If you want to achieve success as a brand in this day and age, it’s time to fully embrace the reality that you’re in the experience business.Transactions are no longer a simple exchange of money for goods or services; consumers demand more. They expect you to win their affection and loyalty by delivering consistent, memorable experiences at each and every interaction.
Because of this, the digital assets and content you use to tell your story, educate your audiences, and represent your brand, are more important than ever. To thrive and grow in the experience economy, more and more successful brands turn to digital asset management (DAM) systems.
A DAM system sets your brand up for success
Brands like Hootsuite, Brooks Running, and the Houston Texans all use our DAM system, the Widen Collective®, as their central source of truth for digital brand assets. This gives their global teams searchable access to the same content, helps them maintain brand consistency, fuels agility in their marketing process, and gives them each a competitive edge in their markets.
Here are some of the ways that a DAM system can set your brand up for success in the experience economy.
Empower your people
When you have valuable brand assets scattered across shared drives, FTPs, and desktops, it’s tough for people to find what they need. A DAM system provides one central, searchable place to store your assets. That centralization empowers your employees to find what they need faster, easier, and without assistance.
With detailed taxonomy and metadata, a DAM system enables brands to organize and categorize their digital library. As a result, your DAM users can search and locate assets via methods ranging from Google-like predictive search to category, text, or suggestive search.
“The detailed metadata in the Widen Collective is probably the biggest asset to building and maintaining the brand. We try to consistently use blue jerseys to represent our brand. Giving our designers and our marketing people the ability to quickly filter out everything that’s not a blue jersey picture helps build that consistency,” says Zach Tarrant, Team Photographer at the Houston Texans.
Once they find what they need, people can use the easy asset-sharing capabilities to distribute digital assets to teammates, partners, other collaborators, and even web-based channels. At the end of the day, a well-organized DAM system gets your team — the “experience makers” — what they need to stand out and deliver.
Maintain brand consistency
A brand is, in a sense, the whole of the experiences it delivers to its audiences. And since these experiences are largely supported by your brand’s content and visual assets, you need to put a consistent brand face forward. Without this, you’ll struggle to establish trust and loyalty from today’s already skeptical consumers.
How do you create and maintain that consistent brand face? Start by giving your teams access to all of the same approved, up-to-date brand assets in a DAM system. Then your marketers, salespeople, creatives, and partners can use the same digital assets to build a consistent experience across all channels. This takes away the temptation for people to make rogue logo files or use old assets that could damage your brand.
A DAM system also allows you to implement system controls that protect your brand. You can expire assets and set user permissions, as well as automatically update embedded web-based assets by simply swapping out the master file in your DAM system. You can even brand your system, helping you deliver a consistent brand experience to your employees and partners (also important audiences!).
Fuel brand agility
Brands and the environments they live in are not static. From rebranding initiatives to seasonal campaigns, product launches, and global expansion, you’ve likely had to create, distribute, and implement new brand assets quickly. Through those experiences, you’ve probably learned that your technology stack can either slow you down to a crawl or speed up the process.
Take a new product launch for example. Without a DAM system, your team may struggle to find a simple, quick way to get your brand assets to market. If you rely on email, file size limits and the time spent deciphering email strings for the right file versions becomes unmanageable quickly. If you share assets via multiple systems, you’ll likely confuse and frustrate people.
A DAM system creates efficiencies when you need everyone to have the same brand content. For instance, you can prepare assets in advance of a launch and set a date for the system to release them. You can curate and share assets with specific regions, dealers, sales teams, and collaborators using a branded, turn-key portal.
Or, with the right DAM system, you can empower different regions to share your brand story in their language and voice via a template. These “brand blueprints” afford local teams creative flexibility while controlling for brand elements like fonts, colors, and logos. By bolstering agility, you help your teams quickly deliver the experiences your audience's demand.
Beat the competition
As we discussed, a DAM system fuels team efficiency, which improves your speed to market and gives you a competitive edge. DAM systems also have other capabilities that help you beat your competition.
For starters, they allow you to make better decisions with crystal-clear content analytics. So, rather than putting time and money toward content that you think will help you engage audiences, you can invest in the content that you know performs. And, with 70% of marketers reporting they actively invest in content marketing, you need to be sure you’re creating content that breaks through the noise.
Don’t forget about your non-consumer audiences, either. Your resellers, dealers, and other third-party collaborators also expect memorable brand experiences. Many companies ignore them and this is an opportunity for your brand to stand out. Using a top-notch DAM system can help you win over these secondary audiences by making global asset distribution and communication a painless and simple experience.
Create brand success with your DAM system
Brands in every industry are faced with the same overwhelming challenge: to create a memorable and consistent brand experience across an increasingly complicated map of touchpoints. Don’t worry, it’s not an impossible feat. For example, the Houston Texans wanted to create a better brand storytelling experience in order to stand out from other NFL teams.
They use the Collective to give people inside and outside of their organization the ability to consistently and effectively tell their brand story.
“[The] Widen Collective allows our stakeholders to quickly and easily adhere to internal brand standards. And, I think that’s something that anybody can relate to, no matter what kind of company they work for,” says Zach Tarrant, Team Photographer at the Houston Texans.
You can get a quick inside look at the same tool they use to create a successful global brand. of the Widen Collective today and see what it’s like to search, download, and share brand assets inside our DAM solution.
Note: This article was originally published in August 2018 and has been updated to remain current.