If you’ve ever been through a rebrand, you’ll likely remember the angst leading up to the launch. Chances are you handed every employee a nicely crafted brand book and pointed them to a set of PDF guidelines. Now they were ready to go live the brand, right?

Most brand leaders would secretly confess they wish they’d spent less time on creating an expensive, glossy brand book. It takes countless hours to create, and in the end, only a handful of people on the brand team (plus some sympathetic friends in other functions) can honestly admit to reading it. What if that time had been spent properly planning for post-launch day two and beyond?

Brand Center 1.0

It used to be that brand was as an extension of marketing: centralized, heavily controlled, and focused on consistency of brand assets. Few people outside of marketing had any interest or need in engaging with the “brand” beyond needing access to brand guidelines which rarely changed or evolved. The role of the brand manager wasn’t complicated – his or her primary goal was to ensure consistency across few applications by a limited number of users.

The first online brand centers were designed so that brand teams could more easily share static brand guidelines (fonts, usage, colors) and provide easy access to different asset classes, logo, templates, images, etc.

This was the world in which we created identityManager: A world where brand managers needed a more efficient way to manage and roll out brand identities. Not just PDF guidelines, but a place for other marketers across the organization and agency partners to get the assets they needed without brand managers having to respond to the same logo request multiple times. identityManager did exactly what it said on the tin – it was a place for you to manage your identity. In fact, the earliest brand centers could be easily replaced today by a basic file sharing site such as Dropbox.

The world of brand management has changed.

Today, the hard work of brand governance and engagement begins the day after launch. Managing your brand means continually reinforcing what you created on day one and every day thereafter. Brand management means not only publishing once, but updating, educating, and engaging on a consistent basis – sometimes even daily. That way, many people across the company engage with brand beyond marketing and across other business functions like HR, customer service, and sales, and many more.

Brand used to be a function of marketing. Now brands have become the filter through which the company’s culture and purpose are delivered. Brand is no longer a conduit for what a company says, it’s a reflection of what a company (and all of its associates) actually does.

By looking at brand management differently—as overseeing a living entity that is constantly evolving—the brand leaders remit has expanded in scope. Today they work increasingly cross-functionally with counterparts in HR (owners of the employer brand) and customer experience (responsible for driving engagement and advocacy across the company), not just deeper into marketing.

Brand is a filter for everything you do.

To help everyone in the company see, feel, and live the brand, owners must also change their mindset. For many the first task is to change internal perceptions of being known as the “Brand Tsar” or “Chief Brand Compliance Officer”. As the brand directive shifts from managing a consistent identity to providing a flexible framework that inspires creativity and engagement, the brand leader must shift perceptions of being the “Brand Police” and reinvent him or herself as the Brand Concierge.

Having created identityManager in response to the onset of the digital era as a way to drive greater efficiencies, it is now time for us to rebrand again to reflect this new era in brand management.

For this reason, we have rebranded identityManager as BEAM (Brand Engagement and Asset Management). The new name is both an acronym that reflects the broader directive for brand leaders and a word that reflects the need to diffuse brand across the organization.

As a word and an acronym, BEAM responds to the changing dynamics of branding to meet the needs of the modern brand custodian.

Seven new elements that your brand center should help you achieve:


Driving rigid consistency

Freedom within a framework

It’s almost impossible to create guidelines that allow for all use cases. Instead, the modern brand leader sets a few clear rules that the brand must abide by and that encourage users of the brand to express themselves within those boundaries.


A repository of assets

A destination for engagement 

Your brand site should be a place where people can learn about and engage with the brand in an exciting and user-friendly way.


A fixed publisher

A dynamic newsroom

What happens day two and beyond after the brand has launched? A publishing platform like a brand book can’t account for the evolution of your brand. Having a system that’s easy to update makes it possible to keep the site fresh, showcase best practices, and drive ongoing usage.


What we say as marketers

How we all live a single purpose

Brand sites no longer serve the marketing team alone; they help everyone understand how they can contribute to brand growth. Now people can ask questions and get feedback. See best practices. And understand roles and responsibilities.


Thousands of inefficiencies that translate into lost dollars

Quantifiable ROI with reporting for the analytics-driven marketer

Now you can free people up to do more important things and realize cost savings through efficiency. And that means something significant to the bottom line of the organization.


A brand center just for me

A brand center for the collective

Everyone in your organization is responsible for owning and growing your brand. You get out what you put into maintaining a brand, and now the burden is shared by the entire organization, not just brand managers or the marketing department.


Brand cop

Brand concierge

As a brand leader, it all starts with a shift in mindset to understand the needs of internal audiences and how they can engage with the brand center on their own terms, including the creation of helpful tools and workflow modules as well as a helpdesk function.


The evolution of BEAM driven by a community of Brand Experts

When a company chooses to build a brand center in-house, it is limited by its own knowledge of brand management. A key shift in our business model has been to move away from custom-built brand centers to a model where we invest in common functionality that can be rolled out across all of our BEAM brand center clients.

By recognizing that multiple heads are better than one, we’ve gained the ability to use input from others to develop the best brand center possible – one that is constantly evolving and improving. The truth is, even if you don’t touch your brand site, you can always learn from what your peers are doing in order to become better brand managers.

Where we’ve been is nothing compared to where we’re going. We live in a world where brand is constantly evolving. Where we must encourage others and inspire action. Where we are must reexamine and change our approach. Where we all have the chance to be a brand hero.

Gabriel Cohen is Chief Marketing Officer at Monigle

Want to go deeper into the new rules of brand governance, BEAM, and discover why the Brand Cop is retiring? Watch a replay of our webinar “How Brand Centers are Empowering a New Breed of Brand Concierge,” with Forrester Research and Kelley Grover, Global Brand Manager from Deloitte. 

Gabriel Cohen
May 11, 2016 By Gabriel Cohen