PhotoShelter for Brands is one of the simplest and fastest digital asset management platforms built for visual media. They empower effortless visual storytelling by providing seamless, customizable access to a powerful media library, centralizing your team’s assets and radically optimizing the way you communicate your brand story. At Stacks, we help people and organizations who are passionate about their photos, videos, and other creative assets do more with them. With 15 years in the cloud and more than 500 million assets managed, PhotoShelter’s cutting-edge software helps over 1,300 top universities, pro sports teams, travel brands and organizations of all sizes easily organize, collaborate and share impactful content with the world.
Brands, like everything else, change. Whether it’s because of changing styles to keep up with the times, new initiatives and goals, or a shift to appeal to new audiences, odds are your brand will go through some kind of a redesign over the course of its time in the marketplace.
From a content marketing perspective, making sure your organization's internal and external content production processes run smoothly before launching a campaign is key if you want to efficiently share and spread your brand news.
To learn how some of your favorite brands' innovative content campaigns were produced and promoted, the team at PhotoShelter for Brands, a leading digital asset management (DAM) platform provider, asked a variety of creative marketing team geniuses at The Washington Commanders, The International League of Conservation Photographers, Northern Michigan University, the University of Central Florida, and Children’s Aid about how they made the most of their rebranding opportunities to grow their brands.
The Washington Commanders
The team at PhotoShelter asked Emilee Fails, the Commanders’ team photographer, to talk about how her versatile creative perspective played a powerful role in rebranding the Washington Football Team to the Washington Commanders. But, as a true team player, she shared so much more.
Rebrands always present organizations with the unique opportunity to completely reinvent themselves, but in this case, slightly tweaking and building upon a 90-year legacy was the objective.
Emilee: “The element of surprise was important in our rebrand. The photos I took were kept under lock and key in a sense thanks to PhotoShelter. We made a hidden folder that only a few people had access to and then access slowly expanded as reveal day got closer.”
The goal of the rebrand was to bridge the past to the present and future through both visual content and gear design. Along with developing a new brand style guide, they also developed new photography and video guidelines to give their collaborators creative freedom while also keeping their deliverables on-brand.
Emilee: “It was wild gearing up to take photos that you know are going to be historical–that will outlive us all because we’re the first football team to do a rebrand in the modern era. Knowing that we wanted the photos to be dramatic and have that ‘epic’ factor, Commanders Senior Creative Manager Mike Pristouris, got the idea to use poses from superhero posters. We were thinking about superheroes standing on top of a building looking off into the distance, exuding power and pride, things like that. It matched up so well with what we were trying to convey with the photos of players in these new uniforms – that vibe of ‘What’s ahead is about to be legendary.’ That’s also where the decision to use red lighting came in. Using the red light added to that heroic feel.”
The brand team considers the past 18 months the initial launch phase, so what’s to come can only get better as they learn from this massive project’s challenges and triumphs.
Over the next two years, the team will work closely with fans to bring back traditions under a new banner–combined with new traditions fans will help to create, including bringing back the fight song and marching band!
Read the entire story of the Commander’s rebrand here: Tell Us More: How to Rebrand A National Football Team Through Epic Visual Storytelling
Northern Michigan University
Josh LeClair produces photos and videos for NMU Marketing & Communications. He was brought on in a recent wave of marketing hires – hence, the push to focus on visual communications. Josh manages NMU’s visual media library, which is hosted on PhotoShelter.
The accessible visual media library lets Josh easily deliver event photos, staff portraits, and, most recently, visual assets for the school’s rebranding effort.
“Especially with this rebrand and particularly with the new logo website, we have all of these resources, all of these photos just waiting to be used,” says Josh. “Our art director can just log on and see all the images easily, much more easily than in Finder.”
The goals of NMU’s brand refresh were to align the school’s visual markers with its values, reflect its cutting-edge academics and modern athletics, and create a visual identity that would resonate with prospective students.
Since this is a visual refresh, it’s only fitting that the NMU team shared the new logos and the story behind them through visual content. So far, the launch video has more than 143,000 views and has reached 431,000 people, ranking as NMU’s highest-reaching video yet. And most importantly, it’s sparking a conversation among students, alumni, parents, and community members.
“You get people who are really excited to show the love for NMU and just talk about where the university is as a whole,” says Josh, commenting on the community’s feedback about the new logo. “And be it good or bad, there’s a lot of people who want their voice heard.”
See the content that generated the conversation about NMU’s rebrand here: Case Study: How NMU’s Centralized Photo Library Supported the University’s Visual Rebrand
University of Central Florida
Last spring, the University of Central Florida’s athletics content marketing team went viral when they experimented with jersey designs by replacing players’ numbers with their Twitter handles for the first spring game.
They tweeted a photo of their starting lineup, the news media covered the experimental design debut, and the organic attention ultimately drove over 6 million impressions to the original tweet.
This year they swapped out the traditional jersey numbers for QR codes, and their engagement numbers aren’t lying—the experiment is working! Now, each spring fans and spectators expect to see the UCF Knights setting records during the season’s peak and setting trends in the off-season.
Watch the full conversation with Eric DeSalvo here: How UCF Football Changed the Game With QR Code Jerseys
International League of Conservation Photographers
Two key members of the International League of Conservation Photographers’ communications and marketing team—Development and Communications Manager, Brooke McDonough, and Visual Assets Manager, Colin Wheeler, shared their joint strategic approach for launching the nonprofit’s new website.
Brooke: “Our previous website was donated as an in-kind donation; after a number of years that in-kind support went away and we were unable to make critical changes to our website. We had issues with hard-coded pages and pixelated images. The website used up far too much staff time and didn’t tell the story of our organization and our conservation impact effectively. We had been discussing opportunities to redesign our current website or build a completely new site. We ultimately received a generous donation that allowed us to build a new website with our partners Visura Pi.”
“Once we identified the goals of our new site, we began working on marketing strategies. As a team, we decided to focus on organic social campaigns and email marketing in conjunction with spreading the news through our members’ social media accounts. Many of the iLCP Fellows have hundreds of thousands of followers on various social platforms. We shared our promotion materials with the Fellowship and asked them to help us promote the organization’s new website. This allowed us to reach people within our target audiences that may not have known of iLCP.”
“The iLCP Image Collection is currently experiencing major growth, representing Fellows’ entire bodies of work and major, decades-long projects. In order to best serve our Fellows and the Conservation community, we re-evaluated our marketing plan for the Image Collection. We are the go-to place to license ethically-sourced images and video clips, so launching a specific Instagram account was a logical step in marketing these visuals. I worked with Colin Wheeler, iLCP’s Visual Assets Manager to create the account and the mission is to share visuals and stories available for licensing at the iLCP Visual Collection. Success is monitored through impressions, reach, engagement, follower growth, and traffic to the website. This is tracked through Instagram analytics and Google Analytics. Shameless plug to follow both iLCP accounts on Instagram! @iLCP_Photographers and @ConservationVisuals 😀”
Hear more about strategies that iLCP used to boost traffic to their new site here: How To Tell A Story Around A Website Redesign
In 1853, Charles Loring Brace founded the organization called “The Children’s Aid Society” to help poor and orphaned children living in the streets of New York City and over the past 168 years, the organization has evolved with the times. To this day, the organization is a leader in providing human services in New York City.
In 2017 the brand reintroduced itself to the nation with an updated identity. The Children’s Aid Society became Children’s Aid, they launched a modernized logo and gave their content a refreshing look and feel.
“It was time to make sure that our public profile was really in lockstep with the programmatic work that we were doing,” says Patrick Egan, Director of Marketing and Communications for Children’s Aid.
“The next step was really creating the proper platform to introduce us, and we knew we needed a 21st-century website,” says Patrick. Patrick says the ability to highlight their best visual assets – photos and videos of kids participating in Children’s Aid services – was a crucial point of focus for the new website.
“The way that you change child poverty is not through one single thing – it’s to be with that kid every step of the way. But that does present a really significant storytelling challenge,” he says. “We want to be able to use visual elements especially to make sure that message is broadcast. PhotoShelter has been great to be able to organize our photo and video assets in a way that we’ve never done before, and it’s also been incredibly important in sharing those assets.”
Patrick and his team use PhotoShelter for Brands to store their asset archive and upload new photos, acting as a central hub for image research to power their new storytelling platform.
Learn more about how Children’s Aid leverages their DAM program to reach more people: This is how a New York nonprofit with 168 years of service evolves
If you or your organization need help to find a DAM platform that works for you, as PhotoShelter works for these brands, contact Stacks. We help brands find the right platform and build a program around it that helps put your assets to work–providing value for you and your brand’s customers.
Read more from PhotoShelter for Brands on their Stories Page!