Digital Asset Alchemy: Turning DAM into Brand Management Gold
This feature article has been kindly contributed by Image Relay’s Director of Product, Jeff Olsen.
Your business sits at the center of an ever-expanding digital asset vortex, with creative materials— logos, product images, videos, and everything else needed to manage a strong brand—constantly swirling around you. Although harnessing this relentless influx is vital to effectively managing your brand, it’s not always easy. A well-planned digital asset management (DAM) strategy organizes the creative storm into orderly workflows so your most important, most up-to-date digital resources are always at the fingertips of the internal teams and brand partners that need them to tell a consistent and compelling brand story.
Here’s how DAM can support brand management:
1) DAM establishes a centralized single source of truth.
Left unmanaged, digital assets are subject to profound entropy. Myriad teams and brand partners constantly access branding materials, those materials undergo constant iteration—from creative asset refreshes to new brand campaign launches—and disorganization is the natural result unless corralled by a stabilizing force.
Brands with no digital asset management structure to speak of end up with assets scattered across network drives, siloed within departments, or lost in a muddle of email attachments. Poor management can make it difficult to find any particular brand asset, let alone the latest version that’s supposed to be the one used. When those misplaced or out-of-date assets are customer-facing materials integral to forming an experience, brands confuse customers and undo marketers’ work of trying to deliver focused messaging. When the wrong digital assets are sent to agencies or other business partners, you can add professional embarrassment to that list. Unfortunately, research finds that 47% of brands publish off-brand content at least a few times per year.
A smart DAM strategy alleviates these brand management challenges by providing a fully centralized, unequivocal single source of truth for internal teams and brand partners to access. Successfully building and maintaining brand recognition and loyalty with customers, as well as with brand partners, means actively defending your brand’s integrity—and that means making sure that the right assets are utilized within the correct brand guidelines. Centralizing the point of access for digital brand assets is essential to achieving consistency, enforcing on-brand usage, and delivering intentional brand experiences at every customer touchpoint.
2) DAM pairs with always-accurate product information.
Cohesive brand experiences and omnichannel strategies depend on alignment, and that means accounting for up-to-date product data. While visually striking creative assets grab attention, precise product details establish trust and clarity. Without accurate product information across every consumer touchpoint, even the most compelling brand vision quickly runs aground. For these reasons, a DAM strategy for brand management must also account for product data—the SKUs, prices, descriptions, ingredients, measurements, etc. Focusing only on digital assets is incomplete.
Even strong creative partnerships can falter without a firm foundation of accurate product details. Many brands wrestle product data into spreadsheets and email blasts, copying disjointed strands of information between teams. This web of distributed data and siloed tactics invites errors and delays that fracture brand experiences at every touchpoint. Accounting for product information as part of a DAM strategy, however, ensures those details remain synchronized and accessible across channels. Automated and accurate data feeds link together creative assets and hard product specifications, maintaining your brand narrative from flashy digital assets to, well, less-flashy-but-no-less-critical pricing, packaging, and compliance documentation.
3) DAM enables brand agility.
Trends flash and disappear in an instant, and the windows to build and iterate brand campaigns are shorter and shorter. For brands to succeed, how they create and deploy engaging brand assets must keep up. Campaigns that may have previously changed monthly or weekly now may need to be updated daily—if not more often.
A unified DAM strategy is the path to meeting this brand management goal. Siloed workflows and fragmented asset creation channels add considerable delay. But with collaboration centralized and asset needs anticipated, teams and partners can instead fire on all cylinders. For example, automated templates—already pre-approved for brand consistency—empower teams to refresh campaigns, social posts, and websites in minutes. On the more technical side, APIs should be able to connect otherwise disparate channels for faster, unified multi-platform asset delivery. Being able to seize windows the instant they open is only going to become more critical, and brands that understand how DAM fits into this will be better equipped to succeed.
4) DAM locks down access to keep teams and partners on-brand.
Last—and certainly the least sexy in the DAM-meets-brand-management discussion—is DAM’s critical role in ensuring that internal and external users can only access the assets that they should be able to. Many, many brand management mistakes are still caused by outdated or ineffective access controls for key assets. But by managing asset use via customized permissions, each user (whether internal or brand partner) can access only the correct and up-to-date versions of assets—and only those pertinent to them. As a best practice, adding additional signposts—including metadata and tags on each asset in your centralized DAM system—will make it clear exactly which use case and channel an asset is designed to fulfill. Beyond those usage terms labeled on each asset, brand managers should also use access controls to enforce when new brand content is available to go live, and when it expires and becomes inaccessible.
Overcome brand growing pains
Evolving from siloed storage tools, new-era DAM drives directly to the heart of brand growth itself. More than mere file managers, these are instruments that synchronize strategies across teams, technology, and consumer touchpoints. Wise brands recognize DAM’s potential not just to organize digital chaos, but to unlock creativity, accelerate campaign velocity, and amplify channel reach.
Yet without strategy and governance woven through its fabric, even the shiniest DAM loses luster. True success requires embracing DAM as a core business driver. Think beyond the digital library, and envision the role DAM plays in coordinating assets, campaigns, and platforms as a single conduit for brand management and expression. This broader mandate liberates DAM from mere maintenance duties and positions DAM as a guiding force to amplify brand integrity. With clear guardrails and governance, simplicity and flexibility need not be opposing forces. Brands that have mapped the interwoven dynamics between assets, information, and audiences are best poised to optimize DAM capabilities and manage compelling brand experiences.
About Jeff Olsen
Jeff Olsen is the Director of Product at Image Relay, whose customers use its technology to store, access, and share product information and digital assets. Jeff joined Image Relay in 2021 and moved to his current role last year. Previously, he held sales and solutions engineering roles at the revenue intelligence platform InsightSquared and sales intelligence tool Chorus.ai (since acquired by ZoomInfo).
You can connect with Jeff via his LinkedIn profile.Share this Article: