Is your brand fully equipped?
On the surface, building a strong brand couldn’t be easier: stay true to the brand promise. But in an era where technology is as complex as it is accessible, delivering on the brand promise is proving to be a bigger challenge. Good brand performance is no longer just about meeting consumer needs. It’s also about having the ability to be where the conversations are in the digital sphere in real time.
To stay competitive, brands need the right brand technology tools and foresight on the direction the brand’s technology is taking. As brand technology develops and evolves, brands are under intense pressure to keep up.
Branding for the times: What’s driving brand tech trends?
In addition to rapid technological advancements, two other factors are driving the brand’s continued evolution of technology: changing consumer expectations and behaviors and the an ever-widening range of communication channels.
“With rapidly evolving technology and an ever-growing selection of tools, the only way for brands to keep pace is to build a future-proof brand technology ecosystem.”
Today’s consumers expect an influx of relevant content. And they don’t hesitate to scrutinize these materials down to the smallest detail. They demand accuracy, fairness, transparency, accountability and authenticity from brands. With easy access to communication channels, they aren’t afraid to challenge brands that aren’t delivering on their promise or exhibiting questionable behavior. These new communication channels have also created a sense of common thought among consumers, raising the stakes for brands.
So what can we expect from brand technology in the immediate future?
On the one hand, we can expect to see more of the same brand technology solutions we’ve seen over the past decade: tools designed to help brands create and distribute more personalized marketing content through relevant channels.
On the other hand, we can also expect these solutions to be faster, smarter and more accurate. They are designed to reduce repetitive tasks and enable teams to create content with minimal assistance from IT resources. Many processes will be automated. Artificial intelligence (AI) will also play a bigger role in the functionality of these new tools. The AI image recognition capability, for example, will make it easier to find, label and sort thousands of photos or identify duplicates down to the pixel level in seconds.
Essential brand technology tools for future-proof brand management
Organizations need to equip their teams with the right tools that can support their brand management strategies, especially in the areas of asset creation, organization and management of assets, distribution of assets, and performance measurement:
- Digital Asset Management (DAM). Brands are already processing an astronomical volume of content, and they are continually creating more to stay relevant. This equates to a larger amount of assets that need to be constantly managed and updated. That’s why a smarter digital asset management (DAM) system is imperative to efficiently manage and update these ever-increasing amounts of assets. The DAM stores, manages, categorizes and updates all brand assets. It’s also the easiest and most secure way to access brand assets and share them with internal and external collaborators.
- Publish to the web. The speed and efficiency with which brand materials, both digital and print, are created is more crucial than ever. Content creation usually requires the use of multiple tools and the collaboration of various teams, which makes it both expensive and time-consuming. It’s here that web publishing tools be useful. Web-to-publish tools, like template management software, make creating and reusing brand assets easier and more efficient by allowing brands to: (1) create materials that meet brand standards ; (2) create materials quickly; and (3) create assets with minimal design and computer skills.
- Brand performance indicators. Having more options to connect with target groups also means more channels that require constant monitoring. To create content that is relevant to the intended audience, brands need tools that measure and provide insights into brand performance (i.e. brand presence, brand interest , brand appreciation and brand commitment).
How can brands follow?
With rapidly evolving technology and an ever-growing selection of tools, the only way for brands to keep pace is to build a future-proof branded technology ecosystem. Besides choosing tools based on vendor reliability, price, and feature specifics, there are two other key factors to consider:
- advanced tools. The brand’s technological tools are classified as the best of the sequel or the best of breed. The best tools in the suite can be described as multi-purpose tools, bundling multiple features into a single platform. Although it seems like the best option for performing various tasks, it is important to remember that these tools are designed for quantity rather than quality. Although they perform more tasks, they are generally not the best or most efficient for any of the specific features they offer. The best tools are designed to excel in the single feature they offer. They are more likely to deliver satisfactory, error-free results for significantly less effort than their higher-performing counterparts.
- Integration capability. Poor tool integration leads to technology silos that can slow down processes and cause issues ranging from data gaps to increased operational costs. Organizations need to take a critical look at how easily new tools can be integrated with other tools.
There’s no doubt that keeping pace with brand technology developments is important to improving brand performance, but no matter how cutting edge the tool, there’s no substitute for consistently holding the brand promise.
Image by: Thirdman