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Life Fitness Accelerates Time to Market With Widen Portals

The Life Fitness creative team produces brand and marketing materials to support a range of global campaigns and product launches. With Widen’s digital asset management (DAM) system — and the Portals application, in particular — they control the distribution of this content across internal teams, external partners, and clients.

Products used

Assets Icon Assets

Catalog, control, and distribute rich media assets from a central source of truth.

Insights Icon Insights

Track and measure assets and build site performance dashboards.

Portals Icon Portals

Curate collections of assets and create tailored experiences.

8,750

Total portal views in
the last 12 months

2,880

Total users

7,540

Total asset uploads in
the last 12 months

Challenges

Life Fitness is a global leader in helping people lead active and healthy lives. Their family of brands includes Life Fitness, Hammer Strength, Cybex, ICG and SCIFIT, and they distribute their equipment across the globe — in more than 120 countries. 

Despite this big footprint, they have a small, four-person creative team that produces, manages, and distributes content to support and promote all of their brands. 

Product launches, in particular, require a lot of new content. Their Creative Director, Dan Murphy, shared, “We put together our marketing materials based on a date when the product is ready, which can make it hectic because you really need to have the images, videos, sell sheets, and more, ready by the time of launch.”

“And when that launch happens,” he continued, “that content needs to be there and easy to get to. We have a range of teams that need new product launch materials right when they are available.”

As a Widen customer for over a decade, their DAM system serves as their central repository for marketing content. “What don’t we use Widen for?” Dan asked, jokingly. “We use it to house everything.” 

And to meet the need to distribute product content quickly and easily — across both internal and external stakeholders — they rely on Widen’s Portals application.

Objectives

Empowered users
Give internal and external teams self-serve access to approved content.

Speed to market
Distribute product content in tandem with the launch date. 

Optimized workflows
Leverage the right technology to simplify how content is managed and shared. 

Solution

One system to centralize content 
Dan’s small-but-mighty creative team uses Widen to streamline how content is managed and shared across their organization. By storing all of their content in one location, marketing and sales teams know how to access and find the assets they need — and have confidence that what they’re using is current and on brand. 

A range of external stakeholders also need access to this content, including clients like the YMCA, health clubs, campus recreation departments, architects for multi-unit housing, and distributors for consumer products. With Portals, these clients have self-serve access to outstanding product imagery that can be used in their promotional materials or renderings. “We are all for our clients’ success because that makes us successful,” Dan shared.

Security features to control content releases
The Life Fitness creative team tracks toward a target product launch date as they create the supporting marketing materials — but this date isn’t set in stone. As soon as the products are ready to ship, the related content needs to be available to support their network of distributors and sales staff. “Our product launches are driven by the product itself,” Dan said.

With Widen’s asset security features, Dan’s team is at the ready. As each piece of content is created and finalized, it’s loaded into the DAM system as “unreleased.” This ensures that only a few users with permission to access unreleased files will even see them in the DAM system until they’re ready to launch. “We don’t want anyone to stumble upon new products that we haven’t actually launched yet,” Dan said.

As they approach the target launch date, his team builds a portal with all the related assets. And as soon as the product is ready to launch they simply unrelease the files and publish the portal. “We can immediately flip the switch and release all the items,” Dan shared. They then send a single email with the portal URL to their various stakeholders, and their content distribution is complete.

“We’ve really been able to be much more efficient using Widen, and especially using Portals, where we can convey a lot of information with a single email and a link.”

Dan Murphy
Creative Director
Life Fitness

Benefits

Accelerated product launches 
With Portals, the Life Fitness team is able to manage and curate product content so the distribution coincides with the launch. This instantaneous access to the materials needed to sell and promote products accelerates their time to market. “Widen really helps ensure that everyone has what they need for the product launch. Right when that product comes off the line — if you’re a sales person, an overseas marketer, whoever you are — here’s your link, you’re ready to go.”

Brand consistency 
“Brand consistency is something we really strive for,” Dan shared. By using Portals to give their teams and partners easy, self-serve access to approved content, they ensure that everyone is working together to create a unified brand experience. Even the portal itself is a reflection of the Life Fitness brand because they are able to modify the fonts and colors to match their guidelines.

Increased agility
The Life Fitness creative team might be small, but with tools like Widen Portals they are built for speed. “Widen saves us a ton of time,” Dan shares. “In general, I think that we’ve really been able to be much more efficient using Widen — and especially using Portals, where we can convey a lot of information with a single email and a single link.”