5 Brand Strategy Benefits of Digital Transformation

The Brand Strategy Intersects of Transformation

You may never have considered the brand strategy benefits of digital transformation but the enduring factors of brand primacy, especially in competitive environments owe a great deal to the adoption of change and technology. Successful digital transformation will accelerate awareness, visibility and growth but it is dependent on commitment to developing resonance and using it to extend brand reach, access and relevance.

Customer Experience is the driving force behind Digital Transformation, with most efforts operationally underpinned, and CX is often where the biggest transformations fail, creating enduring deficits to brand power.

With change perennial, awareness of impending or current digital trends is necessary for maintaining dynamism, and clarity on innovations or tools that enhance your business’ relevance, visibility, and engagement.

Your business’ state of ‘operational readiness’ must be defined and validated by digital awareness and capability, implemented through people, processes, data, collaboration and learning elements.

 

1) People and Digital Transformation

While ‘People’ may appear not to be strictly a digital element, skilled and highly capable employees operationalise and optimise strategy by the work they do and how. Transformation creates the capacity to help them work at their best.

There are also still significant challenges in attracting and retaining the right people, who also are digitally savvy. Businesses must consider their Digital People Strategy, a primary strand of which must be that employees should be encouraged and enabled to start and run their own initiatives based on their interests. Businesses that can plan and implement these practices will contribute greatly to their Digital Readiness.

 

2) Collaboration and Engagement

Digital Transformation changes the game for collaboration regardless of physical constraints and generates tremendous business value, increases the speed of delivery and ultimately competitive advantage. It’s not limited to internal stakeholders either and can help you take control of relationships with existing, prospective clients and suppliers.

Naturally, tools chosen for collaboration must be fit for purpose and suited to the shape and working practices of the organisations. The tools should help to improve those too, in order to fully realise the brand strategy benefits of digital transformation.

 

3) CX (Customer Experience) – Brand strategy benefits IRL

A great example of benefits harvested through the data/collaboration intersections is business insights transferable at speed across different teams generated through the application of data mining and analytics. This will be a great change catalyst in the coming decade, not least in the customer experience space. The ability to offer the frictionless and seamless experiences that digital delivers can uplift customer engagement as well as retention of business.

 

4) Data and Insights about Who You Serve

These will be gleaned from human intelligence and customer data and other data available in the organisation. Businesses need to be aware of the latest digital trends and implement tools and solutions that are the standard in their sector. Implementing Cloud Computing will need to be prioritised and planned for, as will Big Data.

One of the simplest but yet most significant adoptions is ensuring integration with and a managed presence, on social media, along with an analytics capability and a clear social media strategy.

A significant brand strategy benefit concerns the ability to devise offerings that more closely matches and anticipates your customers’ requirements, even on a segmented basis at a much quicker rate than ever before, and with greater accuracy.

 

5) CX and Business Process Driven Automation

Your company can discover businesses processes that will benefit from automation and in turn, enrich the employee experience. Automation is the gateway to realising true efficiencies in your business and the process to decide what can be automated should lead to an overall streamlining of your processes and resilience in your business.

Putting in place high-velocity practices and techniques will allow your business to contend favourably with the need for change and disruption. It will position your company to compete intelligently and strategically. At the most successful level, understanding transformations as a brand strategy imperative and opportunity will allow for a more meaningful and robust approach to be adopted — it’s always about serving tour customer better than your competition and doing so lucratively.

 

4 Success Factors for Digital Transformation

Aligning Digital Transformation Success Factors

Continuing with our theme on aligning success factors for digital transformation as a way to strengthen your brand, the first considerations in developing your strategy depends on the dimensions one prioritises for change. Bearing in mind that as we said in the foregoing article,  3 Brand Driven Reasons for Digital Transformation, digital transformation will be disruptive, it follows that it will impact every function and facet of your organisation in some direct or indirect way.

One of my fundamental beliefs about building brand power, borne out of years in organisational transformations of all kinds, from banks to FMCG organisations, is that it absolutely relies on making all change brand-aligned.

This means that the business case, transformation strategy and brand strategy must be aligned such that brand imperatives are not lost, and that neither the customer experience nor the employee experience is sacrificed. It has been a source of constant amazement to me through the several transformations I have witnessed organisations do, that there is a surprise when customer satisfaction takes a steep dive, post transformations and yet employees were only considered as an afterthought, gotten rid of summarily and treated badly. Employees are first-line brand advocates so not protecting them through transformations is not a good approach.

4 success factors for digital transformation to ensure your brand strategy is enhanced and supported

Approach

A good approach to transformation must incorporate the customer experience (CX), target operating model, business objectives as well as brand imperatives in concert.

  • Your organisation’s brand imperatives – principles, purpose, position, proposition and ideals –

Remember who you are in your business. All changes must support and enhance and advance your position in the market, promote your offering and help to engage with and create higher visibility and awareness with the people your business exists to serve. The transformation will affect them. Tell them about it, create a sense of excitement and give a timeline that you are confident that you can deliver on. Tell them what they will get and how it will make their lives easier and deepen your relationship.

  • Excellent Customer Experience (CX)

A factor that should be borne in mind through all considerations, plans and activities for digital transformation, because this is how your clients and customers experience and perceive your organisation’s offer and benefits.

  • Business Objectives

overlaying a digital process that is supposed to be excellent on a business model that is patchy and not fit for purpose will never deliver what the business case has advocated and the hopes and ROI that you will surely expect for your transformation exercise. There must be a deep review process of opportunities for improvement and indeed where transformation would elevate the business.

  • Target Operating Models and Technology Architecture – Operations, Processes and Technology

Identifying, based on best practice research and clarity on what currently is not effective or contributing to success, developing a vision of how operations, functions and processes should be structured to enable better communication and collaboration internally with staff, stakeholders and leadership, and externally, with suppliers, customers and the public. Where might the biggest digital initiatives found in intelligent automation environments or RPAs, or conversational bots help and what does it mean for overhauling process and the roles people currently perform?

It’s clear to see the interaction and interdependencies of these factors for success in digital transformation, and the importance of considering them in concert and planning accordingly.

3 Brand Driven Reasons for Digital Transformation

– Brand Power, Brand Equity and Business Effectiveness

 

Digital Transformation – What it is, Risks and Trends

One of the biggest brand risks that businesses face currently is that of falling behind competitors, simply because of digital deficits. Mitigating these risks is a big part of three primary reasons for digital transformation – to increase brand power and equity and optimise your business’s effectiveness.

You know as a business owner or CEO that digital transformation is a trend you can’t stay in the wake of or let pass you by.

Digital Transformation refers to the key technological and digital innovation and improvements applied to the processes, toolsets of your business and the capability of your staff that allows your company to transform the ways of working within your organisation. By exploiting advances in digital technology integrations that facilitate collaboration, communication (including channels) and expedite delivery of your offering, your company can better identify and serve its target audience.

It’s instructive that transformation is disruptive and revolutionary when considered against the necessary incremental change your business is engaged in daily through adopting new tools for example. It’s a step change, perhaps even a paradigm shift for your organisation. It touches on everything in your business and may create significant upheaval. Consequently, careful and considered management of the process is critical.

It takes bravery, vision and a great strategy.

 

Challenges of Strategy, Adoption and Mindset for Digital Transformation

Digital Transformation embodies the intersection of innovation, technology and communications, where there are great opportunities for transformation, capability growth and greater visibility and influence of your brand.

Like many in senior management, you may be struggling to define what your strategy should be. If like many directors or board members, you haven’t made the connection yet between building a stronger brand and implementing digital transformation, you are in good company, so it’s helpful to know that differentiating your brand and sustaining brand equity are served by digital transformation.

The digital transformation journey, like any transformation, can be perilous. Keeping in constant view the reasons for digital transformation and driving strategy from that perspective builds in a brand strategy alignment to your overall transformation strategy and plans.

It requires you to consider your entire environment and make tough decisions about what may need to change, in order to better grasp the nettle of digital capabilities. For e.g. Will your delivery model need to be adapted to your still waterfall delivery environment and should you jump straight to implementing an agile environment?

Many companies have yet to start their digital transformation process, but the strategy will really define who the winners will be.

 

Align Digital Transformation Initiatives To Brand Imperatives

Align any transformation strategy to your brand mission and imperatives. Digital transformation should be a part of building and differentiating your brand and all it entails – delivery and customer experience. In line with the reasons for digital transformation, many of which revolve around continuing to build a resonant brand, customer requirements should drive initiatives.

These are ultimately the factors that a transformation exercise should improve as they directly relate to not only an increase in revenue but also in reputation and customer advocacy. In the age of social media, advocacy is gold, and it is born of love and loyalty that only the customer experiences your business delivers can engender.

Remember that.

With regard to the brand connection, it helps to remember what goes on within your business is just as important as how your brand looks and is perceived.

Your transformations should focus on how you can a) better serve your customer b) give them a better product/service and experience c) and by doing the forgoing, differentiate your company consistently.

It can seem overwhelming but the nature of managing projects successfully is to break deliverables down to make them easier to deliver, and similarly, it’s sensible to break down the process bit by bit.

Taking the difficult and operational decision to embark on a Digital Transformation programme is a brand strategy imperative. It will help to position your business to compete better, collaborate smarter and communicate with customers. It will also enable your company to mine and deploy data insights, critical for designing a sustainable customer experience (CX).

Hey, DigiTrans!

Get to know Digital Transformation!

What? What does Digital Transformation mean for my business?

Digital Transformation (or digitrans) could mean the turning point for your business capability and even brand transformation, depending on the challenges you are facing and your strategic vision. There is no doubt it could help to mobilise your business vision more completely and rapidly.

Your business is the sum total of your business model, your operations and functions, your people and processes, your communication channels and your customer experience, the latter of which is growing in importance because customers can give a report and running commentary of their experience of your brand experiences through several digital and social touchpoints. This is why adopting digital transformation has brand transformation potential.

Digitrans is essentially about finding and utilising new or additional ways to get your value proposition to your customer, get more of their disposable income out of their pockets, ideally beyond the sums or percentages allocated for that commodity or service.

How can you get more out of the same products using new delivery channels while minimising the complexity of final handoffs responsibility and finally reducing the risk of a break with brand values, process and quality assurance? These are some core questions digital transformation can help you to answer from companies recognised as the right people to help you do just that.

Ideally, these processes should get you economies of scale and efficiencies but they may not always do so and that should be acceptable because transformation should deliver business over and above the volume that may otherwise have been realised through understanding the customer and we do this through data.

While you may be thinking about the large transformation pieces, your digital journey should start with a solid online presence that seeks to exploit new technologies in a way that delights your customers – think experiences – like opportunities to utilise Augmented or Virtual Reality (AR/VR) on or through your websites – websites that are powerful and go beyond the informational and are part of your long term digital strategy. Yes, there must be a focus on excellent aesthetics and it must incorporate your sharp and scintillating branding, but it should go beyond branding to function and fitness for uncovering and delivering the needs of the customer.

Operational, Capability and Culture Paradigm Shifts

Digitalisation encompasses a shift from native desktop apps and infrastructure accessed, hosted and delivered through the cloud, with the associated training that would be required. The cloud base opens up opportunities that would not have existed prior. Digitalisation also opens up a whole new mining world for your data – analytics has truly come into its own with insights and instructive aspects and decision-making rendered easier by the capability to shore up, shape and interpret data, with the right tools, of which there is a proliferation. A structured review based on requirements and proof of concepts should be employed to help make the decisions and improve competitive positioning.

The allure of AI and IoT is increasingly validated by the fact that they no longer present the epic investment profiles they did just a few years ago, and so they are more accessible. Corporate culture paradigm shifts are under review in many areas, not least for rendering viable innovation ecosystems and this should take into account the mind-set elasticity required for transformation as a whole. Legacy systems present a challenge but integration or replacement through new software development from people who really know what they are doing and who create ‘fit’ software, can help to bridge the literal gap that exists between what obtained in the past and the future your business deserves.

Mobile working, file sharing and collaboration tools that enhance co-operation also allow timely, productive and efficient and transparent processes to reduce duplication and increase access to colleagues and stakeholders, Taken together, these processes represent a massive change in the ways of working and all promise increase in productivity.

Survival and Fit-Test in brand transformation through digital transformation and business capability

Why? Reasons to undertake Digital Transformation

Established companies are undertaking business transformation programmes increasingly, and these should incorporate strategies for digital transformation and the business cases should be not be considered complete unless and until digitrans is embedded through all change deliverables and target operating models.

You get on-tap, direct, true to touch access to your consumers and the ability to reach and influence them through several touch-points, so the CX Remodel that your company should undertake as part of its transformation begins with digitrans.

Risk IT response systems are an important business capability, as is reviewing improvements and implementation of redundancy to promote robustness of systems. The adoption of cloud computing, is a  primary dependency for digital transformation, as is enhanced security due to operating through the cloud and improved controls in operational protocols.

The biggest ‘why’ of course, loops back to your brand. Everything that gives your business power, life and increases business capability and ease of accessibility for your customers and supplier improves your brand indisputably.

How? Considerations for implementing digital

The ‘how’ of digital transformation is mostly rooted in technologies which enable and create these new channels and the access and capability to make things happen. Digitrans will not answer the long term wisdom of any strategies adopted but will reflect those strategy decisions in terms of what is prioritised; it cannot prove or authenticate the direction of the business. That is a brand purpose query but it would certainly help you find new ways to deliver the value you currently provide and help you find and assess new and suitable opportunities for brand transformation.

External pressure and internal exhortations to adopt digitrans are valid but it must be borne in mind that an exercise of this kind, should form an integral part of transformation strategies as a whole and focus on the embedded business capability to change and adopt new ways of working and associated tools because current technologies and tools will be eclipsed all too soon by even newer tools and technology. Therefore the primary purpose and objective of transformation and in particular the digital transformation facet must be to enhance and increase the ability to adapt to, implement and promulgate change. This is increasingly true in the marketing function too, which has seen for example, Heinz bypass the traditional middleman supermarkets and go direct to customers (D2C). The behavioural implications of how brands are using technology and digital transformation have been accelerated by COVID19.

The quest for digital transformation will not be a one-off project. It is the implementation of a mindset and systems, procedures and outward-looking position and adaptive processes that will mean that an organisation that wants to be and remain competitive will take on an attitude of constant learning, change readiness and business capability, imbibing and extracting relevant value from ongoing technical change to solutionise both old and pre-existing challenges as well as new challenges.

As such it is complex to put in that listening and responsive business capability but it should be connected to every part of your organisation. This process will overhaul your operations status quo to digital operations and all readiness will be in the context of digital.

Sounds disruptive? Business can only disrupt outwardly after it has disrupted internally – the brand transformation process typically goes from the inside out. It sounds complex because it is and has the potential to be painful like all transformation initiatives are, but the reason to do it is the same as for all transformation initiatives – because you either change or you atrophy, slowly and ungracefully. You slowly lose the capability to compete on the same trends because your competitors and contenders with digitrans in their DNA, who are by virtue of being new perhaps leaner, more agile and naturally more responsive to change, will increasingly challenge your very right and ability to exist.

 

When?

What’s wrong with right now?

Ultimately, the race is on and technology moves at dizzying speeds. The urgency to adopt the most operationally powerful has never been greater. But it has to be right, you need to know what you want out of it, which means you must have clarity on just what is possible and available, dependent on constraints. The data doesn’t lie – the implementation of digitrans at scale has been sketchy so it makes sense to plan, phase and map each piece to a strategic initiative against a realistic timeline that works for your people as well as for your bottom line.

Brand Strategy and the Case for Digital Marketing

Brand Strategy and the Case for Digital Marketing

Digital Marketing and Brand Strategy Synergies

Synergies from digital marketing and brand strategy are obvious because while brand comes from the heart and love and purpose drives brand strategy, digital marketing and communications as well as digital transformation tools and trends uplift business capability to collaborate, produce and share information with clients, customers and suppliers. Used well, loyalty and advocacy grow to sustain brand impact through the customer experience digital methods allow us to harness and deploy through pursuing brand strategy objectives.

Brand Perspectives

A resonant and strong brand cannot be built in a vacuum or in a void of values. We tell our clients that brand strategy fundamentally starts with deciding, defining and clearly articulating what the brand promise, personality and proposition are, and claiming a tenable, even an unassailable position. But it does not end there, and even in that initial discovery phase, how what has been decided in terms of brand principles and purpose will be communicated and to whom, needs to be considered closely. Increasingly, consideration of ‘how’, the link between and symbiosis between digital marketing and brand strategy becomes more apparent.

The magic is in ensuring and insisting that these principles and promises are translated to practices, manifested in business processes and enshrined and embodied in your people. Having an emotional connection with your brand, investing your business with lifeblood conceived in clarity, and imbued with purpose allows you to transmit and communicate all of those emotions to your tribe and be in accord with them.

Who Hearts ♥ your Brand

The key to all of this lies is in the building of the perception you want to project to the people you can best serve.

Having found your tribe, how can you project the perception that yours is a story they (your clients/customers/tribe) can be a part of, that you are not peddling a commodity, you are filling a gap in their lives?

How do you keep on top of and keep meeting existing and emerging needs in their lives and psyches and how can you fully deliver on benefits they want and cannot be without?

Like all perceptions, once in place, they will need to be reinforced.

 

The ‘how’ of course lies in the combined capacities of digital marketing and brand strategy and the opportunities they afford to, take a position, forge a message and communicate them to your tribe and empower your staff.

 

Digital Marketing

Digital marketing has the power and potential to define and impact the brand-consumer relationships and brand strategy definitions of demographics will be tested, proved and refined by strong and targeted integrated communications. Digital marketing approaches include Content Marketing, digital tools deployed in SMM (Social Media Marketing) and Social Media Integration, SEO (Search Engine Optimisation), SEM (Search Engine Marketing) PPC (Pay Per Click)and e-mail marketing, encompassing organic and paid methods.

Digital Marketing and Brand Strategy creates tribes that love your brand

Why Digital Marketing Matters for Building Brands

Adopting digital marketing provides companies with greater opportunities for a deeper understanding of their customers and therefore requires a good psychological scheme, according to Ekaterina Smolkova in the ‘Influence of Digital Marketing on Brand Image Perceptionof the Company’ (2015). There is no doubt that brand recognition, loyalty and attachment or all greatly inflated and persisted through digital marketing.

Afrina Yasmin et.al (2015) relate that digital marketing is pivotal in attracting new target customers, and enabling customers as a whole to interact with the brand through digital media.

Christian Hoffman and Lisa Weithaler (2015) examined the role of digital marketing in the transformation of brand identity into a resonant and positive brand reputation, through the influence on consumer perception by online communication channels, helping to position the consumer’s decision-making bias towards the particular brand. The study also found that the brand reputation determinants are, of course, differentiation, trustworthiness, irreconcilability, willingness-to-support, responsibility, reliability and credibility, all of which elements, brand strategy serves to define and enable, highlighting the interrelationship of the brand and digital strategy.

Cait Lamberton and Andrew T. Stephen (2016) point to the ability for self-expression rendered by digital marketing in consumer self-determination and choices available for doing so and the opportunity this gives for collecting market intelligence, a crucial benefit of digital as a whole for every industry.

In the ‘Influence of Digital Marketing on Brand Building’, Dr. S. Yuvarajand R. Indumathi (2017) identified that ‘digital channels and assets are used to communicate a brand’s positioning as part of a multichannel brand communication or engagement program’, asserting through their research that there is a significant relationship between brand building and digital marketing.

All this makes it clear why digital marketing matters in the context of brand strategy. Brand strategists must incorporate digital tools to fully realise benefits and the potential of the brand. This is why brand strategy must be developed in parallel with and deployed through integrated marketing communications. A primary objective of brand strategy is the delivery of the construct around which messaging can be mobilised, and finding the benefits in your offering that help delineate the brand’s truest tribes. Brand strategy development and implementation, to be effective, need to be multifaceted and integrated as does effective digital marketing which encompasses integrated marketing communications

Digital and Customer Experience

It’s worth bearing in mind that while Digital Transformation is a separate field from DM, the two strands of Digital endeavour can dovetail synergistically not least because of the imperative to review, improve and even re-engineer the business’ existing Customer Experience processes.

The Customer Experience and Engagement journey is so integral to Brand Strategy and also to how you can drive your business processes or business transformation in alignment to the brand strategy — it gives you a map to connect your customer’s journey to how your business can interact with your customers and what you can say at each stage, and also provides pointers as to how best and where best to incept and continue these conversations.

Digital marketing is the right vehicle for that, and it’s the vehicle that will not turn into a pumpkin at midnight because your message is kept fresh and current across a multitude of channels. This is how you can compete with the big guys too, because imaginatively parlayed and presented messages can play better and for far longer, and digital marketing allows you to pivot and pare, refine and repair.

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    Layer by Layer

    All big truths and chunky lessons, but fundamental to grasp, is the role of digital marketing in constructing the layers of your brand — from purpose to image to the story – buttressed over time on every channel where you meet your tribe, to disseminating the messages that move the narrative on and deepen engagement.

    Brand values are a precursor to brand identity and together they create your brand image. Digital Marketing’s primary goal as it relates to brand strategy, is the projection and perpetuation of perception and the bolstering of the perceptual mindsets of the persona composites that constitute your brand tribes.

    Whether it’s your first foray into strategy and brand management or you are embarking on a refresh, opportunities abound. For the former, these opportunities are in creating and claiming and conquering a position. In the second, it’s a change process, with considerations for internal brand engagement, technology alignment to optimal business processes that can also be defined.

     

    In either case, measurement is crucial because this is what allows for review and improvement. Mining this information provides direction and digital capabilities, as well as the myriad opportunities described above, provide untold advantages in this regard.

    ….and Levers

    The power of a brand comes from the heart, and we must discover emotional levers to connect the brand to its tribe, but if Love and purpose drive the strategy and impact, digital marketing drives the brand and to an increasing extent today, the loyalty and advocacy that sustains it. It provides the tools and reach and capability to disseminate the messages and engage with the right people, enabling as it does, a ready finger on the pulse and ebbs and flows of the initiatives you are making and of the people your brand impacts.

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    Work with a web design and development agency that gets that.

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    Your website must not only underpin but extend your brand, and adopt any technical integrations with other systems if necessary. You will not compromise on having a team that is strategic and can think and deliver beyond web. You’ve found us!

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    Impact

    Performance

    Transformation

    The Future of Purpose-Driven Marketing

    Purpose Driven: Marketing

    What are the credible next trends in purpose-driven marketing?

    The drivers for the next trends, live in the distinction between purpose driven and cause marketing. When conflated, the brand is too elastic and unrelatable to other signals emanating from the brand, appearing led by public opinion and inauthentic.

    Cause is a social justice issue a brand adopts, advocates or attacks due to brand purpose alignment, the test of which is if the cause resonates with consumers and what they believe the brand believes.

    Purpose refers to the brand’s raison d’tre, a factor running through all they do and say, like Blackpool through a stick of rock, so while purpose driven marketing does not equal cause marketing, causes adopted should be because of the brand’s stated and intrinsic purpose, signalling authenticity to consumers of the brand.

    Consequently, twin emergent trends beckon. 1) Customer Experience (CX) and Engagement Remodel to plot customers’ journey along emotional, psycho-graphic and behaviouralisation axes, validate causes in line with purpose and consumer advocacy, while ensuring responses meet expectations and facilitating adoption of the second trend. 2) Transformative digital technology including Big Data Analytics, closes the loop on gaining true customer insights and anticipating needs and concerns.

    Will we reach saturation, with ALL brands conveying a cause message and starting to put consumers off?

    brown petaled flowers under body of water

    General ’cause fatigue’ will occur, but consumers of specific brands won’t be put off just due to this. However, many brands just never define a distinctive driving purpose and many do not adopt cause marketing or do so clumsily, which is more likely to put consumers off than embracing a cause they care about. This is precisely the value of the CX Remodel and Big Data Analytics, as, with a finger on the pulse of consumers, cause marketing will resonate, dictated by customer engagement and analytics. By being attentive to the tribe that believes their purpose, promise and proposition, brands can be responsive.

    What are the future pitfalls, for example,  going off-brand, overreaching and even misreading customer cues and values?

    man climbing on tower near buildings at daytime

    These ‘brand risks’ cannot be overstated – products, activities, stances and causes not aligned with brand positioning and customers’ brand perception, rooted, ironically in the lack of a purpose driven brand strategy. It’s crucial to map CX models to consumer profile points and expertly plumb all available data and insights.

    With consumers increasingly savvy, how can brands best build a purpose with integrity?

    By ensuring consistency in messaging across digital and traditional platforms, in store, online and through all channels through which they engage with their brand tribes.

    By ensuring the brands they build are resonant and sustainable – based on a clear purpose and vision, and immense clarity on what the brand means in the perception of the target audience.

    By being consistently clear and unequivocal about who they are and what they stand for.

    As long as brands’ causes are aligned to brand purpose, they will have integrity. As long as their activities and offerings are relatable to customer needs and wants and are purpose driven, their consumers’ perception will always be one of reinforced integrity.

     

    5 Digital Trends to Watch

    With the current pace of change, being aware of impending or current digital trends is critical for maintaining dynamism in the business model. What innovations or tools are important for your business to stay relevant and integral to becoming a part of the digital age business model?

    The environment within which organisations now operate are more volatile than ever before. Businesses must gain and exert a measure of control of the constantly changing dynamics in the environment, fraught with the headwinds of digital advancement and the unknown. How control can be achieved depends on the strategic and timely deployment of change. Success also largely depends upon the speed of adoption of change  – being aware of the main trends can affect the speed and effectiveness of take-up.

    The primary approach and the assumptions underlying change strategy should be that leaders and business need to reckon with and be ready for change and digital, in as many respects as possible. The new ‘operational readiness state’ is defined and validated by digital awareness and capability, implemented under several interrelated elements. The People, Security, Data, Collaboration and Learning elements are explored below.

    Talent Acquisition

    When considering which digital trends to watch, the item ‘People’ may appear not to be strictly a digital element, but as skilled and highly capable employees underpin strategy and perform the work to be done, it is worthwhile to review the trends and constraints in this area.

    The first challenge is attracting and retaining talent and there are still some real constraints in finding staff who are as digitally savvy as is required. Increasingly prevalent are technologies using Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Cyber-security and Data analytics for which it is a very tough market in which to get the right people. Attracting being one obstacle, retention is yet another and in order to do so, companies will need to consider their Digital People Strategy, a primary strand of which must be that employees should be encouraged and enabled to start and run their own initiatives based on their interests. Businesses that can plan in and implement these practices will contribute greatly to their Digital Readiness.

    Related to the People element is the human computing intersect of the digital space. AI, RPAs and humans will need to co-exist in a space where humans, even with all the proliferation of office technology over the past 30 years, have been largely dominant, fully in control and driving the direction of application and analytics. With the rise of the human-robot dynamic, this is set to change drastically with increasing tensions at interaction and utilisation points.

    The Rise and Rise of Cyber-Insecurity

    Cybercrime, with its systems, practitioners and methods,  an increasingly important digital trend, is growing at an exponential rate and while response rates have risen and readiness is improved, businesses are still only playing catch up to a large extent, not least because gaps in everyday security are tripping up unsuspecting legitimate users of company systems, causing frequent incursions and ever more sophisticated and furious attacks.

    To successfully combat the many inevitable attacks, People and Digital Risk frameworks should be developed and/or changed to incorporate greater staff involvement, in a more coordinated and regular process to increase and sustain vigilance, awareness and intelligence to ward off potential security breaches that people might otherwise overlook, fail to report or fall foul of.

    The Growth of Collaboration

    Collaboration is an as yet largely overlooked landmark on the path of digitisation and is a dependency for advancing business’ digital capabilities, generating business value, speed of delivery and contributing to increased competitive advantage in absolute terms.

    The scope of collaboration is not limited to internal stakeholders and advantages accrue and compound for the ability to collaborate with external as well as internal stakeholders, from suppliers to customers. Cooperation across functions, geographies and business lines ceases to seem counterintuitive, creating huge efficiencies and transparency through cross functional integration of processes, and therefore in helping to gain task clarity and timely input from all relevant parties. Of course, the tools chosen for collaboration must be fit for purpose and suited to the shape and working practices of the organisations. Ideally, the tools should help to improve those too.

    Data Insights

    Business insights transferable at speed across different teams generated through the application of data mining and analytics will be a definitive catalyst of radical change in the coming decade, not least in the customer experience space. These will be gleaned from human intelligence and customer data and other data available in the organisation.

    High Velocity Learning

    Instituting and exploiting high-velocity practices and techniques is central to becoming an organisation that contend with the speed of change while positioning your company to adopt the change and tools that will create greater digital capabilities and enable the business to compete. Businesses need to be aware of the latest digital trends and implement tools and solutions that are the standard in their sector. Implementing Cloud Computing will need to be prioritised and planned for, as will Big Data.

    Champions, charged with decision making and budgetary authority to review and make the case for tools that should be adopted and then ensure that there is headroom in the budget to acquire these tools, should be appointed.

    One of the simplest but yet most significant adoptions is ensuring integration with and a managed presence, on social media, along with an analytics capability and a clear social media strategy.

    A programme to discover businesses processes that lend themselves to automation should be undertaken, Automation is the gateway to realising true efficiencies in your business and the process to decide what can be automated should lead to an overall streamlining of your process. Dependent on the size of your business, enterprise resource planning tools, while not new can provide a great platform for promoting and understanding a logical flow of your business structure.

    Finally, fostering an innovation mindset and building a bedrock on which to securely build and catalyse innovation, through the building out of an innovation ecosystem.

    Digital Transformation

    innovation, technology and communication
    Functional Intersects

    At Iconify, Digital Transformation truly embodies for us, the natural and compelling intersection of three capabilities we are so passionate about bringing home to clients – innovation, technology and communications. Where these intersects converge, so do great opportunities for transformation, capability growth and greater visibility and influence of your brand.

    Vibrancy, relevance, reliability for your business will come through the adoption of platforms that enable your business to take advantage of technology that’s already here, whilst positioning you to take advantage of imminent technologies. Through our Innovation and Transformation practices, we help clients foster and facilitate a mindset that is open, ready and willing to change in all functional areas. We also actively seek opportunities to create, automate, integrate and innovate –to help your business create, change and respond at pace and are on a mission to inform, educate and empower businesses like yours about the importance of digital transformation now.

    Digital platforms and social media offer clients logical and virtual proximity to customers, so marketing and organisational thought should increasingly be directed to channels and technology that enable access to all possible interaction points with customers. We help clients counter the challenge of making this seamless, constant, progressive, positive and relevant. We ensure that all efforts must map back positively to showing and sharing clients’ purpose, and meeting the needs of the customer. Our Brand Resonance – Business Growth cycle shows that to grow, your business needs to stay relevant. To stay relevant you have to be dynamic. To be dynamic, your business must be connected to purpose, be relatable and responsive to customers and stakeholders. This will in turn render your brand relevant.

    Cloud Platforms
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    AI, IA, & ML
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    Conversational UIs
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    Big Data Analytics
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    Blockchain Applications
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    Digital Risks
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    In a rapidly growing and accelerating tech market, Cloud platforms are a necessity. This is because the other technologies discussed in this section, like Big Data, Artificial Intelligence and IoT, to mention but a few, all need vast computing power, storage and processing. The firepower digital transformation would need ordinarily would require extraordinary physical infrastructure that your business would need to provide, at great cost to build and maintain. Whereas scaling is far more straightforward when this capacity is provided through the cloud.
    Cloud computing, therefore and choosing a cloud platform are the first steps to true digital transformation. It can be costly, but is costlier still if not sized, scaled and executed correctly.
    Get it right. Call us on +44(0) 208 191 9008am or fill our contact form.
    Adoption of Artificial Intelligence must be strategic and linked to valued led transformation of people, processes and practices. This helps business combat the inherent risks, fully evaluate the ethical and social costs
    while taking advantage of the potential benefits.
    Intelligent Automation is the sum of the powerful new digital, analytical and artificial intelligence driven infrastructure that enables the capability these technologies harness which can power the transforming and scaling human computer interactions to open up opportunities for efficiencies and collaboration.
    Machine Learning uses new algorithmic methods to solve problems that businesses face without the guidance and constraints of prior programming. With the ability to spot prevalent patterns at a micro level that inform disciplines like forecasting accuracy and detecting malicious network attacks, ML has potential for several applications.
    Robotics software transacts rule based repetitive tasks sans supervision, enabled by amplified and intelligent architecture, transformed processes, digital and AI integration, analytics and Big Data.
    Bots perform simple and repetitive tasks but a super quick rate, which means efficiencies, and so have myriad and varied application for businesses.
    We help you construct the right infrastructure and strategies to take advantage of opportunities created by these capabilities. If you like what you see and want to know more, call us on +44 (0)208 1919008.
    If you like what you see and want to know more, call us on +44 (0)208 1919008
    The human computer interface is indescribably expanded and made accessible by Conversational UIs, one of the most exciting and accessible advances in the rise of digital capability. Conversational UIs, can be text driven or voice driven. Advances in Natural Language Processing, which allows language to be parsed outside of the context has made conversational UIs of the latter type possible. Natural Language Processing,in Computing is based on Neural Networks, and is a key component of Artificial Intelligence. NLP not only works out exactly what words have been used by a customer but can also apply contextual and intentional filters, so ‘reasoning’ is performed.
    You will recognise them as conversation assistants like Siri or those that pop up on screens as ‘chatbots’. With the advent and adoption of Big Data, huge improvements in NLP and machine learning capability create the enabling and reasoning frameworks required for conversational user interfaces.
    Though undoubtedly still in toddlerhood, it is expected that these will enable us to understand customers and their motivations more keenly and inform business models through the ability to communicate at key interaction points with customers.
    Business is inundated with absolutely vast amounts of data.
    Big Data gives business the capability to corral, compress, channel and interrogate that data using analytics for decoding patterns, garnering insights and making decisions and finding possible new value that the business could add.
    There is a multiplicity of data sources, in a seemingly infinite variety of format creates challenges in streamlining due to matching, linking and internal correlation which creates complexities.
    The challenges we can help with is consulting with your business on how to link and create these linkages and hierarchies so that
    relationships and opportunities can become clearer. Our MD worked with a global bank to for a regulatory requirement to create standardised operating models, streamlining processes and roles and responsibilities to implement Big Data. The key objectives being to identify data sources, streamline data attributes across geographical sites and populate and transform the data to provide daily, weekly and monthly reports, the capability was required to reconcile against individual sites data or aggregated views.
    We help you understand your sources of data, what, how and how much to analyse and when they can be analysed and how to structure the different data streams. We also guide leaders to consider how the data will be stored, methods for interrogating the data and how to utilise insights gained.
    If blockchain technology can underpin digital currency payments, it can be understood that the technology behind it is remarkable. There are other compelling applications of the technology that could aid your business and we would love to discuss it with you on +44(0/0208 191 9008.
    The key area we focus on the potential of blockchain is within the cybersecurity space. The Blockchain purpose is absolute security and trust, while preserving anonymity.
    This purpose has engendered great possibilities for encryption and authentication, while providing unparalleled transparency on transactional history all of which are data and time stamped, to those with encryption keys, creating the digital ‘blocks’ for which the technology is named.
    Using distributed ledger processes, where only a single version of the blockchain available, Blockchain creates transaction histories where committing new transactions do not overwrite prior transactions and so is a full record of all transactions by any and all transactees, which obviously is counter to other database methodologies. To change or update a block, all parties to a transaction must ‘co-sign’ to render rights revocation, record tampering or deletion subject to agreement or otherwise as impossible as can be. Data is fully and powerful encrypted but with right credentials and key,transactions can be verified while anonymity is preserved and not requisite because the transactions not the players are trusted.
    The collective advent of digital technologies mean that adopting technology on the digital capacity spectrum, may open up risks in another area (more on Digital Risks Management here) and Blockchain may go someway to prevent attacks, using IoT.
    The advantages and therefore the applications for security is that there is a golden source of data.
    This golden source has potentialities for preventing fraud and non-repudiation as well as possibilities for the integration of third party systems.

    Firewalls inside organisations digital perimeters used to be sufficient but this is no longer the case. With the ubiquitous connectivity afforded by the internet of the things, the availability and accessibility of access points are more than ever before.

    With an ever more connected life and the ability to interact with customers and have them provide us with information, smart technology makes everything connected to a network susceptible to attack. Approaches to adopting technology must be smart and sustainable and recognise that threats inherent in the digital opportunities, namely the intersection of information technology and operational technology mobilising vital functions which used to be manual, dis-aggregated and not connected to the internet.

    We can help by strategising for digital risk as a start point for implementing digital transformation.

    Successful digital transformation will accelerate awareness, visibility and growth but it is dependent on commitment to developing resonance and using it to extend brand reach, access and relevance. The Key is, who really your customer is, what you can do to deliver needs that are unmet and how your business can support this through the engagement of primary stakeholders like employees and suppliers. To truly special and stand out, your brand must embody all the characteristics of resonance.

    Our Customer Experience Axis is the driving force behind our efforts because Digital Transformation may be technology-led but it is fully operationally underpinned, and CX is often where the biggest brands fall and fail with lasting deficits to brand power as a result. We will lead an honest assessment of with leaders of the state of CX and whether a CX Remodel is required. We have the right skills to help identify, document, codify and lead the back to front transformation initiatives that are necessary to deliver effective and relevant Digital Transformation of your resonant brand.

    Automation, AI and Robotics

    potential and promise of new tech
    Automation, AI and Robotics

    As the digital and physical worlds collide, and the internet of things increasingly make the mainstays of our lives, all things of the internet, these dimensions to business, innovation and growth can no longer be ignored. This is the new theatre for competition on a global scale!
    Regardless of your industry and your market segment, businesses will soon have to plan how to stay connected to the physical world and communicate with its aspects seamlessly through technology. This will inevitably require significant human-computer perspectives , architecture and processes at a whole new level.

    The integration of these new technologies with enterprise architecture and systems will enable businesses to be far more responsive to customers and competitive, with solutions that scale.

    Take up of these technologies and their integration into, or transformation of existing enterprise architecture is very much in its infancy but our engineering teams can help you look at how tomorrow’s processes may be transformed.  We can help you formulate a realistic and holistic strategy for adopting intelligent automation, AI and Robotics in your business’s operational landscape. Let’s talk about these exciting developments and what you are thinking. 0208 191 9008 or contact us here. There’s been some time for lots of companies to have tried to implement some or all of these technologies and many illuminating lessons have been learned.

    We provide advisory and engineering capabilities to help businesses navigate this digital, new tech and transformative epoch.
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    Artificial Intelligence
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    Robotics and RPAs
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    Machine Learning
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    Automation
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    AI has the highest exposure of all the new tech to risks to workforce and marginalisation of segments of a business’s customers – job losses and discrimination are real and potential outcomes. More than almost any innovation, the adoption of AI must be strategic and yoked to valued led transformation and reorganisation of people, processes and practices. In that way, the business is positioned to combat the high inherent risks, fully evaluate the ethical and social cost while taking advantage of the potential benefits.

    Let’s talk Robotics – madly exciting software that transacts rule based repetitive tasks sans supervision, enabled by amplified and intelligent architecture, transformed processes, digital and AI integration, analytics and Big Data.
    Adoption of these technologies has transformed sectors such as insurance and have found wide ranging application within functions with high customer interaction, HR and Finance. It is rapidly gaining adoption in back-office functions such as finance, tax, human resources and IT, as well as in supply chain and many customer-facing processes.
    We help you construct the right infrastructure and strategies to take advantage of opportunities created by these capabilities.

    So, what’s machine learning and what does it mean for your business?
    At the very least, we can help you understand and explore the possibilities to understand where benefits exist for your business. The possibilities are myriad, immense and complex. AI, automation, robotics, IoT and the vast computing power afforded by intelligent automation create incredible synergies that are interlinked and truly transformative. Machine learning is an extension of AI that allows machines to harness and mine the copious quantities of data at its disposal, capture and analyse patterns and deploy predictive power at speed using gargantuan processing power now available.
    Using new algorithmic methods to solve problems that businesses face without the guidance and constraints of prior programming, rather picking up on prevalent patterns at a micro level that inform disciplines like forecasting accuracy, machine learning has real problem solving capability for business, like detecting malicious network attacks and the ability to model demand, given a range of variables .

    Intelligent automation is the sum of the powerful new digital, analytical and artificial intelligence driven infrastructure that enables the capability these technologies harness which can power all parts of or integrations of processes, operations and functions with an eye on transforming and scaling human computer interactions to open up opportunities for efficiencies and collaboration that justify return on investment on a long range basis. To effectively implement streamlined systems, we help you develop target operating models that consider how and where the greatest value can be added.

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    IoT

    Internet of Things
    Where to start? Call us on +44(0) 208 191 9008 or contact us here.

     

    A decade and a half ago, our MD worked for Yahoo! on a huge and highly secretive  project called ConnectedLife, which explored the technology necessary to connect your phone and things like your lights, your fridge and washing machine and oven to each other.
    It was a revolutionary then and is revolutionary now, but that’s exactly what the Internet of Things is like. A ubiquitous connection of everything in your physical world connected to your digital world powered up and down and across by connectivity, internet and computing power.
    IoT, then is the connection of several and myriad devices to the internet with the ability to connect and exchange and decode data using intrinsic and integrated software, sensors and networks.
    There will only be greater connections, more mindblowing melding of what’s in our world and how we can communicate seamlessly with them using technological peripherals and sensors.  If you are excited to learn more and consider applications to your own business, get in contact!

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