State of Brand Management Tools 2024

Brand Asset Management vs. Digital Asset Management: Which Platform Do You Need?

Are you looking for a platform to help manage your brand assets? Struggling to decide whether to use BAM or DAM?

It’s true – You can manage the company’s brand assets in several unique ways. 

To start, you could scatter them across shared hard drives, create a folder on a shared drive, and upload all brand assets there, or leave it to everyone to manage whatever assets they need themselves.

But I’m sure you already know how impractical each of these solutions is.

Sooner or later, someone will misplace an important asset, use the wrong file, or worse still, create their own version of it.

That’s why you need a dedicated tool. One that can help you store all brand assets in a centralised location and ensure that everyone uses branding features correctly.

But there’s a problem… Which system should you choose? BAM? DAM? Both seem so alike, after all…

Well, below, we’ll give you all the information you need to figure that out. 

You’ll learn what each platform does, what they help you achieve, and which is best for you.

So, let’s begin.

Table of Contents

What Is BAM (Brand Asset Management System)

When we talk about BAM (a brand asset management platform), we mean a tool that helps companies manage and organise all brand assets. 

As the name suggests, these brand asset management platforms are designed specifically to help companies organise, store, and manage their branded assets, such as logos, graphics, images, videos, and more.

But BAM does far more than just help you store and organise brand assets.

Key features of a BAM platform

Centralised asset storage and repository

BAM allows organisations to manage thousands of brand assets centrally. This helps eliminate the chaos resulting from having all assets scattered across different locations, hard drives, and so on and ensures consistency across all marketing projects.

Advanced search and metadata management

BAM platforms use metadata to tag and organise assets, making it simple to search and locate specific files quickly. 

Many tools also enrich those features with AI capabilities to minimise the manual effort required to manage and organise large volumes of data and brand assets.

Brand guidelines management

Without proper guidelines, all brand assets are de facto irrelevant. Unless creative teams know how to use assets correctly, having all those assets within reach will not mean much. 

Advanced BAM platforms like CELUM enable companies to create brand guidelines portals for all brand-related content and information, explaining how to use the brand correctly.

With these capabilities, your organisation could share relevant brand guidelines with selected audiences and ensure that internal and external users have all the information and assets at their fingertips in the most convenient way.

Collaboration and online proofing

Creating brand content is a collaborative process. It’s rare for content to be done by one person only. In most cases, not only several people on the creative team are involved, but various stakeholders also need to review and approve the content.

A robust BAM platform will facilitate collaboration within the team and across all stakeholders. Usually, this happens across several platform capabilities:

  • Briefing capabilities help provide all the necessary information for teams (as well as any third-party vendors involved) to start projects.
  • Project management tools like Kanban boards help track and manage projects. 
  • Online proofing tools allow for streamlining the visual review and approval process.
(Visual annotations and online proofing tools in CELUM, an advanced brand management platform.)

Brand templates

One of the biggest challenges with brand assets is that stakeholders might want to create their own branded content. Unfortunately, this usually involves following their own creative sense and disregarding brand guidelines.

The result is often assets that, although containing brand elements, completely misrepresent the brand and organisation. 

A robust BAM platform like CELUM offers capabilities that help protect brand integrity while enabling stakeholders to create their own assets when needed. 

CELUM offers Brand Templates, for example, that allow others to create branded assets while maintaining full control over how the brand is used and represented. 

(Example of customisation options on a Brand Template in CELUM.)

Why Use a BAM Platform

We mentioned several BAM benefits in this guide already but I think these are worth reiterating.

  • With BAM, relevant teams can find and locate all brand assets easily. 
  • They can quickly locate logos in the format or size that fits their campaign or collateral. 
  • BAM facilitates easy access to the most recent brand imagery and the brand guidebook, too. And they can do that without having to sift through other people’s hard drives or ask other teams to supply the right asset.
  • Thanks to BAM, organizations can ensure high brand consistency across all communication and marketing channels, and do that without the fear of someone using a Finally, BAM systems let you set up expiry dates for assets and use version control to always have the most up-to-date asset available for teams to use.

What Is DAM (Digital Asset Management System)

BAM focuses on helping organisations manage their brand assets.DAM, on the other hand, is all about managing digital assets. 

But aren’t these assets the same?

Well, yes, but only to some degree. 

It’s true that many brand assets are also digital assets. Consider these, for example:

  • Logos
  • Corporate imagery
  • Product images
  • Other graphics, images, and videos.

 

Each of these would be a file. You can open it on your computer, view, edit, save, incorporate in other projects, and so on. 

However, there are also many other brand assets that would not fall into this category. 

For example:

  • Brand guidelines. Although these can be stored as a digital file, guidelines are actually a set of principles that govern how the brand is used and represented. 
  • Brand elements such as colours or fonts
  • The tone of voice. 
  • Brand values that describe what the brand stands for, 
  • Brand differentiation, equity, and more.
  •  

Even though you might store some of these in tangible ways – as text files, for example – they focus more on presenting ideas or concepts rather than actual assets.

DAM platforms can, therefore, help store and organise tangible brand assets (logos, images, videos, etc.). 

However, these tools cannot help manage the entire brand. 

Key features of DAM:

Asset repository

A typical DAM platform will provide a centralised hub to store, organise, and manage all digital assets. I like to think of this feature as the opposite of a set of shared hard drives. Instead of having files scattered across all those drives, with DAM, you store them in a single location, making it easy for everyone to access whatever files they need.

Search and retrieval

Because a DAM is, de facto, a complex file repository system, it usually comes with robust and powerful search capabilities. These features often utilise metadata, folders, tags, and other strategies to ensure that everyone can find relevant assets quickly.

Version control

A big challenge when working with digital assets is ensuring that only the latest versions of files are used in projects. Version control capabilities help you manage files and allow access only to relevant versions. 

Workflow management and online proofing

Because DAM plays a role in managing tangible assets, the platform also facilitates the creation and approval of new files. From project and workflow management to reviews and approvals, DAM platforms can help streamline the content production process.

Benefits of using a DAM platform

Having digital asset management software in place helps:

  • Ensure all stakeholders can access and collaborate on assets quickly and easily,
  • Shorten the time teams would spend looking for relevant assets for their projects,
  • Significantly reduce errors and mistakes in content production.
  • Prevent unauthorized asset use or having teams use the wrong file version by mistake.

So, Isn’t DAM basically a limited version of BAM?

Yes, exactly. 

Both BAM and DAM facilitate managing digital assets. 

But only BAM allows you to also manage the entire brand experience, and ensure that your brand is represented correctly across all communication channels, marketing campaigns, and customer touch points. 

Do you need both BAM and DAM?

No, you don’t.

In most cases, you just need a brand management platform (BAM). 

The platform will provide you with all features of DAM anyway. But it will also help you manage all non-tangible aspects of the brand:

  • Strategy
  • Communications
  • Positioning
  • Differentiation
  • Content production, and more. 
 

The only time when you’d choose only DAM is if you’re looking for a tool to just help you manage digital assets but without any regard for how that might affect your brand management as well. 

Are you looking for a BAM platform? Consider CELUM, the most advanced brand management platform today. 

Here’s how to get started:

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