When it comes to any food and beverage brand, innovation isn't just limited to your products. It extends to your marketing strategies, packaging, and design. Consumers today are more volatile and vocal about their preferences. Besides being more health conscious, they are also ethically and sustainably driven.
One valuable lesson we've learned in recent times is that the effort you put into brand building is never in vain. Think Ben and Jerry's and Corona beer – they've got it right.
From clever marketing campaigns and stringent packaging regulations to creating stunning ad banners, you need a team that is working together towards the same goal in a unified manner to build brand equity. Collaboration tools help your creative teams with just that.
Now, there are tons of creative collaboration tools in the market, but we have done the groundwork to bring you the cream of the top.
1. Monday.com — best for project customization and collaborative feedback
If your team struggles with completing tasks on time, Monday.com’s visual progress tracking will benefit your creative team. The platform has a fun, colorful UI and is intuitive to use.
- Visualize tasks and projects with different views: Gantt, Kanban, and more.
- Workdocs allow you to co-edit a document with your team members.
- Enables embedding boards, dashboards, and more into work docs where each component is synced and converted to live-action items.
- Annotations on brand assets to speed up reviews.
- Version control helps track different versions.
- Real-time dashboards provide details on overall performance, budget tracking, and more.
- Pre-made form templates for different use cases enable flexibility to customize based on your team’s needs.
Why we picked Monday.com
Monday.com stands tall in our ranking for its expansive functionality on project management. Some might argue Trello is easier to use because of its simple Kanban boards.
However, Monday.com really shines with its time tracking and resource management tools, which we find impressive. Features such as work docs and real-time dashboards definitely come in handy for creative teams if budget management and time tracking are high on your list of priorities.
Where it falls short
Monday.com's digital asset management solution may not be as advanced as some other platforms that offer superior AI-driven features for smoother and more organized management of the creative process.
Brands that deal with multiple campaigns and tons of creative versions can definitely find better options in the market with an AI-driven asset library and collaboration features similar to, if not better than Monday.com.
2. Asana — best for workflow optimization and agile teams
Asana is a project management software that’s been popular among creative teams. Asana was built to plan and coordinate projects better, and its features reflect just that.
- Universal reporting provides real-time insights into campaign progress and performance.
- Better goal tracking with options to add main goals and sub-goals.
- Creative request forms provide teams with all the information they need to start a project/task with the option to attach a file.
- Workload management helps you reassign or update tasks to avoid burnout and balance workload across the team.
- Multiple integrations support creative production, allowing teams to design, develop, and review work in one place.
Why we picked Asana
When talking about creative collaboration tools, we would be remiss if we didn’t mention Asana. The platform has a neat user interface and tons of options to customize creative projects and track tasks. You also get multiple views such as Kanban board and Gantt charts. The goal-setting feature and prioritization options are great for teams who value efficiency.
The creative form is another standout feature of the platform. It allows teams across the board to utilize the platform, thanks to its attachment features and multiple tabs. You can pass on as much information as possible without switching to emails or other messaging apps.
Where it falls short
There’s no doubt Asana has mastered the visual-oriented workspace with its intuitive features. But if you’re looking for a sleek platform with everything you need in a centralized location, there are better options out there. The platform has a ton of project management features, but not so much when it comes to creative production and DAM. Asana does make up for it with its vast range of integrations, though it still might not be an intuitive solution.
3. Artwork Flow — best for creative collaboration and creative scaling
Artwork Flow (that's our brand) is a creative operations platform, that serves both creatives and the creative operations process itself. It's also a tool that recognizes the importance of collaboration, ensuring a streamlined approach throughout the entire creative lifecycle from inception to launch.
The platform offers a centralized approach to creative work with its intuitive AI-driven capabilities and DAM — features that are vital for growing brands, giving them the flexibility to scale.
- Custom workflows with pre-set templates and auto-complete capabilities.
- DAM to store and manage brand assets with contextual search, smart tags, version control, and brand compliance score.
- Streamlined feedback and review cycle with annotations and notifications.
- Proofing tools: FDA smart proofing, pdf compare, spell checker, color extractor, online measurement scale, and more.
- Task management to get a bird’s eye view of project, tasks, and progress tracking with the option to switch to Gantt charts.
- Creative automation with generative AI for design, with additional design integrations.
- Creative scaling for generating multiple variations of a creative with smart element overlay functions.
Why we picked Artwork Flow
While numerous platforms in the market provide collaboration and project management features, Artwork Flow stands out by offering a broader scope, particularly in creative operations, design, and scaling for campaigns.
The tool’s asset-proofing software is equipped with comprehensive proofing tools and an intelligent compliance checklist. This ensures the production of precise and error-free creatives that align with food and safety regulations. The platform also boasts a label management feature tailored for brands within the food and beverage industry.
Where it falls short
Artwork Flow might not be the ideal choice for copywriters and content managers due to its limited provision of extensive tabs and forms for content briefs. Similarly, if you're seeking a tool with over 10 project views and robust capabilities in terms of time tracking and budgeting, options like Wrike or Asana might be more suitable.
But if your priority is for a tool that avoids overwhelming users with excessive features and instead provides a centralized platform for project tracking, asset storage, proofing, and reviews, complete with user-friendly design and scaling operations, then Artwork Flow could be precisely the solution your team is seeking.
4. ClickUp — best project management tool for small teams
ClickUp is a great tool for design teams and creative agencies with its streamlined feedback process, proofing, and comment threads. The platform has nailed task management and is perfect for teams in content, design, and marketing.
- Docs enable real-time co-editing and embed options to add bookmarks, tables, and more.
- Shareable links and user permissions for docs.
- Comment threads, checklists, sub-tasks, and tags for better collaboration.
- Set and track goals better with progress percentages.
- Communicate clearly with rich editing; use code blocks, bulleted lists, etc.
- Dashboard to track real-time progress of work.
Why we picked ClickUp
ClickUp has one of the best free plans which offers a wide range of features. If you are a small team who deals with complex projects, then it’s worth giving ClickUp a try. The platform offers extensive features for creative collaboration, project management, and task management with a visual workspace UI that you might like if minimalism is your style.
Where it falls short
The platform has tons of features that can get overwhelming for new users. Some users claim that the platform has a steep learning curve and that they have to set up a separate onboarding process for new employees to get acquainted with the platform.
5. Wrike — best for versatile creative teams and scaling brands
Wrike is a great option for a creative project management tool if you’re looking to centralize workflows, project management, and feedback. With Wrike, you get Gantt charts, Kanban views, and online proofing software to streamline your team’s entire creative process.
- Project dashboard provides real-time updates on the project's progress.
- Insights into campaign and asset performance such as total link clicks, total spent, etc.
- Notification for task completion, project status, and more.
- Cross-tagging to duplicate tasks across multiple work streams.
- Custom workflows for individual teams and project types.
- Custom request forms for quicker approvals.
Why we picked Wrike
Wrike is a well-known project management tool with extensive features for creative collaboration. While Wrike offers features similar to Monday.com such as Gantt charts and Kanban views, its standout feature is probably workflow automation with specific triggers for commands like “if” and “when-then”. The platform also has proofing software which lets you proof creatives and automate your creative review process.
Where it falls short
Unfortunately, the platform’s UI isn’t the best and can be confusing when switching between projects and tasks. New users usually experience a steep learning curve and take a while to learn even the basics. Also, some of Wrike’s best features are only available if you opt for its most expensive plan type. The platform doesn’t offer much in terms of DAM and creative scaling either.
Choosing a creative collaboration tool can be a great investment for your brand. The right tool has the potential to expedite campaign launches, enhance efficiency, reduce costs, and create a smoother experience for your entire team.
Before picking a tool, make a list of the key features that are most important for you and your team. This will simplify the process of finding the perfect fit. It’s also important to consider a tool that offers an intuitive UI, has an easy setup, and doesn’t have a steep learning curve. For smaller organizations, it’s best to compare the free plans offered by different tools so you make a wise decision.
If you’re interested to learn more about what Artwork Flow can offer, click here for a quick demo, and our team will be happy to give you a rundown on how Artwork Flow can help.