Global asset InteGratIon for e-CoMMerCe:a brand PoInt ManaGeMent PersPeCtIveExEcutivE Summarybrands are putting tremendous...
Global aSSEt intEGration and                                     What iS Global aSSEt intEGration for E-commErcE?         ...
StEp 1: conSult                                               the goal of the consulting phase is to develop a thorough   ...
StEp 3: manaGE                                                  StEp 4: dElivEr                                           ...
a Summary of thE bEnEfitS                                       hoW Global aSSEt intEGration for E-commErcE               ...
schawk, Inc., (nYse:sGK), is a leading provider of brand point                                               management se...
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Global asset integration paper


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Brands are putting tremendous energy into online shopping today. It’s not just the visual appeal of the products showcased that matters; it’s time to market, too: once a product is in the distribution center, it needs
to quickly become “an image” online to maximize competitive advantage and sales.

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Global asset integration paper

  1. 1. Global asset InteGratIon for e-CoMMerCe:a brand PoInt ManaGeMent PersPeCtIveExEcutivE Summarybrands are putting tremendous energy into online Global asset Integration pays enormous benefits, but itshopping today. It’s not just the visual appeal of the demands specific skill sets for brand owners and theirproducts showcased that matters; it’s time to market, partners. It also demands a commitment to processes andtoo: once a product is in the distribution center, it needs technologies that drive efficiency and agility, cost savingsto quickly become “an image” online to maximize and sustainability. but the end result is invaluable: a systemcompetitive advantage and sales. that creates and manages assets that drive compellingMaking this happen requires Global asset Integration for and consistent experiences wherever consumers interacte-commerce, a process that organizes, streamlines and with a brand, especially online.strengthens the means of creating and managing largequantities of compelling product assets like photographicimages, animation and copy, and makes definitive versionsavailable for commerce opportunities in multiple mediaworldwide, especially online.
  2. 2. Global aSSEt intEGration and What iS Global aSSEt intEGration for E-commErcE? thE challEnGES to today’S brandS It’s the solution – or a vital part of the solution – to all of the there are many challenges to producing assets that challenges listed here. It’s a proven process that integrates carry their weight in impactful online stores. Global consulting, creating, managing and delivering of media- asset Integration speaks to all of them. these neutral still photography, CGI, video and copy, to turn the challenges include: challenges here into benefits: speed, planning, volume, cost, scalability and centralization. • Speed to site: Products need to be transformed from items in a distribution center to images and words Global asset Integration is exactly what the name states: online in a matter of days – or less. (and brands need to integration across all stages of the process that generates react nimbly to maximize the timely effect of products and manages visual and verbal brand assets for use and in printed catalogs and flyers, when these are used re-use across geographies, media and retail partners. collaterally.) to achieve this, it brings together creative expertise, • business planning and management: the availability management principles and technology. of product and promotional opportunities puts a premium It specializes in the creation of media-neutral assets that on smart seasonal planning and workflow planning. are ready for adaptation across a range of consumer-facing • volume: brands must manage images and copy for the contexts and also for use in other stages of the brand huge volume of materials distributed across multiple lifecycle, including r&d, internal or retailer sell-in, and retailers’ online and printed vehicles. In simplest terms, marketing and advertising. Global asset Integration is at this includes managing where a product originates, the heart of schawk’s retail marketing services for some where it’s being photographed and copywritten and of the world’s largest consumer brands. at schawk, 2 where/how its images are distributed across retailers, it combines consulting, creating, managing and promotional vehicles and media. delivering assets.Global asset InteGratIon for e-CoMMerCe: a brand PoInt ManaGeMent PersPeCtIve • cost: to keep costs down, brands must reduce redundant photography and minimize the use of sample sets. • consistency: Consistency of creative assets enhances brand identity and drives consistent brand experiences. this is increasingly important when product is distributed to multiple websites and multiple vendors. Consumers are very attentive to images; when images are sloppy, shoppers abandon websites and ignore catalogs. • Scalability: online promotional capacity has to be scalable to match brand goals and opportunities. • centralization: scalability only works when a brand is capable of centralizing and streamlining brand processes everywhere possible. for example, the repurposing of assets across media, including print, is proven to save up to 40 percent in production costs, and it increases the lifetime value of an asset. • Staffing: Growing and evolving “asset needs” create challenges in ensuring that in-house talent and staff budgets can flex and keep pace. Increasingly, outsourcing is a solution.
  3. 3. StEp 1: conSult the goal of the consulting phase is to develop a thorough for photography, this involves the science of lighting and strategy for workflow process and management – angles and sets, plus retouching and color management, starting from the time product becomes available for and ensuring that they’re all applied with sensitivity to the photographing through its appearance online – and product category and consistently within a product line. correlating this strategy with business planning for then, these aesthetic considerations have to mesh with an product and advertising cycles. oversight plan for efficiently reviewing the assets in all media contexts. every client has a different “review window” Whether Global asset Integration is handled by the brand and different timing demands, based on its marketplace. alone or in collaboration with an expert partner, the consulting phase involves collaborative planning sessions for copy, it’s not sufficient to repurpose information with marketing teams, media planners, merchandise and language from merchandise cards; shoppers – and procurers and those in charge of executing the actual especially online shoppers – are too demanding today. workflow for turning products into media-neutral assets, Copywriters should have merchandise in hand as they and then managing and delivering them. write, to convey its qualities compellingly. and seo strategy adds another crucial layer to the copy and to the planning the best practitioners of Global asset Integration employ that precedes it. the workflow advantages of Global asset six sigma principles as they develop workflows and Integration promote this kind of advance planning. seasonal plans. and without a doubt they understand the huge role technology plays in organizing and managing at this stage, the asset can be enhanced and given extra assets globally as they are created and distributed to value in many ways, for example with innovations like partners who will develop and produce the websites that CGI and 360-degree spin photography, which drive higher 3 are the brand’s crucial shopper touchpoints. conversion rates online.1 they can also be used internally, for important early stages like r&d, internal sell-in and retail sell-in. Here the asset is being used by very distinctGlobal asset InteGratIon for e-CoMMerCe: a brand PoInt ManaGeMent PersPeCtIve StEp 2: crEatE groups, so the brand needs to commit internally to this phase is the most familiar one for brands, and making each group aware of the asset’s availability and it’s executed in-house or by outside partners in the instructing them on accessing it. Here again, Global asset photography/catalog industry. schawk’s firm point is that Integration helps make this efficient and effective. it shouldn’t be viewed – or practiced – in isolation. It’s much more difficult to create compelling brand assets and deliver them effectively if creating isn’t surrounded by consulting, managing and delivering in an integrated process. this is the strength of Global asset Integration for e-commerce. this phase starts with style guide development for images, copy and post-production, to make sure assets are uniformly compelling and on-brand wherever they’re created and deployed, worldwide. 1 91 percent of customers queried in an adobe scene7 viewer study felt it’s a useful tool for online shopping. source: “adobe scene7 viewer study: What shoppers Want,” January 2010; adobe systems Inc.
  4. 4. StEp 3: manaGE StEp 4: dElivEr managing is the actual integration of all the steps in the the workflow technology described in Step 3: manage production process. has another important role: syncing with the client’s own publishing systems – online (and print, if desired) – to merchandise management, which involves unpacking, speed an asset’s appearance on a website or in a catalog. tagging, storing or selecting, prepping, setup, shooting In a well-developed system, a product image starts out and return. media-neutral and can be spec’ed quickly in the transfer process for any medium. It’s ideal when the delivering copy creation within a system that links compelling, stage is handled by the same company that oversaw accurate copy to images definitively, with no doubts about the creating and managing stages, one that has deep where it resides or if it is right. experience in the interface between its own workflow retouching and color management per style guide. When technology and the publishing technologies of the client this is outsourced, there is the risk of inconsistent results and its retailers. this removes additional third parties if your partner doesn’t have product teams dedicated to and potential issues of time and accuracy, and it switches specific clients and categories. the emphasis from the single delivery of an asset to multiple deliveries of an asset in different configurations Workflow technology is another key element of the to multiple outlets in multiple media. Hidden inefficiencies management process, and it’s the backbone of Global can significantly slow the delivery process despite a asset Integration. this asset management and workflow brand’s good intentions. technology helps organize and streamline stages in the entire asset creation process and gives all participants a the ideal technology solution for this interface is often a transparent view into the workflow and their part in it. mixture of best-in-class pieces that the partner “wraps” 4 the workflow around. this way, if one piece fails, there are for starters, it automates key stages in the production nimble fixes, such as using another database program cycle to shorten turn-time. It enables a logical system short-term, and little to no time is lost. (thus, the trend isGlobal asset InteGratIon for e-CoMMerCe: a brand PoInt ManaGeMent PersPeCtIve of accept, reject, why reject, when due, and so on; and away from end-to-end proprietary technology.) this proven it collects and analyzes data around these events for model requires very little work on the client’s part. and the analysis of efficiency, accuracy and trends. key benefits for the client are very flexible, brand-accurate assets that reside in a secure digital asset library for use In a very specific way, it removes uncertainty from the across multiple media and multiple geographies. process, as when a participant forgets that an important task has landed on his/her desk. Handoffs like these are automated and tracked, and bottlenecks are averted by notifications to team members who are slowing the process. Workflow technology also includes “soft proofing” modules, where assets are viewed by multiple participants on a networked computer “desktop” and differences in versions are clearly identified by the system, for sure comparisons. soft proofing replaces paper proofs, which saves time, money and natural resources, and it avoids many of the small procedural mistakes that can sap time and money from a project.
  5. 5. a Summary of thE bEnEfitS hoW Global aSSEt intEGration for E-commErcE can hElp you, thE brand dEciSion-makEr It’s all contained in the name itself: Global asset Integration. the process that creates a brand’s each layer of management at a brand will respond to photographic and verbal assets and distributes them specific facets of Global asset Integration: for publishing is integrated globally – that is, from the earliest planning to the final publishing, across disparate • c-level executives benefit from cost savings, staff media, disparate retail partners and across geographies. savings and speed to market, as these speak directly and they’re integrated at specific crucial stages in the to job mandates and career goals. process, such as approval stages. and these assets are • procurement is able to deliver cost savings while integrated in libraries that can be accessed for definitive managing fewer suppliers. studies have shown that versions. the benefits: more compelling assets that are digital asset libraries save enormous amounts of time consistently on-brand; less waste and more efficiency at and money. every stage of the process; agility in the marketplace and stronger sales. • brand managers achieve brand quality and consistency and gain a trusted partner to “police” this process. What Should you look for in a partnEr? • creative directors and staff benefit from the quality of assets and the ability to access them there are companies, like schawk, that can provide full quickly and logically. Global asset Integration. look for: Global aSSEt intEGration and brand point • the capacity to develop a fully integrated process from manaGEmEnt at SchaWk workflow/business process strategy through web-ready/ 5 print-ready file delivery Global asset Integration is a powerful example of how schawk delivers brand point management. brand point • Proven expertise in e-commerce publishing and management is about integration – the integration ofGlobal asset InteGratIon for e-CoMMerCe: a brand PoInt ManaGeMent PersPeCtIve associated technologies stages in the brand lifecycle; of services within and across • specific technology expertise that reflects the partner’s those stages; and of people, processes and technology – experience in the creative side of the process all for more compelling and consistent brand experiences wherever shoppers interact with a brand, at touchpoints • Integration of art, copy and photo teams dynamically at home, on the go, at the store and on the shelf. to tighten the time frame and drive accuracy Global asset Integration applies this principle specifically • Global smart-sourcing to company locations for nearly to the challenge of creating photographic images and 24/7 workflow copy for use online (and in print extensions) and doing so • studio floor plans designed around process to maximize in a way that maximizes its impact, drives consistency, workflow efficiencies streamlines resource use and minimizes time to market. • Metrics and measurement tools in place to track schawk’s Global asset Integration drives sales for some of performance the largest, most dynamic consumer brands in the world, brands that are rewriting the rules of online commerce. • a “continuous improvement approach” to identify ongoing process opportunities
  6. 6. schawk, Inc., (nYse:sGK), is a leading provider of brand point management services, enabling companies of all sizes to connect their brands with consumers to create deeper brand affinity. With a global footprint of more than 40 offices, schawk helps companies create compelling and consistent brand experiences by providing integrated strategic, creative and executional services across brand touchpoints. founded in 1953, schawk is trusted by many of the world’s leading organizations to help them achieve global brand consistency. for more information about schawk, visit visit, powered by schawk, to participate in a one-of-a-kind, exclusive online marketing community. registration is fast, free and easy. as a registered member, you’ll have access to news and trends from leading blogs, magazines and webcasts. You will also be able to ask questions and join threaded discussions on hot topics. all this and more at follow brandsquare on twitter at © 2010 schawk, Inc. all rights reserved. no part of this work may be reproduced in any form without written permission from the copyright holder. schawk is a registered trademark of schawk, 6 Inc. the schawk logo is a trademark of schawk, Inc. blUe is a trademark of schawk, Inc.Global asset InteGratIon for e-CoMMerCe: a brand PoInt ManaGeMent PersPeCtIve