Brand management

7 steps to overcome critical rebrand challenges

By agreeing on what KPIs your team will track before pulling the trigger on your new brand, you can ensure you receive feedback from the start, so you can make improvements depending on what your data is telling you.

A rebrand is a pivotal step in any organisation’s journey – one that can breathe new life into your business when done successfully.

While it can feel daunting from the outset, keep in mind that 74% of S&P 100 companies underwent a rebrand in their first 7 years of existence. Microsoft’s well-known multicoloured window logo is the company’s fifth since its formation in 1975, each change representing a shift in brand strategy and visual identity.

So why do companies do it? A rebrand offers an opportunity to reshape their brand messaging for an up-to-date target audience. To break into new markets, refocus their marketing efforts and enhance their bottom line. For recognisable names like Burberry, Old Spice and Lego, a well-structured rebrand revitalised their image.

However, even when a rebrand is the right call, numerous challenges can cause irreversible damage to your brand equity and harm relationships with your customers. It’s a big leap, and never one to be taken lightly.

If your brand is considering a big change, or if you’re already deep in the rebrand implementation process, this ultimate guide outlines the 7 standout challenges you must overcome and gives you the solutions for smooth, successful brand management:

  1. Rebranding for the wrong reasons
  2. Securing customer buy-in
  3. Mapping out your rebrand’s scale
  4. Internally communicating your rebrand
  5. Measuring your success
  6. Locking down logistics
  7. Handling the brand relaunch

Challenge #1: Rebranding for the wrong reasons

Your brand identity goes beyond the design of your logo or your colour palette – it’s the essence of your emotional connection between you and your customers, employees and the wider world. It’s your company vision, it’s your personality, it’s how people understand YOU.

Brand recognition shouldn’t be toyed with – it takes years of effort to build and can disappear in an instant. That’s why the vast majority of successful rebrands overcome the first hurdle: identifying a legitimate need to update their image.

Take Old Spice as an example. When its name had become intrinsically linked to the older gentleman, it restricted their ability to engage with younger audiences and made them appear “uncool”. Their 2010 rebrand with the memorable “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like” campaign addressed this stagnation and brought their brand into the modern day.

On the other side, you have American retailer GAP. After a short, sudden decline in sales, they invested an estimated $100 million on rebranding their iconic blue logo into one that was more high-brow. This went against the values of convenience and low prices customers expected from GAP, meaning the change was immediately rejected and abandoned.

These competing examples demonstrate the importance of rebranding for the right reasons:

To make sure a complete rebranding campaign is the right step forward, as opposed to a less comprehensive refresh, engage in objective conversations with your shareholders, employees, customers and beyond. Active stakeholder engagement is essential early on to approach this question with a clear, open mind, enabling you to determine whether a rebrand offers more promise than problems.

Moreover, a comprehensive brand audit can identify the strengths and weaknesses of your current branding, empowering you with insight to either justify the importance of a rebrand or bring you back from the brink of a costly, fruitless endeavour.

Challenge #2: Securing buy-in from customers

One of the biggest challenges for any rebranding strategy is getting customers on board with your new changes.

When it takes between 5 and 7 impressions for a customer to recall a brand from memory, getting them to forget this and embrace new visual elements and communications can be a tall order.

This is where GAP’s rebrand fell apart and why Tropicana lost $30 million after changing the beloved packaging of their orange cartons in 2009. They failed to talk to their customers and prepare them for the transition, meaning their rebrand fell flat, losing face in their target markets.

How you overcome customer perceptions and facilitate this transition to your new brand identity will play a key role in the success of your rebrand. 

Overcoming this challenge starts by conducting thorough market research and surveys to sense how current and prospective customers view your brand. This can provide solid, tangible feedback on what people want to see from a revamped version of your business.

Furthermore, carrying over older brand elements into this new vision can ease the transition for customers and maintain familiarity. Especially for strong brands, this staggered approach can help preserve loyalty while you simultaneously target new audiences.

Challenge #3: Mapping the scale of your rebrand

Particularly for globally recognised brands with a presence on multiple marketing channels, the scale of a rebrand can be daunting. Approaching it without a full grasp of what’s required can add innumerable costs and delays to the process.

Moreover, a disorganised approach could mean smaller visual elements, such as letterheads or email signatures, are overlooked. This can lead to outdated graphics, logos or imagery remaining in circulation in your marketing, sowing confusion, raising distrust and harming your brand consistency.

The solution? Granularly map out every facet of your brand and your broadcast channels. Engage your marketing teams to ensure no stone is unturned during this transition, and collate everything identified into one unified, shared document. 

Once your transition plan is complete and executed, utilise a Digital Asset Management (DAM) platform to contain all refreshed brand imagery and collateral. This technology will give everyone in your organisation access to the latest resources, while simultaneously allowing you to lock away any remnants of the old branding so it can never accidentally find its way out.

Challenge #4: Internally communicating your rebrand

While your rebrand might be aimed towards your customers, it’s also necessary that your team members are on board.

After all, the people at the heart of your business are responsible for carrying your new marketing materials, voice and values to your target audiences. If they’re unaware or unsure about the new brand, this could affect how they communicate it. Long-term employees may default to the old regime, confusing your brand alignment.

When you consider that 92% of consumers trust word of mouth over any other form of branded promotion, you see how important it is to get everyone connected to your business speaking the same language when it comes to your rebrand.

For international organisations, this is even more pressing. Without a firm communication strategy across your locations, the implementation of your rebrand can be incredibly slow, convoluted and inconsistent. Your branding on one side of the world could be completely different on the other – in an increasingly connected planet, that will be picked up on quickly.

How do you address this problem? Setting up a dedicated brand hub at the centre of your rebrand can help ensure it’s understood and applied universally. Within this digital resource, any team member can be educated on brand guidelines, exemplar assets and more to give them complete clarity over how your brand should now be presented.

This single source of truth, reinforced by wider brand management solutions, will go a long way in keeping your teams aligned and educated on your current brand identity. Rather than an uncoordinated, haphazard approach, this centralised, structured method can make the adjustment period for your employees much simpler.

Challenge #5: Quantifying the success of your rebrand

While rebrands can help companies appeal to new audiences, reposition their place in the market and address negative brand perceptions – success isn’t a foregone conclusion.

Before breaking ground on your rebrand, you should determine what a successful outcome will look like when you go live. While there’s sure to be plenty of anecdotal evidence to suggest whether your rebrand has been well received or not, data is the definitive marker for success.

So, what metrics should you keep in mind once your materials are out in the world? The simple answer is it depends. Different companies will commission a rebrand for different reasons; some might want to reach new audiences, while others aim to accommodate the launch of a new product.

Whatever metrics are most appropriate to track, make sure you’re assessing everything from a financial perspective. These projects eat up a significant chunk of your marketing budget, so higher-ups will want to know whether these adjustments delivered a return on investment.

Challenge #6: Locking down the logistics of your rebrand

It’s easy to get lost in the logistical demands of a rebrand. For instance, if your brand name changes, is this available as a trademark? Have your new designs and visuals been communicated to your packaging partners or external agencies?

These hurdles, be they legal formalities or gaps in your asset creation processes, can do more than delay your rebrand – they can place your organisation at risk of liability breaches and fracture relationships with your partners.

To ensure the logistical side of your rebrand is completed in full, use this checklist to stay on track:

Beyond this, your style guides, website imagery, social media assets, letterheads and more will need to be reworked. Many organisations will outsource this to an external agency, but this can be expensive, potentially resulting in partners failing to treat your branding and assets with the same attention to detail you would.

To take a more cost-conscious, in-house approach, building and using intelligent design templates can make it straightforward to execute your brand refresh. With an effective, intuitive solution, anyone in your team can play an active role in creating studio-quality assets for any channel, so you are fully prepared with collateral for the launch of your new identity.

Challenge #7: The all-important brand relaunch

All that’s left now is to launch your rebrand. But with competition for your customers’ attention and loyalty fiercer than ever, revealing your new identity involves more than just a flick of a switch.

To maximise the chances that your new direction is met with intrigue and excitement instead of concern or confusion, it’s hard to overstate the importance of a well-coordinated rebrand rollout campaign.

Get everything ready for the big day by creating a need-to-know sequence, so your team can roll your rebrand out to each audience in order of importance, from employees and customers right the way through to your suppliers and the media. Facilitating this with campaign execution tools can add a tangible structure that keeps your work on track.

Next, establish a narrative behind your new identity. You want to make it as clear to your audience why you have taken this step, and how it will specifically benefit them.

Then, devote time to forecasting (or hyping up) your new rebrand. Audiences are generally resistant to change at the best of times, and hitting them with a top-to-bottom rebrand out of nowhere is likely to stoke confusion, frustration and negativity. Creating a gradual build-up with teases of the new image allows them to adapt to the change over time.

Finally, create a communication strategy for the initial days, weeks and months after launch to reinforce your new brand in your customers’ minds. This can quickly breed familiarity and eventually distance your audience from your former identity.

Unlock the full potential of your next rebrand

For many companies, rebranding has been the key to their ongoing success. They enable organisations to appeal to new customers, tap into fresh markets, and build recognition among key audiences.

But creating a new identity for your brand is no easy feat. We hope this guide has enabled you to better understand whether rebranding is the right decision for you, and overcome the multitude of challenges that can derail the debut of your new image so you can make this investment a genuine success.

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Brand management

The global brand manager’s ultimate guide for unbreakable brand guidelines

Global brand consistency is the aim of any proficient brand manager – a coherent, harmonious image and identity across all touchpoints that your target audience understands, recognises and resonates with.

Yet achieving this is easier said than done. With an abundance of marketing channels and multiple teams scattered across the globe, it’s easy for inconsistencies to creep into your communications. When this happens, your audiences lose trust in your brand’s identity, impacting their loyalty and willingness to engage with your organisation.

In this ongoing battle to ensure brand consistency, brand guidelines are one of the biggest weapons in your arsenal. Defining your vision, style, tone and much more, your guidelines are the key to educating the people responsible for creating and promoting your brand, and keeping your brand assets uniform on every channel and in every location.

However, the quality and effectiveness of brand guidelines vary from company to company. Some keep brand image locked down; others simply gather dust in a file cabinet.

In this ultimate guide, we harness our decades of experience in helping brands stay consistent to share our tips for truly unbreakable, actionable brand guidelines.

What are brand guidelines?

Your brand guidelines are the heart and soul of your company’s identity. It’s the manual that dictates your brand usage across all areas. It captures the essence of what your brand represents and its unique personality. It tells the brand story that forges emotional connections with your audiences, both internal and external.

Whether you’d rather refer to this as a brand style guide, brand manual or brand kit, the principle remains the same – your guidelines are the foundation for absolute brand consistency:

  • They deliver greater quality control, ensuring all content is produced with your brand’s reputation and identity in mind
  • They increase the understanding of your corporate branding across your marketers, graphic designers and wider staff
  • They enable better brand recognition by guaranteeing a consistent, coherent visual identity across your collateral

Or at least they should. While over 85% of organisations say they have brand guidelines, only 30% are enforced properly. Problems such as a lack of awareness, poor communication and inaccessibility commonly prevent guidelines from having their desired impact, enabling inconsistencies in visual elements, tone of voice and other critical areas.

When brand design guidelines are ignored or misrepresented, your consistency – and consequently your overall company performance – suffers.

Is brand consistency that important?

Imagine a coworker who is always smartly dressed. Tailored suit, tucked-in shirt, polished shoes – everything neatly aligned. One day they come to work with messy hair, stains on their shirt and worn shoes. You would probably be confused and want to know if something was wrong.

The same logic applies to your brand and your customers. Your branding is the personification of your organisation, what people come to know and love. If that image frequently changes, it becomes impossible for your audiences to build trust as they don’t know where you stand.

This is why consistent, harmonious brands enjoy 33% revenue increases over inconsistent brands. Or why consistent brands are 3-4 times more likely to have excellent visibility in their market.

Consistency breeds confidence from your consumers, fosters loyalty, and builds lasting customer relationships. Your brand guidelines are the lynchpin of realising these benefits.

Cementing your identity before creating your brand guidelines

Before you can write up your brand guidelines, there’s some initial groundwork you and your team must take care of. Whether you’re undertaking a rebranding campaign or establishing guidelines in a long-established company, the first step is to cement your brand identity.

After all, if you aren’t clear about what your brand represents and how it should be portrayed, what exactly are your guidelines protecting? To get your guidelines off on the right foot, here are the formative steps you should know:

Conduct a thorough brand audit

Begin by examining your current brand elements, communications and collateral in a comprehensive brand audit. This should give you a sense of what personality your brand is projecting to your audience: is it coherent on all touchpoints? Is it aligned with what we want our brand to represent?

It’s vital your audit is approached objectively. You must be honest about whether your current messaging represents your brand in the manner you intend. Canvass your stakeholders, customers, employees and more to build this universal view of your brand’s perception.

Your analysis will establish the strengths and weaknesses of your current branding, and what your brand guidelines must include to present your brand correctly.

Understand your target audience

Your brand is designed to foster a connection with your customers, employees and the wider world. So, it’s important your brand guidelines are grounded in what your audience wants and expects from your organisation.

To build your buyer personas, consider the following:

  • What are their demographics and characteristics?
  • What are their habits?
  • What are their concerns and pain points?
  • What values do they care about most?
  • What are their hobbies and interests?
  • Where do they look for information?

Examine your competitors

Competitor analysis is vital when forming your brand identity to establish areas where you can set yourself apart from the crowd. 

Examining their colour schemes, tone of voice, mission statements, social media platforms and beyond can inspire ideas for your own branding, while pinpointing unique characteristics, visuals and offerings that will help you stand out.

Determine your visual identity

As prominent graphic designer Paul Rand once said: design is the silent ambassador of your brand. When you have audited your brand and researched your audience/competitors, you should nail down the visual elements that will encapsulate your brand’s identity.

This takes your brand from conception to reality, forming the bulk of your brand guidelines. You may enlist the services of an external design agency to bring these initial assets to life, which you can later harness for wide-scale asset creation through branded templates.

What should be included in brand guidelines?

This is the fundamental question in your creation of brand identity guidelines. After cementing the essence of your branding and visual presentation, what must you include to ensure this is properly communicated across all your marketing?

Clarity and comprehensiveness are the order of the day here. While you want your guidelines to be digestible and accessible, the more detail you include here, the less room there is for your teams to misinterpret and misrepresent your brand in future.

Brand vision and mission statements

Your brand vision and mission are your brand’s purpose and how it aspires to achieve that goal. They’re the core values that tell your customers, employees and beyond who you are, what you represent and where you’re going.

Consider these as people’s introduction to your brand and the foundation for your relationship with them. That’s why your vision and mission statements should sit at the front of your brand guidelines, so those using the guide can understand this immediately.

The Nike swoosh. McDonald’s’ golden arches. The Starbucks Siren. Your brand logo is the visual face of your brand, and one of the most important tools in building recognition and brand equity among your audiences.

However, your brand guidelines should not simply display and explain the rationale of your logo. It must set parameters for how your logo should be used in all brand assets. How large should it be? Where should it be positioned? Does it look different on a letterhead than a social media post?

In your guidelines, include all approved versions of your logo and include the following:

  • Different sizes and layouts of your main logo
  • The white space required around your logo
  • Approved colour variations beyond your main logo
  • Reversed and mono versions of your logo
  • Responsive logos for smaller screens (mobiles, tablets, etc.)

Iconography

Icons are important parts of your branding as they can be recognisable across different languages and cultures in a way that written text cannot.

Your brand guidelines should identify aspects like the size of your icons, what they indicate and situations where they are appropriate for use. If you use outlined icons or solid icons, this preference should also be pinpointed here as well.

Colour palette

Colour is arguably the most powerful means for people to recall your brand. In fact, colour is estimated to increase brand recognition by 80%. Therefore, your distinct, unique colour palette must be clearly outlined within your guidelines.

Most brands will typically choose three or four primary colours of different hues for different purposes:

  • A lighter colour for backgrounds
  • A darker shade for text
  • A neutral hue
  • A flashy colour that pops off screens

Dutch brewing company Heineken follows this pattern in their own guidelines:

When presenting your colour palette in your brand style guide, precisely indicate your primary and secondary colours, and any distinction between colours used on the web (RGB colours) and in print (CMYK colours). Also ensure you include the following details:

  • Their colour match, using their Pantone name and number
  • Their CMYK number
  • Their RGB colour and HEX code

Typography

Typography is the variety of font styles your brand uses in its copy. This could be a single “family” of fonts, or include a mixture of styles you want to use across your digital and print channels.

Consistency is key here, so it’s not ideal to have numerous wildly different fonts. A good rule of thumb for brand managers is to use a different typography for your logo than your “main” font style. This creates a contrast that stands out more to audiences.

Within your brand guidelines, outline the typography used for different types of text – headings, paragraphs, bullet points, etc. – as well as the preferred alignment of text and spacing between words and paragraphs.

Tone of voice

Your tone of voice describes how your brand communicates with your audiences and influences how they think about you through your messaging.

This is often the segment of brand guidelines most open to misinterpretation. To ensure that doesn’t happen:

  • Use a tone of voice scale, including examples of the tone used for greetings, sign-offs and other key CTAs
  • Alternatively, a tone of voice table can illustrate your various voice characteristics and when they should be employed
  • Provide best practice examples to guide your copywriters on what is acceptable and what isn’t
  • Align your tone with your brand personality, connecting it to 3-5 adjectives that underlie your core values

Imagery

The imagery section of your brand guidelines should guide your whole team on what types of photos, illustrations, designs and more are appropriate for your brand.

You can make the distinction between good and bad imagery clear in your guidelines in several ways:

  • Best practice – Show examples from your collection of photos, illustrations and other imagery that performed well for your brand, demonstrating to designers which ones fit your range of channels
  • Aspiration – Don’t have an internal collection to lean on? The same effect can be achieved by using imagery that you’ve found from brands that inspire your organisation
  • Mood board – Collect images and themes that convey the feelings you want to get across in your brand imagery

Signage

Whether the signage is physical posters, banners and billboards, or digital bulletins on retail websites and beyond, these will have specific dimensions and elements that you’ll want to ensure stay consistent across all locations.

Are your signs flat, plastic and vinyl? Are they built up and illuminated? Are they static or animated? All of these elements should be highlighted in your brand guidelines.

Guides for physical and digital marketing channels

Finally, you should dedicate part of your brand guidelines to clarifying your various physical and digital marketing channels. Denoting how your logos, colours, visual elements and more appear on specific channels ensures a coherent, harmonious flow of content on these platforms.

Perhaps dedicate a page or two of your master guidelines to each channel to illustrate nuances or restrictions that differ from your core guidelines. Alternatively, you may want to produce distinct brand management guidelines for each platform, which can be incredibly useful if you have professionals dedicated to different areas of your marketing ecosystem.

Making your brand guidelines accessible and actionable

While nailing the components and structure of your brand guidelines is no doubt essential, equally as crucial – and often overlooked – is the accessibility of your guidelines.

What’s the point of having a thorough, informative, end-to-end guide if no one knows where it lives or follows it? That’s why there is such a discrepancy in the number of organisations that have brand guidelines and the number that use brand guidelines.

In order to achieve the all-encompassing consistency your brand demands and your audiences expect, making your guidelines easy to access and understand is essential. Here’s how you achieve it:

Structure and design your guidelines for ease of use

First, take time to design and lay out your guidelines for maximum engagement and comprehension. There’s a lot of information to be communicated here, but a guide with wall-to-wall text will likely inspire eye rolls and shoulder shrugs.

Remember, this is a resource that a brand-new designer, marketer or agency will use to grasp your brand and produce assets to the standard you expect. If it’s confusing, bland or poorly structured, people won’t follow it closely.

For truly accessible brand guidelines, consider the following:

  • Be concise yet informative in each segment, only providing as much information as necessary without going overboard with text
  • Use imagery and interactive elements to engage readers more effectively
  • Rely on simple, easy-to-digest language so anyone, regardless of their design knowledge, can follow along
  • Create checklists alongside your guidelines to offer step-by-step instructions for how to apply and present your branding

Here are 3 great examples of organisations with engaging, digestible brand guidelines:

Ollo

Ollo’s creative, colourful brand guidelines include an interactive game demonstrating how users can manipulate their logo, making this segment more engaging and understandable.

Wolf Circus

Wolf Circus’s guidelines leave no confusion over the colours and imagery at the core of their brand identity. It comprehensively covers everything from the company’s mission statement and logo variants to specific campaign guidelines, while maintaining a minimalist and clear structure.

NJORD

NJORD’s minimalist approach gives readers everything they need in a straightforward, no-nonsense way. It doesn’t skimp out on relevant details, delivering everything someone would need to produce their array of digital and print assets.

Harness the power of video in your guidelines

92.3% of users watch videos every week. It’s the most powerful form of online content and people retain more information from it than something they simply read or hear.

Converting your written brand guidelines into a series of video explainers and tutorials can help users easily understand your brand identity and its usage. Think of it as a “show not tell” approach that can reduce the risk of misinterpretation.

Translate your guidelines in relevant languages

For global brands with worldwide locations, ensure there are versions of your brand guidelines written in every relevant language. This removes any jeopardy of people misunderstanding the instructions in your guidelines, and makes these much easier to follow for your teams across the globe.

Establish a digital “home” for your brand guidelines

Where you house your brand guidelines is crucial – it cannot simply be a single printed booklet in your office. While you can produce printed guidelines for all personnel, this is not exactly cost-effective or environmentally friendly. So, we recommend establishing an online brand portal to contain your digital brand guidelines.

Taking this approach ensures:

  • Users worldwide can access, read and download guidelines with a couple of clicks
  • You can incorporate interactive features and videos within your style guides
  • Any adjustments and updates to your guidelines can be applied instantly without any administrative headaches

Create a single source of truth for brand assets

As your brand assets offer the clearest guide to how your branding should be portrayed across all marketing channels, having these contained in one intuitive location helps you lock down consistency.

Investing in a standalone Digital Asset Management (DAM) system, or as part of a more comprehensive brand management platform, can make it far simpler for your teams to locate exemplar assets to use as a template for future campaigns.

Turn your brand guidelines into brand templates

Speaking of templates, the best way to ensure your guidelines are steadfastly applied throughout your brand assets is by making these the framework for dedicated design templates.

Creating templates for each type of asset you require, constructed under your brand guidelines, makes it impossible for designers to steer beyond these boundaries. This can lock down the size and position of visual elements, typography and much more, meaning people don’t have to study your guidelines meticulously to apply them.

Furthermore, high-quality template software empowers anyone on your team – not just those with a design background – to create content, completely secure in the knowledge that everything produced is 100% brand-consistent.

Control your brand like never before with unbreakable brand guidelines

Now that you know the essence of great brand guidelines, we hope you can use this blog to take your own guidelines to the next level.

Making these as engaging, comprehensive and accessible as possible for your workforce is critical to always communicating the right messages to your audiences, leaving zero room for inconsistencies.

By applying the techniques and tips above, you set your teams up for a future of consistent, coherent marketing campaigns, and build a strong brand that is understood, trusted and beloved by customers, employees and others globally.

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Brand management

7 successful brand reputation management strategies

Reputation is everything for today’s brands. Your brand’s reputation is how people perceive your organisation, from your day-to-day consumers to your employees and stakeholders.

Fundamentally, the stronger your reputation, the more you’re trusted and respected by those around you. This in turn increases customer loyalty, boosts sales and grows your market share. Those are incredible benefits, but they come with a hefty burden, as just one or two missteps can cause your reputation to tumble, and put you on a long road to recovery.

Maintaining a strong brand reputation demands long-term, end-to-end management, addressing both the positive and the negative. In this guide, we share strategies we’ve learned across our 20+ years of working with global brands to help you stay in good standing with your target audiences.

Brand reputation management quote by Warren Buffet - It takes 20 years to build a reputation and 5 minutes to ruin it

What is brand reputation management?

Brand reputation management is the steps and strategies you take to monitor, govern and protect your reputation with your audiences.

In this digital age, most of that takes place online. From comments on your social media platforms to dedicated review websites such as Yelp, Trustpilot and Google Reviews, there are many forums for your customers, employees and beyond to share their thoughts about your brand, products and services.

And what they say matters. Around 90% of consumers say they won’t frequent a business with a negative reputation, while nearly 70% of job candidates would reject job offers from a company with a poor reputation – even if they were unemployed!

Brand reputation statistics infographic about the impact of negative company reviews and reputation on consumers and candidates

What does brand reputation management involve?

As much of what dictates a brand’s reputation happens online, managing this will typically include:

  • Monitoring brand mentions, comments and messages on social media
  • Checking your platform’s online review pages and responding to comments
  • Responding to customer enquiries through emails, contact forms and other communication channels
  • Developing public relations strategies to handle how your brand is presented in the media and manage crises
  • Collaborating with industry experts and influencers with strong reputations
  • Creating expert content on your website and wider platforms to demonstrate your thought leadership

However, it’s equally important to manage your brand offline. Communications with customers and appearances in local publications can majorly contribute to how people perceive you.

How do I measure my brand’s reputation?

While there is no clear-cut way to know if your brand has a good or bad reputation, several indicators can help you gauge public opinion:

6 ways to measure your brand reputation - brand sentiment, customer surveys, reviews, media mentions, feedback and  awards

Tracking these metrics will give you a solid sense of how people view your brand, and whether you must take action to repair any damage.

The importance of a positive brand reputation – and the costs of a negative one

The importance of your brand’s reputation cannot be overstated. As mentioned earlier, it’s one of the biggest influences on trust between your brand and your core audiences. A negative reputation won’t inspire confidence in potential customers or employees – particularly if your competitors have a more positive stature.

But its value goes far beyond trust – a positive brand reputation:

Boosts sales and revenue

When you have many positive reviews from satisfied customers, others will naturally want to experience the same quality. Conversely, an abundance of 1-star reviews will scare potential customers away, costing you revenue.

Customers willing to spend 31% more on a  business with excellent reviews - Brand reputation and revenue statistics - Source: Invesp

Builds customer loyalty

A consistent reputation breeds loyalty among your audience, as they understand they can trust you to deliver on their expectations. As you can imagine, having a constant stream of loyal customers coming back time and again contributes significantly to your ongoing success.

Attracts top talent

Modern candidates are increasingly concerned about the reputation, ethics and social responsibility of the brands they work for. The better your reputation, the better your chances of recruiting and retaining the best available talent.

86% of employees and job seekers research company reviews and ratings - Employer brand reputation statistic - Source: Glassdoor

Opens doors to partnerships

Did you know that 69% of consumers trust recommendations from their favourite influencers? These personalities also have reputations to uphold, so a strong brand reputation is crucial to secure these beneficial partnerships.

Increases brand awareness

There’s an old saying that there’s no such thing as bad publicity. However, constant negative feedback results in the wrong type of brand awareness – the type that wards away potential customers. Effective brand management helps you appear in the right places to attract consumers, from search engines to social channels.

Brand trust statistic - 82% of shoppers make purchases based on brand trust - Source: Shopify

Grows brand equity

Greater loyalty and awareness among your target audiences contributes to better brand equity. This helps increase your market share among competitors, and enables you to charge more for your goods and services.

Minimises the impact of a crisis

Every organisation makes mistakes or unpopular decisions from time to time. With a healthy brand reputation, you’re in a better position to navigate troublesome moments and minimise the repercussions. If you have a weak reputation already, these moments may prove the final straw for your audiences.

Discover how to master brand communication - Link to Papirfly guide

7 effective brand reputation management strategies to protect your stature

Now you understand the value of a strong brand reputation, what can you do to establish and preserve this?

Of course, the core of any good brand reputation is offering quality products and services. Nothing will redeem you long-term if you fail to meet this benchmark. But from this foundation, there are numerous steps you can take to reinforce your status:

1. Encourage authentic reviews and ratings from your customers

First, regularly encourage feedback from your customers, both positive and negative. When they buy your product or use your services, ask them to share a review either in person, via email or attached to your invoices. 65% of people will leave a review if prompted by an organisation.

Ideally, your overall review rating should be between 4 and 4.7 stars. 57% of consumers won’t use a business with a rating below 4 stars, but the likelihood of purchases also dips the closer you get to the full 5 stars, as many customers consider this inauthentic or inflated.

Authenticity is essential. Whether people love or loathe your products or services, potential customers want an honest assessment to make their judgements. Fake positive reviews don’t benefit you or your reputation.

Online review and reputation statistics infographic - Sources: Podium and BrightLocal

2. Respond promptly to any customer concerns

From a critical email to a negative review, you must proactively respond to customer issues with your brand. 89% of consumers say they are likelier to frequent businesses that respond to all reviews, positive or negative.

Brand sentiment analysis and social listening tools can help you here, spotlighting any negative online comments or reviews so you can promptly respond. With your responses, remember to:

  • Provide a solution to their issue where possible, or reassure the person that you are actively working on one
  • Demonstrate empathy for their frustration or dissatisfaction
  • Maintain communication while their issue is being resolved
  • Follow up with the person once their problem is solved, and potentially encourage them to rescind or update their review

For more efficient responses, you may establish template answers for frequently asked queries or problems you have identified. However, you should use these only as a base and tailor your specific responses to the customer’s direct concerns.

And remember, negative feedback can be the springboard to positive improvements for your organisation, so always welcome these with open arms!

3. Maintain consistency across your brand assets

Your reputation is judged by more than your online reviews. Most customers expect consistent messaging across every engagement they have with your brand. Any break in your tone, visual identity, brand colours and more can make your brand appear disorganised and unprofessional, harming your overall reputation.

It’s essential your branding and marketing stay consistent on every channel. To achieve this:

  • Establish clear brand guidelines that tie down your brand’s identity
  • Develop branded design templates to keep your assets aligned across all platforms
  • Invest in a Digital Asset Management (DAM) solution to provide a single library of approved assets for your teams
  • Recycle existing brand assets in different formats to maintain the same look and feel
  • Monitor your marketing campaigns to identify any instances of inconsistency at the earliest opportunity

For more advice on this topic, check out our ultimate guide to brand consistency.

 87% of customers think brands should work harder at brand consistency - Source: Convert Group

4. Create brand reputation guidelines and a communications strategy

In a similar vein, it’s beneficial to establish specific brand reputation guidelines to define how you communicate your brand and respond to feedback. These guidelines could include:

  • Your brand values and mission statements
  • Your brand’s visual identity, including logos, colour palettes, typography and imagery
  • Your tone of voice, ensuring messages reflect your brand’s personality
  • A framework for crafting messages, comments and responses in line with your brand identity
  • Crisis communication protocols to manage negative publicity quickly
  • Social media guidelines that dictate how you engage with followers on your social profiles
  • Customer service standards that set expectations for all customer interactions
  • Partnership and sponsorship criteria that ensure you select partners and sponsors that align with your brand’s values

With a solid communications strategy in place somewhere readily accessible to your marketing, PR and branding teams across the globe, you help ensure a consistent approach and reputation at all times.

5. Invest in online listening tools

It’s impossible to stay abreast of everything people say about your brand manually – at least not without a considerable investment of time and resources. 

Online listening tools can monitor and track references to your brand on social media, Google, review sites and beyond. This allows you to instantly see, digest and respond to any negative sentiment, as well as measure the performance of branded hashtags and specific marketing campaigns.

Some online listening tools will cost you nothing to set up. Google Alerts is a great example, one every brand should pay attention to, sending you daily email notifications for particular keywords and phrases you want to track online.

Other noteworthy online listening tools include:

6. Focus on enhancing your SEO

68% of all online experiences begin with a search engine, and they are among the most trustworthy sources of information for consumers. Therefore, the higher your website ranks on search engines, the more reputable your brand appears.

Devoting time to your SEO strategy helps your brand get noticed on these essential destinations, and establishes you as a thought leader in your industry. To ramp up your SEO efforts, consider:

  • Creating engaging, relevant content that addresses your audience’s questions and needs
  • Keeping your content up-to-date to maintain its relevance and freshness
  • Optimising your content, titles, images and more with the correct keywords to generate search traffic
  • Improving the structure of your website through internal linking and a consistent URL layout
  • Acquiring high-quality backlinks from authoritative websites in your industry
  • Ensuring your business information is consistent across online directories and listings
  • Enhancing user experience (UX) by making your website easy to navigate and visually appealing
SEO and trust statistics for trusting search engine results and number 1 results in Google  - Source: Convert Group

7. Harness user-generated content and brand advocates

Lastly, we noted earlier how consumers are more inclined to trust individuals than brands. This is nothing ground-breaking, but it does make user-generated content (UGC), testimonials and similar assets incredibly effective at raising your brand reputation.

By showcasing customers using your products or services in videos, or sharing employee experiences on review websites such as Glassdoor, this presents an authentic impression of the quality of your organisation.

The more third-party advocates and influencers you have promoting the benefits of your brand, the more trustworthy and reputable you appear to your target audiences.

Build your reputation on an on-brand culture

With your brand’s reputation fundamental to your long-term revenue, recognition and success, we hope this guide gives you the foundation to control this across all platforms.

Of course, a strong brand reputation is based on a robust on-brand culture. An environment where all your teams understand your values and identity, and have the tools to communicate these across your marketing operations.

Identifying an effective brand management software solution gives your teams the foundation to maintain this consistent presentation. With this structure, your customers, employees and beyond are encouraged to gain trust in your organisation, keeping your reputation solid and stable for years to come.

Ready to unleash your brand consistently on every channel? Empower your people with Papirfly – the all-in-one brand management platform
Brand management

The power of personalisation for brand marketing in 2024

“Personalisation – it’s not about first/last name. It’s about relevant content.” – Dan Jak

No customer wants to feel like a stranger or a number. They want the brands they engage with to understand them – their needs, their pain points, their goals. They want to be seen as individuals.

That is what creating personalised content is all about. It’s about tailoring customer experiences around specific consumers. It’s about building trust through more focused, familiar interactions. And ultimately, it’s about making sure customers feel special.

Better brand personalisation should be a goal in any organisation, and thanks to the tools available today, achieving this is more attainable than ever. Yet, a recent Papirfly poll found that just 25% of respondents classed their marketing efforts as highly personalised and on-brand globally and locally.

More must be done to deliver the personalised experiences modern consumers want. Here we’ll explore the benefits and challenges of personalised brand marketing, and how you can add a personal touch to your campaigns on a global or local scale.

Papirfly brand personalisation statistic - Only 25% of marketers say campaigns are highly personalised and on-brand globally and locally

What is personalisation in brand marketing?

Personalisation is when you adapt your brand marketing around the information you know about your customers. Their interests, preferred products or services, shopping habits, pain points – anything that enables you to speak directly to your customers on a one-to-one level.

Personalisation isn’t a new concept. In 18th century London, customers at Lock & Co. Hatters, the world’s oldest hat shop, would simply shout “hat” outside the shop, and the staff would deliver a new hat to them, matching their size and style preferences.

But in the digital marketing age, the ability to understand customer preferences through data and analytics has never been greater. How often have you searched for a product on Google or Amazon, and suddenly seen that same product appearing in your emails, social feeds and banner ads when you next hop online?

With the right tools and ethical techniques, you can gather the data to craft messages for specific target audiences, with the potential only limited by time and resources.

Is brand personalisation only relevant for e-commerce businesses?

Absolutely not. While personalisation is rightly attached to e-commerce and the wider retail industry, this approach is relevant for any organisation looking to generate more sales and loyalty from their target markets.

Infographic showing 72% of shoppers say businesses they buy from recognise them as individuals and know their interests - Source: McKinsey

5 reasons brand personalisation is so important

1. Modern customers want and expect personalised experiences

Firstly and most importantly, customers expect campaigns to be tailored around them.

87% of marketing professionals say consumers desire personalised content from their preferred brands, while 76% of consumers say they’re more likely to purchase from brands that deliver these personalised experiences.

While there’s always a risk of entering “creepy” territory – by and large, customers want to be presented with personalised products and offers.

Importance of personalisation statistics around personalised content, personal experiences, repeat custom and brand satisfaction

2. Personalised brand marketing boosts revenue

With today’s consumers more inclined to buy from brands that personalise their campaigns, naturally this approach encourages more sales. It just makes sense – if you as a customer are presented with a bespoke offer or discount based on your interests, you’re likely going to take it (or at least consider it).

In fact, it’s estimated companies generate up to 40% more revenue from personalised content, while personalised calls-to-action (CTAs) deliver over 200% more conversions than generic ones.

3. Personalisation improves the ROI of your marketing campaigns

Beyond revenue, personalisation can also noticeably improve the ROI of your marketing. By targeting customers with content and offers tailored to their wants and needs, you remove a lot of the speculation associated with less focused, generalised campaigns.

If you speak your customer’s language and understand their wishes, you’re more likely to secure an efficient conversion. That’s why 89% of marketers say they achieve a positive ROI when their campaigns are personalised.

4. Personalisation leads to more effective customer retargeting

Retargeting is crucial in today’s landscape to keep your message in front of your audience amidst a tidal wave of advertising and content. Personalisation and effective use of customer data enables you to customise your retargeting campaigns around your marketing segments.

This achieves better results, builds brand awareness and leads to more satisfying, familiar customer interactions.

Retargeted ads achieve 400% increase in engagement - Source: Vibe.co

5. Personalisation encourages stronger brand loyalty, recognition and equity

Finally, personalisation supports your brand marketing in ways that are difficult to measure, but still hold value. 

For instance, more personalised, positive experiences for your customers encourage loyalty and repeat business. 78% of consumers say personalisation makes them more likely to repurchase from the same brand, and loyal customers offer much more value to your business.

This more engaging content also enhances brand recognition among your core audiences, which in turn raises your brand equity and allows you to sell your products and services for a premium value.

What challenges do brands face in implementing effective personalisation strategies?

Although personalisation in brand marketing is more attainable than ever, numerous challenges can hinder your efforts: 

  • Capturing customer data can be difficult due to strict GDPR and protection guidelines
  • Becoming too familiar with your audience can put off prospective customers
  • Bringing individual customer data together to form distinct buyer personas can be challenging
  • Customer data silos in your organisation can lead to duplicate messages or prevent useful knowledge from reaching your marketing teams

Strong brand management can help you overcome these hurdles, and give your teams the power to personalise your customer journeys with speed and precision.

How to deliver personalised experiences across your customers’ journeys

If you are keen to unlock the full potential of personalisation in your marketing efforts, here are our key pieces of advice you need to consider:

Conduct market research and collect customer data

The heart of any brand personalisation strategy is solid, well-researched customer data. How can you tailor your messages if you don’t understand who you’re talking to?

Collect, analyse and scrutinise everything from demographics and past purchases, to preferences, behaviours and beyond. Carry out surveys to understand the specific wants of your target audiences better. By recognising the characteristics of your customers, your personalisation efforts become more relevant and powerful.

4 effective sources of customer data for personalised content- Analytics, surveys, social media metrics, and CRM data - Infographic

Segment your target audiences based on the information you gather

Once you have a bank of data, use this to segment your audience appropriately. Particularly for larger, global organisations, it’s unfeasible to meet the precise needs of every individual customer. Strong market segmentation is the next best approach.

Dividing your customers by their shared characteristics empowers you to produce personalised content and experiences that connect with a select group really well, which should encourage purchases.

Invest in tools for real-time asset creation and customisation

Agility is essential for effective personalised campaigns. With your knowledge of your target audiences, you must be prepared to capitalise on any event or opportunity in your marketing. 

Internally, you must also demonstrate agility by organising teams around specific customer segments or journeys with efficient collaboration.

Identifying and investing in brand management solutions and technology is key to achieving the flexibility your personalisation efforts require. In particular, prioritise on-brand asset creation software that makes it faster and simpler for your teams to personalise your global assets, and Digital Asset Management (DAM) to give people instant access to relevant content.

Centralise your brand identity in one accessible location

Personalisation should never come at the expense of your identity – brand consistency must be at the foundation to ensure a harmonious experience for your customers.

With this in mind, it’s useful to establish a centralised brand hub that your teams worldwide can access and refer to at all times. Brand guidelines, tone of voice, colour palettes – by containing everything in one location, your professionals can comfortably personalise materials knowing they can never stray from your core identity.

Develop distinct personalisation strategies for each stage of the customer journey

It can take many steps to capture a customer, so you should aim to personalise each part of their journey.

Personalising customer journeys - Awareness, consideration, decision - Brand marketing Infographic

Measure and refine your personalisation efforts

Our final tip is to keep your personalised marketing from stagnating. Conduct A/B testing on your communications, track the performance of your campaigns and encourage customer feedback to see where your personalisation efforts could be improved.

Useful metrics to measure the success of your personalised content include:

  • Customer satisfaction
  • Customer loyalty
  • Brand differentiation
  • Campaign ROI
  • Customer lifetime value

Perfecting personalisation both globally and locally

A personalised approach to brand marketing is especially important for global brands with numerous local outlets. With variances in languages, cultures, backgrounds, environments and beyond, a one-size-fits-all marketing approach simply cannot work.

Take Rabobank as an example. Headquartered in the Netherlands, this cooperative bank today has locations in over 20 countries across all continents. This means they must adapt content for each region to resonate with customers and promote relevant services, while keeping their global brand identity intact.

To overcome this challenge, Rabobank employs effective brand management technology that allows them to:

  • Build a dedicated home for their branding to maintain consistency across all channels and locations
  • Access on-brand assets from one central DAM system, with user permissions based on an employee’s position, region or country
  • Streamline on-brand asset production so their teams can execute in minutes, enabling them to stay agile and customise content at scale
  • Improve campaign execution to capitalise on industry trends with personalised content that engages audiences in real-time

With the right platform in place, Rabobank is making personalisation achievable in every market, while simultaneously strengthening its overall brand presence.

How Rabobank maintains local market presence while growing at scale with Papirfly - Quote “The Papirfly platform protects and strengthens our brand identity.”

4 brands who personalise with passion

1. Amazon

As the world’s largest online retailer, Amazon has constantly refined its algorithm to present personalised product recommendations to shoppers. This understanding ensures that Amazon is always pointing customers towards compelling offers, resulting in more positive experiences and an increased likelihood of conversions.

2. Coca-Cola

The famous “Share a Coke” campaign was a masterstroke in personalised marketing. Allowing people to customise bottles with whatever name they wanted, this was a campaign that could resonate in every country and culture.

It did more than personalise products, it tailored the entire customer experience and encouraged people to share their bottles on social media with the hashtag #ShareaCoke.

3. Shutterfly

Shutterfly’s approach is all about personalisation, allowing its customers to create custom gifts using their photos. To do this, a customer simply downloads the Shutterfly app, permits it to access their photos, and the app automatically identifies images with faces to place on items. 

This bespoke product is then sent to the customer, encouraging them to complete the purchase.

4. Matsmart

Through a series of highly segmented, dynamic Facebook ad campaigns, Swedish food retailer Matsmart achieved an 84% increase in website revenue in just three months, as well as a 4x ROI on the campaign over six months.

This example makes Matsmart a pioneer of how serving the right content to the right person at the right time can maximise your sales potential – something many brands have adopted since.

Ready to reap the rewards of personalised brand marketing?

Personalisation is one of the most powerful ways modern marketers can connect with customers and build loyal, engaged fan bases. As customers’ expectations grow year on year, having the tools and knowledge in place to adapt your content for specific locations, generations and audience segments is key to maximise the ROI of your campaigns.

We cannot stress enough the value of branded design templates in achieving this aim. Creating personalised content can massively drain costs, time and resources when attempted manually, especially against the demands of multichannel marketing

Make this your priority, and crafting messages that speak to your audiences directly will soon be a seamless, painless process – one with the power to make a huge impression on the success of your campaigns.

Ready to unleash your brand consistently on every channel? Empower your people with Papirfly – the all-in-one brand management platform
Brand management

The summer of sport 2024: How can you capitalise with your brand marketing?

For sports fans, this summer is shaping up to be one of the most exciting in history. 

The Paris 2024 Olympics and Paralympics. Euro 2024. Wimbledon. The Tour de France. The Open Championship. Some of the world’s most high-profile sporting events, all contained in one three-month span.

Few things emotionally click with people like sport does. It brings communities together, forms shared identities and inspires action. So, it’s only sensible that marketing teams globally look to harness these rare opportunities to build brand awareness and secure some extra sales.

Capitalising on major sports events is a tried-and-tested pastime, but one with plenty of hurdles. In this guide, we’ll explain what you must know to lawfully use sporting events in your marketing, and help you kick off your campaigns with some effective brand marketing strategies.

Summer of sport 2024 Olympic Games statistics - Over 15 million tourists and over 1 billion watching - Source: BBC and Sky News

The brand marketing value of major sporting events

Well-established brands understand the interest that The Olympic Games, World Cup, Super Bowl and more can bring to their products and services. That’s why they pay huge money to become official sponsors and partners for these events.

Take Paris 2024 as an example. The upcoming Olympic and Paralympic Games have raised over €1.2 billion in sponsorship revenue, with worldwide partners including Coca-Cola, Airbnb, Samsung and Toyota.

A few months earlier at Super Bowl LVI, companies paid on average $7 million to air a 30-second commercial during the broadcast.

Advertising and sponsorship are among the biggest revenue streams for high-profile sports events. So, it stands to reason that they are keen to protect the best interests of their sponsors and prevent others from piggybacking off their reputations.

The challenges of capitalising on sporting events in your marketing

With so much money invested into sports events by advertisers and sponsors, other brands must tread carefully if they want to use these in their own campaigns.

Again, let’s use the Paris Olympic Games as an example. In their guide for non-Olympic partners on commercial opportunities for participants, also known as Rule 40 of the Olympic Charter, they outline what non-sponsors can and cannot do in their advertising.

This document includes everything from parameters on using Olympic athletes in brand marketing before and during the Games, to guidelines on what is considered fair “generic advertising”.

Olympics marketing restrictions for non-sponsors - Brand marketing infographic

This is only scratching the surface. You must also consider the core Olympic and Paralympic IP, as well as the IP of Paris 2024 specifically and the teams/athletes participating. 

As you can imagine, these rules are not exclusive to the Olympic Games – every high-profile sporting event has similar brand guidelines to ensure non-sponsors cannot hijack its identity.

So, before you even think about hopping on the back of this summer of sport, keep the following in mind:

  • Avoid using any official or licensed imagery, designs, colour palettes, or footage in your advertising
  • Ensure there is little chance your campaigns could mislead your customer base into believing your brand is connected to the sporting event
  • Restrict the use of elements that could be seen as connected to the event, such as the French flag in connection to the Paris Olympics
  • Closely examine any laws surrounding social media and the sporting event you want to base content around – for example, using event-related hashtags and emojis, or re-posting official content, may be illegal
  • Check the timing and scale of your campaign does not attract unwanted attention from the relevant organisation

4 things to consider before using sports in your marketing

With these tight restrictions in place, you might be wondering if it’s even worth trying to capitalise on sporting events in your brand marketing. While there are risks, the rewards can also be significant.

For instance, at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, Nike’s smart, sustained campaigns, including the creation of “Nike Town” on the edge of the Olympic Park, meant that more people thought Nike was the official sponsor of the games instead of the actual sponsor, Reebok.

Then there’s Canadian clothing brand Lululemon, who quickly sold out of a clothing line titled “Cool Sporting Event That Takes Place in British Columbia Between 2009 & 2011 Edition”, cleverly referencing the upcoming Vancouver Winter Olympics.

Nike statistics for brand marketing during 1996 Olympics events - Source: The Content Architects

When deployed intelligently and consistently, these real-time marketing campaigns can generate short-term buzz that leads to long-term brand recognition. But before pressing ahead, we recommend you consider the following:

1. Is your campaign relevant to your target audience?

First, ask if the sporting event you’re attempting to capitalise on is one your target markets are interested in. If it’s not, your efforts are likely to be in vain, and at worst, could even damage your reputation with loyal customers.

So, assess the interest of your audience before getting started, based on your pre-existing customer data or by conducting market research.

2. Are you being authentic and genuine with your content?

Next, is the sport you’re using aligned with your brand identity and values? If it’s completely detached from what you stand for, it can immediately make your campaigns look like a desperate grab for attention rather than a smart, fresh move.

Always know what you’re trying to do and what you hope to achieve from your campaigns. If it doesn’t benefit your long-term goals or resonate with your brand’s personality, then it may be safer to stay out of the conversation.

Brand authenticity - 91% of consumers reward brands for authenticity, recommending to others or repeat purchasing - Source: LinkedIn

3. Will this short-term approach damage your brand’s consistency?

In a similar vein, your campaigns should always be brand-consistent, regardless of the subject matter. Modern customers expect a consistent experience every time they interact with a business, and it’s one of the biggest hallmarks of brand loyalty.

If piggybacking on the Olympics or the Euros risks breaking the consistency of your tone of voice or visual identity, then it isn’t worth it in the long run.

90% of customers expect their interactions with a brand to be consistent across all channels - Source: Forbes

4. Do you have a plan in place and the tools to be agile?

Real-time marketing requires forward planning and an agile process. It’s no good to create content about a gold-medal performance in the 100 metres or an incredible goal several days after it happened – you need to strike when audiences are invested.

Consider Oreo’s ingenious blackout ad after the power outage that affected Super Bowl XLVII – they had a social media team ready to pounce on anything that happened.

Having high-quality brand management tools and dedicated teams ready to monitor every minute of the action are key to fully capitalising on this summer of sport.

7 ways to take advantage of the summer of sport in your brand marketing

With our challenges and final considerations out of the way, here are our 7 standout ways to make your brand marketing shine during this year’s sporting spectacles.

1. Focus on digital channels for younger consumers

The latest generations of shoppers, Gen Z and Gen Alpha, consume sport much differently than even a decade or two ago. Studies show that 79% of global sports fans exclusively watch sports online, while 53% of sports fans access other online sports content while watching a match or tournament.

Capitalise on this by placing banner ads and other collateral on sports-adjacent websites across the summer of sport. These may be at a slightly higher premium at these moments, but they can put your product or service in front of engaged audiences, boosting your brand awareness.

Infographic of digital experiences in sports stats around streaming, Gen Z and social media, and Facebook - Source: Greenfly

2. Accelerate social advertising during events

Similarly, approximately 70% of Gen Z sports fans say they prefer to watch sports on social media platforms. It’s a growing phenomenon for fans to comment on events and seek out others’ thoughts instantly, so capitalise on that added attention.

Ramp up your social media marketing at these peak periods to capitalise on your audience’s heightened engagement. Even if they are too preoccupied to click at that moment, it can plant valuable seeds for long-term brand equity building.

3. Tap into stories surrounding the sport

If the rules around high-profile sporting events prove a headache, then you could capitalise on stories tangentially connected to the events.

For example, after Cristiano Ronaldo removed two bottles of Coca-Cola at a press conference (causing their share price to drop 1.6%), IKEA swiftly produced a reusable water bottle called ‘the Cristiano’ as a nod to his preference for water.

Alternatively, events like Wimbledon have become as synonymous for celebrity viewers as the actual tennis, and several fashion brands have used this to create content around their attire.

4. Get clever with your collateral

When creating content loosely attached to sporting events, you must be clever to navigate the restrictions. Encourage your teams to think outside the box for campaigns that tap into fans’ sporting instincts, while keeping enough distance to protect you legally.

Glasses retailer Specsavers set a good example with their Digital Out of Home (DOOH) campaign depicting an eye chart with the phrase “It’s coming home” – a popular chant among England football fans.

Examine all angles and find unique ways to engage with this summer of sport. Keeping a calendar of when events occur can give you the breathing room to brainstorm.

5. Use former athletes as influencers

Did you know that 69% of consumers trust influencers over information coming directly from a brand? In substantial periods of sporting activity, reaching out to a former athlete can recapture nostalgic feelings among older fans, with zero risk of compromising guidelines connected to current sports stars.

49% of Gen Z and 41% of millennials make purchasing decisions based on influencer endorsements - Source: OpenSponsorship

6. Time offers around match days

When you know what time football matches or Olympic events are taking place, you can time your campaigns, offers or emails to tempt people during breaks in the action.

For example, say you’re marketing a local takeaway restaurant. Establishing special offers during game days or sending out limited-time offers based on results can capture some additional orders from sporting fans.

7. Prioritise local marketing

With many of this summer’s sporting events tied to national teams and local pride, it’s important to tailor your campaigns for the specific fan bases you market for. The earlier Specsavers example was perfect for an English audience, but wouldn’t mean much to their customers in Denmark or the Netherlands.

Invest in brand management technology and smart templates that allow you to adapt your core messaging to particular audiences. This will make sure you can connect with fans across your global audience with campaigns that resonate with the teams they’re rooting for.

Additionally, consider organising community events and initiatives, such as watch parties for big occasions and mock competitions, to create memorable experiences for your local audiences.

Papirfly brand marketing success story link - Helly Hansen achieving global brand management using Papirfly DAM system.

Kick off your brand marketing for the summer of sport

As you’ve read above, high-profile sporting events can provide a short-term boost to your long-term brand marketing goals. If you’re clever with your collateral, harnessing the right channels and authentic to your values, these moments can be a springboard for your brand awareness.

But just as it takes more than raw talent to make an Olympic athlete, these opportunistic campaigns require more than an ingenious strategy. They demand an agile process, rapid asset creation and a firm commitment to consistency. 

To set your teams up for success, technology like smart design templates and Digital Asset Management (DAM) systems give you the foundation for swift, on-brand communications. With the right tools in your camp, crafting timely assets around the major moments this summer of sport can be as simple for your teams as scoring a penalty into an empty net!

Papirfly all-in-one brand management platform and solutions CTA and link to service
Brand management

Your ultimate brand management guide for 2024

Your brand is your most valuable differentiator in a highly competitive landscape. Your unique personality, values and promises set you apart from the crowd, and enable the consumers, employees and stakeholders in your target market to emotionally connect with you.

But to achieve that ambition, it demands nothing less than full-time management. Working with over 600 global and growing brands, we recognise the immense importance of brand management in generating loyal customers, raising awareness and building brand equity.

In this ultimate guide, we’ll explain exactly why brand management is something today’s companies cannot overlook, and share our advice on how to set up your brand for lasting success.

  • Discover what brand management involves and who’s responsible for it
  • Explore the 6 defining principles of brand management
  • Follow our standout steps for successful brand management
  • Overcome the key challenges affecting modern brand managers

Ready to become better at brand management? Then let’s get started…

What is brand management?

Brand management is a very broad term. In a nutshell, it’s the strategies, techniques and processes your organisation uses to maintain and improve your brand in the long term. 

Everything from your brand guidelines, strategy and overall identity, to the individual marketing materials that reach your audiences, must be carefully structured, directed, adapted and analysed to maximise your brand’s potential.

Is brand management the same as branding?

No. Your branding is the process of building your brand. It’s where you establish your brand positioning, visual identity, tone of voice, and the many other facets of your overall brand identity. Brand management is the process of monitoring, maintaining and evolving this identity once it’s established.

In other words, think of brand management as the vehicle that drives your branding to its true potential.

Marketing and brand management are not the same either. Brand management extends far beyond your marketing team – it incorporates your salespeople, customer service reps, HR professionals, recruiters and more. Essentially, any department that engages with your customers, staff or wider audiences has a role to play in brand management.

The importance of effective branding - Brand Management Infographic and Statistics

What does brand management involve?

So, what does strategic brand management mean in practice? Again, there’s a wide range of areas this touches, but typically it will involve:

  • Developing and continually refining your brand strategy
  • Adapting brand assets following any switches in strategy, graphics or tone
  • The evolution of your brand identity
  • Maintaining brand consistency across all communication channels
  • Monitoring your brand health and reputation among audiences, including crisis management
  • Overseeing the development and execution of brand communications
  • Strategies to improve brand equity and grow loyalty among your consumers

What is brand asset management?

Brand asset management is the specific management and monitoring of the various assets and marketing materials that promote your brand. It’s essentially how you organise and administer the logos, campaign assets, colour palettes, graphics and more to ensure these are completely consistent on all platforms.

Software such as Digital Asset Management (DAM) systems are essential to fulfilling this important task, allowing you to govern all approved assets your organisation creates in one central location.

Who should be responsible for brand management?

As noted earlier, the responsibility of brand management should not fall at the feet of your CMO or marketing manager. It’s a completely different animal, and demands a dedicated brand manager or brand management team to oversee.

Your brand manager should have a good understanding of marketing principles, including digital marketing and market research, but also maintain regular communication with your various customer and employee-facing departments. They may also be responsible for:

  • Identifying and installing brand management platforms and software
  • Analysing market data for brand-related insights
  • Developing your brand guidelines
  • Overseeing the budgets connected to strategic brand development
  • Conducting market research
  • Managing any updates to your branding or a full-scale rebrand

6 defining principles of brand management

Now we’ve discussed the basics of brand management, it’s time to dig a little deeper into the core principles of this topic. These 6 standout principles outline the purpose of brand management, and the positive impact good management can have on your organisation.

6 defining principles of brand management - Equity, loyalty, reputation, awareness, recognition and consistency - Infographic

1. Brand equity

Brand equity is what separates a startup tech firm and Apple, or a generic local soft drink from Coca-Cola and Pepsi. It’s the value that your brand adds to your product or service, setting it apart from comparable offerings in your market.

The more you build brand equity, the more power you have in your industry and the more market share you enjoy. It’s what every switched-on organisation strives towards, and is only achievable through careful, deliberate management of your brand.

Any break in the continuity of your communications, or negative customer experience, harms your brand equity. By consistently monitoring and managing your branding, you reduce the risk of losing face with your devoted audience.

Image of Keller’s brand equity model for brand management

If you’d like to know more, check out our blog post explaining customer-based brand equity and the power it offers your organisation.

2. Brand reputation

A key part of brand equity is your brand’s reputation with consumers, employees, stakeholders and beyond. 

The latest generations of customers and candidates place a much higher value on reputation and ethical consumerism, with many wanting nothing to do with companies that hold a negative reputation. In fact, 94% of customers say they avoid businesses after reading a bad review.

Brand management is vital to building a strong brand reputation. It helps to reduce the frequency of miscommunications and inconsistencies that impact your standing, and ensures you know how to handle a crisis or public relations challenges.

3. Brand loyalty

Loyal customers are worth their weight in gold – in some cases, quite literally. When 65% of the average company’s revenue comes from repeat business, having a devoted audience is the foundation for consistent, stable profitability.

Poor brand management can get in the way of growing a loyal fan base. By delivering consistent brand experiences and on-brand campaigns, you build trust and emotional connections with your most active buyers. This improves retention, boosts referrals, and supports your sales, helping ensure buyers stay beyond Christmas and other high-traffic occasions.

This is also key to the success of your employer branding. Employees who buy into your company’s vision and values are more likely to stick around and work to the best of their abilities.

The Pareto Principle of brand loyalty - Infographic - 80% of a company’s revenue is generated by 20% of its customers…

4. Brand awareness

Does your brand exist if no one knows about it? One of the major objectives of brand management is to raise the profile of a brand, ensuring it has a clear, distinct presence everywhere your target audience is looking – from search engines to posters and billboards.

But, it’s not enough to simply be present with your audiences; you must make sure your company’s brand is presented consistently to build meaningful brand awareness. Otherwise, different people will have a different perspective of your brand depending on the channel they engage with – this confusion breeds mistrust.

So, brand management is critical to not only maintain a steady flow of content across all marketing channels, but also to monitor that this is aligned with your overall branding.

Brand awareness and recognition statistics - Infographic image - Sources: Sprout Social and StudyFinds

5. Brand recognition

Strong awareness leads to better brand recognition. This is when your audiences, through regular exposure to your branding, start to recall and think of your organisation without prompting. This is valuable in generating a loyal, trusting customer base, and from there converting consumers into fully-fledged brand advocates.

Brand management helps you build that familiarity by keeping your brand communications in lockstep at every touchpoint. From consistent TV spots and paid media posts that enhance ad recall, to maintaining the same tone across your social media comms, effective management of your brand presentation helps you become a recognisable name in your market.

Remember – it takes between 5 and 7 impressions for someone to remember your brand on average. Their journey with your brand must be managed with real care and attention.

6. Brand consistency

We’ve referenced this several times already, but it’s impossible to overstate the importance of brand consistency when managing your brand.

This is when your messaging, graphics, designs and overall brand identity are coherent on every platform. Your website, social media channels, advertising, brochures, emails – every piece of branding must sing from the same hymn sheet.

Brand consistency is estimated to increase company revenue by up to 23% - Brand Management Statistics. Source: Marq

Effectively overseeing brand guidelines, templates and company portals, is an essential part of achieving this unbroken flow of communication.

Successful brand management makes a tangible difference in each of these critical areas – and gives you a competitive advantage over others who don’t prioritise this control.

Unilever brand management success story using Papirfly software to manage their global employer brand

Why is brand management important for modern companies?

As the developers of our own brand management platform with over a million unique users, we know how important this is in growing the value, understanding and equity of your brand.

But the benefits don’t stop there – here are 5 more reasons why brand management is an essential practice for your organisation.

5 benefits of effective brand management

1. A platform for market expansion

A well-managed brand creates a platform for your organisation to grow. Whether you want to expand your product and service offerings, or go through the rebranding process, having a loyal customer base formed through consistent, structured branding makes these efforts much simpler and more likely to succeed.

In addition, the stability of a well-managed brand can help make your position in the market less volatile over time. As every industry’s landscape shifts, this can provide a great layer of security.

2. Improved workflow and cost efficiency

Efficiency is the heart of better productivity and performance, and brand management software helps you achieve this both in your workflow and cost efficiency.

Having a team or platform in place to oversee the creation, sharing and usage of brand assets makes campaign execution significantly more seamless. No back-and-forth email chains, ad-hoc meetings and constant rounds of proofing – everything becomes smoother and more streamlined with brand management.

This enhanced workflow naturally leads to greater cost efficiency. With the support of a brand management team and/or solution, your marketers can find the assets they need and produce new collateral faster, all with the reassurance they are always on-brand. Campaigns get turned around quicker, and you achieve more for less.

Brand management solution cost efficiency statistic - 51% of marketing teams lose money reproducing existing assets. Source: Demand Metric

3. Empowered and engaged employees

Modern employees seek engagement and purpose – a sense of belonging beyond their day-to-day responsibilities. Strong brand management cultivates this, helping ensure that all internal communications and branding are aligned, so that your teams stay connected to the vision and values at the core of your brand identity.

Furthermore, a dedicated brand management platform encourages collaboration across departments, which is essential for a brand that works on every level – from what your customers see, to how you engage existing employees and top candidates.

Want to track and improve the performance of your internal branding? Discover the 12 corporate communications metrics you should be monitoring.

4. Greater customer lifetime value

In addition to increasing sales and enabling you to upscale prices, great brand management also helps you achieve more value from your customers across their lifespan. 

When consumers are presented with a consistent, continuous presentation of your brand identity and enjoy positive brand experiences, they are far more likely to purchase other products and services you offer.

5. Enhanced marketing strategies

Coherent brand management helps teams coordinate and strategically plan campaigns in real-time. Without a proper approach or the right tools, your teams can quickly end up working disparately, resulting in inconsistencies and miscommunications that damage your brand.

With a central, all-encompassing brand management strategy and platform, your marketing strategies become clearer and simpler to execute. This then leads to greater brand recognition, more loyal customers, and robust brand equity.

How does brand management contribute to long-term business success?

By delivering the expertise, tools and framework for a strong brand identity, brand management sets your organisation apart in your industry, and fosters a loyal following.

Naturally, forming deep emotional connections with your customers, employees and wider stakeholders is an ideal foundation for long-term business success:

  • Encouraging repeat purchases
  • Permitting premium pricing
  • Sustaining profitability
  • Improving brand advocacy
  • Building employee retention
  • Improving resilience to market fluctuations
  • Bolstering general reputability

These and so much more become attainable goals with better brand management.

Papirfly blog post - Explore our 5 reasons why you need a brand management platform  - Read the full guide

6 steps to succeed at brand management

Now we’ve established the value that successful brand management can bring to your organisation, how do you achieve that success? Here are 6 steps we know can make a difference in keeping your brand under control and working for your business.

1. Define your brand positioning and identity

Start with the basics – how do you want your brand to be positioned? What is its unique tone, personality and visual identity? While this is more “branding” than brand management, knowing this sets the framework for the values and characteristics you want to present to your various target audiences.

After all, if your brand manager doesn’t have a firm grasp on what your brand represents, then how can they know if it’s being well managed?

Make sure all aspects of your branding are nailed down and documented, including:

  • Brand name
  • Logo
  • Graphics, designs and visual elements
  • Tone of voice
  • Mission and vision statements
  • Colour palettes
  • Typography
  • Brand story

2. Create effective brand guidelines

Speaking of documentation, arguably the most important document for a brand manager to keep on top of is your brand guidelines. This is your Brand Bible – the rules and parameters that ensure your brand is never misconstrued or misrepresented on any channel.

Amazingly, 15% of companies report not having brand guidelines, which is a huge oversight. Making sure you have these in place, and that they contain at least everything mentioned in the previous point, is essential to keeping your brand consistent at every touchpoint.

To succeed, they also must be accessible. With this in mind, establishing a dedicated digital brand hub – a single point for teams to locate everything they need to know about how to showcase your brand – can make managing your brand simpler and more comprehensive.

Brand guidelines statistic - 85% of companies have brand guidelines, but only 30% use them consistently - Sources: Marq

3. Focus on your corporate communications

Coordinating your corporate communications – both to your internal and external audiences – is one of the biggest responsibilities for brand management professionals.

From your marketing materials, email campaigns and customer service tools, to crisis communications at a pressing time, it pays dividends to craft templates around every style of message you generate. Not only will this speed up the time it takes to produce assets, but it also helps you stay on top of the consistency of your communications.

It’s also important to give your brand management and corporate communications teams goals to help ensure the performance of your comms never dips.

4. Bring your digital brand assets under one roof

Against the ever-growing demand for content among consumers, managing the sheer volume of assets your company produces can be extremely hard. Especially for global brands who want to tailor their messages to local audiences, it can feel practically impossible to keep track.

For brand managers, the solution can be found in Digital Asset Management (or DAM) systems. These platforms allow you to store, share and oversee every digital asset your marketing teams produce in one location – a single source of truth for your organisation.

For brand managers, this means much less stress following email trails and manually sending assets to your locations worldwide. Everything becomes much more manageable with integrated DAM solutions, establishing a structure that brings order to any asset-based chaos.

5. Regularly measure the success of your brand management efforts

Brand management is a broad topic, and there’s no universal metric that indicates whether you’re doing a good job or not. But there are several brand management KPIs you can monitor that will indicate the success of your approach, and guide you to worthwhile adaptations. These include:

6 metrics to measure brand management success - Infographic - ROI, growth, market share, retention, reviews and engagement”

Plus, examining analytics about the usage of branded assets, how often your digital brand guidelines are visited, and campaign behaviours can help you prove your team’s adoption of your branding – helping make sure your global on-brand culture is maintained.

6. Implement a brand management system

A brand manager’s job is tough, requiring oversight across multiple departments to keep branding consistent and coherent on every channel. That responsibility becomes a lot less daunting with the right software on your side.

Implementing a brand management system can make building your brand and expressing it consistently far easier – empowering everyone in your team to become their own brand manager. Through this technology, you can gain the ability to:

  • Contain all elements at the heart of your brand in one easy-to-access destination
  • Store all digital assets in a single location for your teams globally
  • Produce on-brand assets efficiently and accurately with smart, sophisticated templates
  • Plan out campaign execution in a streamlined, coherent way
  • Monitor how closely your teams are adhering to brand consistency

Fundamentally, the right brand management solution can streamline many stressful, manual tasks associated with keeping a brand stable. It also automates some of the tedious, granular aspects of brand management, meaning teams can focus more on bigger-picture matters.

Not sure if this software is necessary? Check out our post on signs that let you know you need a brand management platform.

4 benefits of using brand management platforms and solutions - Infographic Image

3 common brand management challenges – and how to beat them

A brand touches every aspect of an organisation; managing this is already a tough challenge. However, in our conversations with brand managers across the globe, the same hurdles tend to come up in their bid to secure the consistency and performance they’re looking for.

Here are 3 of the most prominent brand management challenges we hear about, and our advice to combat them.

1. Multichannel marketing

First, the huge volume of marketing channels modern companies are expected to be present on is a major burden. Websites, emails, videos, digital adverts, social media marketing – today’s customers expect a consistent experience at every touchpoint. Any break in this chain can damage trust, forfeit sales and hurt your reputation.

So, how do you maintain this consistent voice in all areas, while still fitting your assets to the best practices of each channel? For brand managers, intelligent templates can provide reassurance that every asset your team produces is aligned with company guidelines, reducing the time, money and stress associated with multichannel marketing.

2. Globalisation

In addition to the plethora of communication channels, global brands must contend with adapting their messaging to meet the specific culture, language and expectations of local audiences. Without careful management, the risks of going off-piste in a particular location can harm your reputation – like when Ford informed customers in Belgium that every car has a “high-quality corpse”.

Here, brand managers should look to DAM systems to reduce the risk of these cultural blunders. Having a platform that allows you to store imagery, videos and more for a certain audience, and put in fail-safes to stop these from being used inappropriately, DAM technology simplifies how you manage your messages to every target market.

3. Rebranding

A complete company rebrand can be a minefield to navigate, even if pursued for the right reasons. Most people are naturally resistant to change, so this kind of upheaval must be managed expertly to prevent a costly failure – just look at Gap’s experience to see what can go wrong.

How do you ensure such a significant change sticks? Here are a few things to consider when rebranding your business:

  • Reaffirm and settle on your company’s vision, mission and values
  • Audit existing brand assets
  • Secure buy-in from key stakeholders
  • Assign a team to oversee the rebrand
  • Update your brand guidelines
  • Communicate the change with your customers
  • Plan an effective launch campaign
The essential guide to achieving a successful rebrand - Link to download Papirfly guide

What should you look for in a brand management platform?

Looking to invest in brand management software, but you’re not sure what the right system looks like for you? Here are 14 key questions to ask a potential vendor:

  1. Does your platform allow me to organise, store and manage all types of brand assets?
  2. Can the platform centralise our brand guidelines and other brand-related documents?
  3. Does it allow our teams to work collaboratively?
  4. Is the user interface intuitive and easy to navigate for team members?
  5. Will it speed up the time it takes to locate branded collateral or create assets?
  6. Can you customise templates for specific audiences while maintaining consistency?
  7. Does it include Digital Asset Management capabilities?
  8. Will it reduce our dependence on designers and external agencies?
  9. Does it back up all assets and information contained in case something goes wrong?
  10. Can the platform scale and adapt to evolving brand management needs?
  11. Are there built-in analytics and reporting features to track its performance?
  12. Can you prove that it will deliver a meaningful return on investment?
  13. Can your platform integrate with various software our teams currently use?
  14. Does it prioritise data security with features like role-based access controls and encryption?

Brand management is a massive priority in every organisation, so it’s important to ensure the software you select fulfils your expectations and helps make life easier, not harder.

5 companies harnessing the power of brand management software

If you’d like to better understand the difference high-quality software can make, here are 5 companies achieving brand management excellence with the right platform:

1. Unilever

Unilever faced inefficiencies in brand asset management, lacking centralised coordination. This led to redundant efforts by local teams, creating assets from scratch and relying on external agencies. 

With a brand management solution, Unilever gained greater oversight over their brand communications. By enabling custom workflows and approvals, fostering better collaboration, and reducing reliance on external agencies, they enhanced brand consistency while cutting costs.

2. Helly Hansen

Helly Hansen revolutionised their brand management with a seamless global solution, integrating online brand guidelines, Digital Asset Management (DAM), and templates. 

This unified approach maintained brand consistency across markets and stakeholders, vital for a brand with extensive distribution such as theirs.

3. IBM

Faced with maintaining a uniform brand identity across 65 regions with disparate marketing teams, IBM brought management of their employer branding under one all-encompassing platform.

With this central location to oversee asset standards and design templates, IBM now enforces consistent branding that has benefited their recruitment efforts.

4. Vodafone

Vodafone achieved greater brand clarity, enhanced consistency in employer communications, and reduced time-consuming approvals by implementing brand management software.

Transitioning from a “telco to techno” brand, Vodafone is empowered by this technology to explore digital transformation opportunities for talent attraction and skills development.

5. BMW NE

BMW NE employed a brand management solution to automate and centralise their branding, enhancing campaign execution for local dealers with efficient communication and coordination. 

With this tool, stakeholders can access and adapt marketing collateral with complete consistency, tailoring local materials in line with BMW’s core brand strategies.

BMW brand management in action success story quoting Papirfly’s platform a “must-have” solution

How will AI steer the future of brand management?

The ongoing evolution of AI is influencing every industry; brand management is no exception. While this is still in its infancy, we’re already seeing how AI can further streamline and simplify brand management for teams worldwide – here are just a few examples:

Customer service automation

As AI-powered chatbots and virtual assistants grow more sophisticated, they will be able to provide 24/7 customer support, answer questions and resolve issues, all while communicating in your brand’s unique tone of voice.

Automatic asset production

The growing sophistication of prompt engineering and AI-driven image generation will soon enable marketers to generate high-quality, on-brand assets at the press of a button. This will reduce companies’ reliance on external agencies, allowing them to produce at pace in-house.

Instant asset identification

Within a Digital Asset Management solution, “contextual search” is a developing trend that will empower teams to locate the exact assets they require from an extensive library just by inputting a relevant prompt.

Brand monitoring and sentiment analysis

AI tools can monitor online mentions, reviews, and social media conversations about your brand in real-time. This allows companies to manage their reputation and respond promptly to emerging issues or crises with greater immediacy.

At Papirfly, we’re constantly experimenting with AI to discover how we can unlock further efficiencies for our clients. If you’d like to know more, explore our AI solutions for brand management.

Empower your people with one brand management platform

We hope that this ultimate guide to brand management has shown you the importance of directing your brand at every touchpoint, and provided some helpful tips for approaching this vital task in the future.

At Papirfly, we are helping over 600 companies worldwide build an on-brand culture, create unlimited enterprise assets, and activate their brand everywhere with absolute control and consistency.

  • POINT: Control every aspect of your brand and deliver unbreakable brand guidelines
  • Place: Deliver your single source of truth with our industry-recognised DAM solution
  • Produce: Create unlimited on-brand assets with design templates aligned to your guidelines
  • Plan: Simplify campaign execution for your teams with collaborative planning
  • Prove: Refine your brand strategy with real-time data and analytics

Ready to unlock a faster, simpler future for your organisation? Discover the all-in-one brand management platform today.

Papirfly all-in-one brand management platform and solutions CTA and link to service
Brand management

Future-proofing brand lifecycle management with MarTech

Scott Brinker’s annual Marketing Technology (MarTech)report for 2024 is here.

With a phenomenal 14,106 tools available for marketing leaders to ponder over, if you’re not evaluating your current Tech stack and pondering any potential next moves, your competitors will be.

In the net addition of 3,068 tools from the 2023 report, it will come as no surprise that most of those additions are AI tools – with Generative AI exploration and implementation clearly the new normal to be embraced in MarTech over the next few years. 

Aside from that obvious trend, composability was also a key trait i.e. tools that integrate with different components or elements – combining or connecting in various ways to create larger, more complex systems. Of course for users, these systems must be as easy to use as possible in order for the technology not to get in the way of the people using it.

The ever-evolving MarTech landscape of the past few years means that for CMOs, brand managers, and employer brand leaders – and the array of people responsible for empowering teams across their enterprise to activate their brand identity – it’s never been more important to ease tech-stack-anxiety for marketing and branding teams in the products and services that SaaS platform leaders provide.

Brand lifecycle management in 2024

Brand lifecycle management – the art of navigating a brand through its introduction, growth, maturity, and potential decline –  is expected to see a focus on adaptability and data-driven decision making in 2024. Companies will need to be agile and responsive as teams continuously monitor market trends, consumer preferences and competitive dynamics in order to be able to grow at scale – never losing sight of the core brand identity and the potential availability to build brand equity.

With the report showing the MarTech landscape exploding with innovative products (2024 seeing a 27.8% year-over-year growth in MarTech tools), there are ever-expanding possibilities for brands to leverage technology in managing their life cycles. This will involve practices like integrated risk management and a more coordinated flow of information across departments. By leveraging data and new technologies, brands can aim to extend the maturity stage of their products, while also effectively managing decline and potentially reviving declining products – end-to-end brand management in every way.

End-to-end brand management

In order to make the most out of data capture, creating a dynamic ecosystem for teams within brands to remain agile to their customer’s needs and desired experiences is a clear priority to stay ahead of competitors.

As tools must deliver the all-important consistency every brand needs to resonate with customers – year in, year out – well-integrated and future-proof Digital Asset Management (DAM) sits at the centre of a MarTech ecosystem. By seamlessly connecting with various MarTech tools, a DAM empowers teams to adapt strategies quickly, personalise content across channels, and optimise campaigns – all essential for success in the always-changing, relentlessly innovative global landscape we live in today.

DAM as a MarTech priority

There is no doubt that innovative Digital Asset Management (DAM) is becoming an evermore crucial part of activating a brand. Traditional DAMs are well represented in the report and brand management space, with many vendors focused primarily on evolving customers’ asset repositories’ abilities to hold its brand’s images, videos and wider assets – away from a world with misplaced files in local folders and outdated logos and brand assets, and toward a centralised solution to keep all teams on-brand across their entire enterprise.

Yet when considering the future of your brand, a DAM must protect a brand for years to come. This year, the Papirfly Platform was included in Forrester DAM Wave™, where our ambition goes way beyond these traditional DAMs, including the adoption of AI technologies. You can read our recent article on being named in the Forrester Wave™, or hear from our CEO, Stefan Ropers, and our CPO, Thanh Nguyen, as they describe the future of Digital Asset Management, including AI, at Papirfly:

As the MarTech report shows, one thing is for certain – brands now require the foresight to consider AI as part of ensuring unwavering brand consistency across every touchpoint, to build and sustain customer trust. From meticulously crafted global campaigns to localised activations in diverse markets, products must offer brand and marketing leaders solutions that transcend the limitations of traditional DAM systems – with AI at the forefront of innovation.

Of course, end-to-end brand management should be the goal of any DAM system, and with brand portal technology, accompanied by on-brand templating, there are a wealth of brands who have taken the step to empower teams today, and future-proof team agility. Becoming the hero in a successful brand management journey – in both corporate branding and employer branding – is more possible than ever when the right MarTech choices are made by individuals in forward-thinking enterprises.

Corporate branding and a unified voice for Rabobank

For Rabobank, a leading cooperative bank with a presence in 43 countries, growing the brand at scale to maintain a unified brand identity while empowering local teams was proving a challenge.

Empowering local teams to activate the global brand

By centralising brand guidelines – readily available to all teams, regardless of location – it is ensured that everyone from seasoned marketing veterans to enthusiastic interns, can create content that flawlessly aligns with brand identity.

With a foundation set, Rabobank’s teams were able to streamline asset production, creating over 23,000 assets across one year by unlocking on-brand templating based on brand guidelines – empowering high-quality, asset creation without relying on external agencies and fostering a sense of ownership for global and local markets across the organisation.

Gaining a bird’s-eye view of campaign execution

Agile teams also saw campaign execution improve, with approval processes helping to improve workflows, where needed – saving time and money while empowering local teams to respond swiftly to market trends. This agility ensures brand messaging remains relevant while maintaining consistency through built-in approval processes.

With cost avoidance at 20 times the platform investment – such was the ability to create and activate assets in-house that would not have been affordable if given to an agency – Rabobank witnessed a significant increase in user-generated on-brand assets. This proved to support a cultural shift of brand ownership and empowerment for employees to become brand ambassadors – something not only vital for the corporate identity, but as Rabobank and other customers testify, is vital for activating and sustaining the foundations of a strong employer brand.

Employer branding success at SAP

Traditionally, employer branding efforts are often siloed within HR or marketing departments. Yet building a strategy that empowers employees to become ambassadors across the organisation, helps build the on-brand culture that’s so important for morale, retention, and recruitment efforts.

Empowering local brand ambassadors

Global brands like SAP need to cater to diverse local audiences, while maintaining brand consistency. In SAP’s case, they used their brand management tools to empower over 2,000 employees at SAP to become content creators across various global and localised campaigns – the Papirfly Platform is leveraged by teams in 5 global regions to adapt social media content to reflect regional languages and cultural nuances.

Employer branding tools that increase talent pools

With pre-approved, on-brand assets that are social media-ready, employees can shape the content to share across their own channels – laying the foundation to create curiosity and attract the attention of high-calibre talent, way ahead of any recruitment campaigns that attempt to enchant the talent pool from scratch. All the while saving the equivalent of $100,000 in agency fees if work had been done externally.

Executing talent acquisition campaigns across 5 global regions included empowering nuances to be added for local markets to deliver exceptional candidates . With a significant engagement improvement noticed from the assets created with Papirfly, SAP were on-brand and consistent at every turn.

A future-proof brand management platform

The marketing technology world is a whirlwind of innovation. As Scott Brinker’s MarTech landscape of 2024 report suggests, when it comes to brand management and nurturing the life cycle, staying ahead by empowering teams with tools that provide the agility to be responsive based on data-driven decisions is a priority – all while growing at scale with platforms that offer  composability (integrations).

Papirfly fosters brand ownership and empowers employees to become brand ambassadors. This cultural shift strengthens not only your corporate identity but also your employer brand – allowing you focus on the business area that requires the most attention, and scale at the pace that suits you.

We see the future of brand management as empowering everyone to build a brand they can belong to – as customers and employees – using MarTech that’s easy to use and can help teams do more with less.

Hear more from our leadership team at Papirfly below, or read our article about what the future holds for Papirfly customers as we look to lead the way in brand management technology.

Brand management, Digital Asset Management / DAM

Navigating the future of brand management with integrated DAM solutions

Papirly’s recent webinar “Beyond DAM: Shaping the Future of Brand Management Strategies,” brought together a distinguished panel of industry experts to delve into the evolving landscape of Digital Asset Management (DAM) and its pivotal role in brand management and compliance. The session featured insights from Chuck Gahun, Principal Analyst at Forrester; Jane Robinson, Global Employer Branding Director at Boston Consulting Group (BCG); Priya Patel, Senior Market Research Analyst at G2; Thomas Larzilliere, CEO of Keepeek; and Papirfly’s own Max Sihvonen, CoSo.

The webinar explored three main areas: 

  • the latest technological trends in DAM,
  • the increasing demand for personalised and localised content across diverse channels, 
  • the significance of efficient asset management in creating on-brand assets

A consistent theme throughout the discussion was the synergy between DAM and brand management. This highlighted the need for solutions that not only manage digital assets but also ensure brand consistency across all platforms.

The panel unanimously agreed that consumer expectations are driving the need for more sophisticated DAM solutions. Chuck Gahun emphasised the societal shift towards interactive engagement, necessitating brands to centralise assets to deliver immersive experiences across multiple touchpoints. This is pushing DAM solutions to evolve, incorporating features like 3D models for virtual reality and API-driven content delivery to meet the demand for personalised experiences.

Priya Patel shared insights from G2’s user reviews, noting an increased demand for DAM features that support integration with marketing and creative software, digital rights management, analytics, and workflow management. These features are crucial for brands to differentiate themselves in a crowded marketplace by delivering high-quality, relevant, and on-brand content swiftly.

The integral role of DAM in brand management

Jane Robinson shared BCG’s journey of implementing Papirfly to drive global brand consistency. The DAM platform has become a “one-stop shop” for BCG’s employer branding needs, allowing for the creation of personalised and customised assets that adhere to global brand guidelines while enabling local teams to add a personal touch. This balance of global consistency and local relevance has been key to BCG’s employer branding strategy.

Thomas Larzilliere discussed the evolving role of DAM in content production and brand compliance. With the proliferation of content across various platforms, maintaining brand governance has become more complex. DAM solutions are central to managing this complexity, ensuring that assets are produced correctly, efficiently, and in compliance with brand guidelines.

Key insights and future directions

The webinar showcased not only the current state and evolution of DAM but also revealed key insights pivotal for the future of brand management:

  • The imperative for agile content strategies: One critical takeaway was the growing need for brands to adopt agile content strategies that can quickly adapt to market changes and consumer behaviours. This agility is facilitated by platforms that go beyond traditional DAM, offering robust analytics and insights that allow brands to pivot and personalise content in real-time.
  • Enhanced collaboration across teams: Another revelation was the increasing importance of fostering collaboration across creative, marketing, and IT teams. Integrated DAM and brand management solutions are breaking down silos, enabling cross-functional teams to work cohesively towards common branding goals, thus accelerating content lifecycle processes from creation to distribution.
  • Security and compliance in Digital Asset Management: With the rise in digital content, ensuring the security and compliance of digital assets has become a forefront concern for brands. The discussion highlighted how modern DAM systems are incorporating advanced security features and compliance tools to protect brand assets and adhere to global regulatory standards.

These insights highlight the journey beyond traditional DAM, emphasising the critical need for brands to adopt holistic, secure, and adaptable brand management platforms. This will be essential for staying competitive and thriving in a rapidly evolving digital landscape.

For further exploration on how these trends impact your brand strategy and how Papirfly’s brand management platform can support your brand’s growth, catch the webinar below, or learn more about our platform.

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.

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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.