Abandon Digital Asset Management – It’s time for Brand Asset Management

The forces brands face

I love pasta. Fresh, Italian, whole wheat – I will eat almost any variety any day. My limit is usually tied to which pants fit and how dressed up I need to be in the next month. Recently, I started to question how pasta is made.  It turns out there are two methods for extruding pasta – pushed by atmospheric pressure or pulled by a vacuum. The pushed version often is slower, has more time to dry, and is controlled over time. The pulled happens in seconds and requires extra ingredients to store it. It is a faster process, requires ingredients, and allows for more uses in cooking.

As strange as it might seem, these two processes match the new realities of brand governance.  Historically, brands had time to develop guidelines and assets slowly. Time was available to cure them.  Digital asset management (DAM) systems grew in this environment. Assets were seen as static, stable, and with limited applications. Software platforms emerged to support this top-down, push-it-out approach. They have evolved today to push things out faster, but lack the ingredients (expertise) to ensure that what is delivered creates an engaging humanized experience.

Learn more: Better, faster, stronger brand management

From Digital Asset Management to Brand Asset Management (BAM)

Brands today find themselves drawn into the vacuum often. Causes can range from an errant comment from an executive, a social meme that is not true, shareholder pressure for results, or employee unrest that upends the customer experience. In these moments, the systems that deliver content and assets to sales teams, agencies, and other partners are activated in an instant. Those artifacts of the brand are deployed in static form as if the environment was stable. But the filled vacuum of a brand’s territory is dynamic. The extra ingredients that tell the brand story and humanize its relationship to the exigent events are often missing in a DAM.

Managers should be building branded assets that will maintain relevance and authority regardless of the whirlwind the brand faces.

Digital versus branded assets

So how do you know if you have the right artifacts ready for the branding “vacuum”?  We classify the differences in the following ways:

  • Classification schemes: DAMs generally classify in terms of a taxonomy of assets. Brand systems look at classification, as well as, use cases and methods of application using metadata for search and relevancy.
  • Explanations: DAMs address where to use assets. BAMs also create digital experiences inside the platform to educate on how to use an artifact.
  • Engagement: DAMs deliver access to inventory. BAMs deliver a web-experience on jobs to be done that lead users to the right inventory.Community: DAMs drive a top-down view of brand. BAMs also incorporate how the user of a brand interprets the brand for a bottom-up view.
  • Showcase: DAMs show static view of assets. BAMs create dynamic showcases of the most relevant and recent applications so that all users leverage the network of knowledge.
  • Platform: DAMs are repositories. BAMs are hub and spoke systems that leverage

Learn more: What is the difference? DAM system vs. BAM system?

Digital versus branded assets: Your checklist

If you are looking for a DAM system now, here is a quick checklist for your RFI:

Brands no longer operate in isolation. Momentum forces them into quick reactionary worlds that require all of the ingredients of the brand to be part of the assets used in market. Your brand depends on it and so does your pasta.

To learn more about Brand Asset Management and how it can elevate your brand, contact Greg at gsilverman@monigle.com.