The effects of the digital transformation have penetrated all areas of business in recent years and have contributed to a radical change in economic structures. If you take a look at the world's most successful brands such as Google, Apple, Amazon or Microsoft, it becomes clear that digital competencies have long since decided who comes out on top. This is reason enough for companies to take a close look at this topic and ask themselves fundamental questions:
How do I assert myself in the digital jungle with my brand? How do I compete with global players and how do we deal with the increasing influence of consumers?
It quickly becomes clear that digitization brings with it a number of challenges that need to be mastered. Because only those who succeed in using the framework conditions of digitization as an advantage can be sure of economic success in the future.
Challenge 1: Customers as brand & opinion leaders
The days when companies could create a unilaterally controlled perception of the brand are over. Today, it is much more the customers themselves in the social networks and forums who actively shape the discourse around the brand. For companies, it is therefore essential to use user comments, customer reviews, etc. to manage a brand and to actively involve customers in the dialog in order to build valuable relationships.
Good relationship building can succeed with just a few basic considerations:
Create clear values for your brand to offer relevance and added value. Develop an authentic brand identity that is reflected in all your communications and is felt in the channels relevant to your target audience. Promote dialog and actively involve your customers to increase personal identification with the brand.
In this way, the customers' power of opinion can be used as an opportunity to shape a good reputation.
Challenge 2: Massive increase in contact points
The customer journey has also changed due to digitization. On the way to making a purchase decision, customers today consume far more information and come into contact with a more extensive number of touchpoints with the company than they did a few years ago. In addition to advertising messages from companies, this also includes other influences such as test reports, ratings in forums, social media discussions, photos, videos, advertising clips or retailer websites.
It is clear that you cannot use all touchpoints specifically in this process. What you need is a customer journey strategy that puts your customers at the center of all your considerations. Start by analyzing the individual touchpoints of the intended target group and focus on the important and correct channels.
Challenge 3: Market power of the platform giants
In the course of digitization, smaller companies in particular face the challenge of competing with the market power of large corporations. Vast amounts of user data are becoming the almost unassailable competitive advantage of the platform giants - smaller companies are being forced to establish smart, digital business solutions.
Digitally Native Vertical Brands (DNVB) are driving such an alternative strategy, focusing on simplifying products and processes, bringing customers into focus, using their data sovereignty to improve products, and using social media specifically for brand building and customer acquisition.
Challenge 4: Automated buying decisions
Last but not least, companies need to deal with increasingly automated buying decisions from customers. Automated means that purchase decisions are no longer made consciously, but are replaced by situations in which repeated habitual purchases of the same product take place.
Subscriptions that renew themselves automatically and ensure that the same products are always available, or developments in the smart home sector, are examples of this. Purchase decisions are therefore becoming less frequent overall, but also more long-term.
By demonstrating your presence, not allowing your independence from digital platform giants to become too great, and creating new, digital solutions for your business model, you can score points with the few purchasing decisions.