Translating Your Brand To The Digital World


Entrepreneur_93894034By Nima Yassini.

 

When you are asking yourself whether your company ticks all the right boxes in order to move online, the first challenge is to visualise where your business will be in five years’ time. The first step is to stop wondering if your organisation is the right candidate to integrate online, and instead consider how the digital world supplements or complements the service or product your organisation offers. Furthermore, ask how the digital space will help you to further engage with your customers by utilising the new channels that they have moved on to.

The introduction of smartphones, tablets and apps has seen digital products become a necessity in our lives. A recent study by Steelgroup.com revealed that because of new technology, we live 44 hours in a 24 hour day. Now that consumers are regularly engaging with a range of digital platforms, shopping online, downloading new apps and communicating via social media, businesses need to ask themselves how can they use these channels better to get in front of their target audience.

Now that you are using the correct thought process, you need to look at your original business model and consider how digital can be integrated to extend on the services or products that you already offer.

Firstly, look at your website; does it reflect your brand well? Does it give the same experience a customer would get if they were to deal with you face to face? Perhaps you need to add functions to your site to help your customers gain the same experience they would if they were right there in front of you.

If your business prides itself on customer service and aims to grab a customer at the first point of contact, you can add a chat function to your website that pops up as soon as someone enters your page. This enables you to help your customers with their needs straight away and direct them to the right product or service, which will ultimately end in a sale for you rather than having the customer leave your site to search elsewhere.

For instance, Nordstrom’s, a retail company in the UK, enhanced its digital offering by overhauling its inventory system to allow customers the ability to search their entire range and, if a product is sold out online but available in store, to pick it up from a nearby store. This digital strategy also helped the company to increase its store sales by 8 per cent by driving traffic back to the store at the convenience of the customer.

But remember, a digital strategy does not just start and end at websites; there are many channels ready to be integrated into your business that will help you move your brand online. A lot of organisations have recently hired Community Relations Managers to listen and engage with customers through the likes of Facebook and Twitter. Other companies have also developed apps to make it easier for consumers to engage with them. For example, takeaway food chains Dominos and Pizza Hut have encouraged their customers to download their apps to make ordering pizzas easier and cheaper. Dell launched an online community site called Dell IdeaStorm that was designed to increase the interaction with its customers. The platform lets users submit their ideas about improving Dell’s products and services and the community then votes for the best ideas.

Before the significant rise of the digital world, the bricks and mortar business played a number of roles: education, product comparison, product selection and purchase. Today, many of these tasks are happening long before the customer steps foot into the store. Customers these days are so much more aware of their options. It is common for a customer to have more information than even the salesman
can offer them through what they have discovered online.

So now that we have recognised that the customer has evolved, we can redefine the roles of the old channels and introduce new ones. For instance, if a customer begins his or her interaction with a brand online, then walks into the store to employ the service, then goes back online to make the purchase, what manages their experience?

In 2009, UK retailer Debenhams introduced an in-store Twitter Assistant, which was a micro-blog that assisted customers who were looking for staff members or products. A bakery in Europe also added a Tweet Bake service, which allowed customers to be given regular updates about when fresh bread and pastries were out of the oven and on sale.

Nike used digital to extend on its product offering by creating Nike +, which is a chip that plugs into a Nike running shoe and a USB that plugs into your iPod Nano that then acts as a personal trainer, recording your personal times, distance and improvements. This product allowed Nike customers to track their training progress online and while they are running, which further complements the company’s already well-established sports products. These examples show that the opportunities are well and truly endless.

With the introduction of the internet, companies no longer compete with just their local rivals but with organisations across the globe. Furthermore, larger-scale competitors are also happy to sell similar products online at a much lower price.

With the added pressures of unstable markets and rising inflation rates, many organisations are facing the fact that their everyday customer is quickly becoming the value customer – someone who is not loyal to the brand and always looks for the best deal. The message “evolve or become a commodity” is true; you need to give customers a lot more today in order to get one dollar across the counter.

The first questions that you need to ask yourself are: how can you create an experience online; what is your brand all about and what part of your brand can come to life or be further enhanced through digital channels? If your brand is all about service, there is no reason this attribute cannot be enhanced online.

You must use your brand to define the experience, not the other way around. A lot of web development agencies will build what customers want, not what your brand is all about. Digital strategic agencies, on the other hand, will work with the digital channels to bring your brand to life and further enhance and complement everything your organisation has to offer.

Your company and its employees are the ultimate expression of your brand’s personality, but it is your digital brand experience that needs to be applied to your website and other channels to give your consumers a feeling of consistency.

Selling an experience is just as important as selling the product. One of the biggest product sellers in the world, Apple, has become so successful not because it has sold the functionality of the products but because it has sold the experience of the product so well. Apple consumers continuously buy Apple products because of the consistent experiences their products deliver.

With over 14 years of experience in the Australian, UK and US digital markets, Nima Yassini has overseen and assisted a number of agencies grow and implement large-scale and highly successful projects during the .com rise. Now the owner of his own agency, New Republique, Nima has worked on and is involved with a number of blue chip brand accounts. 

 

Most Read at ABS!

Boost Your Business By Boosting Your Brain

By Dr Helena Popovic MBBS. Your most powerful business asset is your brain. By understanding how your brain works, you can work more productively, creatively and efficiently. You can learn how to think more incisively, focus more effectively and sustain your mental energy throughout the day. Here are some of the latest findings from neuroscience […]

The Fifth Assessment: What Is It And What Does It Tell Us?

By Mark O’Brien. Recently, the media has been reporting that the latest report on the science of climate change has been released by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). This report has stirred up plenty of commentary, especially while the fires in NSW were burning during October. A lot of the commentary is focussed […]

How To Protect Your Intellectual Property

By Kim Khor. Corporate information systems are thought of as housing data-like documents, messages and databases. They should also include all digital devices like mobile phones, cameras and GPS (global positioning system) navigators. When people use any of these systems, their actions are also converted into data. Each action is recorded in some way and […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: