Nina Brakel-Schutt

Hi there, I’m Nina Brakel-Schutt+. I’m the Business Development & Brand Strategist for Widen. My work with Widen began at the start of 2012 after spending the last 20 years working in brand strategy and integrated marketing communications on the agency side in Chicago, helping large and small companies strengthen and communicate their brands. For six years, I served as a Managing Partner of my own brand consulting firm, Identity 3.0. I’ve also been an adjunct professor of marketing at DePaul University. My client experience spans many industries with organizations like Allstate, Lund International, Aptar Group, WMS Gaming, General Electric, and Rush University.

Recent posts by Nina Brakel-Schutt:

Brand Assets and How to Get the Most Out of Them

by Nina Brakel-Schutt, December 2, 2019

Your company’s brand is the culmination of every experience a person has with your organization. It tells the world who your company is, and what you do. It is a differentiator that identifies your products or services as distinct from others in your market. And it’s a compass for making business decisions. 

A range of elements — both tangible and intangible — contribute to a brand, including tone, voice, and visual design. And each of these elements are thoughtfully and strategically developed over time, using brand assets. 

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Topics: Brand management

A Beginner's Guide: What is a Brand Manager?

by Nina Brakel-Schutt, November 5, 2019

Business environments today are tough. Things change fast. From a new competitor on the scene to shifting market conditions, technologies, and buyer dynamics, there’s a lot that’s simply out of our control. Because of this, organizations are putting more and more emphasis on the things they can control — like their brand. 

Brand management, once a practice reserved for the Coca-Colas and Nikes of the world, is now a commonplace practice for any organization looking to win the hearts, minds, and spend of their target audiences. And, just as you see with other business priorities, it helps to put a dedicated person like a brand manager in place to ensure it succeeds. 

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Topics: Marketing, Brand management

Brand Relaunch 101: Creating a Successful Brand Rollout Plan

by Nina Brakel-Schutt, September 4, 2019

For better or worse — but hopefully, for better — my fashion sense has evolved over time.  It’s changed with the times, my environment, and my purpose. 

Your brand is exactly the same. No one gets their look and feel right on the first try. It’s an evolution influenced by many factors. Including company acquisitions, updates to an organization’s purpose statement, expansion into new locations, or just the march of time. You’re slowly acquiring the pieces that make you, you and the same is true of your brand. 

That’s why it’s important to be strategic in your approach to a brand relaunch. 

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Topics: Creative, Brand management

The Ultimate Guide to Writing a Creative Brief

by Nina Brakel-Schutt, June 19, 2019

Once you’ve decided on a new marketing campaign, you’ll be tempted to jump right in. Slow down! You’re missing an important first step: the creative brief. A creative brief is essential for getting all internal stakeholders on the same page before executing a project. All new creative endeavors should start with a brief, so use the tips in this guide to help you draft one that is clear, concise, and informative.

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Topics: Creative, Marketing

Why Is Brand Management Important to Marketers?

by Nina Brakel-Schutt, February 5, 2019

Regardless of funding, revenues, or company size, one of the strongest differentiators an organization can have is its brand. But brand strength doesn't happen on its own. It's a competitive advantage that needs to be earned. It takes organizational self-reflection, focus, and discipline to create a brand that customers prefer over competitors. That’s why brand management is important. The brand must have rules placed around it to be easily upheld and presented appropriately. And it needs to be considerate to a quickly changing world with numerous cultural nuances.

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Topics: Brand management

Create a Brand Style Guide with This Ultimate Branding Checklist

by Nina Brakel-Schutt, December 7, 2018

As a marketer, you know first hand how important it is for your potential and existing customers to feel good about your brand. It creates expectations around the quality and value of your offering, and what it will feel like to use your product or service. Those expectations impact what your market buys.

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Topics: Brand management

4 Marketing Trends to Master With Digital Asset Management

by Nina Brakel-Schutt, December 4, 2018

Which trends are marketing-driven organizations focused on? Inquiring minds want to know! If you said artificial intelligence, actionable data, customer experience, and building the right technology mix, you’re spot on. Connecting digital asset management (DAM) to these trends needs to be a priority for all marketing teams who want to maximize content value, create deeper emotional connections with their audiences, and improve the overall customer experience.

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Topics: Marketing, DAM

How Varian Saved Thousands of Dollars by Monitoring Content Analytics

by Nina Brakel-Schutt, May 29, 2018

Sandra De Biasi is the project manager of digital assets and graphics at Varian, a Fortune 500 company and provider of radiation oncology treatment software and hardware.

At Varian, she manages their digital asset management system, which has played an integral role in managing the company’s brand assets during their recent corporate rebrand. Here’s her exciting story about how monitoring content analytics in their DAM system helped secure their valuable brand assets.

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Topics: Customer Stories, DAM, Content Strategy, Brand management

The 2018 Connectivity Report is Here

by Nina Brakel-Schutt, May 15, 2018

The connectivity between people, processes, and technologies allows marketers and creatives to perform their best and create incredibly meaningful experiences. But how? That’s what we decided to find out by talking with a range of professionals around the world about what’s behind true connectivity. Our team conducted and analyzed 32 phone interviews and 506 online surveys to generate the data.

The report explores how modern marketing organizations balance the power of technology with the familiarity of the human touch, and the role of connectivity in marketing operations, strategy, and business results. Among many findings, we discovered a significant gap between interest in artificial intelligence (AI) and understanding of that technology in marketing departments.

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Topics: Marketing

The World of Widen’s Digital Asset Management Integrations

by Nina Brakel-Schutt, May 7, 2018

When engaging in digital business today, marketing organizations need several systems to guide their work functions like file sharing, data management and analysis, and project management. So it’s not unusual for the management of so many systems to quickly become overwhelming with multiple logins, functionality overlaps, isolated files and data, and project bottlenecks.

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Topics: DAM, MarTech, Integrations

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