How to get a Brand Center approved
In previous blogs, I have talked about why now is the time to build a brand center. Many of you have asked, “While I am getting my brand center budget approved, what should I do to get ready?” There are three key components to building a brand center. Below we describe each one in the order of occurrence and the key leverage point in each one.
A brand center usually means that roles and responsibilities are going to change. The locus of change is moving the brand assets from an internal site to a freestanding platform. The assets may be housed in a shared drive, intranet, or a digital asset management system. Managers will want to meet with two key groups to explain the change.
The first group is the IT staff that is managing assets now. The point of the conversation is to explain how a brand center provides value by scaling brand to employees and improves collaboration with outsiders. Those two objectives require specialized programming capabilities that most internal teams cannot deliver and maintain.
The second group is the stakeholders who use the brand but do not control it. Usually these are the advertising team, salespeople, corporate communications, and sometimes human resources. The topic for these groups is to define how the reorganization of assets will drive productivity and improve brand consistency. Major objections by these groups are rare as these new requirements usually cannot be met with the resources at hand.
Learn more: Calculating the ROI on a Brand Center
Most of our clients face a backlog in their procurement departments. For many, it’s a seemingly intractable problem that delays getting something done. However, we have found that coming to your procurement team with a few items in place will radically reshape the process:
- Conduct a preliminary RFP process. By getting quotes from a few vendors on a basic set of requirements, you can minimize the effort of that team. They may have to rerun the process, but it will show them that if they do, it will not be effort that is likely to lead to nowhere.
- Meet key IT requirements. Even though technical requirements evolve quickly, having a list of known requirements in hand that your selected vendor meets will give the team confidence that your project is likely to pass internal scrutiny.
- Arrange for recommendations. Have your supplier provide a few client recommendations who can speak on the system’s operational integrity. The recommendations should focus of SLA performance, recovery times, data recovery, and other system performance issues. This will help the teams see that this is enterprise-ready software that meets basic security and data capabilities that will be important when integrating into the tech stack.
As you go through the socialization process, it is helpful to have a short presentation that you share at the start of every meeting. The document serves as a centering device that will keep the stakeholders and procurement teams aligned. Here are some key components of the charter:
- The goal: What the brand center will deliver in terms of scaling the brand engagement internally and delivering consistency externally. These are usually qualitative objectives.
- The as-is: How are assets being managed today? The systems used, who controls them. What that system does well and what it does not do well.
- The to-be: How the new system will move from asset management to brand engagements. Functionality changes, new connections made, and new applications.
- The benefits: What you expect the investment to yield and what it will improve. Again, qualitative information. Leave the quantitative information for the business case.
- Readiness assessment: This section includes the materials that are described in the procurement process (see above).
Learn more: Brand alignment: The meaning and measurement behind the buzzword
The old joke: Rome was not built in a day. I heard it took a month or two. Getting a brand center into production is a journey. It will be a month or two for sure. Having the building blocks in place to start the process often yields speed downstream. Our goal is to help you go from years to months. Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like help building your brand center.