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Brand management

Empowered Brand Management for Direct Sales and Franchise Marketers

June 10 2023 | By Rod Lowe | Blog

For direct sales and franchise marketers, identity control and ease of use are keys to growing profits.

Brand identity management is critical for companies that sell directly to consumers through distributors and franchisees. Marketing teams invest valuable time and resources to create top-notch content. Creating collateral that features consistent colors, typographic fonts, and design elements can create a sense of brand familiarity among consumers. This familiarity exists regardless of the entity from which they purchase goods and services.

However, if salespeople can’t find and use the right content quickly and effectively, all that effort is wasted. Plus, delays and off-brand content can have a negative impact, even leading to revenue loss. Research has shown the consistent presentation of a brand can increase revenue by up to 33%. Fortunately, existing software solutions can solve sales findability issues and control branding while providing salespeople with the autonomy to choose their marketing tactics and timing.

Most brand keepers believe maintaining consistency is important when generating leads and communicating with existing customers, yet eight of ten companies still deal with off-brand issues. “Companies will continue to struggle with [this] as demand for content continues to grow …,” warns Owen Fuller, general manager of Marq (formerly Lucidpress).

Marketing-ready templates include locking parameters that prevent human error (and lack of design judgment). Other tools, including Tecra System’s AccuConnect™, allow for easy access to approved marketing materials. Multiple franchises can “localize” content without committing dreaded corporate I.D. and/or logo trademark violations!

Sales-Marketing Alignment and AI

If time is money and speed to market can slay the competition, then eliminating redundancies and streamlining workflow are critical to sales success. Normally, the back-and-forth process of updating assets and changing out copy (and selecting photos from “galleries”) can be extremely time-consuming tasks, particularly for reps at franchised operations with multiple locations. In contrast, large brands and franchise clients who order marketing materials via a platform powered by systems like AccuConnect can save hundreds of hours per week. AccuConnect™ software allows franchise owners to take control of their brands. To manage assets more efficiently, the sales-engagement platform creates an environment (or “storefront”) where salespeople can engage with all the content the marketing folks create.

As templates become more commonplace for marketing, including social-media posts, the role of artificial intelligence (AI) is increasing. Can chatbots like ChatGPT go rogue? “Overall, I think AI is good for business, despite the legal complexities,” states Katie Krongard, an associate creative director at Marq, which now has an entire team dedicated to the developing technology.

“We are a big user of Grammarly [software],” she reports. The cloud-based typing assistant reviews written content for spelling, grammar, punctuation, and clarity. It also allows users to customize style, tone, and context-specific language, which Krongard believes ChatGPT is taking to the next level. “I also think Google is going to get very smart,” she adds.

Still, AI is only a tool, and it needs a human being to personalize content. “You have to make it work for your brand,” Krongard concludes. “We think of brand enablement as a strategy.” True I.D. power comes from centralizing branded assets and making them quickly accessible to everyone within an organization, “not just to the designers.”