Move Your Brand Guidelines PDFs To An Online Brand Asset Management Tool

Brand guidelines. Every savvy business has them, but how do your people access them, and how useful are they to you as a business?

Brand Guidelines PDFs to Online Brand Asset Management
Giles Taylor writes for W/Brand Design Blog
Giles Taylor, April 08, 2020

When done right, brand guidelines will give your teams both consistency and flexibility. That means you can create a look and feel throughout your marketing materials that defines who you are. This only works to full effect if everyone in your organisation can easily access the resources in your brand guideline kit.

The more spread out you are as a business, perhaps across the globe or sectors, the more important it is to promote consistent brand guidelines that can be reached and understood by everyone within the business.

Do you need brand guidelines?

Of course, any marketing manager will say a resounding “yes” to this. Because it will support all your marketing initiatives, and it will effectively tie in any marketing with your company goals and visions. Your typical brand guidelines will include things like:

  • Your vision – that is, your history, goals, and personality
  • Your mission statement – a summing up of your aims and values
  • Visual guidance – specifics on colour palettes, logos, typestyle, image style and designs for printed and online materials
  • Tone of voice – for all content and copywriting. This will inevitably link in with your brand’s personality definition

Suffice to say that those components to a brand guideline document are common sense to any marketing body. One route is to use a free template to create your brand guidelines. And there are plenty of those on the web. But then how do you distribute it, along with any inevitable changes to the document as you go along?

As with anything like this, you can spend an age creating guidance documents. If they’re not used, their value drops. So, it comes down to two things:

1. Making them accessible
2. Encouraging people to use them

Communicating the fact that they’re there is one step. If they change, due to a rebrand or something similar, make a song and dance about that. Remind people regardless that there are brand guidelines in place and tell people where they can access them. Point two sorted. As for the first one, there needs to be a convenient way for anyone in the company to get hold of them when they need them.

Why take them online?

We live in a digital age. And that opens the doors to convenient file sharing on a global scale. After creating your brand guidelines, you can work from a shared resource that boosts collaboration and fast access to marketing tools like these.  

Here we direct your attention to the W/Brand Hub. Because it’s our answer to this challenge, and we can tell you exactly why it works. As a client, you can access brand guideline templates with a flexible, monthly pricing structure.

It works as an online hub for marketing teams, with all the essential documents like this. Also, as a collaboration tool. Employees can get real-time project updates, complete and track all account management requests, and company-wide access to brand assets.

Everyone knows where to go to get hold of them. A bit like YouTube’s approach to sharing accessible brand resources, but tailored to you. 

Why choose brand asset management?

Essentially, what we’re talking about here goes one step further from creating shareable brand guidelines. It’s sophisticated digital asset management that reaches corner to corner of your brand.

When it comes to the benefits of this versus simply downloading a free brand guidelines template, here’s what we’ve found:

  • Everything in one place – it keeps both print and digital brands assets together.
  • View and share – your assets can be viewed privately, or publicly if you needed. Which might be appropriate for something like your corporate guidelines.
  • Account management – as mentioned above, you can do everything from viewing and assigning orders to POs to tracking the real-time budget left on a project. Essentially, it works as an online agency account manager.

This gives your teams the tools to work consistently, effectively, and to one unified purpose.

In conclusion …

There’s a lot to be said for the benefits of brand guidelines. But if they’re difficult to understand, use, or get hold of, they’re not going to work as hard as they should. The point of them is to create consistency and flexibility for your brand. And it’s worth taking a consistent and flexible approach to sharing and using them throughout your organisation.

Brand asset management is a way of doing exactly that. By leveraging the tech at our fingertips, we can make the world a smaller place. Whether your teams are in London or Lisbon, everyone has easy access to the same resources. More than that, true digital asset management powers teams with real-time knowledge. Consistency and flexibility across active projects are boosted to the max.

All this makes it an option that leaves downloadable brand guidelines in the shade. If you’d like to find out more about full brand asset management and our Hub, contact us now, and see how it stacks up against your average brand guidelines PDF.


Giles Taylor writes for W/Brand Design Blog

Giles Taylor

Giles is the founder and creative director for W/Brand. A graphic designer from Reading in Berkshire, UK, he's a dad with two wonderful children who enjoys walking and playing the guitar.  

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