How digital brand guidelines in brand portals make everyone create better visuals

It’s a fact that many designers and marketers can struggle with the increased demand for visual content creation, with the need to deliver faster and faster results adding even more pressure. Bringing an original idea to life and realizing that design as part of a campaign is rarely an issue, getting it to market is the real struggle. That requires pulling off different variants and output formats to the same standard.

Sound familiar? Then ask yourself this; can you still afford to lag in a multichannel world where brand portals are so important to marketing activity? Where online and offline experiences are merging, and demand for faster campaigns continues to grow? Your brand compliance strategy needs the right digital tools to remain both agile and relevant.

CHILI publish CEO, Kevin Goeminne, knows all there is to know about brand governance and the tech that helps brands of all shapes and sizes simplify and automate how their visuals are made. Smart Templates are a huge part of that as they power different brand portals for agencies, brands and printers. More importantly, they make sure brand guidelines always remain respected.

Time to ask him how people can leverage their visual creation process and up their marketing strategy game.

Q - Tell us, Kevin, what seems to be the problem nowadays with visual creation?

Creativity takes time, and so do great results, but variations require even further investment. Creating enhanced or updated versions can be costly not just in time, but in financial investment, too. And that manual work brings its own risks, with the chance for typos, incorrectly aligned elements and other human errors creeping into the final product.

Designers are ultimately expected to be creative AND productive at a non-stop pace, but when that’s an entirely manual process it’s always going to cause needless issues. Marketers are pressured to deliver better, faster, smarter and more cost-efficient results, and it’s an unbearable situation for anyone that’s crying out for a solution.

Q - So, what’s causing the need for all these variants?

Well, one visual doesn’t fit all – you need to adjust to include different languages, cultures, channels, platforms and more. Different people bring different visions and materials, and the brand itself becomes diluted and confused. To produce a high output of graphics-driven content requires a more automated solution that sets just the right amount of limitations without hindering creative freedom.

Q – Do you have an example to illustrate?

So many, but I’ll stick to a recent case that our partner Galilée put forward during their last webinar. BigMat, a construction and renovation specialist operating in France and across Europe, experienced a major roadblock for its marketing and design output. The struggle was getting everyone in the customer marketing funnel to produce content that followed the same messaging and remain on the same page.

Galilée fixed them up with a brand portal that would transform their brand governance for good. By leveraging a CHILI publisher-powered brand portal, BigMat can deliver multichannel brand governance, even when operating in different regions or countries.

A special promotional Facebook banner, sudden price change in all flyers, an updated tool image in an advert, a last-minute display request,... – all handled centrally, yet locally.

Q – What is the main purpose of brand portals?

A brand portal works by resolving the content development lifecycle conundrum, enabling you and your creative teams to identify the missing link that connects stakeholders to the correct brand messaging and document templates without risk of the final content deviating from the brand guidelines you’ve established.

Q - Are brand portals the ‘plug-in and play’ solution marketers think they are?

Rarely, to be honest. Brand portals make brand governance a more streamlined experience, but this isn’t a turnkey solution that can be picked up off the shelf and used right out of the box.

To make a portal work for you, you need an overview of the solutions you’re currently using so you can assess if these solutions will serve future business plans. Complete with what’s missing and make sure you have an integrated chain of solutions that will serve your marketing and communication strategy.

Q - So, when you have the right tools aligned and integrated, how can users get the perfect visuals they need from their new brand portal?

That’s where the power of Smart Templates comes into play:

  • They enable you to establish **locked in branding guidelines **
  • Still offer users plenty of creative freedom
  • Crop and edit visual elements without breaching guidelines
  • Dynamic Layouts support use of different sizes
  • Support for different output both offline and online

A brand portal delivers the most productive way to oversee branding with a fast and flawless user experience. Brand governance is ensured because anyone utilizing the assets in the brad portal will produce output that consistently meets the needs of your marketing strategy.

Q – Let’s talk money. How will this investment generate more business revenue?

If you have the right tools in place that supports this kind of creative automation, you can now automate your entire creative ecosystem to support ongoing marketing output. When all the tools in your martech stack collaborate on one brand portal, that’s when you can truly maximize any campaign your team creates and ensure no resources are wasted on duplicated documents or output that contradicts brand guidelines. It will save you time, money, and all the hassle that comes with faulty visual creation processes.

"Create and design content. Iterate and scale output. It really is that simple when you have a brand portal."

Brand portals present a fluid way to ensure total brand compliance not only here and now in 2021, but for years to come. As a solution, creative automation doesn’t just remove the chance for human errors and the loss of resources due to duplication. Instead, it offers the ability to centralize and ultimately unify decentralized marketing efforts to keep every stakeholder working on the same page now and in the years to come.

See how CHILI publisher Online works?

Check this 30seconds explainer video.



Maya Staels

Apr 28, 2021

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