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Building Brands

Why every business is a media business

June 10, 2021 · 6 min read

Every morning, hundreds of millions of people around the world wake up and consume content more rapidly and in more ways than ever before. 

This is the result of a monumental shift in our media landscape. Back in the day, content was produced long-form by media powerhouses and distributed to the masses through printed magazines and fixed-schedule broadcast programming. Then came the internet, and with it the rise of social media and short-form, on-demand content. Over the last decade, new-age media businesses have captivated audiences with everything from the latest fashion tips to one-minute breaking news clips. 

The advent of social media has brought about an even bolder change. Today, it’s no longer just the traditional media companies who are producing and managing content every day. 

Now every company, no matter whom they serve and what they sell, is a media company. People are hungry for content — and to create any successful brand, it has become essential for companies to sell a visual story. 

How is every business a media business?

In the pre-internet days, companies that weren’t traditional media businesses used images and videos only if they were trying to launch a TV commercial or design a billboard. They didn’t need to handle large photo, video, or design files on the daily to sell their product. Now every company does. 

This is because every company is now a media company. Today, everyone has the means to launch a digital campaign, whether it's through Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, LinkedIn, or even email. And they must, if they want to capture the attention of customers and make their brand stand out. Regardless of whether their product is a physical good or a digital service, every modern company needs to manage photos, videos, and other media assets to create a visual brand. 

And so, the content departments within these organizations — marketers, advertisers, writers, and designers — act like their own media company within the larger organization to create a buzz around the product. They are as reliant on media as companies in the traditional media industry were twenty years ago. 

It’s not just the content departments who use media, though. Every other department in the organization also relies on the visual assets that the creative departments produce. For example, the sales team needs the content that the marketing team creates in order to sell the product. In the modern company, nobody is disconnected from content. 

Modern businesses require eye-catching content  

Let’s look at the case of Tovala. Tovala is a company that aims to take the pain out of cooking at home by selling a smart oven and grocery supplies delivered weekly to your door. They’re a food-service and hardware business; at first glance, they aren’t a media company by any means. You would think that their main business operations involve designing the product, crafting recipes, and facilitating distribution. 

However, having an innovative product isn’t enough. To get people to buy the product and maintain subscribers, they need to sell it — and they need to do so visually. That’s where the power of media comes in. Tovala manages massive amounts of visual content, from pictures of food to lifestyle videos of people cooking at home after work, in order to organize and run their marketing and social media campaigns. They go from being just a food-service company to a brand whose distinctive, quality content people recognize and love.


Another example of a company that relies heavily on media is Curology. Curology is a skincare startup that provides access to virtual consultations with dermatologists and prescribes customized medication to cure acne and other skin concerns. While the product they’re selling is custom skincare, they’ve launched one of the most recognizable ad campaigns on social media platforms, involving influencers such as Emma Chamberlain and other creators sharing their skin journey and experience with Curology. To run these campaigns, Curology also handles a huge library of high-quality media content, including brand designs, influencer videos, and before-and-after photos of customers’ skin — media assets that work together to draw attention and convince prospective customers to start a free trial. 


Tovala and Curology are just two examples of companies whose main business isn’t selling media, and yet rely so heavily on producing and managing media assets to sell their brand visually — their marketing strategy depends on it. This is true for most companies nowadays, from sports teams such as Duke Basketball, to cosmetic brands such as Bobbi Brown and Glossier, and even nonprofits such as Robin Hood NYC.


In addition to brands large and small, individual creators, whether they are TikTok influencers, Youtubers, podcasters, or freelance photographers, also act like media companies, as they need to manage content assets to build a personal brand. For example, Cassey Ho is a fitness influencer and designer who has amassed a significant following on TikTok on her account, Blogilates, where she posts workout challenges, fitness inspiration, and healthy recipes. Blogilates is a brand in itself, as Ho publishes blogs and printable workout calendars on the website in addition to her TikTok content. But she has used her social media success to also launch POPFLEX active, an activewear brand where she sells gym gear that she designs herself. The success of both of her brands rely almost entirely on the enormous visual appeal of the content she posts across her several platforms. 


Tools to help you compete

But with every company (and individual) acting like a media company, how do you compete? How do you make your brand stand out when everyone — from new media companies like Group 9, direct-to-consumer brands like Tovala, to individual TikTok creators — is producing original content and vying for the attention of the same target audience? What tools do you need to manage your own media assets so that you can also focus your energies on honing your creative process?

The tools that served traditional media companies ten or twenty years ago are still around today. But these enterprise-level tools are expensive and hard to navigate. They don’t serve the needs of young, nimble companies who are accustomed to using intuitive products like Google Drive and Dropbox, and aren’t interested in paying tens of thousands of dollars on tools that don’t make sense to them. At the same time, while Google Drive and Dropbox are great for storing and sharing documents, they don’t work as well for photo and video files. They aren’t made for searching, sharing, and collaborating on visual assets with ease, something necessary for a company’s media efforts to thrive. 

So what is the best tool to help you manage your brand’s media assets?

Improving your marketing strategy with Air

Air is uniquely positioned to capture the needs of modern brands — as a tool built specifically for managing, sharing, and collaborating on visual assets, while being more intuitive to use than Google Drive or Dropbox

Whether you’re a new-age media company, a small business, or an individual creator, all of your content can live on Air, in a way that is effortlessly searchable and shareable, and enables seamless collaboration between stakeholders. 

Both Tovala and Curology use Air to manage their content and support their social media marketing strategies. If their content is like water, then Air forms the pipes, allowing media to flow between clients and creatives, and in the end, all the way to your Instagram screen where it makes you like their posts and buy their products. 

Every company is a media company — including yours. Give your content a home. Try Air for free today.

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