Manage the workflow of brand assets

1. Conduct a brand audit with the goal of locating and sorting brand assets.

To locate brand assets, look through file storage systems and shared drives and ask coworkers from your department and support teams. Focus on the assets that are commonly used or may be used again in future projects. Follow a brand audit template or create your own to assess whether each asset fits into your brand image and is up-to-date. Record the file type, topic, and target audience.

2. Select the brand assets you want to store in a centralized location for future use.

Example criteria for stored brand assets: Necessary for internal and external collaborators to access. Used frequently. Fits brand image. The most recent version: if you also plan on archiving old brand assets, mark assets as current or inactive. Part of an image, icon, or reference library.

3. Assess and choose brand asset management (BAM) software based on your company's needs.

For example: Bynder: stores brand assets and guidelines, offers creative workflow, collaboration, file distribution, access and rights control, customer support, and more. Asset Bank: an easy-to-use asset management system that is popular for companies with global markets. Drawbacks are a lack of change management and high price point. Frontify: offers project collaboration, integration with design software, security, insights, and stores assets and guidelines. Brandfolder: offers creative workflow, version control, insights, approval, and digital rights management.  More options: Brandkit,, Percolate, and Brandworkz. Although it’s not designed for managing brand assets, a free option is Google Drive.

4. Standardize file names and create an organization system to store brand assets.

Example file name formats: [project name]-[asset type]-[version number] [campaign]-2022-[project name]-[version number] [project name]-[file type]-[color]-[version number] A common directory structure is [owner team]/[asset type]/[category or topic]/[asset].

5. Create brand usage guidelines and a resource list to share with collaborators.

Brand usage guidelines establish establish consistency across brand style, voice, and messaging. Include rules for: Logo design, spacing, variations Typography Colors Imagery Templates Copywriting Social media avatars and icons Usage rights Approved places to find more images, icons, or fonts. For example, Netflix’s brand asset guidelines say exactly what shade of red to use, what color backgrounds are and aren’t acceptable with their logo, and where to never put their logo, like on a doormat or disposable cup. Netflix may have more complex internal guidelines, but this publicly accessible assets guidelines is concise and straightforward for its audience. Netflix also leaves a contact email for all brand usage questions.

6. Determine access levels and choose privacy settings for each collaborator.

Your team will include different roles and access levels: Administrators: your admin will be in charge of controlling the asset workflow, including answering brand usage questions, granting access, and sending brand usage guidelines, resources, and instructions to collaborators.  Internal collaborators: this is a department or entire company. Internal collaborators may have full or limited access to the BAM system. Admin can grant full access upon assignment. External collaborators: freelancers, contractors, and external stakeholders fit into this category. They usually have limited or no access until it’s sent directly to them. Use your BAM software to set privacy settings for each asset and grant access to collaborators.

7. Create a standardized process for version control to allow collaborators make changes to assets without the risk of losing the original or losing track of which version is the most up to date.

For example, your version control process may include: Duplicating the asset and changing the name to the next version number. Requiring each collaborator to leave comments explaining any changes made to an asset. Recording the name of the collaborator and date of each asset use. Limiting access for work-in-progress assets to specific team members. Many BAM software services have built-in version control systems that streamline and automate this process.

8. Streamline the review and approval process by assigning administrative roles and creating a sign-off system.

Before an asset is used and published, there should be a person or multiple people that review it and grant approval. Assign approval roles to team members or roles. For example, this may be head of marketing, a marketing team member, a representative from legal, or even the company owner depending on the size and needs of your company. Reviewers can leave comments, markup workflows, or grant permission for publication through BAM software tools.