The work of a marketer is never done. Or at least it feels that way. Each brand faces unique challenges in its short and long-term strategies and these challenges have been somewhat heightened by the significant changes that have taken place in the world over the last few years.
Teams aren’t getting the materials they need, or quickly enough.
Too much already-limited budget is being spent with external agencies.
In-house teams are stressed, stretched and unable to keep up with demand.
If this sounds familiar, it might be time to transform how the world engages with your brand – the answer is BAM by Papirfly™. It puts a whole suite of centralised tools in place to easily and effectively communicate your brand identity to your audiences across the globe.
What is Brand Activation Management?
First, let’s explore what brand activation is. In essence, it’s providing a distinct brand experience for your audience and customers through the brand and marketing activities you undertake. It’s making your brand known and increasing awareness.
Your brand marketing encompasses the many ways you actively promote and communicate your brand across your various channels. Brand activation is about how this creates a deep, emotional link to your audience.
Pretend for a moment that your brand is a lump of coal – solid, but not at its full potential – brand activation is the lighter fluid and the spark that helps ignite your brand for everyone to see. This can be achieved by a number of brand activation strategies and techniques, such as:
- Experiential marketing
- Digital marketing
- Social media promotions and competitions
- In-person events
- Promotional campaigns
- In-store marketing
- Sampling/taster events
Brand activation also plays a key role in improving your brand equity. Employing these techniques goes a long way to developing an attachment to your brand identity among your customers and the wider public, and this enhanced familiarity increases the value attached to your brand.
Brand Activation Management (BAM) is therefore how you organise and utilise all available assets you need to ensure the consistency, frequency and adaptability required to achieve the recognition and appreciation of consumers, as well as your employees, potential recruits and the public at large.
Brand presentation is often at risk of instability. People involved in your brand management might have their own interpretations of what your messages are meant to say. Imagery gets tweaked, the tone gradually alters… before you know it, your brand has morphed into something you definitely didn’t intend.
What can BAM software actually do?
Effective Brand Activation Management software, such as BAM by Papirfly™, is a single source for your teams across the globe to create, manage, store and share brand assets.
- In-house teams can deliver an infinite amount of digital, video, social, email and print assets without needing any design skills
- All assets created are done so using pre-defined templates with built-in rules, so that every creation is 100% on-brand, all of the time
- Assets can be easily localised using region-specific imagery and text
- A dedicated ‘educate’ section contains all the brand tools and documents employees need to engage with it on a deeper level – this empowers employees to play a greater role in understanding how your brand is presented and projected to your audiences
- An integrated DAM system that allows for easy storage, organisation and access of all brand assets – teams can access the assets relevant to their team, country or sub-brand, as well as edit existing materials stored in the DAM
- Brand activation work is taken in-house, reducing the cost and lengthy turnaround times associated with using agencies or dedicated design departments
The key features of BAM by Papirfly™ can be broken down easily into four categories:
A trusted brand management system is critical in presenting a unified message about your brand, ensuring all consumers are never confused as to what your missions, visions and characteristics are.
In this deeply competitive landscape, your brand is what sets you apart and drives customers to choose you over other brands. Brand Activation Management is the key to a stable, powerful brand across your entire company, anywhere in the world.
What is brand asset management?
Brand asset management helps to preserve, manage and communicate your brand DNA to your various audiences by organising your available brand assets. Your primary audience is likely your customers, but may also include employees.
Keeping all brand assets in a single space is vital to ensuring all marketing uniformly follows your unique attributes as a brand and company. This allows audiences to build familiarity with your brand and recall it effectively.
Inconsistencies lead to a confusing picture of who you are as a brand, making it less likely people will forge a lasting, meaningful connection with it. Above all else, an effective brand asset management system should go a long way to eliminating discrepancies in your brand identity.
It might take 5-7 impressions of a brand for customers to truly identify and recall it – your brand asset management software is vital to ensuring the same overarching messages and values are projected across all these encounters with your branding.
Where brand asset management differs from Brand Activation Management is based on scope. Brand asset management concentrates on the organisation and storage of your unique assets for your whole team to access.
Brand Activation Management incorporates this, but takes it further. Your teams are given a platform to rapidly create studio-standard marketing materials using your assets, ensuring everything you output is consistent with your values and the culture of the audience it is directed towards.
Brand Activation Management vs. Digital Asset Management
Digital Asset Management, or a DAM as it’s commonly known, is a digital storage area for files, documents and marketing materials. It’s an easy and effective way of giving multiple people in an organisation access to everything they need.
Brand Activation Management has a built-in DAM that allows global teams to access the content that’s relevant to them. They can share directly with colleagues from within the DAM, approve or edit marketing materials, and do this from anywhere in the world. Beyond this, BAM is also a creation, management and education tool. We’ve listed some key comparisons below:
Is a DAM more powerful with BAM?
Absolutely. A DAM on its own is simply an online storage system for all your files, resources, marketing and downloads. BAM provides its own powerful DAM, along with all the tools your employees need to create their own content at speed and at scale. Teams can localise content, create new marketing materials, manage campaigns and approvals and so much more – all for a fixed annual licence fee.
Why is Brand Activation Management critical for businesses?
With crowded brand, product and service landscapes, it’s increasingly harder for organisations to set themselves apart. Clearly defined, powerful and iconic brands are imperative in appealing to customers and informing them as to why they should choose you over everyone else.
The power of your brand in establishing a true, tangible connection with your audiences is increasingly valuable at a time when many businesses in your industry will provide the same core services and products as you – it’s how you distinguish yourself and create that indispensable emotional tie that keeps them coming back.
Brand Activation Management helps companies achieve this degree of brand recognition and familiarity in many ways.
First and foremost, global brand governance is the core benefit of Brand Activation Management software. Inconsistency is one of the biggest blockers to building brand strength.
Especially for executives in large, global-reaching companies, there is so much opportunity for local outlets to deviate from the overall brand vision without Brand Activation Management, often completely unintentionally. Whether it’s a language barrier issue, an instruction that’s been misinterpreted or new branding guidelines not reaching all your teams, this can result in misaligned marketing collateral. Even worse, is the repercussions:
- Customers not knowing what your brand stands for, making it appear weak and not worth investing in
- A disjointed customer journey, with different steps along the way not correlating to the ones that came before it
- Your employees and partners not having a clear sense of brand objectives, reducing their engagement and capacity as brand advocates
Brand Activation Management, by keeping all the guidelines, strategic thinking and branded assets in one location, removes the risk of an inconsistent brand damaging your relationship with your audiences.
When 80% of consumers are more likely to do business with a brand that provides a personalised, localised experience, being able to keep your branding and marketing collateral relevant and up-to-date is vital.
Brand Activation Management allows everyone in your organisation to work from a single source of brand assets, and produce high-quality marketing materials to jump on topical events, with no design expertise required.
Far too often there appears a need for each local outlet in your organisation to ‘reinvent the wheel’ with their own marketing campaigns, which is far from efficient. Some locations might be producing absolutely everything from scratch with little reference to what’s happening elsewhere in the organisation. This increases the risk of brand inconsistency and reduces your ability to churn out materials for your worldwide audience.
BAM prevents duplication of effort so that everyone has access to the same materials and templates. So if one team’s budget is significantly higher than another’s, BAM can still create a level playing field. Infinite asset creation is made available to everyone.
Brand Activation Management systems make it easier for your organisation’s teams to produce work efficiently. Every image, logo, product description, video, animation or price list can be centrally stored and simply retrieved, to be reutilised or adapted for future use.
This supports your capacity to engage and build a connection with your customers, as well as present better working conditions for your team with straightforward BAM tools.
With the need to preserve and propel your brand greater than ever to a worldwide audience spoilt for choices, Brand Activation Management works to maximise your presence and constantly reinforce your identity.
Keeping on top of every element of your brand can be all-consuming, particularly when a company spans the globe. Consistency is often attempted by multiple agencies and in-house teams in each country and realistically, it’s nearly impossible to stay aligned if you don’t have a shared tool and process for producing assets.
Brand automation has many benefits and is achieved by centralising where you store, create and share marketing materials. Using smart templates, such as those built by Papirfly, you can edit predefined templates with translations, culturally appropriate imagery, colours, branding and more.
BAM and the importance of brand consistency
When you’re at the helm of a global organisation with outlets based in numerous countries, brand consistency can be a challenge for several reasons:
- Language barriers
- Complying with cultural standards
- The vast array of channels you market through
- Bad interpretations of brand guidelines (by local teams or agencies)
- Lack of clearly defined guidelines
- Human error
Consistent branding results in 23% more annual revenue for organisations than those that are inconsistent, making brand consistency key in keeping audiences familiar, engaged and forming emotional ties to your brand.
A consistent brand is a strong brand supported by comprehensive guidelines – one that understands who they are, what they stand for and where they are going. That is the type of brand that customers identify with if they share similar values and the type of brand that fosters repeat business. Unless you have a consistent approach, messages can quickly become diluted, key information can get lost, and customers can get confused.
Brand consistency doesn’t just apply to your customers, but plays a key role in your employer branding as well. If there is a disconnection between your employees’ view and your external communication with potential new hires about what your brand is, you are sending out confusing messages and will likely fail to effectively engage both external and internal personnel, leading to dips in productivity and motivation.
How does Brand Activation Management help you achieve brand consistency?
Achieving this all-important brand consistency isn’t straightforward, but it is essential. The following three tips should go some way to realising the right balance:
1. Set parameters for your employees
Limit the potential for human error or brand inconsistency by setting clear boundaries as to who has access to what resources.
BAM by Papirfly™ gives you the power to adjust permission levels for employees, on an individual and team level. They only see the templates and files relevant to them and their projects. They get access to smart templates that provide creative flexibility within a set framework, meaning they can keep up with content creation demand but can’t move away from your brand guidelines.
2. Assess your existing channels in line with your brand identity
While most brands will want to spread their message to as wide an audience as possible, determining the best channels for your brand is crucial. If the tone of your brand is especially corporate and straight-laced, your marketing materials might not be fit for Instagram, in the same way that an energetic, kid-friendly company could steer clear of LinkedIn.
There are no clearly defined rules for this, but if your brand voice and the channels you work on clash too notably, team members could resort to twisting your message to try and fit the audience. With BAM, your templates can be resized based on specific channel requirements. If different teams require different social outputs, the template can be programmed to accommodate this.
3. Embrace the power of repetition
Brand templates and guidelines found within your Brand Activation Management software ensure that when adjustments are made to your assets, they do not steer away from your overarching brand and key messaging.
These brand management tools and templates help achieve consistency across your global marketing, optimise the production process and empower your entire organisation to be more reactive to the ever-evolving needs of your audiences worldwide.
What benefits does BAM software offer businesses?
Brand Activation Management software presents several valuable advantages for organisations looking to maximise their budgets, produce marketing materials at scale and make life easier for their employees.
Outside of what we’ve already discussed in this article, here are more ways that BAM can transform the way teams work forever:
Localising your content
For brand’s with a global reach, speaking to audiences overseas requires a full cultural understanding of their local nuances, imagery and language.
Did you know that 71% of marketers feel less than half of their content is being consumed effectively because it doesn’t take into account their local and mobile audiences? Now more than ever, it is imperative that global brands speak to audiences on a local, personal level in order to build strong relationships.
Let’s take one example of how BAM can support this localisation process…
You’re a global retailer with headquarters based in the U.S. and your team in Austria spotted an opportunity to promote a product based on weather conditions. The request would be sent across, then on to the agency to complete. This process could take several days or even weeks, and result in the opportunity being missed. Or the materials could reach the Austrian team with mistakes or creative elements that won’t fit the audience.
If the Austrian team had access to BAM by Papirfly™ they could quickly and easily seize this opportunity by creating their own on-brand materials in-house, delivering what they need in a matter of minutes. And, if head office required, they could request digital approval in seconds for the asset they created from the U.S. team.
Enhanced efficiency across the board
As well as improving an organisation’s ability to turn around tailored content for their local audiences, Brand Activation Management goes even further in optimising the way companies market themselves across the globe.
Nintex reports that one of the most broken processes employees face is locating documents, with 49% of those surveyed stating this takes too much time in their organisation. When your company is spread across multiple locations, and your key brand assets aren’t stored in one central, easy-to-access space, it can lead to combined hours lost trying to find the assets required to create fresh marketing materials. And you can never get this time back.
BAM software, with its Digital Asset Management functionality, removes this waste of time and helps marketers and companies in general operate in a more streamlined, efficient manner. These systems help you organise, label and store assets in one fundamental location, where anyone can quickly filter through, locate and utilise for the asset they intend to create.
A Brand Activation Management system’s comprehensive templating tools can have your people, regardless of design expertise, producing on-brand and perfectly formatted marketing content from this location. With all brand assets in place, this reduces the chance for materials that go against your brand guidelines and subsequently slashing the time-consuming revision process.
The type of errors that require proofing and correction often come about because creatives do not have the information at hand to help them get it right the first time. Brand Activation Management reduces the chance of errors cropping up immediately, and helps save teams countless hours of time in the process.
Reduce reliance on agencies
Agencies are often critical to a brand’s strategy and creative communications. But if your team is totally reliant upon them for marketing materials, your budget is going to disappear quickly.
By bringing a large volume of everyday designs, edits and tweaks in-house, your team doesn’t have to wait around for what they need, and you can focus your agency budget on harnessing the skills of theirs you really need.
Supporting the 4-day working week
The 4-day working week is not yet a reality for most organisations, but it could well be the future. Many brands have their toes firmly dipped in the hybrid working pool, but for many, reducing hours by one whole working day is too big of a leap to take.
This is understandable, especially if teams are stretched already. But the 4-day work week for in-house teams could be possible with the help of BAM. Teams are creating more than they’ve ever thought possible, hitting deadlines way in advance and are freed up for more high-level thinking within their role.
While BAM can’t solve every challenge in relation to the 4-day work week, should brands need to head down this road in future in order to secure talent, BAM is a strong supportive step in the right direction.
Empowering your employees
Much of this article has concentrated on the benefits Brand Activation Management brings to your organisation’s ability to communicate your messages, visions and objectives to your customers. What shouldn’t go unappreciated is the advantages BAM software offers to your employees, enhancing how they work and appreciate your brand.
Getting as much of your team as possible involved in marketing content creation makes sense on every level:
- More work is completed in-house
- Marketing reaches audiences quicker
- Employees feel encouraged to unlock creativity
- Staff can work smarter, not harder
- Deadlines are met, budgets maximised and stress levels are reduced
- Your whole team develops a deeper connection with your brand
Brand Activation Management works to make life easier for your employees and place them at the forefront of your marketing efforts. With all brand assets accessible through a central portal, employees need just a short amount of time to create studio-quality materials that maintain complete compliance with your branding.
The true benefit offered by a BAM system here is its ease of use for people regardless of their design skills. Providing intuitive creative suites for the creation of digital, video, social, email, print and much more with clear branding parameters, employees are actively encouraged to embrace new ways to market to their audience.
Investing in a brand portal is a transformative move for your organisation, so it’s important you invest in the right one.
Optimising content creation
One of the trickiest parts of any marketing strategy is producing content at-scale and to meet short deadlines. Campaigns must be both planned and reactive, with the latter often posing challenges with a team’s ability to move things through to the approved stage quickly. It can involve any number of people, agencies and third-party suppliers to bring it all together, and can become a costly process.
Is BAM software a better option than outsourcing?
Agencies provide valuable partnerships for strategic and creative work. But for everyday creations, amends and variations, budget can be quickly eaten up. Agencies are full of specialists who provide real insight, knowledge and skill for your marketing strategies. By taking some of the simpler creation tasks, edits and localisations in-house, budget is freed up to invest in more high-level agency input, as opposed to repetitive tasks that can be completed by your own teams.
BAM provides peace of mind that your teams can create exactly what they need – digital, social, video, print, email and more – in a matter of minutes. No need for design skills or engaging a professional, BAM templates are pre-programmed to meet strict brand guidelines, while giving teams the freedom to create.
Turnaround times become much less lengthy, with approvals and amends taking place internally. It also avoids having to use many local agencies across the world to work on translation and localisation materials, as these can all be handled via the BAM platform. This gives your one centralised agency total ownership over your creative and your business total control of its brand.
Do you really need BAM in your budget?
You might have missed the boat for this year’s budget, but it’s never too early to start laying the groundwork for next year. Help determine whether BAM is a must for your marketing budget.
BAM customer brand stories
Over 500,000 users are embracing BAM worldwide, and some of the world’s best-loved brands have never looked back since incorporating our software into their marketing team’s arsenal of tools. We’d like to share some first-hand brand stories on how BAM has changed their world for the better.
> Watch Vodafone’s story
Brand Activation Management is redefining the way brands approach marketing
BAM by Papirfly™ supports global teams on their mission to achieve brand consistency.
Our team has spent decades developing our tools so your markets stay firmly educated on your brand’s purpose, guidelines and evolution, with no agency support or design expertise required.
- Create infinite marketing assets in intuitive creation suites
- Store and share brand assets from one location, accessible to teams worldwide
- Educate your employees on the purpose, visions and missions of your brand
- Manage, plan and organise campaigns with global governance tools
Table of contents:
- What is Brand Activation Management?
- What can BAM software actually do?
- Brand Activation Management vs. Digital Asset Management
- Why is Brand Activation Management critical for businesses?
- BAM and the importance of brand consistency
- What benefits does BAM software offer businesses?
- Is BAM software a better option than outsourcing?
- Do you really need BAM in your budget?
- BAM brand stories