At times, it can feel like keeping tabs on all your franchises’ content and marketing initiatives is like trying to wrangle cats.
In other words — it’s difficult.
But have no fear, noble brand manager or content strategist, there is a way to ensure that all your franchises are using your company’s design and brand assets consistently.
Trying to oversee the consistency of your franchises’ marketing campaigns with specific brand standard guidelines is like trying to assemble a piece of IKEA furniture without the directions — it can’t be done.
If you don’t have time to manage all your franchises’ marketing initiatives, then a brand guide can help save the day. Brand guidelines identify the following into a concise document:
Having all this readily available for franchise managers allows them to easily reference the document when they need to find the correct assets to use.
Imagine this scenario: The manager of a Dick’s Sporting Goods store wants to get all his employees a fleece vest for Christmas. He wants to make sure that he is consistent with other franchises for the logo he uses on the vests. He checks the logo formats section of the brand guidelines and looks for the logo that is approved for branded merchandise or apparel. Bingo — he finds it and doesn’t have to worry about getting a call from corporate about why he used the wrong logo.
Other examples of when a brand document would be helpful include: local TV commercials, store signs, newsletter formatting, interior store decorating, and social media posts.
It’s hard to underestimate how essential it is that every franchise has easy access to the brand and design elements that they need.
If managers can’t find what they’re looking for when they need it, it’s going to cause a lot of frustration for both you and the franchise manager. Follow the guidelines below to name your files appropriately so that they are easy to find.
You can learn more about File Naming Best Practices for Asset Management here.
In addition to using file naming best practices, you should also employ a content calendar that franchise managers can use. You can either create calendars that are specific to each franchise, or an overarching one for everyone to abide by.
Not only do you have to make sure that your franchises are using the same assets across the board, but that they are doing so in a systematic, timely fashion. To see how the lack of a content calendar can harm your business, let’s look at this example:
A small apparel company with five stores throughout the Midwest is supposed to have a 50% off sale on all their winter clothes on April 15th. This is announced in a company-wide email that goes to every store manager. However, one of the managers misses that email because they were out of town and therefore doesn’t offer the sale and therefore, doesn’t promote it (like sending out newsletters to those who have signed up or putting up signs inside and outside of the store).
As a result, the customers near one of the stores will be confused and frustrated by the fact that they aren’t getting any deals, while their friends in other locations are. Or, the foot traffic in the store will be low because customers were not alerted about the sale so they don’t have the motivation to shop.
A content calendar that provides reminders to market the sale could easily solve that problem.
Another way to help ensure your franchises are using consistent brand assets is to store them in a single source where you can control the accessibility options for your franchise managers. With digital rights management (DRM), you can make sure your franchise managers only have access to the most up-to-date, approved versions of brand assets. You can also set parameters so that assets become unavailable with an expiration date, like when a sale has ended.
MediaBeacon is a DAM solution that has DRM built-in, along with user-based permissions so that you can take total control of your franchise brand assets.