Brand Strategy Tips for Your Digital Transformation

Posted by Mitch Duckler
Preparing Your Brand for Digital Transformation

Digital transformation is cited as a top priority in 2018 and beyond for many CEOs and CMOs

Digital transformation ‘enables’ innovation in all aspects of a business and is increasingly top of mind for many brands. With its significant impact on a brand’s ability to deliver superior customer experiences compared to competitors, the trend towards digital is being exacerbated by innovative brands that continue to disrupt traditional business models and steadily gain market share.

In today’s digital world, consumers want next-gen technology-enabled user experiences from the brands they support—and they want it today. These ultra-personalized interactions must be available when, where and how they want and are quickly becoming the norm as opposed to a ‘value-add.’ 

What does digital transformation mean for brands?

Make no mistake, digital transformation is not something you throw money and resources at and check off a list—it’s about the future of your business, your customers and what they expect from your brand. Trending today are technology infrastructures including the cloud, mobility, big data, analytics, artificial intelligence, and enterprise solutions.

One of the most notable concerns is that digital transformation can mean one thing to one brand and something entirely different to another. It can mean anything from personalization to rethinking an organizations’ business model.

Starbucks is not a digital native, but the coffee giant has developed one-on-one relationships at scale to engage customers with the brand. It has individualized its brand by giving each customer his or her own personalized experience that encompasses in-store visits, digital interactions, and even, products offered. Before Netflix made the leap from mailing DVDs to streaming movies and TV shows online, the media giant was gathering data and using it to engage with customers about their viewing preferences. 

Begin with executive leadership

Regardless of your industry, the digital journey needs to start with getting the backing and support of senior executives and key stakeholders. Without it, any initiative is likely to fail even before it’s begun. However, it’s no easy task, particularly for organizations that lack timely data and analytics capabilities or where digital transformation may not have a precise meaning.

Preparing for a digital future means cultivating digital capabilities, with clear KPIs, which align an organization’s activities, people, culture, and structure to the overall business goals. Most companies, however, find themselves constrained by a lack of resources and talent and the pull of other priorities.

Build a strategic digital roadmap

Successful digital adoption begins with a sound strategy that ties into the broader marketing strategy and overall business processes. A roadmap will align actions to strategy and communicate what elements of business, technology, and experience change over time. It incorporates a view of critical business capabilities, user experience elements, and technologies that together realize business goals.

Brands that have successfully embraced digital transformation do not merely adopt point solutions with new IT projects to solve individual problems. Brand strategy consulting best practices for digital success dictate a defined strategy and clear objectives that aim to guide a comprehensive transformation of their overall business, instead of ad hoc functions. The strategy improves performance, fundamentally transforming the business to make it leaner, more agile, and more profitable.

Transformation is a journey, not a destination

Digitization is still developing in many industries, and brands continue to wrestle with how to put digital principles into organizational practice. But digital’s impact enables brands to leverage new sales channels with innovative products and services, increase revenues, and improve efficiency. Brands lagging in this area risk losing ground to newer entrants and business models.

In today’s hyper-competitive business environment, embracing digital transformation is more than just good business—it’s crucial to staying relevant and profitable. Importantly, brands must recognize that digital transformation but must be continually executed to keep pace with new technologies entering the market.

Successful digital transformation results in a brand that interacts in new ways with its customers, uses technology to reimagine business processes and embeds new capabilities (both human and machine) into the organization. Since digital technologies are moving forward at a relentless pace, brands must be highly adaptive with skills and agility that keep pace with the next decade’s inevitable digital changes.

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