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Heaven Hill Brands is the largest family-owned and operated distilled spirits company in the US. With Widen’s digital asset management (DAM) system as the central repository for their current marketing assets, their nationwide sales team and distributor network have self-serve access to content needed to sell and promote Heaven Hill products.
Founded in 1935, Heaven Hill is home to over 20 iconic brands, including Evan Williams Bourbon, Elijah Craig Bourbon, Lunazul Tequila, and Deep Eddy Vodka — and they ship products to more than 100 countries worldwide.
Before they had a DAM platform, all of their marketing and sales content was saved on a local server and shared via an FTP site. Laura Crahan, Heaven Hill’s Creative Services Manager, recalled, “We like to refer to the FTP system we had in place prior to the DAM system as a dinosaur.”
It only housed a subset of their assets, and because it lacked search functionality it was difficult to use. In addition, only the marketing department could access the files on the local server, so they were bogged down with image requests.
Laura’s team knew this workflow couldn’t keep pace with their business growth. So Heaven Hill launched a request for proposal (RFP) process for a DAM system — and selected Widen in 2017.
To expedite access to the right assets
Centralized content distribution
With a single source of truth for all approved assets
Empowered sales teams
Through self-serve access to essential content
Hands-on implementation support
“When we were doing the RFP process and trying to decide which company to go with, what really stood out to us about Widen was the customer service,” Laura shared.
Widen’s support — especially through implementation — virtually eliminated the need for Heaven Hill’s IT team to help get the system up and running. “We were just really, really pleased with how much hand-holding Widen did as we prepared to launch our system. It was clear that Widen wanted to ensure our success.”
Portals for sales enablement
Heaven Hill’s DAM system quickly became the single repository for content that supports their internal marketing and sales teams. But they also wanted to share a selection of these assets with their external distributor network. With the Portals application, they’re able to provide access to these files via a link, without requiring users to log in to the DAM system.
“When we first launched our DAM system, our focus was on housing current marketing assets for our internal sales team to easily view, download, and share,” Laura said. “We quickly learned that our distributor partners would also benefit from having access to a subset of these assets, so we built portals for each of our different brands, for them to access directly.”
These portals are so popular that many of the Heaven Hill sales reps and distributors pin the URLs to the home screen of their mobile devices, so they have immediate access to the content they need when they are in the field with customers.
In addition, her team has simplified the maintenance of each portal by using the dynamic gallery feature, which updates content based on specified search criteria. “Now my team doesn't have to populate the portals — it's all done automatically based on the search terms that we've set up.”
Content in one system
Shortly after implementing Widen, Heaven Hill migrated their current marketing and sales assets from their local server to their DAM system. Until recently, they continued to use the server for other content, like creative and historical files.
But in an effort to consolidate tools and reduce storage fees, they’ve decided to eliminate this server and move the content to their DAM site, using a separate “Archive” asset group.
It’s a big project. “Given our company’s 85-year history, we have a lot of assets that help preserve our company’s story,” Laura shared. They started by eliminating duplicate and nonessential files. And then, with the help of Widen’s Managed Services team, they will migrate the assets to the DAM system and apply metadata.
Once this project is complete, all of their brand, marketing, and archival content will be in a single, searchable repository. “From internal communication videos to photos of our employees and facilities, our DAM system provides a central hub for assets that help connect our various locations to each other and to the corporate goals we are trying to attain together,” Laura shared.
By storing all of their content in a single, searchable repository, all teams and partners know where to find current assets — with just a few clicks. There’s no longer the need to route file requests through the marketing team, or share files through email or FTP. This streamlined access has transformed how their marketing team manages and distributes content. “It's hard to remember a world without the DAM system,” Laura noted.
Investing in Widen allowed Heaven Hill to eliminate the local server they previously used to store all of their content — along with the associated storage and maintenance fees. This cost savings can now be used to support new content creation, expand their DAM software utilization, or advance any other marketing priority.
Accelerated time to market
“The assets in our DAM system serve as critical content that our sales team needs to drive our business,” Laura said. “From sell sheets that show our products, to overview brochures that tell the unique selling points of our brands, they arm our sales team with the tools they need to sell our products.” With immediate access to this approved and current content in Widen, Heaven Hill is able to bring new products to market with confidence and speed.
“The assets in our DAM system serve as critical content that our sales team needs to drive our business. From sell sheets that show our products, to overview brochures that tell the unique selling points of our brands, they arm our sales team with the tools they need to sell our products.”
Creative Services Manager at Heaven Hill Brands