BQ Insider: Chris Hall, Founder And CEO, Bynder

BQ Insider is an opportunity for you to meet the faces behind Brand Quarterly’s biggest supporters, our Brand Benefactors, and gain access to their valuable insights.  In this edition, we talk with:

Chris Hall – Founder and Chief Executive Officer at Bynder

Chris has over 15 years of hands-on experience building online businesses.  He has successfully set up and scaled several SaaS businesses – with Bynder being the most notable to date.  Chris built these companies on the belief that young people, with the right attitude and coaching, can achieve great results.

Let’s hear Chris’ thoughts on Brand Management, Branding Automation, SaaS, Company Culture, and more…

BQ – From your own brand-building journey, how valuable do you consider company culture to be in building a successful brand?

Chris – Company culture is essential to building a successful brand. At the end of the day, your employees are your best form of “advertising”.  A strong company culture turns employees into brand ambassadors, helping you attract talent and communicate your company’s values.  I also think that exceptional branding really needs a lot of extra care and energy, something I believe people can only give if they’re truly committed.  No amount of money can substitute strong culture and drive.

BQ – In your experience, what is the most common hurdle brands face when implementing a cloud-based brand management system, and how can they overcome it?

Chris – 

Cloud-based brand management is easily implemented.  The hurdle for brands is usually change management – rather than any technical issues with the systems themselves.  Brand management systems change existing processes by providing a more streamlined way of working.  The real challenge is getting users on board and willing to use the software.  Product owners can overcome this by selling the system internally.  Good UX is extremely important in this too – if the system is easy to use, people will actually use it, and like using it, with minimal training.  Not only does good UX allow better and quicker onboarding, it brings the ROI in a lot sooner too.

BQ – While the benefits to general marketing performance are evident, what role do you see measurement and analytics playing within brand management in particular?

Chris – As a brand becomes more of a value driver, it’s increasingly important to measure its performance to stakeholders.  Measuring brand assets, allows a brand to assess which assets are performing the best; for example, you can compare agencies and the time it takes for project completion, and use these insights to establish more efficient branding.

BQ – How closely, do you believe, content management is (or should be) connected to brand management?

Chris – Content management is a ‘consumer’ of brand assets – so, it’s vital they are well connected for brand consistency, efficiency, and measurability.  It’s not just about making sure assets are brand compliant, but it also includes the creation, editing and publication of content.

BQ – As a SaaS developer, how important do you feel is to involve your customers in your innovation and development process?

Chris – Our development roadmap is very much driven by customer feedback.  We hold crucial round-table events to gather feedback and ideas.  This is also a great opportunity for customers to hear about real world issues that other brands are experiencing.  We try to learn what our customers are really spending time on so the features we think of will actually help them out – not just clutter the interface.

BQ – What advice can you offer brands looking to find a balance between a structured and consistent brand, and one that provides flexibility and feels ‘human’?

Chris – A structured and consistent brand should be flexible and feel human. Don’t read consistency as boring, the more consistent a brand, the more room there is for flexibility and alterations.  Brand management technology helps you get your (human) brand message out there in a quicker and more structured way.

BQ – If you could create any piece of currently unavailable technology, to improve brand management and branding automation, what would it be?

Chris – We’re fundamentally a development company; I’ve been tinkering with coding since I could talk.  Our teams are of that same ‘blood type’, so we have a lot of intrinsic drive to really innovate.  We already have beta versions of machine learning (‘intelligent meta tagging’), fingerprinting (like Shazam but for images) and forensic watermarking.  The last one especially, will blow your mind.

But I think the real push will be getting more and more data to brand managers about how their brand is performing.  If you could actually measure on a 1-to-1 level what people are looking at and what they’re feeling.

Imagine measuring the brain’s response to a certain image and using that data to fine-tune your campaigns. The technology is all there – it just needs to become more mainstream.