Updated 8 months ago by Hayley Campbell
Making the switch to digital branding requires you to rethink and redo a lot of your current processes. But if you have the right toolset, the transition is super easy.
With customers expecting fantastic experiences from the brands they love, there’s a lot of pressure to deliver. But it’s not enough anymore to simply get all of your frontline employees dressed in the same polo, your “SALE” signs written in matching colors and bold fonts, and your logo plastered on your building and products.
To reach your customers today, everything has to go digital. Your marketing efforts have to change from direct mail and billboard campaigns to social media and emails. Sales and customer support teams have to rely more heavily on texting, instant messaging, and chatbots. And every digital interaction with customers – no matter where it is or who’s responsible for it – has to align perfectly with your mission and values.
This doesn't just happen overnight, though. Creating a digital brand takes careful planning. Without it, all the work you put in to develop your brand in the physical world, can be completely undone when you move to the digital one.
Not surprisingly, the secret to maintaining the integrity of your brand, as you migrate from traditional marketing to digital marketing, is consistency. You customers have to recognize you in both spaces. Otherwise, you’re left with two separate brands that have their own customer bases and marketing.
Maintaining consistency as you make the transition can seem pretty daunting, though – especially if your organization is fully or partially remote. But getting your teams to co-create “on-brand” assets and keeping your external partners in the loop can be done. It just takes the right toolset.
There are a lot of tools out there that are designed to help you communicate better, share content more easily, manage projects, and collaborate. But few are actually built to support your brand. Their focus is teams and individuals.
Frontify completely upends this model, by providing a set of tools that cater to both the brand and the people that work to build it. Here are just 4 that are designed to ease your transition to digital branding and help your digital brand thrive once you’ve built it:
When you have dozens (or hundreds) of people working on your digital brand, you need to have a standard set of guidelines to make sure everyone is using the same voice, colors, designs, and UI patterns in their projects. This is even more important if you’re dealing with satellite offices, remote employees, freelancers, and external partners too.
The best and easiest way to create that set of guidelines is by using Frontify’s built in Style Guide. Here, you can add any visual or textual elements that give your brand its identity.
You can plug in your mission statement, values, and corporate responsibility statements for employees to reference. You can define your color scheme down the exact HEX number. You can identify your specific brand fonts and add descriptions for how they should be used. You can even upload high resolution moodboards and plug in example images to breakdown how visuals and videos should look.
Beyond that, you can also lay the ground rules for different types of engagement – like how often to post on social media, what topics are okay to post about, and what your brand’s Instagram grid should look like. You can add in audio clips and write descriptions for how audio should be used in webinars, video ads, and podcasts too.
Regardless of what kind of guidance your employees need and how specific they need you to be, Frontify has the capabilities to integrate all of it into a cloud-based brand style guide. And by being in the cloud, it not only functions as your brand’s single source of truth, but it also gives your employees the ability to access all the information they need about your brand, on-demand. No more emails. No more phone calls. No more off-brand digital assets.
While it’s important for your employees to know how to present your brand in digital spaces, it’s only helpful if they have access to the right brand assets. That means, things like logos, images, design templates, purchased fonts, and audio recordings need to be at their fingertips.
But giving everyone access to these assets is often the bane of a brand manager’s existence. Not only does it mean fielding hundreds of email requests a week, but it also requires you to closely monitor every project to make sure people are using the most current version of the brand assets.
With Frontity, this is a whole lot simpler. Using the asset library, you can upload and store all of your brand assets in a single cloud space: your images, logos, core messages, icons, UI patterns, audio recordings, and videos. And once they’re there, you can add tags to each of the assets, making them easily searchable from the main screen.
Everything is accessible and searchable only within your desired limits, though – meaning you can set parameters on what people are able to view, download, and use. For instance, you can make certain messaging and image assets available to your marketing team, without giving them the UI patterns and color swatches that your design team needs to have full access to.
This system of storing and sharing brand assets ensures that all of your employees have on-demand access to the things they need to do their jobs. And that means a good chunk of your work week can go on autopilot.
Whether you’re trying to help people work together from remote settings, integrate a freelancer into your team, or initiate a cross-functional project, there’s always a need for people to collaborate. But finding a tool that suits everyone’s needs can be difficult. After all, your designers, marketers, and developers rely on specific tools to do their work, and very rarely is there any overlap between them.
Even so, Frontify makes it possible for these teams to collaborate seamlessly. With Frontify’s project workspace you can connect people from different time zones, in separate geographic locations, and with unique job functions into a single workspace. Once in the workspace, these employees can collaborate on projects using brand assets that are saved in your digital asset libraries or by pulling files from Sketch or InDesign. They can prototype to see exactly how finished products might look when they're published, and they can iterate on deliverables, saving each version to track changes as the project progresses.
Frontify isn’t just built to help teams create assets, though. It’s also a powerful tool for project management. As an administrator, you can use a kanban board to keep projects organized, and move them along based on where they are in the development process. You can also add specific people to the project, by tagging them and assigning them a task. Once that task has been completed, it can be marked as such and moved on for review, with the click of a button.
Feedback cycles are easy here too, since you can comment directly on the deliverable in the workspace and tag people in the comments to make sure they see what you want fixed. Not only will they get a notification sent to their inbox telling them you left feedback, but, using the built-in Slack integration, they can also get notified on Slack.
All in all, these features drastically streamline the creation, review, and publishing of on-brand digital assets.
Sometimes, your teams just don’t have the time to completely remake a digital asset. But often, assets are either saved as static PDF documents – rendering them uneditable – or stored in some unknown location. This means, your teams either have to spend loads of unnecessary time emailing different people to hunt down the editable version of the asset, or they have to work overtime to create a new one.
Obviously, neither case is ideal. That’s where Frontify’s templates come in.
With Frontify, any digital asset can function as a template. All you have to do is set parameters on which elements can be edited. For instance, you might create an ad with a full bleed layout, a block of text, and a small version of your logo for a special holiday promotion. However, after using it for a month, you’ve found that style to resonate nicely with your audience. Rather than creating a brand new ad in the same style as the original – including the image sizing, logo placement, and font selection – you can simply revisit the existing ad and edit the elements to make them match your new promotions. In this case, that would mean swapping out the wording and replacing the image.
Creating templates doesn’t mean you have to make assets completely editable, though. You can actually set the size, colors, resolution, and location of certain elements (like graphics or logos) to make sure they’re not stretched or squeezed without approval. This makes it possible and easy for designers to work with your marketing team, since they’re able to have full control over their designs, even after they leave their hands. At the same time, it streamlines the creation of marketing campaigns, by allowing your employees to reuse assets that are already exactly what they need.
Moving from traditional branding to digital branding takes a lot of work. But, by relying on the right tools, you can make the process a lot smoother and simpler for everyone.