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With over 350 years of combined history, the Beam Suntory brand identity draws on their unique past.
Without a centralized repository for their archival content, it was difficult to bring their historical assets into their current brand narrative.
Acquia DAM (Widen), including the Assets, Insights, and Portals applications, and integrations.
With Acquia DAM, Beam Suntory leverages their archival assets to shape their customer experience.
Beam Suntory was created in 2014 when the world leader in bourbon combined with the pioneer in Japanese whisky to form a new company with a deep heritage.
With over 350 years of combined history, the Beam Suntory brand identity draws on their unique past. Historical artifacts include everything from 100-year old Beam family photographs to advertisements written by Mark Twain.
Without a centralized and searchable repository for their archival content, it was difficult to bring these cultural artifacts into their current brand narrative for use in marketing materials and campaigns. “We had warehouses full of historical artifacts,” said Tony Maguire, Product and Program Manager. “Not only did we not know what was stored there, but there was no way to access it.”
In 2017, Beam Suntory invested in a digital asset management (DAM) solution, Acquia DAM, to help them manage and share their brand and archival content.
Organized content in one system
Shortly after implementing Acquia DAM, they named the system the DAL, short for digital asset library. It quickly became the central source of truth not only for historical assets but also marketing and product content.
Today, the system stores over 120,427 assets across hundreds of brands and sub-brands. And it’s used by a range of stakeholders, including teams, distributors, agencies, and trade users (such as restaurants). They have over 6,500 users who now get the content they need from a central source of truth.
Assets synced to other essential tools
To further streamline access to essential brand assets, Beam Suntory has integrated Acquia DAM with other tools — including Sharepoint, which is heavily used by their distributors.
“Our Sharepoint system is document-focused,” explained Tony. It houses PDFs, spreadsheets, Word documents, sell sheets, and other text-based files. “But the problem we always run into is that folks want the logos, too.”
So individuals download brand assets from the DAM system and post them in Sharepoint. “And so now, these assets exist in two places. And of course, no one keeps that up to date. So we find out a year later that people are posting old logos everywhere because they got them from Sharepoint.”
So Beam Suntory used the Acquia DAM API to build a custom integration that syncs assets from a collection in the DAM system to their Sharepoint site. The collection could include bottle shots, logos, marketing photography, videos, brand education materials, and other key assets. “This way, we have a single point of truth. And as long as we manage it in the DAM system, we know that it will flow into the Sharepoint site,” Tony explained.
“The Sharepoint pages are organized by brand,” he continued. “And so they go to a particular brand to see that document library. The [Acquia DAM] assets behave just as a document would, except for they show a thumbnail. If the user hovers over it, it displays a bigger thumbnail. And if they click on it, it brings them into the DAM system where they have all the options to download the file in the size they need.”
In addition, Sharepoint pages include a link to a Acquia DAM portal that includes assets from multiple collections. “The portals are more in-depth,” Tony explained. “You're going to get your fonts, color schemes, lifestyle photography – everything like that.”
By providing access to the most essential assets with one click, and to more in-depth content with another click, they are serving the content needs of different user groups — while maintaining control of their brand. So, for example, agencies using the Beam Suntory Sharepoint site might access the portal, whereas distributors might simply grab a logo or bottle shot right from the file directory.
“Documenting our history is an ongoing process that's almost insurmountable because we have so much,” Tony shared. “For example, in a couple of weeks I'm going to Kentucky to catalog all of the decanters that Beam has made over the years...and we have hundreds of these from decades and decades ago that we catalog in the DAL to keep track of them from a historical perspective and to ensure they are at the ready to support new websites or other materials.”
With Acquia DAM, Beam Suntory is able to document and organize these historical artifacts so they can be used to support the brand experience, at scale.
Acquia DAM’s robust permission tools allow Beam Suntory to ensure that users only have access to the assets they are authorized to use, to support brand consistency. “We have secure asset groups that we manage,” Tony shared. “We keep a pretty close eye on our content just to make sure nothing gets used that shouldn't.”
And with self-serve access to current and approved assets – which is further streamlined through system integrations – Beam Suntory employees and partners are able to build a cohesive brand narrative across their customer journey.
With Acquia DAM, Beam Suntory elevates their company history within their brand identity, creating valuable market differentiation. Historical assets appear in content across their marketing channels, including their website, sales collateral, commercials, and even in their Kentucky distillery.
“The Jim Beam distillery just underwent a significant renovation, and we were at the ready with material for them to use in that built environment and throughout the visitor tour,” Tony shared. By maximizing the use of their brand and historical assets, Beam Suntory ensures that the company legacy lives on at every customer touchpoint.