What to think about when setting up a brand management platform

Once you’ve settled on your brand management platform you’ll want to begin setting it up. Onboarding a brand new platform may be a daunting prospect, but there are lots of things you can consider to make the task that little bit easier.

What problems are you looking to solve?

In the previous chapter, we outlined the importance of understanding the challenges your teams are facing. You may wish to consider these challenges once again, now that you’re setting up your platform.

If you have a good understanding of the challenges you face, it will help narrow down your approach when setting up the platform.

Pro-tip; You don’t need to have all the answers now, especially if it’s your first brand management tool. It’s always possible to implement features and functionality at a later date when the need arises.

Which features and functionality do you need?

Below are some aspects that you’ll want to consider.

  • Users:
    • How many users do you want to use the platform to make designs?

  • Single sign-on integration:
    • Do you want end users to be able to sign in with their organisation credentials and access the platform? This is a good idea in most cases however, it’s particularly important if you have more than 50 people using the system. It’ll also make it easier for you to manage users and revoke access when employees leave.

  • Image library integration:
    • Do you want to integrate with an existing image library or Digital Asset Management system (DAM)? If you opt for this, then your end users can pick an image from your library without having to leave the brand management platform. If you don’t have a DAM then you may wish to use your brand management platform’s built-in image library (if it has one!).

  • Importing images:
    • If you decide to opt against integrating an image library, you may wish to import images from elsewhere to your brand management platform. Bear in mind that all of your image metadata would need to be imported too.

  • Ordering system:
    • Do you want people to be able to order from the platform? This can allow them to order readymade materials, like leaflets or brand merchandise. If so, you can integrate the platform with your existing print/fulfilment supplier. It’s up to you!

  • Team management:
    • Would you like access to features like team-based approval? Or will you need to restrict access to resources to specific teams?

What templates do you need in your platform?

Armed with your list of marketing material from the last chapter you can start to narrow it down. It’s time to get an understanding of the types of templates you want to include in your brand management platform.

There are a few things you will want to consider.

Pro-tip; Unless you’re moving from an existing brand management platform it’s worth keeping this initial list short and sweet. Once you’ve launched the platform you’ll learn from initial user feedback the most cost-effective way to develop it from there.

Pro-tip; Not everything needs to be or should be turned into a template. Work with a brand management company worth their salt and they’ll help you get the most from your budget.

Understand your branded content

Good questions to ask yourself;

  1. Can you organise materials into groups by usage?
    1. Can you put your branded materials into specific groups such as signage, marketing, advertising, stationery, web, icons, internal, and external?

    2. Is there consistent design throughout?

  2. What is the purpose of each piece?
    1. Who is it for?

    2. What should they do with it?

    3. What is it, e.g. leaflets, posters, flyers, or digital materials?

  3. Is there any design work required?
    1. Is this a complete redesign?

    2. Do these materials just need the occasional modification?

  4. Can any of the artwork be combined?
    1. Is it repetitive?

    2. Can they be combined to save you time?

  5. What’s missing?
    1. Are there designs that you’ve not yet created?

    2. Do you have new ideas for artwork that you require?

  6. Who creates these designs?
    1. Which individuals or teams are responsible for designing each piece?

    2. Is design part of their job description?

  7. What else can you consider?
    1. What sizes and orientations do you have?
      1. Are they necessary?

    2. Do they need to be professionally printed?

Pro-tip; A brand management platform can open many doors for you and your team to be able to achieve things you’ve not been able to before, so if you’re not sure include it and seek advice.

Assessing your designs

Not everything can nor should be turned into a template. Some designs are too complicated, whilst others need heavy input from designers to ensure they’re executed well and stay on-brand.

Once you understand your branded content, you’ll want to look out for designs that:

  • Require small updates but are currently taking up lots of your designers’ time.

  • Are easy to understand and relatively simple to design.

  • Could be created by multiple people.

  • Have content that you would like to make editable.

  • Have content that is fairly fixed and doesn’t require lots of advanced formatting.

  • Have pre-definable content you want to make available, such as key messages or call to actions.

Good examples of the above include email headers, business cards, and event posters. These are things that designers get a lot of requests for which other team members could manage themselves.

Once you understand which of your designs match the points above, you can list all the templates you’ll want to make available to your teams.

Pro-tip; You’ll want to keep the number of templates you create to a minimum, in order to reduce the initial time and cost outlay. They should be easy to use and clear which should be used in any given situation. Use the expertise of the company you choose to help you with this.

Training and getting users up-to-speed

You’ll want to start thinking about how to get all of your end users up to speed with the software.

Do you have specific training requirements? Do you do training in-person or online? We’ve already stressed the value of creating advocates within your organisation. These individuals can champion the onboarding and internal rollout of the platform, so it’s a great idea to include them in the training. We look at this in more detail in the next chapter.

Focus on those benefits!

So there you have it, some important things to consider before you get to work setting up the platform. We’ll leave you with one final thing on this topic. Make sure you focus on the things that will make the platform successful for you. By understanding the benefits, you can ensure that you’re setting yourself, and the platform, up to succeed.

How to onboard and engage users