15-year-old provider of solutions for managing digital assets, North Plains, is reinventing its key asset — itself. This month, the Toronto-based company launched a corporate rebranding with a new mission, visual identity, logo and website.
Backed by new investors, the North Plains acquired Xinet in April as part of a three-year plan to enlarge its set of solutions. Xinet provides file-based workflow of visual content for agencies and publishers, and the company’s other major product, TeleScope, offers management of visual content within an organization and with external partners.
Eric Courville, Director of Marketing and Strategic Alliances, told CMSWire that North Plain’s complete makeover is a result of a market assessment undertaken by the company. The assessment, he said, found that the market for digital asset management was “flexible, fragmented and drastically changing, but had no clear leader.”
North Plains assessed itself as being perceived as “older” and not as adaptive as newer players, and so the restructuring and revised branding is part of an effort to reinvigorate the company’s flexibility, define itself as a thought leader and reinvent its approach to its customers, Courville said.
Those customers, which include corporate marketers, advertisers, publishers, media and entertainment companies, are “under extreme pressure to do more with less, and do it faster,” Courville noted. There are also more channels that require assets, customers have to produce and manage assets in cooperation with a growing number of collaborators, and assets have to be made relevant for local needs or various viewer persona, even when they’re distributed globally.
While its competitors are emphasizing technology, asset security, content collaboration, speed of access/deployment and ROI, Courville said the new North Plains “wants to put the customer at the center.”
North Plains said that, in its new incarnation, this means emphasizing customer benefits over technology benefits and behaving like a brand that “celebrates” visual media as well as understands its value. In its new marketing presentation, for instance, the company said it is looking to do more than simply help customers manage digital assets, by becoming a “complete solution for helping marketers, publishers and content creators connect with their audiences more effectively than any other company.”
The new tag line is intended to address that perspective: “Connecting your world. Visually.” Courville said that the key word, the core of the new branding, is “connecting,” in that the company sees its new mission as helping customers connect with their audiences, with their stakeholders and with their assets.
The website, with its new logo and tagline, puts industry-specific needs front and center. “Want to get the right content through the right channel to the right device at the right time?” asks the media & entertainment attract screen, and the sections for the other targeted industries — corporate marketing, advertising & creative, publishing and partners — similarly ask core questions.
It remains to be seen if this new positioning, branding and marketing-speak represent a new approach that can further distinguish North Plains. But this isn’t a timid rebranding, as North Plains’ ambitious attempt to redefine itself, if successful, could begin to redefine the industry.
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