In the News
Interbrand Appoints Tim Newby as Chief Executive Officer of BrandWizard
New York, NY (8 April 2013) – Interbrand, the world’s leading brand consultancy, announced today that Tim Newby has been named Chief Executive Officer of BrandWizard, the digital arm of Interbrand that combines brand and Digital Asset Management (DAM) to bring technology solutions to brand management challenges. Read more...
BrandWizard attend BRITE conference
Business Development Manager Kristen Selinger recently attended the 2013 BRITE Conference hosted by the Columbia Business School Center on Brand Leadership. Click here to read about her experience and takeaways from this inspirational event- most notably, addressing the conference's running theme of how organizations can master data analysis- to survive in a digital world.
Gartner cites BrandWizard a niche player in 'Magic Quadrant for Marketing Resource Management' report
BrandWizard, the brand management systems specialist within Interbrand, the world's leading brand consultancy, is pleased to announce that they have been recognized by Gartner in their 'Magic Quadrant for Resource Management' report. Published January 30th, 2013, the report assesses a company's ability to orchestrate and optimize internal and external marketing resources, commonly referred to as Market Resource Management (MRM). The MRM Magic Quadrant model evaluates organizations on each of MRM's core competency areas, including:
- Planning and budgeting for marketing activities and programs (strategic planning and financial management)
- Creating and developing marketing programs and content (creative production management)
- Collecting and managing content and knowledge (digital assets, content and knowledge management)
- Fulfilling and distributing marketing assets, content and collateral (marketing fulfillment)
- Measuring, analyzing and optimizing marketing performance (MRM analytics)
Commenting on BrandWizard's inclusion on Gartner's 'Magic Quadrant', Louise Gillis, Director of Strategic Consulting at BrandWizard said, "We are thrilled to be recognized by Garter for a second consecutive year. A milestone of our growth in the past year has been the creation of a new prepackaged solution, allowing for faster speed to market and cost savings as well as our new product offering of Virtual Workspaces where creative teams can share works-in-progress, comment, and collaborate in real-time."
Acting as the digital arm of Interbrand Corporation since 1998, BrandWizard combines branding and Digital Asset Management (DAM) to bring technology solutions to brand management challenges. While DAM is certainly not a new concept, we believe it is evolving from a basic storage space for brand guidelines and elements to collaborative marketing workspaces. As the leading provider if brand management platforms, BrandWizard is on the forefront of this shift in the market. For the past 15 years, BrandWizard has built customized brand portal solutions for global and multi-brand organizations. Our extensive experience informs our best-in-class core offering: an off-the-shelf Brand Center built with your primary requirements in mind.
For more information on Gartner's 'Magic Quadrant for Marketing Resource Management' report please visit www.gartner.com
For more information on BrandWizard, please contact Louise Gillis
Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner's research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.
BrandWizard Hosts Annual Lunar New Year Celebration: Year of the Snake
Each year BrandWizard throws a celebration commemorating the Lunar New Year with our Interbrand colleagues. A big deal in New York City, this global holiday is a vibrant event full of color, lights and culture. BrandWizard provided a slice of holiday spirit with a Chinese lunch followed by a presentation showcasing our exciting work. This year, our Sales & Marketing team shed the spotlight on our progress with premier client HBO, showcasing our cutting-edge, inspiring work. Festivities concluded with a lighthearted analysis of our colleague's Chinese Zodiac signs--- which one are you? We wish those celebrating a Happy New Year and may the Year of the Snake be a prosperous one.
BrandWizard Published in the Journal of Digital Media Management
BrandWizard's former CEO and current contributor Robin Rusch was recently published in the Journal of Digital Media Management! The paper focuses on how consumer behavior can drive innovation in the asset management space by employing advances in technology from artificial intelligence and natural language processing to the popularity of massive open online classes and social media. Read the full article here.
BrandWizard Nominated for Three DAMMY Awards
BrandWizard are proud to announce three DAMMY Awards nominations - the annual industry specific awards ceremony recognizing excellence in the digital asset management space.
Best Example of Asset & Media Repurposing
Best Strategy Ease of Use for End-User Interface
DAMMY of the Year
Stay tuned in the coming weeks when winners are announced!
BrandWizard Attends Agile UX NYC 2012 Conference
Last month, BrandWizard’s design and programming teams attended the Agile UX NYC 2012 Conference. Marking its NYC debut, the event focused on how to create great user experiences within an Agile development environment. Stakeholders, product managers, creative directors, UX designers, programmers and anyone interested in enhancing product creation were in attendance. Agile UX community leaders presented, covering topics such as team building, process design, customer research, usability testing, design studios and user story writing.
Some viable takeaways included:
Waterfall vs Agile
- Traditionally, many development teams use a waterfall methodology in which each phase of a project “cascades” down to completion (i.e. scoping, designing, development, testing, and handoff). By adapting an Agile/Lean process, companies give themselves the ability to respond to changing client expectations quicker and more effectively with the use of predetermined “sprints”.
Replacing requirements with hypotheses
- According to Josh Seiden (Founder and Principal at Proof), creating a hypothesis around what a user wants or needs allows for greater creativity in solving a problem, whereas requirements tend to be more concrete and specific.
- Example of requirement, [as taken from the presentation], could be to create an Internet Mouse that people can use when surfing the internet on their TV from the couch.
- Example of hypothesis is stating that there is a belief that people will pay for a device that makes internet surfing easier and more fun, from the living room couch, in front of the TV.
From these examples it can be seen that the hypothesis doesn’t explicitly state what to build but instead focuses on the problem and leaves it up to the team to collaborate and brainstorm to determine what solution best fits the need.
This was the hit topic of the day. Several speakers, including conference co-chair, Will Evans (Manager, Enterprise User Experience Design at TheLadders.com), Andres Glusman (VP Insights & Strategy at Meetup.com) and Tomer Sharon (User Experience Researcher at Google), all gave presentations on this topic. There were several different methodologies and ideas behind usability testing.
- Andres Glusman presented us with the idea of the Malkovich Bias which simply implies that we have a tendency to believe that everyone uses technology the way that we do. By setting up usability testing teams we get a chance to see how users are actually using the system and adapt development accordingly. His team at Meetup.com will have 600-800 usability sessions this year which will only cost about $30k in total!
- Will Evans spoke on how to effectively use and conduct focus groups.
- Tomer Sharon shared his experience as a User Experience Researcher at Google. He mentioned that he helped his team understand the needs of their users by having “Field Fridays” where members of the development team travel to a client site to see how they use the tool in their environment.
Visit http://agileuxnyc.com/presentations/ to see slideshows of the presentations given and to learn more.■
Contributors: Tamara Bowman, Terri Neal & Mariya Ivanova
Digital Sector Predictions
Robin Rusch, BrandWizard CEO, provides 2012 industry insight: that brands will be valued for helping us make everyday choices in the face of big data.
“It's not the customer's job to know what he wants.” So said Steve Jobs; yet the last decade has demanded just this from the customer. Content and product overload burden the consumer, paralyze decision making, and devalue the product. Delivery options based on data-mining through consumer behavior patterns narrow rather than broaden the customer’s exposure.
We’ve always benefitted by having assistance in our choice making. A brand owner, a product dealer or a content editor curates a selection of options, and depending on service level, is on hand to help us make a decision. Successful brand owners and businesses built reputation by offering inside knowledge fueled by a passion for the topic.
The last decade’s rise of aggregators—businesses built around collecting existing content or product and offering it cheaply or freely en masse—redefines our choice making and eliminates the role of curators. Google puts endless results at your mouse click; Yelp locates businesses based on proximity; and Amazon offers any product under the sun, generally at the lowest prices.
Aggregators reduce data overload by using behavioral tracking and relational sorting (“if you liked this, you may also like that”). Google narrows our search options based on popularity of choices overall and your own choices on past clickthroughs. Netflix awarded a $1m prize in 2009 for the team that revised its algorithm “to connect people to the movies they love” by breaking the final 10% success rate on matching a title with a viewer (a conundrum referred to as the Napoleon Dynamite effect).
These entities narrow our choices by offering up selections likely to appeal based on past behavior or on social search, which mines your social network’s behavior to intuit your own preference. A search engine without a smart sort is simply unworkable; intuitive search enables the user to find exactly what he wanted.
So if you know what you want or you want what you’ve always had, you’re in luck. But what happens when we only get what we expect and know? These systems don’t broaden our exposure to the new or unknown. In fact, our worldview, our general openness, our exposure narrows against our own limitations every time we make a choice on an aggregator. Those wishing to broaden their tastes or knowledge either assume the burden of becoming expert or they seek a guide or a curator to sort and advise.
Aggregators pose another threat to the role of the trusted guide. They drive down value and in some cases cut out the brand or producer altogether. This is starkly evident in publishing, where readers skirt pay walls by finding free published material or simply avail themselves of amateur alternatives (eg, opinion blogs replace journalism). But it also stands true for product sold through aggregators like Amazon, where manufacturers sell their product below or near cost (threatening sustainability and, typically, the brand promise); in some cases the mega-retailer eventually does away with the brand altogether and offers a house brand instead. For 15 years, Amazon provided a cheap, mega-stocked alternative to the bricks and mortar bookstore; this autumn, they replaced the need for publishers with Self Publish.
All this would seem to benefit the consumer. Choice, control, cheap, these are concepts we’re programmed to value. If Amazon can offer great publishing, why would we object? But is Amazon offering great publishing? Can it be trusted to help me choose the perfect omelet skillet, the right memory chip, and a good read by a new author? No, and it doesn’t offer to; it merely sorts options by what I or other people like me chose in the past. The echo chamber can be a comfort or it can be claustrophobic.
For all those motivated solely by cheap, there are also those overwhelmed by choice, those without the time or interest in becoming expert in every decision, and those who truly wish to be delighted by new discoveries. As we emerge from this century’s tweens, the need for brands, curators, editors or trendsetters to inform and expose choice to the customer is huge. Their value will be welcome for lessening the burden of decision making, simplifying our lives, and at the same time broadening our input and experiences beyond our own limitations.■
The ROI of Smart Brand Management:
Harnessing the power of digital systems for a stronger brand
Simon Ward, BrandWizard Business Development Director, explains.
For organizations of all kinds, consistency in brand expression is one of the most important benchmarks for success. As touchpoints increase and consumers become more sophisticated and perceptive, brand managers play an increasingly essential role by ensuring a cohesive experience at every stop along the customer journey.
With this in mind, Interbrand and its digital asset management systems specialist, BrandWizard, conducted research into what brand managers felt they were missing from their current systems and what sort of improvements they longed for. What resulted was a thorough discussion on exactly what consistency is and how digital asset management (DAM) systems can help them achieve it.
Getting it right the first time, all the time
Consistency is defined as the degree to which a brand is experienced without fail across all touchpoints and formats. In a perfect world, a brand is expressed the exact same way in New York City as it is in New South Wales. In reality, implementation is a constant challenge, sapping both time and budgets as mistakes are fixed, best practices are put into place, and employees are trained on the importance of staying on brand. When a company operates in multiple categories and geographies, the chances of an inconsistency hurting brand value rise exponentially.
What’s in the toolbox?
Guidelines and templates have been the brand manager’s traditional allies, providing official standards to ensure the legacy color always matches and the paper stock delivers the right impression. Unfortunately, with an ever-expanding catalog of touchpoints, these tools often lack the flexibility needed to guarantee a consistent experience wherever the brand is encountered.
In a recent survey, Interbrand approached a number of brand managers about their current asset management systems; nearly half said they were less than satisfied and saw significant room for improvement. The survey clearly showed that most managers fully appreciate the importance of effective systems to maintain a consistent brand. In response, more and more brand managers are looking to DAM systems for help. Similar to a company’s intranet, these online platforms provide a centralized resource for employees at every level of an organization to learn about the brand and access the tools needed to deliver on it efficiently and effectively.
It takes years of effort to build value in a brand, but only moments to diminish it. Something as seemingly minor as using a previous version of a logo or the wrong typeface in a piece of signage can suggest a company that lacks discipline and doesn’t pay attention to the details. In a world rich in backlash through blogs, Twitter feeds and photo-sharing sites, the damage can be instantaneous and immense.
DAM systems are designed, however, to prevent mistakes like these and countless others by providing a central repository of the latest identity assets, as well as guidelines and templates on how to use them. Easy to access and navigate, these platforms can provide valuable assistance by eliminating guesswork and freeing brand managers from fielding countless questions on what is approved and what is obsolete. With less policing and fewer mistakes to fix, brand managers can then realize significant savings to their budgets
while having more time to maximize the value of the brand.
The right proportions
With each organization’s unique needs, there is no such thing as one-size-fits-all, or even one-size-fits-most. The advantage of a digital asset management system is that its size and structure can be precisely tailored to the needs of the brand. By eliminating unnecessary sections and functionality, users find it easier to navigate content and locate only the assets they need for their project or their role. As a company expands its portfolio or moves into new markets, the system can scale proportionally to meet a greater range of needs and assist more employees in delivering a consistent brand experience.
For companies launching or re-launching brands on a global scale, DAM systems can be essential to ensuring rollout is seamless and by the numbers, saving precious resources and extending implementation budgets further.
Think about who’s using it
Traditionally, online tools have been designed around functionality and developed to include the maximum number of features, leaving the user experience a secondary concern. Not surprisingly, this approach often leaves less savvy tech users intimidated and looking for ways to avoid logging on.
As DAM design has progressed, a smooth, easy–to–engage interface has become a critical component equal in importance to content and functionality. Brand managers have learned that the simpler it is to access and navigate an online platform, the more likely users are to embrace it. Because better-designed DAM systems feature the same look and feel and ease of use as popular websites, employees are more comfortable with the system, meaning a higher rate of adoption, a better return on investment and a more consistently delivered brand as a result.
A well-implemented DAM system can fundamentally change the way employees work by providing a centralized workflow management tool. By hosting essential documents, tracking project phases, updating delivery schedules, monitoring resources and more – often on a minute-by-minute basis – it can become a master resource that focuses every employee’s efforts.
With this greater transparency, it is easier to spot inefficiencies – and with them money-saving opportunities – meaning a brand can get to market faster and enjoy a significant advantage over the competition.
Now with more value
Many brand managers are using DAM systems for more than storing files and documents. They are also using them to deliver content in multiple formats and therefore extending its value.
For example, a DAM system can be instrumental in managing a piece of collateral by making it easy to track versions and provide access to the document, as well as facilitate communication between the relevant groups.
One example is an employee’s original thought piece written on behalf of the brand. The draft of the article is entered in its original form into the DAM system where versions are tracked, and other groups, such as editors, web specialists and designers, can easily access the document. By also facilitating communication between these various groups, the DAM system makes it simple to translate the collateral across media, from journal to web to case study to archive.
Rather than an asset repository, many brand managers are thinking of these platforms as content delivery systems, and inviting various groups in their organizations to use them as such. In the process, they reach more people and realize more value than they could before.
What it adds up to
With more effective systems in place – systems that take into account the exact needs of the brand and employee usage – brand managers foresee a dramatic rate of adoption and with it, greater consistency in their brand expressions as a result.
One of the benefits, of course, is a stronger, more authoritative brand, one that is clearly differentiated from its competitors, and whose offerings are preferred in the marketplace, in short a brand worthy of the loyalty of its customers.
But there are more immediate benefits as well, especially ROI. Through a well-designed DAM system, process and output efficiency can increase dramatically, preserving operational budgets from the constant drain of traditional implementation and management strategies.
Once in place, a DAM system can even bring about cultural changes by promoting internal understanding of the brand, its goals and how to deliver on it. With the brand playing such a central role in everyone’s day-to-day work, it becomes easier than ever for brand managers to ensure the consistent expressions that are so critical to a successful
Technology in Practice: Where Companies Fall Short
Robin Rusch, BrandWizard CEO, explains how organizations functioning in the 21st century need to aim their brand management systems towards the future, too.
Last week I was the guest at a global organization in a sunny dateline city. Invited to talk about digital asset management systems, I entered a business park of 20 buildings, all humming under the same master brand.
The underground parking lot displayed a scrolling ribbon stock ticker above parked cars, reminding visitors of the immutable bond between time and money.
The elevator opened to reception where way-finder robots crouched ready to escort visitors around the sleek interiors. Presented with a temporary keycard synced to allow only my unique path, I was whisked across campus by shuttlebus, delivered at yet another checkpoint, up another elevator, cruised through corridors of nameless employees, and eventually arrived at a conference room where scheduling was timed to within a second of the day.
All as you might expect at a highly-functioning global organization, which requires absolute synchronicity to orchestrate a +4.5 billion dollar brand.
Then the meeting with corporate branding began and 21st century progress ground to a halt.
Asked about the process for brand management across the regions or business units, the brand manager stared blankly, eventually settling on a weak smile. “Well, there’s me… and in the summer, we have an intern.”
How’s that working out?
The state-of-the-art methods for communicating and exchanging files across the brand management department of this global organization involve email, dropbox, cd-roms (remember those?), and telephone.
She allowed that some of the regions were not always compliant. No kidding?!
That’s basically 1.5 people responsible for deploying a global brand and all its sub-brands across regions, business units, sponsorships, audiences, three major languages, and new acquisitions (this organization acquires companies more often than most people floss). Add the other challenges of managing a brand such as gaining sign off, approving local realizations, and educating local colleagues on execution, and I wondered how she even had time for our meeting.
Could technology help the brand communications department?
Leaving the building, I asked one of the way-finding robots. It beeped furiously, turned three times and slumped over.■
Proud Sponsor, Energizing Exhibitor & Informative Presenter:
BrandWizard's June 2011 New York DAM Conference Experience
BrandWizard attended their first New York DAM Conference, revealing their brand-strengthening digital asset management (DAM) system. The June 2011 event brought together influential practitioners with diverse DAM system experience, who shared their insights from the midst of this industry evolution. BrandWizard actively took on the roles of proud sponsor, energizing exhibitor and informative presenter.
Alongside other digital asset management companies, BrandWizard shined with their ‘on brand’ eye-catching red booth, making it a destination for all those in attendance. BrandWizard’s welcoming attitude paralleled directly with their position as ‘the company that gets brand’, system consultants, integrators and providers. Simon Ward, BrandWizard’s Business Development Director, and Layne Moon, Global Brand Manager at Visa, (a BrandWizard client), shared their insights presenting. Their discussion centered on ‘how DAM systems measurably build brand value’, sharing their ‘respective methodologies, best practices and real world examples'. Simon’s rousing presentation discussed how brand management systems contribute to brand consistency and how this, in the aspects of brand’s strength, relates to the overall brand value. Research results reinforced the significance of this distinct approach as well as the descriptive overview of how Visa, a ‘Best Global Brand’, uses their brand management system and its correlation to brand value. Layne Moon shared her expertise about Visa’s brand management system and reviewed a case study and demo with the audience. Louise Gillis, BrandWizard’s Director of Strategic Consulting, discussed ‘best practice usability’ and explained BrandWizard’s vision of how to truly engage users with intuition and collaboration. Simon, Layne and Louise were a power trio who promoted BrandWizard’s value within the DAM world.
BrandWizard has stepped into a new era, unveiling their services at a level which matches and furthers that of any technology-based company. They thoroughly displayed their system’s digital asset management capabilities and exuded a forward-thinking mentality to keep up and keep ahead in their systems enhancements---reflecting the needs of this constantly changing technological world.■
DAM systems measurably build brand value.
Come hear BrandWizard and Visa discuss the merits of brand management and
provide best practices using real world examples.
the annual Best Global Brands report issued by Interbrand, BrandWizard will
analyze how brand management systems and operations directly contribute to
brand consistency, and where this aspect of a brand’s strength relates to its
overall brand value. Our research will demonstrate how global brands manage their
systems and operations, and how this correlates to brand value performance.
Global Brand Visa,
a BrandWizard client, will present how their brand management systems
interrelate with their overall global brand management “modus operandi,” sharing
advanced system enhancements, recent initiatives and best practice.
Come learn how brand management can contribute to overall brand value creation
at this year’s DAM conference in New York.■
BrandWizard Business Development Director, Simon Ward, to speak at
June 2011 DAM NY Conference with Longtime Client, Visa
How DAM systems measurably build brand value: Interbrand and Visa share their respective methodologies, best practices and real world examples.
Unlock the potential of Brand Consistency. How does it build brand value? How can you measure brand value? How can you use brand value as a guide for improving brand management operations?
Interbrand, the world’s leading brand consultancy, will demonstrate how brand management systems can build measurable brand value. As the recognized authority on brand valuation and publishers of the annual Best Global Brands report, Interbrand will share analysis that shows how brand management systems and operations directly contribute to brand consistency, and how this aspect of a brand’s strength relates to an overall brand value. They will furthermore share the results of research undertaken in 2011 into how global brands manage their systems and operations and how this correlates to brand value performance.
Visa, the global payments technology company, an Interbrand client and a ‘Best Global Brand’, will present how their brand management systems interrelate with their overall global brand management ‘modus operandi’, sharing advanced system enhancements, learning from recent initiatives and best practice, contributing to overall brand value creation.
Learn more about the conference here.■
'Visionary' BrandWizard Featured in Annual Gartner Report
BrandWizard is proud to be included in leading technology analyst, Gartner’s annual report. Not only does this report influence all fragments of the industry, from prospects and beyond, but it speaks highly of BrandWizard being one of 18 companies included, thrusting us in the top tier of digital technology companies. This report positions BrandWizard in the 'Visionary' quadrant, which highlights our flexibility accompanied with the depth of functionality provided in our work. We look forward to Gartner’s 2012 highlight of BrandWizard’s further accomplishments!■
BrandWizard Celebrates Year of the Rabbit
It’s an annual tradition that BrandWizard New York hosts a Chinese New Year celebration and this year was no exception! With all of BrandWizard under one roof literally, New York, Zurich & London came together to hold a lunchtime gathering celebrating the Year of the Rabbit complete with an informational presentation of BrandWizard’s current offerings and positioning and of course… Chinese food! Those born under this sign should know it’s a year to shine while being cautious, and it rings true for BrandWizard and the exciting year we have ahead. The central attraction was a Flash animation by Tamara Bowman, Senior Web Developer, and music selected by Wenjun Wu, Software Engineer, that reflected The Year of the Rabbit defying last year’s Tiger. This perfectly represents BrandWizard’s bright year ahead, a fun way to intertwine our skills while informing about all BrandWizard has to offer.
Click here to see BrandWizard celebrating the Year of the Rabbit.■
Click here to see BrandWizard's CEO, Robin Rusch's predictions for 2011.■
TD Brand Center Refreshed
TD Marketing Tools is a site that encompasses both a Brand Center and a Collateral Wizard. The TD Brand Center was recently updated to reflect their newly refreshed brand. New functionality has been added to the site to allow users to download a suite of logos at once, as well as watch various commercials and see their best of grand gallery in one central location. The new design gives the site a nice clean look and increases the usability. The TD Wizard was also updated to have a new search feature, helping users more easily find marketing pieces they would like to customize.
Hyatt Asset Library Enhancement Launch
Hyatt, a long-time client, asked us to freshen-up the user experience for their Hyatt Brand Manager site. In particular they were looking for easier browsing, bookmarking and downloading. We introduced an updated and refreshed interface that guides the user through the asset libraries.■
Award Winning Website Development
For Vienna Airport we created a new design, site architecture/navigation and reworked functionality (e.g. interactive airport map) to drive more traffic (through search engine optimization) and user engagement as well as winning the Total Digital TV-Media Award.
Brand Building Technology & Animation
For Hugo Boss, we created an ‘Interactive Window’ which lured pedestrians to the shop window and into the flagship store. Using a combination of infrared sensor, motion capture and projection technology, a sequence of butterflies appear within a catwalk movie and follow the movements of the passer by. Innovation, impact and brand buzz for an exclusive brand.■
BrandWizard Named as Microsoft Case Study
BrandWizard once again cemented its status as an industry leader thanks to a May 2010 case study by Microsoft, which highlights the company’s utilization of Microsoft Expression Blend and SketchFlow technology. This enhances and aids in the building and delivering of interactive prototypes of our highly customized solutions. Click here to read the full case study at Microsoft.com.■