Creative Requests – How DAM Helped an Innovative Company Expand


In 2012, one organization set out to prove a common product could be fascinating beyond anyone’s wildest imagination. Its goals were anything but basic, and its vision was to improve the lives of customers.

Plae is a shoe company with dreams bigger than foot protection. Its conception was an everyday item – kids shoes designed to emulate nature, cities and landscapes. The designs were part of an overarching goal – to inspire kids to regain their desire to play. Plae has visions of an ideal world where children are full of uninhibited movement and freedom. Sharing this vision with its target audience took creative collateral and plenty of creative requests.

The Importance of Sharing Detailed Images Interdepartmentally

Like any company, creative requests were a time-consuming part of Plae’s everyday process. Creative requests are inquiries directed at creative teams such as graphic designers and copywriters. With Plae shoes, detail is everything. Every single pair is designed not only to be lightweight for movement, protect toes and be flexible; but each shoe is given elaborate aesthetic features resembling parts of nature. Plae is meticulous about putting the essence of nature into each shoe’s design, and for this reason creative requests needed to be efficient.

Several co-workers sitting in a modern and busy office.
Plae had a high volume of creative requests in its early years.

At the time of Plae’s inception, it sold kids shoes exclusively, and it relied on Dropbox to store images required to create compelling shoe designs. The traditional approach was not lining up with the ideals of the company, so Plae decided to look for a better approach to handle creative requests. Whichever system it switched to would need to help its teams achieve efficiency through improved creative request management. Plae hoped to use its vision for kids shoes as a catalyst to enter the adult shoe market as well, but first it needed to strengthen creative request processes.

The Creative Request Solution That Helped Refocus Visions and Goals

Plae realized that to create unique kids’ shoes, it needed a more robust solution than Dropbox as its storage system. It needed a solution designed for business, which could securely hold valuable image files and cut down on creative requests. Plae then arrived at its solution – Canto DAM. Canto digital asset management is a comprehensive file storage application that securely stores assets like photos, videos and other media. DAM has search features that use metadata to locate images using keywords and tags.

Companies with intricate designs inevitably need improved ability to organize and share digital assets to help creatives to find the appropriate content. With digital asset management it’s easier to find and share visual assets between the marketing team and creatives. Team members can create links and collections, which can direct members to valuable assets requested by people from different branches. Plae was able to use DAM to create portals that allowed numerous users access to secure assets, giving them the ability to download the files.

Three co-workers sitting at a table are smiling at something shown on the laptop screen in front of them.
Canto DAM helped lower the high volume of creative requests at Plae.

Plae was also able to cut down on the volume of requests because everyone in the marketing team can find assets in the DAM central library. This ensured fewer duplicate assets because they didn’t have to be created a second time. For example, if a team member needed an image for a banner ad, they could find it directly in the DAM instead of searching a hard drive or re-downloading the image from its original source.

Canto’s digital asset management introduced content reuse, a benefit that cut down on creative resources and requests. Anyone within the organization could find created assets in the central library. This directly lowered creative requests by supporting self-service, and helped lower time used to search for particular assets.

The Continuing Progression of Plae

The design of Plae shoes are taken directly from creative artists who produce innovative compositions. Because of this, Plae needs somewhere to store the images for easy access. Having select pictures stored in a private portal lets teams with the appropriate credentials, like the sales and PR teams access them, which limits the amount of random requests that are very time consuming.

A laptop in the background shows a photograph of a pair of shoes, while the same shoes stand in front of the laptop.
Plae fulfilled its expansion into the adult shoe market.

The next step for Plae was to expand its reach into the adult shoe market. It took the core principles of design, environmental awareness and playful activity into its endeavors of shoes for adults. It now offers both kids and adult shoes, a huge step in the idea that everyone should be able to play in their shoes.

Plae continues to believe in the power of creating products to inspire consumers to live life to the fullest, rather than inspire customers to buy an item. Canto provides the DAM platform so that Plae can communicate its brand effectively. In doing so, it assists Plae in bringing joy into people’s lives – one digital asset at a time.

To read more about Plae’s use of Canto to store its assets, check out the customer story: ‘Bringing Order to Thousands of Lifestyle Photos’