Starkey Simplifies Branding with WebNative Suite

Starkey Laboratories, Inc. is a privately held, global hearing technology company headquartered in Eden Prairie, Minnesota. The company is recognized for its innovative design, development and distribution of comprehensive digital hearing systems. Founded in 1967, Starkey currently employs more than 3,500 people, operates 22 facilities and conducts business in more than 100 markets worldwide.

  Jonathan Holt

Jonathan Holt International Marketing Manager


Jonathan Holt, international marketing manager at Starkey, oversees Starkey’s outbound communications, including the distribution of marketing collateral to their international markets. This includes ensuring that distributed marketing files are up-to-date and that every market is brand compliant. Starkey’s previous digital asset management (DAM) system was unable to meet those needs and contributed to slowing the process. Xinet® WebNative® Suite was brought in to replace it and help Holt and his team simplify asset distribution and storage.

Across Starkey, users are granted folder and volume access on the WebNative server based on department. Designers and other creatives work directly on the server, simplifying collaboration and maintaining file integrity. To further expedite the workflow, the marketing lead determines key words and metadata required of each file and makes these metadata fields prerequisites for Uploader delivery. When a project manager or designer uploads files from the “In Progress” folder to the media library upon project completion and approval, all the relevant information must be appended before Uploader will deliver the file. This makes everyone accountable and facilitates later file retrieval.

“With WebNative Suite, our designers create and save files to the server so we can keep track of all of their working files, including the working assets. As the files are approved, we move them to a different volume that we consider the final asset library, which has all the final assets that can be shared out—logos, product photos, lifestyle pictures and so on. Every Adobe® InDesign® file that has ever been approved for our company, for the main brand or any of the sub brands, is saved in this media library,” said Holt.

Once a file is placed in the media library, access to that file is immediately available worldwide. With a myriad of files and users, file retrieval must be simplified. For large projects, an easy-to-access PDF “picture book” is created that depicts the collateral for each brand. They are then made available for individual markets to review and choose materials to utilize for a given project or product launch.

“For example, if the German market wants to see what assets are available for a product launch, they look through the reference library. Once they find the assets they need and locate the marketing number associated with them, they can access the media library and find those actual assets. With WebNative Portal, the international people can only access the server via the web. By setting it up that way, I restrict access to only the volumes that are applicable to them,” said Holt.

"WebNative Suite made things simple—I only need to communicate once or twice at the beginning of a new product release and everyone knows where they need to go for materials." Jonathan Holt, International Marketing Manager

Since implementing WebNative Suite, the time spent saving, distributing and sharing files has decreased dramatically. Starkey's previous DAM system was an application in which people had to upload and download files. Because WebNative Suite is a server-based DAM system, files can be moved and shared very easily by simple drag-and-drop. There is no longer a need to create a file on the desktop, zip it and post it to the server.

“When I look at where we were six or seven years ago and where we are now, I’m very happy to see how far we’ve come in terms of efficiently managing and using our assets. When I started at Starkey, we sent our international markets everything on a CD. With so many different markets, and everybody needing different files, it was amazing that anything ever got done. Now everything is typically done in real time,” said Holt.

He added, “When we have a product launch and new materials become available, everyone can go find the assets on their own. If I do a direct mail piece, I can send a PDF out to all the managing directors around the world as an attachment, or I can ask them to use the reference library to view the PDFs. They can go directly to the file and download all the assets along with any usage guidelines. They can then bring it to their local vendor and produce it on their own with all the other InDesign files and all the other pieces. WebNative Suite made things simple—I only need to communicate once or twice at the beginning of a new product release and everyone knows where they need go to look for their materials.”