Guiding Brands Through Digital Transformation
by Arvind Ravishunkar
The digital revolution is happening in just about every industry there is. And it offers brands two simple choices. One, join the megatrend, and embrace all it offers in terms of new opportunities. Or, two, maintain the status quo and risk becoming less relevant to the market.
Digital transformation has allowed some brands to move from a “me too” position to one of leadership where they serve as trailblazers who build loyalty and turn consumers into brand ambassadors. It can allow brands to pivot into new markets, or provide new offerings that leverage and enhance their current market position, propelling them to the front of the pack.
For some brands this digital transformation might be their first foray into utilizing technology, for others it could be a change or improvement to an existing technology that leverages a digital ecosystem in a way previously not considered. For everyone, it is an essential journey.
This digital journey is one of the most critical investments that a brand will undertake in the coming years. It has the potential to fundamentally change a brand’s relationship with its customers, as well as to drive entirely new business models. This journey becomes much easier when undertaken with partners who bring cross-functional skills to the table.
At Radius Innovation & Development, we help companies find their way through the strategy of ideation and digital transformation. Because the journey through digital transformation is both complex and critical, we have added cross-functional expertise to our team and developed a new offering, which we call the Digital Strategy Practice. This practice has its roots firmly planted in the experience we have gained over hundreds of successful design and innovation projects conducted over years of customer engagement. Indeed, the demand was identified and informed by those engagements and projects.
The initial step (Digital Transformation Step #1) before beginning the journey is to understand the reasons for digital transformation and what digital means to the brand. Only when that has been clarified, can the journey really begin. Once you have determined what digital means for your company, we have developed four steps on the digital transformation journey that allows you to understand where you are in your journey, and how to seek the best help to move you through each level.
At the next phase (Digital Transformation Step #2), digital transformation initiatives are identified such as adding digital elements to a product, or ‘devicification’ as it is sometimes called. This might be a sensor, or computing or communication capabilities of some kind, that enhance the experience for users of the product and allows the company to move into the digital space.
The next phase (Digital Transformation Step #3), is to connect that product to a larger ecosystem that brings a new dimension of value to the users and to the brand. Once the device is connected, data starts to flow. Data is the life blood, or the rocket fuel, of the digital economy.
It is the utilization – through effective analysis, interpretation and application of this data that drives the value of the next step (Digital Transformation Step #4) of the process. Putting data to work to drive new business models and accretive revenue opportunities is a powerful digital outcome.
The final phase (Digital Transformation Step #5), is the application of artificial intelligence or machine learning to create value beyond the product, leveraging the opportunity to understand the consumer in completely new ways.
The common denominators in all these steps are both the brands’ and the end consumers’ needs. The decades of experience shared by Radius and Jabil have informed a customer centric approach to everything we do. Every design or ideation project starts with a discovery phase where we explore the market, talking to users, understanding what makes them tick, and determining how value can be added to their user experience. Looking for value at each stage is essential. That might be from the product itself, but it could easily come from elsewhere within the ecosystem, such as services that relate to the product and to the data the product can collect.
We love technology and the potential for change that it enables, but we don’t believe in using it for its own sake. It must add value to the process, to the users’ relationship with the product or service, to the ecosystem and beyond. This could be anything from the auto-replenishment of washing liquid before it runs out, to the addition of services based on user behavior.
The digital revolution is upon us. If you’re not part of the disruption, you risk marginalization, irrelevance or even extinction. Let us help you design and deliver your digital future.