The Big Bang Theory of Inkbench. That’s what our founder and industry expert, Steve Goodman, named the convergence of all the Inkbench elements—explosive franchise branding problem, determined marketing tech people and the passion to create a solution. Bam! The Inkbench platform was born.
So, what are those critical issues facing Franchisors? You probably know them well:
The chaos trying to manage and share brand assets, frustration over franchisees unable to customize the brand assets—and fear that the brand is being damaged with no real brand controls.
“We listened closely to our franchisor clients and they became our teachers,” said Goodman. “They had a real-world problem, and we had the people and passion to build a real-world solution. So, we did.”
After working closely with franchisors, Steve came up with these basic, yet critical brand hacks:
Then choose a repository, or Digital Asset Management (DAM) system, so you can store those valuable assets and marketing materials. Then, create a plan to organize and share access of the brand assets with your teams and franchisees.
A DAM will significantly boost the productivity of everyone interacting with the brand, including the home office marketing department, agencies, franchisees and affiliates. It will also remove the confusion, frustration and fear surrounding access to the most current, approved assets and campaigns.
The Inkbench platform has an integrated DAM as the foundation or bottom layer of the Inkbench “layer cake.”
2. Next, develop a strategy to empower franchisees, affiliates, agencies/designers and teams to customize templates of your marketing materials and campaigns. Once they customize the materials, they should be able to generate a file output (PDF, PNG, JPG) to print or post. Individuals and teams need the ability to localize materials. Think of the Texas franchisee who wants images of the Alamo, not the NYC skyline, in their flyers or posts. Plus, the franchisee should not be stuck in a production pipeline at corporate. It’s critical that franchisees/affiliates can focus on building their franchise businesses, not tracking down marketing projects.
Inkbench offers an integrated design canvas that’s easy enough for a basic user to use drag-and-drop templates (think PowerPoint) yet is also built for designers to use more advanced tools. Ideally, you want the designers to create an entire campaign, from social media posts/tiles, to sales flyers, to web and email banners to coupons and menus and upload the templates to the platform for franchisees to customize.
The Design Canvas is the second layer of our Inkbench “layer cake.”
3. Last, but probably most importantly, ensure controls are in place to protect the value and integrity of your brand. We all know that a brand is the most valuable asset of a franchise. So, all assets need to be closely guarded, and not like the fox guarding the henhouse. Make sure guardrails are in place so marketing teams, franchisees, affiliates, agencies/designers, and printers can easily access and customize materials with locked-down assets and brand approvals.
Inkbench established brand controls as a critical feature of the platform. Inkbench’s integrated brand approval system allows individuals to plan and monitor the safe use of all assets by group, location, or other categories within workspaces. That way certain brand assets (logo, brand colors, fonts, messaging, you decide!) within campaigns or materials can be locked down.
This feature also allows corporate to oversee the workflows for all projects, track the progress and approve final materials before they get posted or published. We call this the icing on the cake.
It’s important to take inventory of assets, then store, manage and distribute them to the people who need them. All the while be sure to provide a platform for customization and brand control.
As we like to say, branding with Inkbench is a piece of cake!
Stories, tips, and ideas from Inkbench and its customers.
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