Canto helps Fractal Design take control over distributing product launch assets
Fractal Design conceives and manufactures premium PC hardware featuring innovative designs, elegant aesthetics, and unmatched build quality. Based in Sweden, the company has offices around the world and does business in more than 60 countries.
Founded in 2007, Fractal Design got its start with fans and power supplies before gaining global recognition for its first series of cases, which went on to win multiple prestigious awards. Today, the company is a forward-thinking industry leader in PC gaming hardware, offering a wide range of products that combine functionality with aesthetic appeal.
Fractal Design needed a better system for managing and controlling how its distributors accessed and utilized digital assets related to product launches.
Canto allowed Fractal Design to share approved assets through multiple customized portals that provided visibility into who downloaded assets and when.
Goal: Control and manage assets associated with product launches
Fractal Design works with a network of distributors and resellers around the globe to launch its latest innovative products and get them into the hands of customers. When the time comes for a new product release, they must deliver a package of assets to their launch partners so those distributors can create a quality product listing for their online store.
But managing how those assets were distributed proved to be a challenge, Linda Pärlesten, Head of Production & Assets, explains: “The faster we grow and the more launches we have puts us in a situation where we need to be able to control who gets the assets and when, so we can prevent leaks. With a Dropbox link, anyone can share it to whomever or forward an email incorrectly to someone who shouldn’t have access.”
Early on, Fractal Design relied on Dropbox to share assets before deciding that they needed a digital asset management (DAM) platform. Their first attempt at implementing a DAM system, however, proved to be a disappointment.
“We actually never even started because after the implementation, it turned out that the sharing method and fetching of data was not at all what we expected,” Pärlesten says. “I realized it would only cause more frustration, which was unfortunate because we spent about a year prepping everything.”
Enter Canto: Enhancing visibility and control over product assets
Pärlesten tasked one of her team members with finding a new DAM to replace their existing (and unused) platform. That search quickly brought them to Canto, which had the features to meet their specific needs. After creating a trial account as a proof of concept, the team got to work on the implementation and migration process.
“We had already done this journey in a different way, so we knew how we wanted it to look. That part was very easy,” Pärlesten recalls. “We had our support member from Canto from the beginning, but we didn’t really need any support. It’s a very straightforward system. Even if you haven’t had any contact with any DAM system before, it’s exceptionally simple to use.”
Creating a single source of truth for every use case
The first step was to create a single source of truth for all product assets. All approved, market-ready assets—mainly consisting of photos, videos, and PDFs—were placed in the Canto library and tagged to make them easier to locate. Next, the team used Canto’s Portal functionality to create a tiered system for sharing assets with distributors.
“That was the most important part,” Pärlesten says. “We upload everything to the same place, but we have different portals. We have a portal for launch partners, one for distributors, and one for resellers. And then we also have an open portal so anyone can go in and fetch assets after launch.”
Taking control of product launches with Canto Portals
When a new Fractal Design product launches, assets need to be sent out to launch partners 14 days ahead of the release date so they can create listings. With Dropbox links, it was difficult to control what happened to those assets after sharing them, which occasionally resulted in resellers listing products ahead of the launch date in violation of NDAs and embargos.
Now the company can manage launches more effectively using a portal called the “Fractal Asset Bank.” Launch partners were invited to create a Canto account, which took them to a dedicated portal containing product assets and new content under strict embargo. When they try to download embargoed assets, they received a pop-up requiring them to agree to terms and conditions.
The terms and conditions functionality proved to be Pärlesten’s favorite Canto feature. “If you have that pop up, it makes people think twice, so we can control leaks better. We could also see who downloaded the assets. If I saw that the launch partner in a region hasn’t done anything yet, I could contact the sales representative and make sure they started nudging them to check if there are any issues or if they just forgot to download. (It helps) to make sure that everyone lists on the actual launch. It gives us a better view of which ones may need more support and which ones go in as soon as possible.”
Saving time with streamlined sharing
By creating four separate portals for sharing content, the Fractal Design team gained greater control over who could access product assets without creating additional confusion. Some product assets could be hidden in one portal and not in others. This proved to be particularly helpful with the open, public-facing portal used for sharing assets post-launch.
“If we have a media partner or a small reseller who doesn’t have an NDA with us, they can easily set up listings afterwards,” Pärlesten says. “I have both sales and marketing accounts set up. Rather than using SharePoint, they know that whatever’s in Canto is free to use. So, instead of them getting continuous questions about ‘Where can I find this?’ or ‘How can I get ahold of these images?’ and reaching out to my team, they can just send the (public portal) link so everyone looks and gets what they need. They’re not even getting the requests anymore, because everyone knows where to go.”
And since Canto sends notifications whenever new assets are uploaded, the team also saves a great deal of time when it comes to changing or updating assets. Rather than having to reach out to launch partners and distributors every time, the system automatically sends a notification to inform them that new assets are available.
“I would say any update takes about five times less than it used to,” Pärlesten estimates.
The biggest surprise was how easy it was to get going. Before Canto, we had to build everything from the ground up, whereas here you basically had a blueprint already and could just move things around, which made it very easy.
Linda PärlestenHead of Production & Assets
Results: Better control over assets leads to more successful launches
Consolidating Fractal Design’s product assets into a single source of truth finally provided the level of control and visibility the company needed to better manage product launches. Rather than chasing down Dropbox links to see who had access to embargoed materials, the design team can manage those permissions through Canto Portals to ensure that only launch partners can download content ahead of a new release.
Pärlesten couldn’t be happier with the results: “The feedback we got internally from our sales representatives was amazing, because this was exactly what they had been waiting for. Everything went smoothly. The day we launched it internally was also when we were launching a new product. It worked great. No questions. No issues. All good feedback.”
With Canto in place to help distribute assets to launch partners, resellers, and media partners, Fractal Design has made it easier to create high-quality listings while simultaneously ensuring that embargoed products remain safely under wraps until their release date.
“Just to be able to share a finished package is really nice, and there aren’t any questions about it. It’s easily accessible. It’s presented well, you can search, and it looks very professional,” Pärlesten says.