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.

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