Rebranding is a big step for any enterprise that usually takes months to execute. However it’s also full of exciting opportunities to make a fresh start and ensure that your brand always looks its best and that it has a positive impact on your bottom line.
When you’ve gone to considerable creative and lengths to create a whole new set of branded materials, you want to make sure your team gets the most out of those digital assets. This is ground zero, so it’s important to really think deeply about everything that happens in your organization throughout the year. Go through your calendar for the past few years and look back over all the activities you’ve executed as a brand. It’s common to find many opportunities that didn’t seem important enough to create a branded design piece. That’s sound thinking – every cent you spend needs to provide value for money for your organization.
If you start from the principle that anything that anyone sees on marketing collateral reflects your brand, you should ensure it is brand compliant. This will define what can be edited - whether it’s a piece of signage, a business card, or a brochure, ensuring that it is compliant with brand guidelines. So having brainstormed all the items, you’ve produced a list that will be really useful to your creative team to work from. You can make the most of your designer’s time by having them create design ‘templates.’
Creating your master templates
Creating your master design templates, but some smart artwork strategies can save your designers time. If done correctly, this will only have to be done once and updated when new ideas are introduced. When you’ve done your thorough research and double-checked it with colleagues, you should consider making it into a long list to ensure that any possible size of marketing material - particularly considering co-marketing or partner marketing campaigns in other regions, where metric or imperial sizes might be used. You may find, for example, that you require several sizes of flyers – A4, A5, A6, and DL – and the equivalent in US sizes. Once the A4 (or letter size in the US) size has been designed, the other sizes can be artworked into derivatives by your design team, which is a simpler job. Of course, you’ll have to consider that the amount of text and some other elements will have to be considerably less on the A6 size, which is a quarter of the A4 size, but it should follow the pattern decided for the A4.
Marketing collateral like brochures, flyers, and other regularly used brand design documents can be created by a designer in Adobe InDesign and uploaded to a secure brand management solution, empowering non-designers to customize them a new purpose. Simple changes like making a small text change or swapping out an image don’t need a designer's expertise. You can also lock down certain elements like logo, logo placement, and color palette so that your brand guidelines are guaranteed to always be followed.
Self Service - and brand-compliant
Using a reliable brand management tool, you can have a transparent marketing workflow where users can create on-brand marketing on their own – or send the design they amend for approval by a marketing colleague. This self-service approach eliminates users' wait-time for access to design resources, which can be a major source of frustration if it’s holding up sales engagements or other business goals. Applying this strategy, you can give trusted team members the freedom to work independently, safe knowing that nothing is put into the public domain without the marketing, first giving it the green light for brand consistency. Even for simple stationery like business cards, your designer can create a basic design with each staff member can enter their own name, role, and contact information. Before, these simple tasks would have taken design knowledge and expensive licenses, but now they can be completed with minimal instructions. It’s an intuitive and visual way to get simple jobs done quickly.
It’s important not to forget items that may not have traditionally received the same brand attention as key collateral items from a template perspective. Imagine creating rich, illustrated sales proposals which can have images and product information related to the commercial proposals or social media posts. Branding for internal comms such as sports events, community engagement, or newsletters can also be created on a once-off basis and easily used by non-designers, strengthening the brand presence in all its forms. This would be hard to justify from a cost perspective in a traditional ‘handmade design’ environment, but once the master brand templates are created by your team and uploaded, the cost and time involved in creating new custom designs for a wide range of uses, is minimal, using a brand management solution.
Digital Asset Management
You can also take the opportunity to begin organizing your assets in a way that they can grow, scale but most importantly, be as functional as possible. By implementing a Digital Asset Management solution (DAM), you can organize and share your digital assets faster than ever. Instead of having multiple versions of the same asset existing in multiple places, you have the current and approved version available 24/7/365. It can be searched in many ways. You can organize and browse by product group, season, or department – in fact, whatever suits your business. Tags can be added, or you can create custom collections that are themed around specific campaigns or projects. Creating collections shared among internal users or lightboxes that are standalone asset sharing public or private websites for selecting particular digital assets can be set up in a few minutes. Combining a brand management application with a DAM creates the ideal platform to support the sharing of static and editable assets.
Pairing these two technologies ensures creative management and protecting brand identity are much more secure. Besides setting in place measures to ensure your brand guidelines are always followed, you can also set permissions on a user by user or group basis. Based on an individual’s permission, they can be allowed to upload, download, edit, or simply view your library. These permissions can be toggled on and off in real-time, making working with outside contributors on a once-off basis easier than ever.