The fastest way to achieve a strong brand reputation is to build trust, says legendary marketing author and thought leader Seth Godin. “Being trusted is the single most urgent way to build a business.” Gaining that trust, Godin says, requires engaging with customers at a “human being to human being level,” in ways that are relevant, authentic, and above all, caring:

A brand can’t care. All that can care is people… [The organization] can hire people [and] reward people who care, and do work that demonstrates they care… What we find is that the more people care, ironically, the better they do compared to the industrialized [marketers] who don’t care and are just doing it for the money.

What is Brand Management?

First things first, what is brand management? Brand management includes all strategic and operational decisions related to a brand. It uses marketing strategies and operations to increase awareness bringing value and reputation.

By bringing credibility, brands can build brand loyalty and nurture closer relationships with customers. As a result, companies need to better manage the branded content they use in marketing campaigns, websites, social media strategies, and so on.

Brands that cling to old school notions of interruptive marketing and internally focused brand management will fall further behind. The brands that win will be those that cultivate caring, genuine engagement with their customers. In today’s interconnected world, that means creating new, memorable digital media. However, as Seth Godin notes, “brands have, for the most part, done a pretty poor job of building owned digital media properties.”

Creating meaningful new digital media assets that build customer trust requires new, enterprise-class digital asset management (DAM).

In this article, discover how enterprise Digital Asset Management empowers workers and managers across departments, regions and countries to design, collaborate, track, publish and re-purpose digital assets. How it enhances your creative process in ways that group-oriented DAM tools for small teams cannot match. With everyone on the same creative page, enterprise-level DAM is a force multiplier, enabling faster and more effective digital asset planning and design that builds trust, brand reputation and new business.

Legacy DAM is Placing your Brand at Risk

The new, enlightened brand management that Seth Godin calls for is especially critical for large multinational organizations, which must manage their respective brands with a global perspective. Legacy DAM tools simply can no longer keep up.

Legacy DAM tools create digital replicas of virtually all asset types in place of the original physical objects. While making it easier to store and distribute these assets, legacy DAM tools do little to provide a system of centralized management, visibility, or control over critical brand asset files, burgeoning in quantity as well as new file types. Organizations that delay in replacing legacy Digital Asset Management systems will fall further behind competitors, with slow and unreliable processes through which content was created, modified, approved, and distributed through a variety of channels. This also needlessly keeps managers overseeing asset management in “fire drill” mode.

AI in DAM

In contrast, enterprise DAM meets today’s business challenges by adding intelligence and metadata-fueled processes to digital asset storage, handling, retrieval, and distribution—across multiple systems, virtual frameworks, and time zones. To keep up with the pace of accelerating business and technology advances, and to ensure that brand assets and long-term equity are protected and managed consistently. Upgrading to a full-featured enterprise DAM solution is vital to realizing the total business value of assets.

Artificial Intelligence in Digital Asset Management

Access, Metadata & Workflows

Unlike the one-to-one relationship between an asset and file typical in legacy DAM tools, true enterprise-class DAM embeds intelligence—in the form of advanced metadata and digital asset management workflow processes—into each digital asset. Assets can have multiple dimensions, more akin to software objects or containers, through the addition of rich metadata. Modifiable properties can be attached to the objects that represent individual assets and these properties can guide content creation, management, and consumption. This approach provides greater visibility to the entire range of enterprise assets—regardless of where they are produced or stored— and, in turn, enhances value throughout the entire life cycle of each asset.

A well-planned metadata schema creates foundational value, providing the conceptual architecture needed to make content more discoverable, accessible and ultimately, more valuable. Metadata turns video, audio or graphic files into “smart content” that is available to reuse, re-purpose or simply to inspire. The strength and relevance of the metadata associated with an asset is what makes it findable, and therefore usable. When done well, metadata is imperceptible and intuitive.

Enlightened brand management is a multifaceted discipline that becomes substantially easier through modern enterprise DAM.

Values of Digital Asset Management for Brand Management: Artificial Intelligence, Lifecycle Transparency, Metadata and Workflows, Digital Business, Brand Storytelling, Protection and Consistency

Enterprise DAM Enables Digital Business

New digital technologies have created a massive shift in IT infrastructures, organizational strategies and business processes. As digital transformation continues to make inroads into every aspect of business, Gartner advises that companies begin a “digital strategy conversation” to discover the most effective ways to integrate advanced communication and digital tools into operations, and encourage CIOs to identify and respond to digital opportunities within the enterprise.

Learn more | 2020 Gartner Market Guide for Digital Asset Management (DAM)

Gartner identifies digital business as an advanced stage of its digital transformation roadmap and maturity model, which “focuses on the convergence of people, business and things” amid an emergent “blurring between the physical and virtual worlds.”

Enterprise-class DAM has a clear and vital role to play here, enabling effective collaboration and management of huge volumes of brand assets required to support brand engagement at all levels - from global to local - in a cohesive way despite the complexities of diverse arrays of systems, storage formats, legal issues, approval processes, worldwide distribution needs, and localization issues encountered in today’s globalized marketplace.

Learn more | 4 Steps to Digital Transformation Success

Enterprise DAM is Key to Brand Protection and Consistency

While the terminology describing Digital Asset Management systems may vary somewhat according to the field or discipline, the essential elements remain the same. Branded content management, for example, applies more directly to the types of assets at the heart of an organization. The Gartner IT glossary uses the term branded content management and defines it in these terms: From a technology perspective, branded content management is the automation of processes from initial creative idea through to production and storage and, ultimately, to the fulfillment of branded content in the field and across various channels/media.

Protecting brand integrity and preserving consistency across multiple channels should be a prime consideration for every organization in the digital age, but a Gleanster survey suggested DAM solutions at many organizations are not up to the task. According to the survey results,

67% of all organizations lagging behind “top performers” reported that while they have tools to centralize digital assets, they still struggle with effectively reusing their assets.

Many organizations in this group, Gleanster noted, still maintain content on separate share drives and suffer from vast asset management inefficiencies, requiring staff to spend up to five times longer to obtain the right content for their needs.

Digital content transforms into “digital assets” once organizations make them easily identifiable, searchable and available in real time to those who need them. Market competitors who can achieve “digital asset” status quickly improve their odds of winning in today’s fast-moving, multichannel marketing and sales environment.

There are four fundamental challenges faced by organizations addressing brand management include:

  • Lack of a centralized asset repository. A readily accessible repository does not exist for hosting, sharing, and updating branded digital assets.
  • Effective management of large volumes of assets. Basic asset management processes, such as collaborative creation, approval, and distribution, overwhelm staff members because of the massive volumes being handled.
  • Inconsistencies among assets. Asset version control, status, permissions, legal issues, and similar properties are not handled consistently across the organization, creating confusion and inefficiency.
  • File management problems. The vast numbers of files in asset libraries and across an organization’s network create ongoing management problems, wasting time and money through inefficient use of resources.

A good DAM will provide control and visibility over all the assets for a brand, from creation through to distribution and archiving, including approval tracking and rights management. An immediate benefit of a DAM is that users can see which assets already exist, giving them the potential to re-use existing material, rather than commissioning new content or artwork. Clearly, this removal of unnecessary duplication saves both time and money for the organization.

The range and variety of DAMs available in the industry can create confusion, as capabilities vary greatly. DAM capabilities are also sometimes made available as a specialized subset of Enterprise Content Management systems (ECM). Without integration into existing systems, however, much of the business value of DAM tools is lost.

Out with Content Overload, In With Consistent Brand Storytelling

Part of the problem is coordinating the story being told by the brand assets, achieving consistency in transmedia storytelling, as described by digital media strategist Alex Struminger:

A movie or publishing franchise may have a combination of video, books, games, toys, live events and social media activities all under the umbrella of a single unified story theme. The digital assets required to manage such a complex and multi-dimensional campaign are often staggering in number. [A recent] interactive campaign for a global soft drink brand required the management of around 80,000 pieces of digital video—and the metadata needed to organize them!

Brand Storytelling for Brand Management: What's Your Story?

Learn how a Hollywood Movie Studio, a Nuxeo customer, leveraged their intellectual property to make the most out of their digital assets.

Today, we’ve entered the brave new world of digital assets where the storage and distribution challenges are very different from the days of physical objects. As organizations struggle to organize, filter, archive, and distribute the mounting gigabytes of assets, DAM has introduced tools that offer promise in not only organizing assets, but also using them in a more consistent way. DAM initiatives that extend beyond isolated departments or regional facilities, connected to the rest of an organization’s ECM system, leverage greater value from effective integration. The efficiency of the work environment that Gartner calls the digital workplace is heavily dependent on shared assets, knowledge, and skills, which in turn relates to the degree of integration of the toolsets used for asset management.

By collecting related digital workplace tools and services into a common portfolio, IT leaders can more easily promote skills transfer and application reuse across the three constituencies: employees, partners and customers. Experience gained in mobile application development for employees, for example, can be applied to partner and customer communities, or skills developed in user experience design for customers can be applied to employees.

Key Benefits of Adopting DAM for Brand Management

The rationale for adopting an enterprise- DAM system as a way to better meet digital asset branding requirements seems readily apparent to those who have already done so and discovered the Digital Asset Management benefits. To those considering or evaluating DAM applications as a solution to large-scale asset management, these are a few of the benefits that can be realized, all supported by well-designed DAM toolsets.

  • Wide range of treatments. In the transition from a physical world to one in which assets are represented digitally, there is tremendous opportunity available when treating assets as digital objects, as is possible with a DAM, rather than physical objects.
  • Lifecycle transparency. Integrating business rules into assets makes management and distribution of each asset more easily trackable and visible through each lifecycle stage.
  • More clarity. By storing and accessing assets through a DAM, the return on investment can be more effectively measured and understood.
    Automated processes.Large media assets can be handled in automated ways through a DAM, allowing assets to be modified and transcoded to fit the various distribution channels and end uses.
  • New opportunities. As new communication technologies arise in the future, digital assets accessible through a DAM will be posed and ready to take advantage of all the opportunities and possibilities, likely to emerge in use cases that haven’t even been envisioned yet.

As a pioneer in the evolving paradigm—refining techniques for modeling assets as software that reflects business operations—the Hyland Nuxeo platform for DAM offers a flexible, full-featured digital and media asset management system that includes asset capture, automatic metadata extraction, video storyboarding, flexible content modeling and support for a broad range of file types.

Learn more about Digital Asset Management for Brand Management