Brand Digital transformation: the 5 areas
Brand Digital transformation: the 5 areas, detail some top-line moves that you should follow and implement in your company, to avoid dispositioning your Brand from competitors and be perceived as ‘old-regime’, a perception that is the hardest to …cancel.
Brand Digital transformation: the 5 areas
Let’s make one thing clear: the purpose of digital transformation is not to become more digital. It’s to use technology solutions with the aim of generating growth and be updated with consumer’s changing behaviours. In the same manner, all Brands should and will transform with digital tools. Because at the end of the day, Brands will improve their processes and service for internal efficiencies and external consumer/end-user benefits.
As we know, the Digital Transformation: 2018-22 progress is low in Europe (not real R&D evolution, high taxation, and lack of capital, along with the old-minded education system). Let’s be honest: most digital transformation efforts aren’t working. People are lost and don’t know where to begin. You would expect Banks, Big retailers, Airlines and Software platforms to act as the raw models to other companies. We’re not there yet.
Transformation means “Smart” everything
Although still the Economy 4.0 is a developing concept and ecosystem of ‘trials’ (surely it can’t be stopped now), being one of the transformation enthusiasts means that I see into the “Smart” everything:
- Productivity and efficiency increase in all company and organizations’ operations
- A positive change of the value chain, since Customer demands will be incorporated in all stages of the “product lifecycle”
- The creation of more specialized job opportunities, and all of the above,
- More sustainable operations, ways of working, and contribution to societies (goodwill cause, environmental protection etc)
What’s the role of a Brand in all these?
What Customers, Media, Communities and followers, authorities, and Shareholders should see a Brand doing in the next 5-6 years?
No1. Listen feedback good to curve the Brand future path
Currently, it needs to hear out what’s going on. Carefully. From the CEO to the lowest hierarchy layer. Every company should become a learning organization. Now is the time to invest huge amounts to research, consumer panels, and co-creation networks. Hear what? Changing patterns, behaviours, needs, logistics, marketing ways.
Consider well the various industry changes so you can prepare a transition plan that will benefit and care for Customers, communities, employees, partners, and shareholders. There is no other way, to stay relevant in the future. By such a tactical program any Brand can show to its audiences and people how willing is to innovate and improve 360o its service and product offering. Now is the time.
No2. Build and learn by the new access points
We already know that Customers in any industry (B2B2C) wish (and evaluate) easy access, convenience, speed and good support. From a SaaS platform (example: downloading your Windows), up to an e-shop and to a personal services provider. That in turn, impacts all Brand touchpoints and calls for improvements: website, Blog, Customer bot, Messenger systems, Call centres.
The company should ‘equip’ the Brand world with all the necessary access and service tools the prospect audiences need. You are a supermarket and you start seeing an increase in e-mail/call orders? That’s your area of Brand attention, so you don’t fail the expectations of your current and future customers. Do you sell coffee by all access points? Now is the time to put such a system to a test, measuring the effectiveness of courier companies, logistic centres, and your own employees, so you can improve.
No3. Cloudify asap all product & service support
B2B Brands that offer support, knowledge, training, insurance, and customer service in “closed” industries (ie. shipping) should decide on their Cloud Strategy, in order to serve global clientele and scale the offering. From a legal info hub, up to a training school technology is disrupting the old ways of meeting face-to-face. Instead, it sends your message, content, and service through fibre-optics and mobile networks very far.
Now is the time to plan for your ERP, CRM, Own content and (online, real-time) Service to be happening over the cloud, 24/7/365. It’s not only the aspect of not losing Customers, but it’s also a training ground and period for the transformation of your company’s digitized operations. Someday carbonated soft drinks might be informing logistic and production facilities without having an order-taking personnel. Someday Insurance will be contracted without the intervention of a bureaucratic mechanism.
No4. Virtual-line to serve No2, No3
The few automation examples above (in point 2, 3) create a ‘virtual line’ for your product delivery to Customers. How will the offering look like? What kind of post-purchase guarantees? What qualities, certifications, and value-exchanges? What Customer rights will you fulfil? Because we now know, all kinds of producers will automate if it’s profitable.
In the new digital era, all kinds of irregularity, flexibility, uncertainty, unpredictability and different sorts of ´risk´ will be the ‘new normal’ of working and delivering. Do your risk analysis and Customer journey planning now. If you a CEO, Business commercial, CIO and Marketing. Consider, web presence, apps, algorithms, data and service …as one smooth Brand experience.
Strategize to which specific audience/territory/market you will sell your (smarter) product and service offerings. Now it’s the time, so you can control your future as a business.
No5. Even if you continue what you do, you must decide on your “Stars”
Be part of the learning curve and try to adopt best practices. If you read the examples on our Co-creation article (Lego, DHL, Nestle, Made.com), you will realize how many brands have opened up to contributing consumer panels to get advises on product innovation, on service quality on pricing and so many other aspects of Marketing.
Why should the Brand do this? The most important reason is to decide on its portfolio future and related innovation. There’s no way that a Brand can rejuvenate itself by simply pulling together 5, 10, 15 company managers in the same table. What we know, and what we believe is the greatest obstacle of all, when it comes to transforming a company.
When the digital transformation is done right, it’s like a caterpillar turning into a butterfly, but when done wrong, all you have is a really fast caterpillar.
The Greek example and European implications
The Greek statistics authority has published the indicative ‘picture’ that troubles many European countries like Greece (the data are from the 2017-end survey):
- Only 50% of businesses use Social media (for Marketing excellence) and the Cloud (to become more efficient and faster)
- Mobile first-use is attributed only to the 54,6% of the companies participating in the surveys (meaning less digital access quality to Customers …to put it simply)
- “Owning a website”: 64,8% (which shows the small size of the type of SME’s and also the gap to excellent digital services, and SEO/Search effectiveness …for the Customer), which explains also…
- Low e-commerce growth! From the 26.208 companies surveyed, only the 3.039 (11,6%) received online orders – in Europe e-commerce is still low in GDP and growth contribution
You can imagine the consequences: smaller markets, no-scale, lack of employment opportunities, and unsatisfied Customers …who now have options to shop abroad and from hundreds of (online) competitors.
But the biggest negative result, of not adapting to the digital era, is on the Brand (any Brand!) which is a promise to serve and satisfy Customers (and their evolution). Companies and their Brand(s) by not adopting new ways, in the digital era, they disposition themselves and are being perceived as less competitive (or likeable, memorable).
This is applied to all kinds of Brands: own name providers, consulting powerhouses, historical service companies, exporters, producers of origin, tourism agents, and retailers with good fame …and all stay behind their competition.
Then, by the word-of-mouth effect, they are being seen as “old-regime” …and you know, this kind of perception is the toughest to ‘cancel’.