Frontify vs. Brandfolder: Which is best for your brand?

Frontify vs. Brandfolder: Which is best for your brand?

Frontify and Brandfolder are two top names in the digital asset management (DAM) space, and both solutions are used by leading enterprise companies worldwide. Let's compare some of their distinct features and capabilities that let businesses optimize their brand management strategies.

While Brandfolder is a major DAM provider, Frontify offers digital asset management as part of a broader suite of brand-building solutions — it integrates an intuitive DAM into a more comprehensive brand portal.

If you’re trying to choose between these two well-regarded platforms, this article will help you decide and find the best option for your business. The information below was gathered in February 2024 and was correct at that time.

What is Brandfolder?

Brandfolder is a digital asset management solution. It was founded in 2012 and acquired by Smartsheet, an enterprise work management platform, in 2020. Since this acquisition, Brandfolder has expanded its collaboration capabilities and DAM functionality.

According to its website, Brandfolder is used by more than 5,000 companies worldwide, including Zoom, Ergobaby, and Fairline Yachts. Brandfolder focuses on enterprise and mid-market companies.

Brandfolder features

Brandfolder offers many features and integrations that help companies manage their files and assets:

  • Digital asset management: A centralized online location to store and organize brand files, such as logos, icons, images, videos, and 3D graphics.
  • Digital brand guidelines: Documents that outline the visual and messaging elements that make up a brand's identity.
  • Content and creative workflows: Processes for teams to create project briefs, review and comment on asset iterations, and approve files that are ready to use.
  • Templates for digital and print assets: Pre-built templates to help teams design on-brand content quickly and easily.
  • Integrations: A complete suite of native integrated tools for a seamlessly connected tech stack, including full integration with Smartsheet.
  • Artificial intelligence and machine learning: Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) features that automatically analyze and tag your creative assets.
  • Analytics: A collection of data around asset usage, templates, and guidelines.

Brandfolder pricing

Brandfolder doesn’t share its pricing publicly — to get a quote, you can arrange a demo with the team. The company offers two pricing tiers:

  • Premium for organizations looking for a scalable, intelligent digital asset management platform
  • Enterprise for large-scale organizations with significant storage, user, and distribution requirements

On both plans, you get access to its core DAM product, but the Enterprise tier gives you more granular control over elements such as asset access and organizational management. You can also set up custom automation for some of your asset management processes on that plan.

Who is Brandfolder best for?

Brandfolder is typically used by mid-size and enterprise companies. It has a strong presence in North America but works with customers globally. It’s a good option for companies that need a digital asset management tool to help their marketers and creative teams organize and manage different creative files.

If your company uses Smartsheet, Brandfolder is also a great addition to your tech stack, thanks to the native integration between these tools. However, while Smartsheet owns Brandfolder, the two are separate products — and billed accordingly.

What is Frontify?

Frontify is a brand-building platform that combines intuitive DAM and personalized brand portals. It was founded in 2013, making it a well-established vendor in the space. The solution streamlines workflows and ensures consistency by connecting brand guidelines, DAM, and templates in a comprehensive and collaborative hub.

Frontify works with enterprise and mid-market companies looking for a holistic brand-building environment beyond asset management. It’s used by thousands of leading brands worldwide, including Uber, Kansas City Chiefs, Volkswagen, Microsoft, and Telefónica.

Frontify features

Frontify offers a broad range of features that equip companies with the functionality they need to build their brands:

  • Digital asset management: A centralized online location to store and organize brand files, such as logos, icons, images, and marketing assets.
  • Digital brand guidelines: A comprehensive online collection of resources outlining the visual and messaging elements constituting a brand's identity.
  • Templates for digital and print assets: A place for designers to build editable templates to help teams easily create on-brand content.
  • Content and creative workflows: A central hub where teams can review content and manage the approvals process.
  • Marketplace: A collection of ready-to-use content blocks that offer further customization possibilities for your guidelines.
  • Brand SDK: A software development kit (SDK) to customize your guidelines and templates to your brand’s needs.
  • Design system: Reusable functional components and patterns to ensure consistent guidelines and templates.
  • Integrations: A complete suite of natively integrated tools for a seamlessly connected brand ecosystem.
  • Analytics: A collection of data around asset usage, templates, and guidelines.
  • Desktop and mobile app: Access to brand materials whether users are at their desks or on the go.

Frontify pricing

Frontify offers a value-based pricing model derived from your number of monthly active users (MAUs): You pay only for people using the platform during the month.

As your number of MAUs is a custom calculation, Frontify doesn’t share its pricing publicly. However, the team can help you calculate or forecast this number during a demo, where you can learn more about the features. Frontify also provides a 30-day free trial that lets users test the system’s capabilities without requiring a credit card.

Who is Frontify best for?

Frontify is the ideal choice for enterprise or mid-market companies looking for a holistic brand-building platform rather than only asset management. In Frontify, you get a seamless connection between the DAM, brand guidelines, creative templates, and collaboration space, meaning you get a true brand hub.

Frontify is popular with multi-brand organizations and agencies, as you can manage multiple brands or sub-brands within one portal. So, if you’re looking for a platform that allows you to scale in ever-changing environments, Frontify will likely be a perfect option.

Frontify vs. Brandfolder: Key differences

The most significant difference between the two companies is that Brandfolder’s core product is a DAM. In contrast, Frontify is a holistic platform designed to build your brand — DAM is just one part of the solution.

For enterprise customers, both tools offer similar core features:

  • Digital asset management (DAM)
  • Digital brand guidelines
  • Creative collaboration workflows
  • Asset templates
  • Analytics and usage data

However, there are also some big differences. While Brandfolder offers several features to build your brand — like guidelines and collaboration — these don’t integrate with each other as seamlessly as in Frontify. Below, we compare some of the other functionalities that are most important to enterprise companies with complex brand management needs.

Platform scalability

Enterprise companies need a platform that will scale with their business. This could mean managing multiple sub-brands or setting up different brand portals for global regions.

In Brandfolder, you can’t create multiple brands within your portal “out -the -box.” This means you will need developer support to create multiple portals and set something up that will work for your brands. And if you’re a company that operates in multiple regions, you can’t set up a new area in the platform just for that region and automatically replicate your existing brand structure in that area.

Frontify is a much more scalable platform. You can manage multiple brands within the platform or create a multi-region setup with just a few clicks. No matter how complex your brand architecture is, Frontify offers a clear and user-friendly solution for managing multiple brands, sub-brands, or regions. So, Frontify scales with your business, whether you're entering new markets, acquiring companies, or diversifying your product offerings.

Onboarding and setup time

It typically takes only two to three weeks for companies to get set up and onboarded to Frontify if you don’t need additional support with content migration. In comparison, Brandfolder says its average onboarding process takes six to seven weeks — longer if you have more complex requirements.

Platform customization

Frontify allows for wide customization — you can adapt the DAM and the rest of the portal to fit your organization’s branding, workflows, and structure. For example, you can extensively modify the appearance and functionality of your brand guidelines to add distinct elements that are unique to your brand.

Brandfolder has more limited customization options, though you can extend that with HTML and CSS styling. However, this may require developer support and input to set up the platform as you need it.

If you want to customize your brand guidelines further, Frontify offers far more options than Brandfolder. The Frontify SDK lets developers create their own content blocks to add to their guidelines. You can also use blocks made by other brands in the Frontify Marketplace, benefitting from the expertise and creativity of the wider Frontify community.

Design system

A design system is a shared resource that designers and developers use to create on-brand digital experiences. It typically includes reusable components, code snippets, design principles, and guidelines. A design system is another part of the Frontify platform, but it’s not something that’s currently available from Brandfolder.

Integrations and plugins

Brandfolder and Frontify integrate with a similar number of popular tools, making the platforms a core part of your connected tech ecosystem. If you use a tool that’s not on the list of integrations, both Frontify and Brandfolder have an open API so your developers can build custom integrations.

However, there are a couple of key differences:

  • Brandfolder has a native integration with Smartsheet (thanks to the acquisition), offering improved collaboration and project management capabilities.
  • Frontify offers native integrations with a variety of other project management tools — such as Wrike and Monday.com — which Brandfolder doesn’t.

Interconnected brand toolkit

Both Brandfolder and Frontify offer several tools for brand builders: guidelines, DAM, collaboration, and creative templates. In Brandfolder, only the DAM and brand guidelines connect directly.

In Frontify, all tools are interconnected. This means you can check design specifications and find brand assets in all parts of the platform — for example, when you’re creating or editing a template for social media graphics or suggesting an alternate image to use in a marketing campaign. Frontify is easy to use, and the interconnectivity helps to increase adoption and engagement across the company.

Is Frontify right for your organization?

Frontify and Brandfolder have different use cases. The right platform for you will depend on whether you’re primarily looking for a DAM (Brandfolder) or a more holistic brand management solution (Frontify).

If you’re still unsure which is the ideal tool for your company, there’s an easy way to work it out: Try a 30-day free trial of Frontify — no credit card required. You can access all the features and integrations to get a feel for how it will work within your existing tech stack.

Start building your brand with Frontify