4 benefits of using a brand management tool vs a design tool

21st October 2020

Imagine a world where your artwork was instantly on brand, where there were no sneaky off-brand fonts or pixelated images popping in to say ‘hello’ or needing approval. Doesn’t that sound great? Using a brand management tool can make that utopia a reality, but is it the right thing for your organisation?

Working with medium to large organisations in the charity sector we’re used to seeing how more traditional design tools such as Illustrator are integrated into brand material creation and how sometimes this tool doesn’t always work.

In this quick post we’re going to look at the benefits of using a brand management tool vs a design tool.

Your brand identity is safe in other hands

The size of your organisation plays a big role in your need for a brand management tool. If you’re a small organisation with one or two people responsible for the brand output using a tool such as Illustrator or InDesign or even Canva can work fine. You know you have two dedicated members of staff that know the brand, care about the brand and can do their jobs well. However as soon as your organisation gets bigger that’s when brand management tools come into their own.

When you’re working with people who may not be designers or may not know the brand as you do, providing a tool for them to use with the core elements of your brand already set up is a win-win. They’ll create beautiful on-brand material and you’ll sleep better knowing your brand identity is protected.

Here are some examples of artwork our clients have created from digital templates, allowing some creative ownership and freedom for their employees or volunteers but without steering off-brand.

Poster's created using a single poster template.

You avoid a minefield of software & licenses

We all know buying a traditional design tool like Adobe Suite isn’t cheap. For one or two licenses it may not break the bank but as your marketing team grows or people start working more remotely in this new current environment things can get complicated very quickly. Yes you may need more licenses as teams become split across different households, but that could then result in more equipment needed as home computers may not be equipped to run the software. And there goes your September budget.

Using a brand management tool means you can have one centrally-hosted platform that everyone can log onto from anywhere in the country without the need for extra licenses or equipment. It’s accessible and constant, meaning your artwork production and marketing output can continue whenever wherever and you can save money while doing so.

Zero training needed

If you’re a designer, navigating through a design tool can be as clear as day, but for non-designers when you first open one up it can be overwhelming. I’m sure we’ve all sat there at some point and opened up the software thinking ‘how do I even start?!’

Unless you are a seasoned design professional learning how to use a design tool is time-consuming. It’s endless googling how to’s and watching tutorials, training and hours of trial and error. This can not only be incredibly frustrating for the user but for designers within your organisation too, as that time spent training others can be better spent.

One of the main benefits of using a brand management tool is no training is needed. You simply log on and it’s intuitive enough to navigate and create your artwork or access your brand assets in minutes. It means a happier workforce and a more positive productive experience all round.

An example of a British Red Cross DL leaflet.

Your design time can be creative again

As a professional designer we understand spending hours each day amending the text on a business card or email footer can be excruciating. It’s a waste of time when your design eye could be used to make something much more beneficial to your organisation, and something that satisfies your creative itch. Using digital templates within a brand management tool to tick off some of these lower-level tasks means your precious time can be spent on the real things that matter. Like big reports or marketing campaigns...you know, the fun stuff!

In conclusion design tools can be fantastic if you are a small organisation with a minimal marketing output. However if you’re a larger organisation with employees or volunteers working remotely, nationally or globally a brand management tool is the way to go. It can save time and money, it can protect your brand identity without you having to be the brand police; but more importantly it can make everyone’s lives easier and increase their job satisfaction. And what really is an organisation without its people?