is the data being transferred?

4. Learn the DAM system early

Your DAM system should serve as a digital library for your brand. Having good knowledge of how a DAM platform should work, and how your specific asset management software will look and function, will prepare you to ask the right questions and perform better analyses during the build process. This means making sure your chosen vendor has an excellent Customer Success team to support you.

The DAM team and investment managers should aim to create a system that offers value from the moment it is launched. By learning how a Digital Asset Management platform should work, you’ll be better project owners, making it easier to get the most out of your DAM software over time. As with anything, knowledge drives optimisation.

5. Prepare thoroughly

It bears emphasising – don’t just copy your existing workflows and structures. Take the opportunity to properly analyse how you are producing and storing marketing materials, and evaluate if anything needs reform. 

A great DAM solution should meet your company’s present needs and expectations as well as its future aspirations. Upgrading your tech stack without improving your processes and workflows will likely result in increased costs and confused employees, without saving time or increasing efficiency.

Make your investment count and set yourself up for success by creating a system that reflects your initial intentions. The goal should be a tangible improvement in how creative files and brand assets are being used across the organisation.

The following checklist will help you prepare and optimise your DAM system implementation:

  • Can we streamline our workflows?
  • Can we eliminate tasks that don’t add value?
  • Can we connect the DAM to key branding and marketing operations?
  • Can we remove bottlenecks?
  • Can we establish a sustainable system for our organisation?

6. Think again about customisations

Only customise your DAM software if strictly necessary. Any customisation can increase the likelihood of software bugs, slow down performance, and may make the system less user-friendly.

The more generic your system is, the better it will perform over the long run. Trust your DAM solution provider’s expertise to set up a system that is optimal for your organisation. Simplicity reduces maintenance costs further down the line.

7. Implement step-by-step

Plan and implement effective project management. Dividing your project into phases and implementing them one at a time will ensure you have control of the entire process.

By working step-by-step on your Digital Asset Management solution, you can identify issues or unexpected results as they arise and address them before you proceed to the next phase. The risks of project overwhelm, and of wasting resources on firefighting, are minimised.

Gradually introducing your DAM software to select users in a timely and controlled manner also allows you to handle the training properly. It enables you to see how the system will work when complete, and gives you opportunities to improve your training as you go.

Digital Asset Management with Papirfly

At the centre of Papirfly’s all-in-one brand management platform is a powerful, cloud-based DAM system called Place – a powerful single source of truth for your brand management needs. It expands on the traditional functionality of a DAM as it works with a seamless UI across our product suite. With your own brand portal educating your people on brand guidelines, as well as on-brand design templates that means you can ensure your DAM is at the heart of digital content creation, and your teams achieve total brand consistency every time. 

Curious to see the value our DAM as part of our brand management platform can add to your organisation? Book a demo with us to see how you can empower your people to unleash your brand.

Brand managementLeave a Comment on How to build a strong brand reputation with brand management software

How to build a strong brand reputation with brand management software

It’s no secret – in today’s business environment, reputation matters. Customers demand quality, engagement, and long term satisfaction, and the brands that can deliver succeed. But building a strong, authentic brand reputation, especially with so many competing tools and opinions on the market, is no easy feat.

In this article we will explore how brand management software can help your company create a brand reputation that stands out from the crowd and reflects the core of your mission and purpose. 

What is brand reputation management? 

In the simplest terms, brand reputation encompasses what people think, feel and know about your brand. These people include your customers, your employees, your professional partners, and others who interact with the brand, whether indirectly or directly. Brand reputation is not something simply established and then left to stand on its own – it requires constant monitoring, engagement, and adjustment. 

To manage and maintain a strong brand reputation, your company needs to ensure that what it says about itself – its history, mission, vision, culture, and priorities – align with how your brand’s visuals, messaging, and products interact with the world. 

Your teams also need to embed brand strategies, processes and workflows to ensure that as markets and values shift, the customer experience stays relevant and meaningful. All of this while still delivering consistent quality and customer service where it matters most. 

Why does brand reputation matter? 

Research consistently shows that brand reputation impacts the bottom line. For example, a recent Gartner study showed that up to 64% of customers are more willing to pay a premium price for a company’s products and services when they feel a high sense of connection with its brand. 

Brand reputation

Another study, examining brand review sites, found that over one third of customers would only consider doing business with brands that have a rating of 4 out of 5 stars or higher. The same study found that 94% of customers had avoided a business on the basis of reading a bad review. 

In short, customers actively use both their own and public perceptions of a brand when making purchasing decisions. And in the digital environment, with so many touchpoints for engaging with your brand assets, both through your own channels and third-party platforms, every interaction could mean the difference between a happy customer and a frustrated one. 

A great brand reputation doesn’t only impact revenue and customer loyalty, however. It could also be the deciding factor in the type of talent you attract and retain. Great employees want great places to work in, and their initial brand perception will be an important factor when applying for open positions with your company. 

With so much at stake, it’s never been so important to know how to build brand awareness and brand recognition, and to have the tools to enable it. 

Crafting a strong brand reputation 

Your brand’s reputation is a core intangible asset. The first step to establishing it is defining an instantly recognisable brand identity that stands out from the crowd. This should reflect your brand’s mission, vision and goals, and encompass visuals, language usage, tone of voice, design styles, and the types of channels you engage with. 

For example, an ambitious environmentally-conscious startup, a high-end luxury lifestyle product, and an established international retailer will necessarily have very different brand marketing strategies and social media content plans. The important thing is to ensure your brand, brand collateral and marketing teams seamlessly reflect and communicate your identity. 

Once your brand identity is established, consistency is key. Every communication, every campaign, every conversation involving your brand should reflect the brand mission. Inconsistencies, miscommunications and errors all project an image of unprofessionalism and carelessness, and – unsurprisingly – are likely to drive people towards your competitors. 

A clear and unambiguous brand strategy is also a must. As world-renowned business strategy expert Richard Rumelt explains, a good strategy is not a list of high-flying ideals and value statements, but a diagnosis of a real challenge, tied to clear, coherent policies and well-defined actions and expected outcomes. 

Along these lines, a great brand strategy should inform your people exactly how and when to use brand assets, where to find brand guidelines and tools, and how to respond effectively to the unexpected. 

Underpinning brand reputation with brand management software

In order to establish and maintain your brand’s reputation, you need tools that are  fit-for-purpose. A brand management solution offers the capabilities, guidelines and training necessary to design and project a world-class brand image and execute an effective brand strategy. It also gives you everything you need to create a high-flying culture of brand advocacy, attracting and empowering great people to do great work. 

As we have seen, consistency is key in producing high quality brand marketing – repetition makes reputation. Brand management software gives you a single source of truth for your brand assets, ensuring that every time employees access brand materials, they are up to date, accurate, and in accordance with brand guidelines. 

At the same time, a shared brand platform enables flexibility and creativity, ensuring that every asset is fine-tuned to local contexts and its intended audience. Brand consistency is guaranteed, without impeding local understanding. 

Brand management tools also enable you to design, monitor, and revise workflows, improving efficiency and breaking down communication barriers and bottlenecks. Your brand strategy need not be a dusty graphic lying in a forgotten powerpoint presentation from several years ago – it can be an active system of brand guidelines and practices embedded in the very structure and design of your organisation. 

With a good brand management solution, educational materials, approval structures, communication channels and sharing folders are all built into a shared brand platform, ensuring that brand campaigns can be executed and crises managed with confidence and skill. 

Last but not least, with strong strategic brand management practices in place, ideal customers and employees are more likely to be drawn to your organisation, attracted by the clarity of the brand and the quality of its public engagement. Customers return to brands that they trust, and employees advocate for brands with bold visions that resonate throughout their companies’ internal branding practices. 

Establishing a trusted brand

Building your brand’s reputation takes time and dedication, but the results are worth it. A brand management platform will enable and support you in this process, giving your company the tools and capabilities it needs to empower its team members and stakeholders, establish a clear and memorable brand identity, and implement effective branding strategies. 

If you are interested in learning more about brand management solutions with Papirfly, discover our all-in-one platform.

how to build customer-based brand equity
Brand managementLeave a Comment on 5 reasons why your business needs a brand management platform

5 reasons why your business needs a brand management platform

In today’s digital world, attention is precious, and unless your brand is instantly recognisable and memorable, it risks being lost in the crowd. With so much competition to create and maintain an iconic brand, it is important for your company to consider how you are managing your brand assets, and to ensure that your enterprise has the tools to enable its brand teams to succeed. 

In this article, we look at five reasons why your business could benefit from a quality brand management software solution.

What is brand management software?

Brand management software is designed to help businesses create and coordinate high quality brand experiences. A good brand management solution enables you to provide stylish and consistent customer interactions while empowering your staff with creative tools and clear brand guidelines. It also helps you plan and monitor effective brand marketing campaigns – all while adding to your brand’s integrity and ability to make a lasting impact.

Here are 5 different ways a brand management platform can help you reach your growth goals.

1. Building customer trust and brand equity

Customers trust brands that present as consistent, coherent, and well thought through. Often, the sign of a truly great brand is that we recognise it – whether in physical locations, advertisements or on social media – without even needing to see a name, logo or product. These brands generate huge revenue and are usually “household names”. Why? Brand equity. 

Brand equity is the perceived value and influence a brand has in its customers’ minds, accounting for factors like reputation, how recognisable the brand is, and long term customer loyalty. Put simply, customers trust brands that are familiar, consistent, and form part of the fabric of everyday life.

A brand management software solution gives your company all it needs to maximise the customer experience. It enables you to plan and deliver high quality brand campaigns, while minimising the communication bottlenecks and workflow inefficiencies that lead to incoherent strategies, out-of-date messaging and unidentified discrepancies. Whether we like it or not, we all judge books by their covers. Brand management software ensures that your customers are satisfied every time they interact with the brand.

2. Establishing brand security and integrity

Once a brand is active, it’s a constant challenge for marketing teams and managers to ensure the rest of the business understands the brand strategy, adheres to the brand guidelines, and keeps up to date with the latest modifications to brand assets. Even in a small company, it’s hard to maintain brand consistency when staff are busy juggling tasks and chasing important deadlines. In a large enterprise spanning multiple regions, languages and verticals it’s an even greater challenge.

Brand management software provides a central hub for brand assets, guidelines and updates, ensuring that staff are only interacting with the latest published versions. Custom controls and user access permissions ensure that every member of staff can instantly access and use the materials that they need, while preventing the circulation of out-of-date brand messaging and assets in emails, .pdf documents and virtual drives.

Prior to brand management tools, teams simply lacked the capabilities to establish dependable workflows, publish updates and monitor usage patterns. With a brand management solution, you can be sure that every time your staff are using brand assets, they are aligned with your overall brand strategy.

3. Improving workflow efficiency

We all know that in business, efficiency is the key to productivity. A great brand management software will dramatically reduce the amount of time staff spend rooting around through emails and file directories for brand assets, or creating them when they cannot find the ones they need. A Digital Asset Management system, with clear brand asset categorisation, search functions, and templates, will provide your people with everything they need to produce the assets they need, when they need them.

The same goes for brand team members and managers, who spend large portions of their working hours reviewing assets and materials to ensure they align with the overall brand identity and guidelines. Rather than leaving these review processes to long email chains, ad-hoc meetings, and other back alleys, a brand management solution can be cost effective too, as it provides all the tools and dashboards for staff to manage brand materials in an all-in-one platform designed to make operations slicker and easier to execute. 

4. Empowering your people with brand ownership

Today’s employees value participation and meaning. They want to work in businesses that provide opportunities for creativity and pathways for learning and growth. They are not isolated economic agents – they want to belong.

Brand management software opens up organisation-wide sharing cultures, where employees are not passive users of brand materials but active owners and participants in their production. Using the most innovative tools, your people can use brand templates aligned to guidelines, edit them based on their needs, and keep them on the brand platform for other users to explore and rework. Teamwork and collaborations can be streamlined, with staff interacting via the brand marketing platform and motivated to create great brand experiences for customers. 

Teams can also quickly access training and guidance for correctly maintaining brand consistency, and can participate in the creation of quality, market-ready brand assets – without needing to learn complex design skills and install expensive creative suites. With great internal branding processes, employees quickly become brand ambassadors, enjoying innovative brand usage and championing well-executed campaigns.

5. Enhancing marketing strategies

In the digital environment, organisations can coordinate and integrate their activities like never before, leading to real brand recognition and lasting competitive advantage. However, it is just as possible to leave teams and decision makers working from different information sources and platforms, effective collaboration and strategic brand management near-impossible.

Brand management software gives your company the measurements and the levers to coordinate brand campaigns and strategies in real-time, learning and improving along the way while ensuring the entire business is up-to-date with changes and developments. Via the central brand platform, decision makers can access accurate insights into how specific campaigns are performing and how staff and customers are interacting, and can make effective tweaks and changes in light of new knowledge, market shifts, and over- and underperforming brand assets. 

Discover the all-in-one brand management platform

In this article we looked at 5 reasons why brand management software is essential for a modern brand. Investing in quality brand management software is essential in today’s digital landscape, not only for maintaining brand integrity and coherence but also for creating thriving working cultures and customer relationships.

If you are interested in learning more about brand management solutions with Papirfly, discover our all in one brand management platform.

Brand consistencyLeave a Comment on Brand guidelines are at the heart of your on-brand culture

Brand guidelines are at the heart of your on-brand culture

These days most people know what a brand is. Or they think they do. People globally recognise the shape of a Coca-Cola bottle, the phrase ‘I’m loving it’, or the Nike Swoosh.

But as all marketers know, brand goes far deeper than a logo or image and in this article we will explore exactly how to create brand consistency, which in turn will help to foster an on-brand culture. We will also look at why this is so important, how you can use brand management software to achieve brand compliance, and the risks if you don’t get your brand culture on point. 

What’s in a brand? 

The logo is just the start – any company needs a clear set of brand guidelines covering everything from use of images to tone of voice and as marketers you will know that there is a lot of detail needed in between — you will need clear direction on how to present dates and numbers, logo placement, use of punctuation, and more.

When you have effective brand guidelines and brand assets — including campaign information and design templates – the marketing team will know exactly how to use words and imagery to communicate your brand consistently and to convey the right look and feel.  

Why is brand consistency important? 

In today’s competitive business landscape, establishing a strong brand identity has become more crucial than ever before. With countless options available to consumers and rapidly evolving market trends, companies need to find ways to stand out from the crowd and make a lasting impression. One key strategy you can’t ignore is by being on-brand – at every touchpoint.

When your brand elements, such as your logo, colour palette, and typography, are consistently applied across all platforms, your audience can quickly identify and distinguish your business from others. This recognition fosters trust and familiarity, making customers more likely to choose your brand over competitors. 

And, when you are maintaining brand consistency across all elements — from visuals to messaging — this can significantly impact your business’ success and help you build a loyal customer base. What’s more, being on-brand helps showcase your unique selling proposition which enables you to differentiate yourself from similar businesses.  

Ultimately, a strong brand identity sets you apart and gives potential customers a reason to choose you over other options. Just make sure you have software that ensures your people actually implement the brand guidelines you worked so hard to establish.

Being on-brand creates customer loyalty 

When customers encounter a brand that delivers a consistent experience, it creates a sense of reliability, dependability and trust. They come to expect a certain level of quality and value, which helps build a strong reputation for your business

Without this, your company will not come across as professional and credible. It’s that familiarity which brings reassurance to the customer that your company will deliver on its promise, regardless of the product or service you offer. You need every image to be precise and the tone accurate, otherwise your customers will find your competitors more attractive.  

The benefits of a deeper connection 

When your brand consistently communicates its values, personality, and purpose, it creates an emotional resonance with your target market. By tapping into their aspirations, desires, or pain points, you can forge a deep connection that goes beyond transactional relationships. 

When customers feel emotionally connected to your brand, they are more likely to become loyal advocates. They become brand ambassadors, sharing their positive experiences with others and fostering word-of-mouth marketing. Consistency in your branding ensures that these advocates have a clear and compelling message to convey, further strengthening brand loyalty — whether they engage with your brand online, visit your physical store, or interact with your social media accounts, they should feel like they are part of a unified brand ecosystem. This consistency not only enhances customer satisfaction but also fosters positive associations with your brand. 

Connecting with staff as part of an on-brand culture 

An on-brand culture goes beyond look and feel and is not just about your customers. It’s about values and this ties into how your employees feel, about what makes your staff, and therefore your company, tick. Think of the brand guidelines – the imagery and tone – as the skin of the company, whilst the culture is the heart. You want everyone to embody the same positive attitude, so ask yourself what it is that has drawn your employees to working for you? What values and beliefs are we tapping into, and what’s your ethos? 

It’s all about employee engagement. Modern working culture frequently sees staff look for a company perspective on diversity (particularly Gen Z) and sustainability, rather than simply the product or service you offer – they want something that chimes with their value system. 

This links to your Employee Value Proposition as employees, and your audience, will be looking at what sets you apart from your competitors, when considering working for, or leaving your company. The danger here is that they may find your competitors more attractive as without a consistent brand and an on-brand culture you will not achieve salience.

Plus, you want them to become brand ambassadors and promote your company favourably and consistently too. All of this is part of a strong employer branding strategy, and a brand management software should support your teams to help you become an employer of choice for the best talent.

Going global while staying local 

Last but by no means least, you need to consider the international nuances for your brand, both in terms of look and feel but also tone and language. This is where you need some expert translation to ensure that your message lands well with your audience, wherever they are internationally, and always remains on-brand.

You will want to ensure that you respect and acknowledge the differences between global and local audiences, whilst still communicating the core brand identity across cultural, regional, and local nuances and languages.

If you want to build an on-brand culture across your enterprise, a brand management platform provides a foundation for your teams worldwide. As part of the Papirfly Platform, you can create this foundation as you educate your people and maintain control. Your brand portal solution is Point, as the starting point of our full suite of products which includes a DAM to manage and access all your brand assets – plus on-brand templating to enable you to achieve brand consistency in all asset creation, salience and in turn, a global on-brand culture.

Product, Thought LeadershipLeave a Comment on Papirfly unveils seamless integration with Ungapped

Papirfly unveils seamless integration with Ungapped

In an exciting development for marketing and brand professionals, Papirfly, the renowned brand management platform, has announced an integration with Ungapped, the user-friendly communication platform equipped with a variety of marketing tools.

 This collaboration promises to streamline brand consistency and enhance user experiences for both Papirfly and Ungapped users.

A hub for marketing excellence

Ungapped is a Swedish digital communication platform that caters to various marketing needs, including email marketing, SMS campaigns, event management, surveys, and marketing automation. The platform is also hosted on GDPR-compliant servers. The new integration allows users to easily pull assets from Papirfly’s Digital Asset Management solution, Place, and integrate them seamlessly into their marketing campaigns in Ungapped.

The integration between Papirfly and Ungapped introduces the ability to find, select, and retrieve assets from Place directly within Ungapped. This integration web plugin bridges the gap between brand management and marketing automation, making it easier than ever to maintain brand consistency throughout marketing materials.

How the integration benefits marketing users

  • Seamless asset retrieval: Users of Ungapped can now seamlessly access assets stored in Place through Papirfly’s integration. This streamlines the workflow, ensuring that marketing materials are consistently on-brand.
  • Time efficiency: With the integration to Papirfly’s Place, marketers can save valuable time by eliminating the need to switch between platforms. This streamlined process allows them to focus on creating engaging on-brand content and campaigns.
  • Brand consistency: Maintaining brand consistency is paramount for businesses. The integration ensures that all assets used within Ungapped adhere to brand guidelines, promoting a cohesive brand identity.
  • Enhanced user experience: Users of both platforms will benefit from the convenience of this integration, resulting in a more user-friendly experience and greater productivity.

In a world where branding and marketing are more critical than ever, the Papirfly-Ungapped integration represents a significant step forward. It empowers businesses to manage their brand with precision while efficiently executing marketing campaigns. With this partnership, users can look forward to a future where brand consistency and marketing automation seamlessly coexist, ultimately driving success and growth for their organisations.

Employer brandLeave a Comment on How to develop and deliver an effective employer brand strategy

How to develop and deliver an effective employer brand strategy

The powerful story you tell about why people should want to work for your brand is like any other captivating narrative – it will be strong in its beginning, middle and end. Hopefully, if you tell it right from the very beginning, the best talent will start to believe your company is the best place for them, want to be right in the middle of your exciting growth plans, and end only after a long and exciting career with you. Making the right choices today could see you soon retelling the story of how you mastered your employer brand strategy – to attract, recruit, and retain top talent.

In this article, we’re going to look at why employer branding is so important, how to achieve success with your strategy, and why not having these elements in place is a mistake. Previously we have explored the 13 steps to developing your employer branding strategy but here we are going to distil them into just three steps – Persona, Positioning, and Proof.

What would happen without an employer branding strategy?

With sites like Glassdoor and Indeed, potential employees now have a range of tools at their disposal to assess companies when job hunting, to see if the business and culture, among other things, are a good fit for them. 84% of jobseekers consider the reputation of a company important and 52% will look at social media channels to get a feel for the company culture.

Consider that without an employer branding strategy you will experience low talent retention and good staff are expensive and timely to replace if the competition looks more attractive to them. And following the pandemic, talent are considering hybrid roles and flexibility far more keenly – so companies who want to tap into this finite resource will need to be transparent, flexible and competitive with their offer. 


First and foremost, you need to audit how your audience perceives your brand. The best way to do this is by assessing social media, company review sites, Google alerts and internal employee feedback. Listening is a vital skill in any communications strategy, and you need to be aware of your reputation if you want to build brand equity.

From here, you want to assess the persona of your target audience and build a profile of your ideal candidate. What sort of personality do they have? What motivates them? Where do they look for their next role and who influences them? These are important considerations if you want to build up that persona to truly get inside the skin of your audience.

What you’re really aiming for is to clearly establish what makes your brand unique. When you truly understand who your audience is, you can then establish what it is about your brand that will tick their job-hunting boxes. It feeds into your employer brand strategy as it tells you why they would choose you above the competition. Is it that your values align with theirs, your company culture, or your social responsibilities? The more your goals resonate with your employees, the more engaged and motivated your workforce will be – which will always have a positive impact on the bottom line.


So, what about positioning? Once you know exactly who you are talking to and what message you need to share, it’s time to consider how you will reach them – what marketing channels will work best for your strategy?You will know the type of social media channels which fit the demographic, which career sites they use and where to advertise. Video is worth considering as it is a powerful medium which can enable you to show familiar faces of the company. You need to post regularly and authentically, considering localised nuances if you are a global company.

Central to your positioning is your Employee Value Proposition or EVP. This tells you exactly how you align your values against those of your employee, with them at the heart. Include here what motivates them. Is it healthcare benefits, flexibility, or bonuses for example? It will be a mixture, and you need to ensure you communicate these messages throughout the recruitment and onboarding processes, and are always available to current staff. Your business will benefit when brand guidelines are all housed within one , – helping you to ensure you’re communicating a strong, consistent brand, which is as much about values as it is about logos.

Recruit retain talent success CTA


What happens if you don’t take these steps? Research shows that staff are 20% more likely to leave a workplace within a year if there is no investment in their future, which is why training and development is absolutely essential, and you have to mean what you say and demonstrate this clearly. It’s one thing to show that your values align, but to truly demonstrate this you need to offer opportunities for growth and in this way you will nurture brand advocates – they will tell their friends and promote your vacancies.

Throughout this process of developing your employer branding strategy, you need to evaluate success. Any successful communications strategy has an internal review at the heart. If you set a benchmark and continue to assess how well your strategy is performing, this can inform your future communications. This includes seeking buy-in across the board. HR professionals, board members, staff, and candidates, all need to be included. Then you can fine-tune against your KPIs and conduct focus groups, so the strategy is continually evolving.

Implementing your employer branding strategy means putting people at the heart of everything you do, as they can be your biggest asset and opportunity for growth, with the right approach. They will become your champions. With Papirfly’s brand management platform, empower your employer branding team to attract, recruit and retain the best people – and celebrate building and being part of a team of champions for your successful global brand. In fact, you can read all about how we helped Unilever deliver employer brand perfection with our platform.

AI, Product, Thought Leadership

AI beyond the hype – Staircases to (AI) Heaven and Hell

We’ve looked at a number of areas where Artificial Intelligence will drive real and meaningful change in this AI-Illuminate series. We’ve looked at how Hollywood has convinced us of eternal doom, we’ve considered how machines will rid us of meaningless tasks, and we’ve discussed ways that Machine Learning might not build Society 2.0 as equitably as we’d like.

But as with all situations, there are two sides to the coin.

The Staircase to (AI) Hell

Let’s start with the depressing take on the journey ahead.  Introducing the Staircase to (AI) Hell.

Beginning with ‘simple automations’ doesn’t feel that scary. Human beings are inherently lazy, we don’t generally like repetitive things, and if there’s a faster way to do something we’ll usually opt for it. Enter the robots! It’s easy to envisage a world where anything even remotely repetitive is simply done by a machine.

Even as we move to the next ‘step’ of the staircase, and we start to see some ‘low priority’ jobs being replaced, most people have little-to-no concern yet. Perhaps because most people discussing the AI debate right now consider their own jobs to be higher priority.

As we approach the step where Deep Learning can do a lot of things better than humans, we end the ‘light blue’ section of this staircase and start entering darker territories.

The first real grey area is the point in time where Deep Learning transfers billions of tasks from humans, replacing hundreds of millions of jobs. We’re no longer ‘just’ talking about the jobs most people think are not theirs – we enter a period of wholesale change with white-collar and blue-collar jobs equally threatened. What do the newly-unemployed do? How do they survive?

As we enter the ‘dark blue’ steps of the staircase we see General Artificial Intelligence (AGI) surpassing most abilities of most humans, which then leads to the point of ‘Singularity’ where machines become too powerful for their human creators to control.

At this point it really is humans vs. robots and, by all accounts, we don’t look set to win.

It is somewhat depressing.

Who can save us?

The Staircase to (AI) Heaven

I believe we can, as is common with many of the debates around AI, look to the past for our saviour. Isaac Newton to be precise. In Newton’s Third Law, he stated that for every action in nature there is an equal and opposite reaction. So perhaps we can turn the Staircase to (AI) Hell into a Staircase of (AI) Heaven? What could that look like?

Well, in Newton-friendly terms, it’s equal and opposite. When we flip the pyramid upside down, we start with the same simple automations that help us humans not have to do the boring things we don’t want to do. This, in itself, can only be a good thing. More efficiency can definitely help us focus on other things. It could likely also be part of the solution to some of our big global problems like waste and the distribution of equitability.

As we progress through the next two steps, there’s a positive to each too.

Complex AI replacing ‘low priority’ jobs is fine if what we mean by ‘low priority’ jobs are jobs humans are not very good at, where it’s dangerous to their health, or where we expend resources doing things unnecessarily. As long as we start to migrate those same displaced people into new, better, roles and / or find ways to replace their income.

Likewise, where AI can do things better than humans, let’s use AI. Of course it makes sense. If a machine is 10x more accurate at doing something, let the machine do it. Where a human+machine combination excels, like in the visual detection of some cancers, then let’s make it happen. Again, we just must not forget to plan for the displaced. Is it time to look at Universal Basic Income (UBI) models again, for example?

Where that displacement of jobs becomes wider and deeper, we do need to be ready. If AI is set to change a billion jobs within the decade, as some academics predict, our policymakers, lawmakers, and politicians need to be working on Plan B now. If we are to leverage the opportunity of the technologies we have created, we need to be ready.

We’ve been here before. The agricultural revolutions of the 19th Century – forever changing what farm labour looked like through the introduction of machinery – are the very reason we’re all able to sit here and read this article when we’d otherwise be out bringing in the harvest so our families could eat. I love the countryside but I’m very grateful for the historic jobs displacement that means I don’t need to grow my own wheat every year.

Daring to dream of AI’s future

The next few steps on the Staircase to AI Heaven are not filled in yet. We don’t know what the future will hold – but we can dare to dream…

Eradicating waste. Making human error a thing of the past, being able to predict things perfectly. Transforming health outcomes. Increasing quality of life for everyone. Curing cancer. Moving beyond fiat money. Driving equitability. Understanding where we come from. Closing the income gap. Working globally as one. People living longer. The end of discrimination. Solving the climate crisis.

It might not all be possible – and certainly not within our lifetimes – but it’s a wonderful AI Heaven to believe in.

Watch our on-demand webinar

AI, Product, Thought Leadership

AI beyond the hype- our Ethical Charter

In part 3 of this series we explored the Three Pitfalls of AI – privacy, replication, and bias. Each pose significant threats to how we live and work today, barriers to mass adoption of machine intelligence, and complex questions about safety and regulation.

That said, the opportunities AI promises are equally significant. We are likely at the start of a fourth industrial revolution and – even if we don’t know exactly how yet – artificial intelligence is going to change a lot (if not everything).

Operating in a new world without new regulation, the onus on companies like Papirfly – building the technology of tomorrow – to self-regulate becomes critical. Good corporate citizenship, acting responsibly, and pursuing opportunities ethically all require guidance and leadership.

To help our people make promises to our customers and our users about how we’ll build our software, we have created our Ethical Charter.

Comprising eight action statements within four ethical themes, it governs how we – as a company – will build technology, and it sets out a pledge for how we will put users at the heart of doing so.

Today we publish it openly.

Papirfly’s Ethical Charter

Be a good corporate citizen when it comes to the rightful privacy of our users

1. We must always obey local, regional (including GDPR), and international privacy laws. Beyond the question of legality, we must always treat users ethically too. This includes creating AI applications that do not invade their privacy, do not seek to exploit their data, do not collect any data without express (and understood) consent, and do not track users outside of our own walled garden. We do not need data from the rest of their activities, so we should not seek to obtain and use it.

2. We do not, as a hard rule, use data to create profiles of our users to facilitate negatively scoring, predicting, or classifying their behaviours. We must never use their personal attributes or sensitive data for any purpose. Neither of these tactics are required for us to make better software for them (which is what we are here to do) and so it is inappropriate. We must always understand where our ethical red line is and ensure everything we do is on the correct side of that.

Ensure we act in an unbiased manner – always – as we’d expect to be treated too

3. We acknowledge that there can be unacceptable bias in all decision making – whether human or machine based. When we create AI applications we must always try to eliminate personal opinion, judgement, or beliefs; whether conscious or otherwise. Algorithmic bias is partially mitigatable by using accurate and recent data so we must always do so. Remember, a biased AI will produce similar quality results as a biased human – “garbage in, garbage out” applies here, always.

4. We must use AI to augment good and proper human decision making. We do not want, or need, to build technology to make automated decisions. As in other areas of our business, like recruitment, we have not yet proven the strength of affirmative action (sometimes called positive discrimination) and, so, mathematical de-biasing is not considered an option for us. As such, all decision-making inside any application must include humans. Their skillsets, experience, and emotional intelligence can – and should – then be added to by AI.

5. We work to the principle of “you get out what you put in” and understand that in order to build technology for the future we can neither only look to the past (using out of date data, for example) nor build AI on top of existing human biases. Gender, ethnicity, age, political and sexual orientation bias (this list is not exhaustive) are all discriminatory and we must proactively exclude this human trait of today and yesterday in our search for technology solutions of tomorrow.

Build in the highest level of explainability possible, because output is important

6. We are not interested in only building black box solutions. If we can’t create defendable IP without doing so then we’re not doing our jobs properly. We want to, wherever possible – and always when possible – be able to explain, replicate, and reproduce the output of a machine we have built. We owe this to our users and it’s also how we’ll get better at what we do. The better we understand what we are building the quicker we can evolve it.

7. We actively subscribe to the “right to explanation” principle championed by Apple, Microsoft, and others. We must build applications that give users control over their personal data, determine how decisions have been made, and be able to easily understand the role their data has in our product development. We can do this without affecting our ability to defend our IP and, therefore, should do so as a default. Whilst full replication is not always possible (within deep neural networks, for example) our mission – and policy – is to do as much as we feasibly can.

Overall, our task is simple – we must build technology that is designed to do good

8. Technology is a wonderful and powerful thing. As a software company, we must believe that. But behind any, and every, application for good there are usually opportunities for evil too. As we depend more and more on AI it will take on a bigger role inside our organisation. As we craft and hone it, it is our responsibility to put ethics at the forefront and build responsibly. For now, we are our own regulators. Let’s be the best regulators we can be.

Moving forward with ethics at the heart of AI innovation

At Papirfly we have defined an Ethical Charter that governs what technology we build, how we build it, and the ethical parameters within which we build it. In Part 5 of this series we’ll provide a comprehensive analysis of various scenarios related to AI, highlighting both the benefits (“heavens”) and potential drawbacks (“hells”). This balanced perspective will present a clear view of AI’s capabilities and limitations.

Watch our on-demand webinar