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Any high-quality digital asset management (DAM) system should accomplish certain tasks:

  • Facilitate clear asset organization
  • Simplify sharing brand assets amongst internal departments and external users
  • Assist with version control and eliminate duplicate assets to improve brand consistency
  • Integrate with other tools to streamline existing workflows

The biggest advantage of having a DAM, though, is the time it saves your team members looking for and retrieving assets. Storing your digital files in one easy-to-navigate software prevents creative teams from spending hours responding to (often repetitive) asset requests, allowing them to use their time more productively. And it ensures everybody, from other departments to sales teams and distributors, has access to the most up-to-date versions of your assets.

While all DAMs are obviously designed for clear asset management, some fall short in terms of sharing features, maintaining organization, and integrating with other applications. Not to mention, commonly used folder-structured cloud platforms that aren’t DAM in the first place.

In this post, we run through how Brandfolder DAM works for enterprise, mid-size, and small businesses to organize digital assets and save teams time, then discuss some alternative DAMs. You can also book a free demo to see exactly what you could do with Brandfolder at your disposal.

Brandfolder: #1 Best DAM System of 2022

Now, we know it seems biased to vote Brandfolder the #1 digital asset management software, but we’re not the only ones that think Brandfolder is the best DAM: With a 98% customer retention rate and a 4.7-star rating from customer reviews, we have evidence to back our claims.

Brandfolder is a highly-customizable DAM platform that can be tailored to support small businesses and professionals or grow with large enterprise corporations. We have a dedicated customer experience team that walks you through each step of set-up and onboarding: You can customize Brandfolder to suit your current needs — select storage space, add users and specify permissions, choose integrations, and map out your digital asset management taxonomy — and we help execute the switch and make updates or adjustments to your DAM in the future.

Learning how to use Brandfolder is easy, too. The interface is modern and intuitive: You can easily view your asset library, search files in the search bar, and filter content to find what you need. In addition, our advanced features preserve organization to prevent clutter and duplicate assets, make files easier to find, and give you better control over your digital content.

Plus, Brandfolder has dozens of extra features to help you use assets in digital projects — you can convert and resize assets in Brandfolder, drop content into templates, create clips from video recordings, and more. You won't need any basic training to get started with Brandfolder, but if you want to explore these cool features, you can either play around with them on your own or use our online tutorials to learn more.

Let’s review Brandfolder’s core features and how they help you better manage your digital assets (and all of the teams that use them).

Storing & Organizing Assets in Brandfolder

Brandfolder makes it easy to centralize all of your brand assets — we accept hundreds of file types and formats so you can store everything from images and documents to rich media like video and audio files, fonts, templates, and 3D assets.

You can organize digital assets in Brandfolders, Collections, and Brand Portals.

  • Brandfolders house all brand assets; you can create multiple Brandfolders if you manage assets for more than one brand.

  • Collections live within Brandfolders and house groups of related assets; you can create Collections based on any criteria you wish. Some teams use them to separate product images by product line, others use them to organize collateral by use case. We help you plan out this organization during onboarding, so mapping out assets doesn’t feel overwhelming.

  • Brand Portals are also subsets of Brandfolders; these enable you to group assets for end-users. For example, eCommerce brands that sell products through retailers can set up portals for each distributor or retailer they partner with so those users can only access the brand assets that are needed for their roles and projects.

taxonomy

What’s unique about Brandfolder is that you can store assets in multiple places without creating duplicate files; so you can store brand assets in Collections and drop those files into Portals for end-users, and everybody accesses the same versions of assets.

Brandfolder’s flat taxonomy also enables easier searching. When you start a search in Brandfolder, our AI — Brand Intelligence — filters through your entire library and analyzes the content of your files to pinpoint all available assets that relate to your search. You can quickly find what you need, and discover new creative collateral to use in projects.

image search recommendations

We also provide advanced filtering options to help you sort through DAM content; you can filter by Sections, Pin Tags, custom fields, metadata, and more — no more relying on file names to find assets.

You can also read more about searching assets in Brandfolder here: With the Right DAM, You Won't Need File Naming Best Practices.

Sharing Assets in Brandfolder

There are two simple methods to share digital assets with Brandfolder:

  • User permissions let you add other team members to collections of assets, or specific selected assets, and control how they can use content. Admins can add and edit assets and control user permissions, collaborators can edit assets and add content to your DAM, and guests can view and download files. You can modify permissions at any time.

Brandfolder permissions infographic

  • Custom share links let you send assets to stakeholders and other external groups. We allow free unlimited guest sharing so you can send these links as often as you need. We provide advanced options to monitor and control external sharing, too; you can track all active share links, add or remove assets from share links, watermark assets or disable downloading for end-users, expire share links, and more.

public share link

Brandfolder’s Features to Repurpose Assets in Digital Projects

Unlike cloud storage systems like Google Drive and Dropbox, Brandfolder has dozens of features — like brand templates, convert and resize tools, and quick cropping functions — to use and re-use brand assets in digital projects.

We even have a built-in content delivery network (CDN) system so you can leverage Brandfolder as a single source of truth and publish digital media online directly from your DAM.

Here’s how these features work:

  • Brand Templates: Designers can upload pre-approved templates from InDesign, set rules and restrictions for personalizing templates, and make templates available for teams. Then, end-users can access, customize, and use these templates when they need them. Creatives don’t have to double-check collateral or field requests for content.

templates

  • Convert and Resize: Change an asset’s file size or format on-the-fly; select the desired file type and adjust the resolution, then click download.

  • Custom and Preset Crop: Quickly crop assets for online publishing, templates, and other projects. We provide preset crops for social media sites like Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn, but you can create custom crops as you need. For example, teams that publish blog content on WordPress can create custom crops for hero images and in-line media before posting content.

crop and export options

  • Brandfolder Advanced Video: Brandfolder doubles as a video asset management solution for teams that want to store videos and use media assets in projects. We automatically transcribe recordings so you can view dialogue and search videos by spoken words. You can also add watermarks to videos, and we have user-friendly tools to trim videos or make video snippets.

  • Brandfolder CDN: Copy your asset’s unique CDN link and paste it anywhere you want to publish online. Then, any edits you make to assets in Brandfolder automatically reflect anywhere the asset lives on the web; this ensures that the right versions of your files are available online, improving brand management and consistency. You can track all active CDN links in Brandfolder to keep an eye on publishing and disable links as needed.

Read More: The Brand Consistency Checklist: How to Build Loyalty & Recognition

Customize Brandfolder & Adjust As You Go

Brandfolder integrates with dozens of software and applications; you can connect it with the other tools you use in your daily operations to push content between systems and streamline team workflows. We also have an open-source API to accommodate custom integrations, so we can sync Brandfolder with any tool in your tech stack.

Some of the tools we integrate with include:

  • Content management software like Contentful and Wordpress — you can read more about Brandfolder’s digital asset management WordPress solution here.

  • Content creation tools like Adobe, Canva, and Figma

  • Sales enablement and CRM software like Salesforce

  • Project management systems like Smartsheet and Trello

  • eCommerce platforms like Shopify

  • Marketing tools like HubSpot and Hootsuite

  • Workspace collaboration tools like Slack, Microsoft Office, and Google Apps

View all Brandfolder integrations.

Detailed Overview of Brandfolder DAM

For a preview of Brandfolder’s features, watch our short overview video:

You can also read more about Brandfolder, how specific features work, and how teams leverage our DAM by visiting the resources portal.

Brandfolder Client Stories

We’ve helped a variety of businesses make the switch to DAM software and improve asset management, team organization, and brand consistency in digital projects. There are dozens of case studies on our website, but here are a few worth reading:

  1. Enterprise swimwear brand, Finis, uses Brandfolder to collaborate with retailers and distributors and expand global sales. Brandfolder enables Finis founders, Jill and Becca, to organize product information like spec sheets, product imagery, and sales collateral in one platform, keep track of asset versions and make sure everybody has the most up-to-date collateral, and get brand content into the right hands. Read more here.

  2. The Denver Zoo switched to Brandfolder to improve how they manage and use brand assets and to keep all 10 teams (400+) employees on the same page. After experiencing challenges with messy storage drives, clunky sharing, and bogged down designers, The Denver Zoo was able to use Brandfolder to store all of their brand assets in one place, get files to all of their teams, and collaborate on digital projects with ease. Now, their teams can find approved creative collateral when they need it (without asking designers to supply it), and content doesn’t get buried and overlooked. Read more here.

  3. Global sports apparel brand Under Armor made the move to DAM software to aid team collaboration and improve consistency across all marketing and PR campaigns. With Brandfolder, designers, marketers, retailers, and other collaborators can work off the same versions of files, comment with teammates on projects, set rules for asset usage, and track asset analytics. They can also prepare and share content externally; in this case, Under Armour leveraged Brandfolder’s sharing to create a "press portal" and distribute on-brand, approved product images with 35 media partners, creating a consistent brand experience for all end-users. Read more here.

  4. Nonprofit organization, Water for People, uses Brandfolder to connect their partners from different parts of the world and automate repetitive tasks to save teams over a dozen hours of work weekly. They can store and organize all assets in one system, share approved assets with anybody they need, repurpose collateral for new projects, and monitor how teams use assets. They don’t have to rely on a creative team to supply content; they can strategically use the assets they already have. Plus, with all of their free time, they can focus their attention on more important tasks. Read more here.

  5. International restaurant chain, P.F. Changs, uses Brandfolder to work with partners all around the globe and maintain a cohesive brand identity across digital campaigns and brand projects. All relevant stakeholders can access the Brandfolder platform, find approved assets, and use that content to create unique marketing and sales collateral for audiences everywhere. Brandfolder improves speed to market and frees up designers’ time. Read more here.

Getting Started with Brandfolder

Switching to Brandfolder is simple because our customer experience team guides you through the entire process. We provide a free demo and consultation, so we can talk about what you need in a digital asset management solution, then we set up Brandfolder to check those boxes. We gameplan each step of the move:

  1. First we’ll help you map out a structure to organize digital assets in Brandfolder, and provide tips to audit your current library and clean out old files before starting migration.

  2. Then we’ll prepare to move assets over; Brandfolder automatically organizes assets and adds metadata and tags during upload, so our team will set up those automation rules during this step.

  3. Next we move priority assets to Brandfolder (and set a schedule to move the rest of your assets to Brandfolder in manageable batches).

  4. Last, we’ll help you set up integrations, add users, and provide resources to onboard other team members and facilitate organization-wide adoption.

We have customizable onboarding and support packages, too, so you can decide how hands-on you want our team to be through this process; we can take the lead with each step or provide help only when you need us. We’re always available to answer questions, troubleshoot issues, or make adjustments to your DAM set-up — just reach out to us and we’ll find a solution.

Want to see why so many reviewers vote Brandfolder as the best DAM? Book a free demo and consultation to talk about how Brandfolder can work for your business and receive a personalized walk-through of our DAM software.

Additional Top DAM Software Options

While our Brandfolder solution is one of the best DAM software for businesses small and large, there are other digital asset management tools available. Let’s talk about some of the other most popular DAM software solutions.

Bynder

Bynder homepage

Bynder was the first DAM software delivered as SaaS and, like Brandfolder, it was designed without a folder hierarchy for better ease of use. The platform aims to spread its offering outside a focus on DAM and to include Creative Project Management, Branding Automation, and Web to Print.

Read More: Bynder Alternatives: How Brandfolder & Other Competitors Compare

Widen Collective

Widen Collective homepage

Widen Collective is a relationship-based software company that prides itself on its customer service and support. Their DAM+PIM software does more than just organize digital content, it assists with managing the content lifecycle from creation to distribution.

Read More: 6 Best Alternatives to Widen Collective: Buyer's Guide

Canto

Canto homepage

Canto is a DAM software that operates on a folder/album hierarchy and offers more basic DAM features than Brandfolder. It’s designed a bit like Apple’s iPhoto application with more filtering and sharing options, and it works best for smaller businesses that don’t have a ton of assets.

Read More: Canto Software vs. Brandfolder: Compare Two Top-Rated DAMs

IntelligenceBank

IntelligenceBank homepage

IntelligenceBank is a marketing operations software for enterprise companies. This software has some DAM functionality but also works to manage marketing assets and campaigns. Overall, IntelligenceBank has four main offerings: Digital Asset Management (DAM) software, Brand Portal software, Marketing Operations software, and Marketing Resource Management (MRM) software.

Cloudinary

Cloudinary homepage

Cloudinary is a real-time image and video management solution for developers, marketers, and everybody and anybody who needs access to your brand’s assets. Cloudinary’s "Media Experience" software helps teams manage, edit, optimize, process, and distribute their assets at scale. They primarily work with e-commerce and retail businesses, travel and hospitality companies, nonprofits, and media and entertainment companies.

Read More: Digital Asset Management Software Reviews: 10 Best DAMs

Best Digital Asset Management Software FAQs

Here are the answers to some commonly asked questions about DAMs.

What is AEM? Is AEM a DAM?

Adobe Experience Manager (AEM) is both a content management system (CMS) and a digital asset manager (DAM), and it integrates with Adobe’s Creative Cloud. It lets you create assets, store them in one place, and publish rich media files across multiple channels. On their website, Adobe refers to their AEM as, "a comprehensive content management solution for building websites, mobile apps and forms that make it easy to manage your marketing content and assets."

Adobe’s AEM is helpful in a lot of ways, but it doesn’t have as many sharing options as other DAMs, and it’s one of the more difficult and technical DAMs to implement and use. Most of the time, IT teams have to assist with setting up AEM, and users need strong HTML skills to use the software to its full potential. In addition, it’s quite costly, so it’s not always a viable option for smaller businesses. (Plus, Adobe’s Experience Manager requires a third-party integrator to use, adding to the overall cost.)

How much does a digital asset management system cost?

Pricing for digital asset management software usually depends on several factors, including:

  • The number of users

  • Additional features

  • Amount of cloud storage space you need

A business with millions of assets and hundreds of users is going to spend more on an enterprise DAM than a small business with only a couple thousand assets and a handful of users.

Read More: Five Criteria to Evaluate Enterprise Digital Asset Management Software

Guest seats can also hike the price of a DAM — some DAM solutions charge per guest seat, while others allow guests to view and download assets for free. When comparing options, we suggest choosing software like Brandfolder that allows free guest seats to save money in the short and long term.

There’s no real "average" cost for a DAM as yearly costs can range from a couple of hundred dollars to hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Is a website a digital asset?

Yes, a website is technically a digital asset, but it’s not one that you would organize and manage within a DAM. Digital asset management systems primarily organize media content like images and video files, PDPs and brochures, templates, spreadsheets and word documents, design files and presentations, as well as sales collateral for marketing teams.

What are examples of digital assets? What is not considered a digital asset?

A digital asset is defined as, "anything that exists in a digital format and comes with the right to use;" this includes logos, photos, design files, PDFs, spreadsheets, marketing materials, videos, etc. That means digital content that does not come with the right to use is not considered an “asset.”

Finding the Right Digital Asset Management (DAM) Solution for Your Business

Choosing the right digital asset management tool doesn’t need to be overwhelming. We’ve built our Brandfolder DAM software to work for all types of businesses with features such as:

  • Powerful metadata tagging

  • Free unlimited guest seats

  • A simple but smart search function

  • Straightforward user groups and permissions

  • Streamlined ingestion and organization of assets (and easy uploading from outside users)

  • Customization options to simplify processes and integrate with other software in your workflows

Not to mention, the ability to modify storage space and select add-on features makes us a suitable DAM for small businesses, large enterprise companies, and everybody in between. And our team is available to help you choose the right program for your needs and get set up with the software successfully.

To book a demo and learn more about how Brandfolder can work for your teams, get in contact with us here.

Read More: 10-Step Digital Asset Management Strategy: How to Switch to DAM Software