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Air — by Air.inc — is one of the newer names in the DAM software space. In this post, we review Air’s digital asset management solution vs. our DAM, Brandfolder.
Then, we explain how Brandfolder's digital asset management solution compares and provide a quick demo of our DAM features.
You can also schedule a free demo with our team to discuss the challenges with your current storage solution and see how we can tailor Brandfolder to support specific business needs.
Before we dive into our DAM comparison, let’s review the most important takeaways from our research:
The main differentiator between Air and Brandfolder is that Air is not a genuine DAM software — it has some asset management features, but the platform is designed to streamline internal file sharing and project management. Although it covers “team collaboration” well, it doesn’t provide a lot of features to work with people outside of your immediate organization.
Brandfolder lets you store assets in a central repository, send files to anybody on your team, and collaborate on projects inside the DAM, but it also has numerous extra features to help you distribute assets outside of your organization, track file sharing, edit and use assets in new projects, and monitor all of your brand content.
At the end of the day, these platforms appeal to two different user groups.
So yes, while Air might have a more affordable price tag or seem easier to implement, the platform has limited features and can only grow with you for so long — if you are moving on from Google Drive or Dropbox and expect continued business growth, you need a scalable solution that’ll continue to grow with you. And to squash any concerns with moving to DAM software, we offer a customizable set-up and hands-on onboarding to guarantee you can quickly move files and successfully implement Brandfolder.
Now, let’s take a closer look at both of these software options.
Air offers a new type of digital asset management software: Instead of advertising their product as a true DAM solution, Air has lightweight asset management features and is more geared toward improving online team collaboration, task management, and internal file sharing.
In fact, they ditch the digital asset management branding altogether and refer to their solution as a brand workspace or a creative request software. Their goal of simplifying asset management is to eliminate some of the headaches associated with switching to DAM software, like long migration times and expensive contracts — making their “asset management” solution more attainable to smaller businesses with fewer resources.
Air’s innovative DAM-type software mostly attracts midsize teams that need to upgrade from tools like Google Drive and Dropbox, but don’t entirely need a robust digital asset management system. (That’s why we label Air as a step between cloud storage and DAM software.)
For example, Air’s solution can work for creative or marketing teams that only manage one or two projects at a time, or teams who primarily share files with and collaborate with other departments in their organization.
Some of Air’s primary competitors include:
However, because Air is a lightweight DAM, they also have fewer features and more limited capabilities than traditional digital asset management software. Teams that want to streamline online publishing and improve brand management, or teams who want tools like templates to repurpose creative collateral, often skip Air’s solution because it doesn’t have all of the tools they require.
Now let’s look at Air’s core features:
We should note: Air offers four different packages and a tiered pricing model to suit different user needs. The basic packages have fewer features, so not every user has access to all of the tools listed above. You have to purchase the enterprise plan to unlock all of Air’s asset management features.
As we mentioned earlier, Air is a fairly new DAM system, and they’ve only recently become a more popular name, so there aren’t a ton of reviews available online. But when we look at what’s available, it seems Air gets good feedback from customers.
A common theme amongst positive reviews is the platform’s ease of use: Many reviewers note Air’s intuitive user experience, saying that the features are easy to learn and the software doesn’t require any downtime for training. Air solves many of the organizational challenges teams experience with tools like Dropbox, and reviews mention that files are easier to find. Reviews also mention that Air makes collaboration on creative projects smoother.
However, negative reviews of Air mention slow loading times and glitches with the software; challenges with integrations, and the inability to sync Air with creative applications (like Adobe Premiere Pro); Air’s smaller feature set.
For example, take a look at some of the top reviews below:
In our experience talking with customers, we’ve learned the primary reason our users pass on Air is that it doesn’t have all of the necessary features to support their workflows. And one notable deal breaker for enterprise teams is Air’s pay-per-seat pricing model (for Plus, Pro, and Enterprise plans) — you have to pay for every user you add, including all guest users, so file sharing can quickly become expensive.
While Air can be a great platform for teams that need to focus on internal collaboration, it’s not the best if you need a tool that integrates with other apps in your daily operations, or if you want more advanced features to monitor external file sharing and online publishing.
Teams who anticipate needing the full functionality of DAM software in the future are better off jumping from their current storage drive to a true digital asset management software, instead of using an in-between solution like Air, because they can set up the DAM to their current specifications and adjust the software as their business needs change. This way, they don’t have to keep upgrading from one software to another.
Because Air is mostly designed to aid in team collaboration and task management, it appeals mostly to smaller organizations that don’t have the budget or need for all of the advanced features in DAM software. (When looking at user reviews, almost all of Air’s customers are small business or mid-market users.) However, this solution can also work for large enterprise teams that only need Air’s select features, as well.
In summary, Air works for:
Want a simple digital asset management solution? Check out our guide: Brandfolder’s Simple Digital Asset Management & Fast Set-Up
On the flip side, we have Brandfolder: A full-fledged DAM system that has all of the same functionality as Air — and more. Our platform lets you:
Brandfolder is consistently rated one of the best DAM software because we can tailor our platform to accommodate various business needs: You choose storage space and user seats (we provide free guest seats so you can add users as you go without charge), select extra features to support your teams, and set up integrations during onboarding — then you can adjust these settings any time you wish. This flexibility is what allows us to work with smaller organizations and support large global brands.
Plus, our team works with you side-by-side through the entire onboarding process so you can get started with Brandfolder quickly (and we’re available to help with any future DAM optimization). We guide you through everything from organizing digital assets to setting up custom integrations, we even provide team training services and free online feature tutorials to help you onboard users with no downtime.
Now, let’s review some of Brandfolder’s core features so you can see how our DAM works.
First, Brandfolder offers secure cloud storage for hundreds of file types — including documents, spreadsheets, PDF files, images, RAW photos, design files, 3D models, videos, templates, social media assets like GIFs, and more — so you can store all of your brand assets in one spot.
We help you organize your DAM library during onboarding so all of your files are organized in a clear, logical format. Here’s a quick look at how you can organize digital assets:
There are three key benefits to our digital asset management taxonomy:
When it comes time to actually move your content into the DAM, we set automation rules so Brandfolder can place files in the correct Brandfolder, Collection, or Portal for you. All you have to do is import content and our system takes care of the rest. Our AI (Brand Intelligence) will automatically add metadata and tags to assets, as well, but you can add custom tags and extra information in the asset overview.
Then we have features to keep your asset library organized and up-to-date:
Brandfolder has an advanced search functionality so you can quickly find assets you’re looking for and see new, approved collateral that relates to your search. Our AI analyzes all available asset information — including metadata, tags, custom fields, and even the content of assets, like text in documents, the scenery in images, and dialogue in videos — and it scans your entire library at once, so it can retrieve all files that are relevant to your search query.
For example, say your social media team is planning content to promote your summer sale, and they want to use images of palm trees or beaches in their posts: They can log in to Brandfolder, search “palm,” and see all of the approved brand collateral that’s available for them to use.
Brandfolder’s user permissions and custom share links make it easy to 1) share digital assets with anybody, 2) track who has access to your content, and 3) update shared content after it has been sent.
Here’s how they work:
With Brandfolder’s share links, you can watermark assets, restrict download access, edit or remove assets, add new content, set content or links to expire, and more. Then, you can monitor all share links from Brandfolder’s reporting dashboard. (You can also check the asset’s Usage tab to see all share links the asset is included in.)
In addition, Brandfolder has guest upload links so you can request content from outside groups and receive new assets in the DAM system.
Brandfolder also has a suite of features so users can modify and repurpose assets before downloading or exporting files for new projects. This way, teams don’t have to ask designers for help or submit creative requests — they can access and use content immediately, no waiting around.
Brandfolder also has a Workspace feature that has team and task management tools so you can manage digital and creative projects in the DAM. It’s designed to help designers work with other departments and user groups — like marketing teams, social media managers, product designers, and stakeholders like retailers — to create content for new projects. We also integrate with Smartsheet (and other project management software like Trello) so you can use these systems in sync.
Then, you can monitor everything that’s happening in the DAM from Brandfolder’s Insights dashboard. Here, you can see:
You can customize reports to view data over different time frames, and you can use these insights to improve brand consistency, plan new creative projects, and gauge the success of past efforts.
Brandfolder has dozens of native integrations but we also have an open-source API so we can create custom integrations with any other tool you use. Connecting Brandfolder with other tools in your workflows allows you to send files directly to the DAM, update DAM content from other systems, and access DAM assets in outside applications.
Some of the tools we integrate with include:
Bonus: Brandfolder also has a native content delivery network (CDN) and web-to-print functionalities via Gelato, so you can use Brandfolder to power online publishing or send custom print orders.
We’ll help you set up (and adjust) integrations during onboarding to ensure Brandfolder connects with all of your business applications.
Want to see a demo of Brandfolder’s features? Schedule a call with our team.
Here are just a few of our nods from software review sites:
Brandfolder works for a variety of business sizes so we see reviews from small businesses, mid-market, and enterprise users alike; and almost all of Brandfolder’s reviews are four stars or above. Many positive reviews of Brandfolder mention:
Meanwhile, some negative reviews of our platform mention that the search can sometimes be challenging to use, some integrations are limited in functionality, and Brandfolder doesn’t have all of the desired features teams would like to support their workflows.
Here are some of Brandfolder’s recent reviews:
You can also read more Brandfolder reviews on our website.
As we’ve mentioned, Brandfolder’s flexible set-up options make it a versatile DAM solution, so you can adjust our platform to suit your current business needs and make changes to the DAM setup as needed.
Large global brands like Getty Images use Brandfolder, but our platform can also support smaller groups like professional photography teams. We support creative operations, marketing teams, brand managers, and more, across dozens of industries. You can read Brandfolder’s client stories here.
Think Brandfolder is the right digital asset management solution for your business? Schedule a free demo with our team where we can discuss, 1) the problems with your current storage situation, 2) what you’re looking for in DAM software, and 3) the next steps to make the switch.
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