Benefit Cosmetics

Our team loves how we were able to “Benefit-ized” Cumulus. HotDAM is not only a great tool for our organization but it reflects our brand!

Bjorn Pave
Global Information Services


It takes a lot of focus and hard work to grow to 700 employees with 38 global offices and get acquired by one of the world’s premier brands LVMH (Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton) and it cannot be done without facing some challenges.

As recently as 2011 the marketing department at Benefit Cosmetics was losing valuable days as it tried to launch promotional campaigns. Sometimes the wrong files were distributed and used in its promotions due to process and technology issues.


Benefit chose Cumulus Digital Asset Management (DAM) because it wanted the best-of-breed solution to easily manage, search, track and distribute their files. The deep functionality offered by Cumulus and the ability to grow with the business was key. Benefit also felt that the Canto Professional Services team would be critical to their success, helping with the many complexities of DAM from taxonomy to tagging.

Results and Benefits

• Self-service access to assets internationally and across platforms.

• Faster access to the right files

• Positive feedback from country managers through DAM survey results.

• Increased likelihood of a consistent brand message through distribution of approved content.




Then the Benefit’s corporate office sent out a weekly newsletter to its 38 international marketing contacts. The newsletter contained links to digital assets that could be used for local market advertising but they took a long time to download, especially in parts of the world that didn’t have advanced telecommunications. The team could not always find the assets they needed and more often than not had to contact the corporate office in San Francisco to ask them to resend. With international time zones to contend with, it usually took three days to go back and forth between offices. To make matters worse there was often confusion over which asset to use. This caused inconsistency and threatened to weaken the Benefit Brand.

After hearing the General Managers express their frustration over this situation, the CEO went to the IT Dept. with a mandate to find a solution. Bjorn Pave, Manager, Global Information Services was tapped as Project Lead. He put together a cross-functional team of stakeholders including marketing, IT, operations, the regulatory dept., legal, creative services and public relations. Knowing nothing about Digital Asset Management (DAM) software at the time, the team looked at many solutions including the cloud, which they rejected because of the issue of uploading large files, the costs, and security concerns. Since they were using Sharepoint they considered an upgrade but decided that a DAM solution would provide more in-depth capabilities to support the graphics-intensive nature of their digital assets. At that point Bjorn joined a LinkedIn group and “met” Leala Abbott, Metadata and Taxonomy Specialist at the Metropolitan Museum of Art who gave him a list of the top DAM vendors.

After meeting with the Canto sales team he was referred to Lilly Taylor, a Cumulus user whose business model was similar. Lilly confirmed what Bjorn already knew, that Cumulus would be an ideal fit. Canto Professional Services was key in selecting Cumulus. Benefit wanted to do things right the first time which meant having a well- structured taxonomy and efficient processes.

Canto worked with Benefit to develop a phased approach to implementation, as follows.

1. Install hardware and software

2. Hire an Asset Management Specialist

3. Add video streaming functionality

4. Add upload feature (to share files and get input from global markets)

5. Include digital rights management with catalog customization (expanding the view upon opening, etc.)

It took Benefit just four months to select Canto, quite a feat given that many solutions were re- viewed and the steering committee comprised representatives from many different departments. Being a marketing-driven company, Bjorn knew that the new DAM solution had to be “Benefit-ized.” Copywriters came up with some names and the designers produced a logo. In no time, HotDAM was born. Bjorn made Hot- DAM branded pins made for the next General Manager’s Meeting and ran an internal marketing campaign that had the company abuzz. Now familiar with DAM and Cumulus, Benefit realized it could do much more than access and distribute digital assets. They are using it for new workflows, from sharing to version tracking for production and archiving.


By the management meeting the next February Cumulus was up and running. The new mandate was for teams to share ideas and get input from their peers internationally to ensure higher quality and more consistent campaigns. The next phase is for Cumulus to manage their rapidly growing files even more closely.