A whole new world

How Niice helped credit union creatives serving The Walt Disney Company adapt to lockdown

Everything was approved. After months of work, the team at Partners Federal Credit Union (credit union serving The Walt Disney Company) had finally got the go-ahead to send the finalised creative for their annual meeting to print.

And then the world went into lockdown.

Cancelling the legally-mandated event wasn’t an option, so they decided to transform it from an in-person event into an entirely virtual one. That Tuesday, the in-house creative team (split between Florida & California) were tasked with developing an entirely new identity (along with fresh marketing materials) for the virtual event, while working from home… by Friday.

Buried in folders, lost in the stream

A year ago, the team used two key tools to manage their creative workflow. They had a centralised server (“the M drive”) for storing and sharing assets, and Slack for getting quick feedback on creative. While this approach kept everything secure (vital for a heavily-regulated institution like Partners), it also presented some challenges that really slowed down the team's day-to-day workflow.

Working with heavy artwork files over a private server can be painful. Firstly there’s the slow connection speed (especially over a VPN), so ‘quickly checking a file’ can easily turn into a 15 minute task. It can also be arduous to find what you’re looking for; even with a good filing system assets can easily become buried in folders and accidentally forgotten about, and searching for something usually means downloading and opening each individual file, just so you can preview it.

Sharing files over Slack is quicker, but important details can soon get lost in the stream, especially for larger projects with lots of revisions and multiple people contributing. It’s hard to keep track of what’s been approved and what feedback still needs addressed.

The team were always asking where to find the brand guidelines or the logos. We needed a better way to make those assets available for everyone

Royce Ngiam, VP, Marketing & Business Development

The team realised there was a gap in their toolset. They needed a more visual source-of-truth for each project, so they could have a clear line of sight over all their assets and be able to access them quickly, without compromising on security. That's when they introduced Niice.

A clear line of sight

Niice enabled the Partners creative team to share all their brand assets on a centralised hub, and create project boards to oversee entire campaigns from brief through to approval.

A hub for the Partners brand

With every brand asset in one place, the Partners Brand Hub enabled the entire team to grab whatever they need, whenever they needed it. They could quickly access high-res files from any browser, any device, anywhere (even from a phone on their couch if need be!). And because it’s so quick and easy to update, it was more likely to be up-to-date.

Everyone can access the assets they need with a single link, which is really useful now that we're all remote.

Royce Ngiam, VP, Marketing & Business Development

An entire campaign on one page

Project boards provided a backbone for each campaign, enabling everyone on the team to see the whole story from brief through to approval on a single webpage (rather than hidden across dozens of files and folders). They could review all of the assets for a campaign side-by-side to ensure visual consistency, and have a single source of truth that everyone could reference throughout a project, or return to 6 months down the line.

We can see all our digital and print assets side-by-side, in one view and know at a glance which ones are approved

Enrique de la Espriella, Design & Brand Manager

Having all of their creative in one place has helped the Partners team maintain visual consistency across their campaigns, and made their brand materials more accessible to their colleagues and partners.

Designing a virtual event in three days

When lockdown happened, the team had to pivot on a dime and create brand new messaging for the virtual event. They had to come up with an entirely new campaign concept, redesign all the creative, and get everything signed off… all by the end of the week.

With everyone forced to work remotely this could easily have turned into a chaotic scramble, but the improvements Partners had made to their workflow over the last year paid off. Rather than spending hours pulling files from the server or scrolling through old Slack streams, the team could simply load up the Niice board with the entire story of their campaign, review what changes were required and come up with a plan.

The Risk team were able to review & approve the new creative in half the time

Enrique de la Espriella, Design & Brand Manager

When the creative team were ready to send the new assets for review and approval, they simply added a new section to the top of the project board and uploaded all the new artwork. With the full story laid out on a single page it was easy to see the entire campaign at a glance, and the Risk team were able to review and approve the new creative in record time. Once they got the go-ahead, everyone on the team could hop on to Niice and grab the assets they needed.

Once we got approval for the new assets, everyone was able to go to Niice and get what they needed. It was so easy for us.

Enrique de la Espriella, Design & Brand Manager