“Our old process was inefficient and not secure. Globaledit has changed all of that with a reliable solution that connects and accelerates our creativity.”
— Bronson Page, Executive Director, Creative Operations at Smashbox Cosmetics.
Smashbox Cosmetics is one of the fastest growing cosmetic brands within the Estée Lauder Companies portfolio. When the company came to globaledit, they were looking for better ways to manage their retouching workflow and product photography.
Until then, creative assets were scattered across various platforms and systems, often kept on company servers, individual desktops, and hard drives without any backup – a perilous situation for a fast-paced growth company. The structure of the company servers was disorganized, leading to serious data management issues and business risk.
In addition, Smashbox Cosmetics was struggling to keep brand consistency across all markets. The typical process consisted of: The team in the Los Angeles headquarters set the tone and guidelines for each campaign; Then, local teams were responsible for taking the approved creative direction and assets and adapting them to their markets. However, the globally dispersed creative teams had a hard time accessing the brand guidelines and getting their local assets reviewed and approved by headquarters, creating major bottlenecks and production breakdowns.
Smashbox Cosmetics faced multiple creative operations challenges: Streamlining their retouching workflow; Centralizing and structuring all the brand creative assets; Sharing and controlling distribution of the assets among local teams; And ensuring brand consistency between all markets.
Smashbox Cosmetics first used globaledit to streamline their retouching workflow and share work-in-progress files with their retouchers. But they quickly realized the benefit of restructuring their entire global creative operations workflow to produce campaign assets efficiently and share critical items such as brand guidelines and directions with their distributed teams. The Smashbox Cosmetics team and globaledit’s Client Services worked together to rethink their processes, onboard, and train each division. Today Smashbox Cosmetics’ staff has complete ownership of the globaledit platform and has developed custom workflows to fit their needs.
A STREAMLINED RETOUCHING WORKFLOW
Smashbox Cosmetics’ first objective was to streamline their retouching and editing workflow. Before using globaledit, files were only accessible on the company server, so the team was unable to share files directly with retouching vendors. The creative team now shares files instantly with clear retouching directions via globaledit’s markup editor, shaving days off the production schedule.
BETTER COLLABORATION BETWEEN DISTRIBUTED TEAMS
For each new product launch, Smashbox’s International Marketing team strategize with territories and local distributors on region-specific plans. The team used an unreliable and insecure FTP process. Today, with globaledit, the International Marketing team create a lightbox with all the necessary assets for each product, and send it to their local teams and distributors. Often, many of them will have the same needs, in which case the International Marketing team shares the same lightbox with them – no duplicates are created. This new process has removed concerns about versioning and storage as there is only one definitive copy of every asset – all parties receive the same files. Plus each team can immediately access the central library of assets from anywhere and at anytime.
CONTROLLING ASSET DISTRIBUTION AND USAGE
When distributing creative files to multiple markets, controlling access is extremely important: Administrators need to delegate who can access, distribute, and download; control how long files are available; and determine how and where files are used. Smashbox Cosmetics now trusts globaledit’s asset rights and user permissions tools to manage their licensing in each market. By using asset rights, metadata, user roles, and library assignments, the headquarters are able to provide their international teams with great visibility while maintaining granular control of their creative assets.
When working with multiple markets, brands need to keep their story straight and deliver a consistent brand message across all countries. One of the biggest challenges for Smashbox Cosmetics’ teams was the absence of a central point of reference for all their creative teams. As an example, they would receive files, directives, and guidelines by emails, but it was difficult to track and identify finalized assets, especially after multiple file iterations.
To avoid mistakes, Smashbox Cosmetics centralized their creative assets (historical and current) in globaledit, creating a single source of truth. The company has built a granular folder structure and intuitive file naming convention, creating custom metadata schemas to enable everyone access and organize the creative assets the easiest way possible. As an example, the metadata schema created by Smashbox Cosmetics defines the purpose of each file and what it can be used for, leveraging the description feature to specify the proper usage of each visual asset.
Implementing custom metadata schemas considerably simplified search and asset usage tracking. For each new campaign, a new folder is created with all the content produced by the LA team that is available for the other markets, along with full instructions, so each team has simple, clear references and directions to customize the campaign to their local market. This structured self-serve media library is the key to the company’s creative operations effectiveness and brand expansion.
KEEPING BRAND CONSISTENCY ACROSS MARKETS
Today, Smashbox Cosmetics is going even further and testing a new approval process in specific markets: Once the main campaign has been adapted to the local markets, the local team upload the final content in globaledit for the LA team’s review and approval. By wrangling in approvals and controlling access to visuals in specific markets, Smashbox Cosmetics has full control over their worldwide creative. That is an essential part of building a successful global brand.
“Globaledit is a powerful visual tool that connects our users and stakeholders at all levels of the company regardless of their technical abilities.”
Smashbox Cosmetics spent a few months figuring out their new workflow and embracing globaledit to transform their creative operations worldwide. Traceability, file location, and distribution among international markets have become highly efficient and automatic.
The processes now in place have enabled the company to scale its assets, improve productivity, enforce worldwide brand consistency, and ultimately open the door for more international growth.