Nowadays, global companies face many challenges with managing their brand. It’s not only about keeping brand consistency or maintaining brand governance but also providing and managing one true source of information about the brand and brand-related materials to choose from. Such a source is frequently referred to as a brand portal. What is a brand portal and how can you use it to improve the management of your brand? That’s what we’re going to talk about today.
Brand portals come in handy, especially in large, international companies where are hundreds of people vitally interested in guidelines on how the brand should be showcased. But what are these portals exactly? Let’s start with that, and then we’ll show you how to use the brand portal in your organisation.
What is a brand portal?
The brand portal is a consistent, secured, and user-friendly source of branding guidelines and approved brand materials. They are created with all internal users, external partners, and providers in mind. It’s a kind of branding hub, which allows you to spread the brand knowledge through the whole company’s community and share brand assets that are always updated and approved. Above all, brand portals consist of two fundamental features:
- Branding guidelines
These strictly defined rules and creation standards will help you (and your employees) keep full brand consistency. They guide you on how to create the brand and communicate it to the world. We encourage you to read more about brand consistency in our interview with Brand Advisory Team Leader.
- Digital Asset Management System (DAM)
A DAM system is an organised digital library that allows you to upload brand assets, track their usage and maintain up-to-date content for the whole company. Also, DAM systems enable you to solve many brand-related challenges. E.g., restricted access for different teams, various language versions of your assets, GDPR validation setup, content sharing, creating templates in the system, etc. All in all, they are very useful in every large company.
What problems does the brand portal solve?
You might wonder if it’s worth investing (both time and money) in brand portal creation. To find an answer, I’m going to ask you how often do similar questions flow through your marketing department:
- Where can I find an up-to-date version of the PPT Presentation and Word template?
- Where can I download the right colour version of our logo for print?
- How should I design and create social media posts?
- How can I safely share materials with an external agency?
- Is the file I created on-brand?
Those are just a few of many examples of questions making your employees’ work less efficient or even frustrated. And the good news is, all these problems disappear immediately when you have a brand portal at your disposal. What are the other benefits?
The benefits of brand portal
Thanks to these digital tools, you can streamline a lot of brand and marketing-related issues. One of the main benefits is creating and developing both simple and complex workflows across a global company. A brand portal is a great tool to organize on-brand assets and materials in the digital library. It will help you track the usage and control user rights. Moreover, you may integrate it with other tools in your company to make your work more efficient. To sum up, all the above benefits will help you provide guidelines and knowledge sharing with a global community.
From our perspective, the juice is worth the squeeze, don’t you think?
The ins and outs of a brand portal workflow
To help you understand how brand portals improve the work experience in a global company, I will present you some fundamental workflow processes happening in the background of a typical brand portal:
- Creating guidelines > Creating materials based on guidelines > Sharing materials in DAM
- Creating guidelines > Giving access to every interested party > Streamlining creating the ready-made brand assets
- Creating guidelines > Sharing them with local marketing teams > Ensuring consistency across all channels and countries
The branding or marketing team can create brand guidelines and share them in the brand portal. As a result, all teams across the company (and all its branches) are aware of how to create on-brand materials. In effect, they can easily develop materials that are fully compliant with the brand’s requirements. At the end of the process, they can share their work for re-use in DAM.
On-brand check: how to keep brand consistency of on-brand materials
The collaboration of various teams in one global company raises the problem of brand consistency. Indeed, it is difficult to maintain consistency in such a dynamic setup. Thankfully, brand portals have a few features that can help you to keep control over all the brand assets, guidelines, and in the end – the whole brand identity.
Furthermore, a well-designed user roles and permissions architecture will ensure that specific specialists govern and manage all created web content.
Information architecture and easy access to all branding materials and assets
Maintaining thousands of files in the system might seem like a challenging task. That’s why information architecture and user experience are so important here. To improve browsing and searching materials within the brand portal and DAM, simple and user-friendly navigation is necessary. Together with meta properties and filter architecture, it all should create one complex and consistent information system managed by the designated team. Especially metaproperties design is important for providing a safe and comfortable experience in the searching process.
Brand portals as safe digital hubs for maintaining branding materials
All branding guidelines, materials, and strategies should be secured properly. Your brand portal might cover this need with various features that might be implemented in the business need of keeping materials for certain users.
The best solution for this need is a precise design of user roles architecture. Designers, external partners, distributors, marketing agencies, providers, and other professionals should have well-defined and proper access to browse all the assets and guidelines. Additionally, this setup makes the brand portal more user-friendly.
How to engage users to involve in brand creation
Web tools, such as brand portals or digital asset management systems, have strong potential in terms of functionalities and improving user experience. Don’t forget that they can bring additional value to the whole branding team and the company.
So, what can you do to engage users to be more involved in brand creation or brand development? First off, provide sufficient support coming from branding experts that knows brand guidelines. It can be via a chatbot or email. Such ongoing brand advisory will make other users more comfortable and their work – more effective. This might be led by the internal or external team. Secondly, make sure all the materials are open for all users and encourage them to share materials they create. The approval process should cover this workflow but will surely enrich the web content stored in the brand portal. You can also think of a template creator. With access to templates, your users will always know they create on-brand, good-looking materials.
Other ideas revolve around creating a newsletter or thematic webinars to make sure that all involved parties are up to speed with new brand guidelines and arrangements. You can also create an idea box or a feedback form where users will be able to share their opinions and ideas.
Summary: key takeaways on brand portals
To sum up, remember that brand portals are well-organised online systems that comprise all the branding guidelines and digital asset management systems. Although creating such a system can seem surplus at the beginning, it will streamline your work and make it more effective. With this tool, you will have more opportunities to improve employee workflow and engage more users in brand creation-related processes and projects. And at the end – don’t remember the crucial brand experts’ role in the process. They should be always present and ready to guide and advise on how to use the brand portal and the guidelines.
If you want to know more about brand portals, or Web Content Management Team is at your service!