How the best stand out

Truly Digital Brands

Posts, views, likes, clicks: common currencies to measure the digital potency of companies. But does the number of likes contribute to making a brand more digital? These are the secrets of “Truly Digital Brands”.

Throughout the era of digitalization, companies have been striving to automate processes and procedures. “Digitalization opens access to new profit pools”, “Data is the new gold”, “Digitalize or die”: The storm of digital disruption is raging with continuous intensity, fueling the fear of missing out among entrepreneurs and management.

However, a first hurdle lies already in the question of what digitalization means for a brand. For some, digitalization is the implementation of a new technology. Others focus on the use of digital communication channels. And there are those who recognize business model opportunities in digitalization. Exposed to a flood of buzzwords, it can be comforting to rely on measurable parameters such as clicks, likes, shares, etc. But this is too short a thought. Truly digital brands successfully stand out in three different dimensions. But this is too short a thought. Truly digital brands successfully stand out in three different dimensions.

Leap beyond digitalization 

Digital technologies are complicated. As a result, many brands offering digital products are trying hard to visualize this complexity – with similar images, because technology is the same for all. “Truly Digital Brands” do not focus on explaining how data is processed, but easily draw attention to the exclusive customer benefits of their digital offerings. They skip the technological aspects of digitalization in their communication, because digital technology alone is no longer suitable for differentiation. Just as a hotel today no longer focuses its marketing activities on “electric lighting in all rooms” to provide a great customer experience.

Digital first as a basic principle 

Brands are masters in recycling content. Former brochures are recycled
in small portions on the website or blog. Recycled print media, however, quickly reveal their origin: breaking content into digitally digestible amounts of information is also breaking the dramaturgy. „Truly Digital Brands“ develop content in a new way: they keep an eye on the fluid scaling of messages in different formats and channels right from the conception stage – and virtuously play out the dramaturgy at all levels. Ideally, they even establish their own thought leadership platform, to effectively stage digital competencies, such as collaboration or co-creation with other leading brands.

Great user experience 

Digital champions implement first-class user experience at every touch point. However, intuitive operation, self-organizing navigation, interaction at the right place and attractive digital design are hygiene factors and therefore just the starting point. “Truly Digital” means use of cutting-edge technologies. This includes effortless interaction via language control, personalized content, seamless switching between different channels and devices, and immersive animations that can be intuitively steered through natural interaction. With minimum clicks and swipes – and maximum rewards.

Digital brand management 

The path to becoming a digital champion

  • Develop a digital corporate culture. Because “Truly Digital” begins with behavior.
  • Think digital – right from the start. Recycling existing content does not drive transformation.
  • Act digitally – at all branded touch points. Especially on classic physical dimensions such as events, trade fairs, points of sale, or products.
  • Create relevant and differentiating content that makes your brand stand out from digital noise.
  • Focus all communication on customer benefits of digital services. Tune down all other topics. And resist the temptation to make digitalization itself a top topic.
  • Create a stimulating, effortless user experience that evokes curiosity.
  • Use digital thought leader brands as role models – and develop your own brand beyond their position – courageously and in large steps.
  • Avoid graphical representations of zeros and ones. Always.

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