Island Brands USA has taken the beer world by storm with their clean ingredients, delightful flavors and laid-back branding. One look at Island Brands’ website and you’ll be transported to the coast, sipping an easy drinking beer with your best friends. You can find their products – Island Coastal Lager, Island Active, Island Lemonada and Island Southern Peach – in over a dozen retailers, including Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s and Walmart.
Brandon Perry is the Co-Founder and CMO of Island Brands. As the leader of the marketing side of the business, he manages the brand strategy alongside Creative Director Chris Edington. Chris facilitates all things brand related, including their digital asset library. Together, their focus is getting the Island Brands product lines in front of their target market.
Island Brands works with internal teams and external collaborators who need quick and easy access to brand logos, images, videos and documents. From distributors and retailers to PR agencies and event promoters, there is always someone searching for a specific asset.
Before Canto, the team kept all of their digital assets in storage platforms like Dropbox and Google Drive. But these systems were not customizable to the team’s branding needs, so they were concerned with how external partners perceived their brand. There wasn’t a seamless, user-friendly experience that flowed from their website to their asset repository.
“If we were going to point partners to those spaces to use assets that we’ve created, they need to be more user friendly. There’s no way to brand them and make them look pretty. You can’t have a beautiful website and then drive people to a location that’s bare-bones and stripped down. It just doesn’t create a white glove process,” says Brandon.
Island Brands needed a solution that enabled them to meet brand consistency standards while accommodating high levels of distribution.
“We have so many different types of partners and our business is complex, so there was a need for a platform that’s easy to use and navigate, and that allows us to host our assets and put time stamps on them,” says Brandon.
Brandon decided to implement Canto because he found that the price and value were right on par.
“Canto was just the right solution at the right price in terms of cost to benefit ratio. We chose it because of the price-to-deliverable ROI,” says Brandon.
In addition to the price, Canto also flexes to their specific organizational needs, which is paramount with the number of people searching through the library.
“We’ve got salespeople that service the distributors and buyers, then we have our event team and brand ambassadors – there are a lot of moving parts here. And that’s why the nimbleness of this platform makes sense for us,” says Brandon.
The team now stores everything in Canto – logos, package mockups, brand guidelines, photography, social graphics, sell sheets and media kits.
Our intent was to create a grab-and-go scenario. Canto is very easy to navigate and works on the level with our brand.
Folders and Tags for asset searchability
In the beginning, Chris was focused on Folder organization in their library, but now that the structure is in place, he’s all about strategic tagging for searchability.
“I keep it as basic as possible with Tags. For instance, if I have a package mock-up, I’ll tag the flavor profile – let’s say ‘Coastal Lager’ – ‘12 ounce’, ‘can’ and ‘packaging’. So those are really the four tags I’ll add to it. Since there’s a lot of assets, I’m just trying to think, ‘what are the most obvious search terms for this?’, says Chris.
Tagging assets in Canto means anyone can find images, videos and documents in seconds. This is in contrast to the previous approach of spending hours searching through unorganized folders.
“The marketing team will always need assets. I have them all on my local computer, but if somebody else on the marketing team needed access to a vague asset, they can easily find it within Canto using the search function, as opposed to going on to our Google Drive and digging through a lot of folders that way,” says Brandon.
Direct brand Portal access from the website
To help distribute assets quicker, Brandon decided to add a section on the website that links to their Canto Portal. Since Canto is fully customized to their branding, the transition from internal site to external library is seamless.
“We host the link for Canto on our website, and anyone can go into the Portal to find what they need, whether it’s a press kit, images, videos or sell sheets. Our intent was to create a grab-and-go scenario. Canto is very easy to navigate and works on the level with our brand,” says Brandon.
Everyone who goes on Island Brands’ website has access to their brand asset library. Because of this, they know all external partners, from massive retailers to beach bars, will uphold brand consistency when it comes to designing posters, social media and other campaign materials.
“We’re a small team and we can’t be making every creative for all these different bars, so distributors will sometimes make them. They may need photos of the entire family of flavors, or just one logo or some photography to support a post,” says Chris.
Canto helps Island Brands build consistency, not just in branding, but also in process.
“What I like most about the Portal is how others will interact with the brand outside of the company. These assets will always live here no matter what, so somebody can just come on and download them and it’s always going to be the same process,” says Chris.
When the team has to make changes on one document or image, they simply update it in Canto and everyone has the latest content.
“Sometimes we have to make minor adjustments, and with Canto we can easily update that on our end and not have to send it out to everybody who needs the latest version. There’s brand integrity in this, which is always important to me. Anybody who interacts with our brand from the moment they get this link is always going to have the correct logo and approved photography,” says Chris.
Easy access for sales teams
Island Brands’ sales teams are always on the go, servicing both the distributors and buyers. They want to get the brand into as many stores as possible – having the best assets for meetings with distributors and retailers is key.
“It boils down to ease of use and making things as efficient as possible. Canto is really advantageous for them because they have somewhere they can go without having to hold onto a lot of links for different folders. They have the assets at their fingertips,” says Chris.
Since Canto enables the sales team to access assets whenever they need them, it also eliminates asset requests that normally go through the marketing team.
“Sales would ask for assets like, ‘hey, can you send me a picture of the Peach and Lemonada together?’ Now they can easily come to Canto and just click on the package mockups folder and it’s all right there for them. Any way to mitigate design and asset requests is extremely helpful,” says Chris.
No one has to bother marketing for any assets. Now we can just let the marketing team do their job without having to assist in any asset distribution.
Island Brands’ widely accessible craft brews are filling the gap between factory corporations and small breweries. With Canto, the team not only ensures their brand is presented in the best way possible, but they also free up time to work on other important tasks.
“As far as managing the content in Canto, it’s just a little bit of work upfront to save a lot of work in the end. We have this end-all-be-all area of our company, any photography that’s approved and ready to go out to the public lives there,” says Chris.
Canto’s ease of use empowers everyone to find assets with no hassle. They can be confident they’re getting the most up-to-date photos, videos and product information in Canto.
“The sales team is always armed with the most up-to-date and beneficial assets that they need, and from a distributor retail standpoint, anybody that needs an asset knows where to go and, like sales, has access to all the best brand assets that we could possibly offer. Canto is easy to use, so they’re not reaching out to us for anything that they may need,” says Chris.
And as for the marketing team, they can leave the asset distribution up to Canto and focus fully on building the brand.
“No one has to bother marketing for any assets. Now we can just let the marketing team do their job without having to assist in any asset distribution,” says Chris.