A fair number of DAM vendors can trace their origins to the Netherlands and Belgium; at RSG we cover four of them. Since the advent of “modern" DAM (i.e., mostly cloud-based, with none of those cumbersome thick clients that were DAM mainstays until recently), two vendors from this region quickly soared to prominence: Bynder and Stylelabs.
Though both of these companies are fronted by savvy Dutch-speaking gents from two key stops on the Thalys (Amsterdam and Brussels), the company cultures and the tools they sell are really very different.
Let’s look at a few of the contrasts:
- Bynder’s offering is only available in the cloud (AWS); Stylelabs will install their product on premise or in the cloud (Azure).
- Bynder has a Silicon Valley cultural feel to it: flush with investment money, they are indirect when reporting financials, highlighting growth numbers over profits. Stylelabs, with no external investors, is more conservative — growing from their own profits (though seemingly not adding staff fast enough).
- Bynder’s focus is DAM and at the core, brand management use cases in particular. Stylelabs’ system was originally an aggregation platform for marketing content, to which they added their own DAM later.
- While Stylelabs caters to CPG (consumer product goods), and features a sophisticated NoSQL approach to data that puts product entities rather than just “assets" at the core of asset management, Bynder’s tool is more simple and straightforward: assets in, add metadata, push out. Bynder is a sporty Smart car that you can jump into quickly and get off and running; Stylelabs M is a highly configurable Tesla you might want to sit in for a bit and poke at before you start driving.
Yet, there’s two things they have in common:
- Modern user interfaces that actually make some marketers want to work with their products (a pathetically sad rarity in the MarTech industry, not just DAM)
- Struggling to meet the demand and growth. Though both companies are staffed with responsive sales teams (Stylelabs moreso than Bynder), the rapid adoption rate of both companies’ products make deployment schedules and support a challenge.
If you’re looking at either of these vendors, particularly if you’re in North America, be aware: there’s a reason they both have so many job openings. Providing the support required for their burgeoning customer bases isn’t easy. Staffing up their increasing number of offices with skilled, product-knowledgeable people around the world can’t and won’t happen overnight. Keeping up the ongoing rapid development that both of these companies are known for is equally challenging.
Like hot guys who can’t keep up with all the women in their little black books, they may lose track of you, too. As a buyer or customer, you should always know your risks going in, and plan to mitigate them appropriately.
Wondering more about the differences among Bynder, Stylelabs, and the other 30+ DAM vendors we evaluate? Be sure to sample our DAM Report.