How Digital-savvy Brands Bring Customers into the C-Suite

By Dominik von Jan

Now that people can connect with brands through multiple channels anytime, anywhere—and leave their opinion with the click of a button—brands have had to become more proactive, responsive, and co-creative with customers. Most companies recognize how powerfully digital is influencing consumer choice—even the way businesses are structured, organized, and managed. We’re seeing forward-looking companies making digital a seamless part of both business and brand strategy to bring customers into the C-suite—and executives into the real world. The keys:

Understand people

Use digital tools to find out what consumers want and how to deliver it in 
a smart, convenient way. One caveat: Many companies collect data but miss out when it comes to applying the insights effectively. Oftentimes siloed legacy systems prevent the application of collected insights across different brand touchpoints. As consumers grow increasingly demanding, it is more critical for brands to provide seamless cross- or omni-channel shopping and service experiences. Those who don’t prioritize this now stand to lose market share.

Personalize and harmonize

Provide relevant, intuitive insights and value with the help of Big Data. Personalized experiences will continue to drive brand relevancy in the future. People are increasingly comfortable with brands tracking their browsing histories, social media likes, and brand preferences, as long as this knowledge is used to make things more convenient and tailored to their interests. From Amazon’s “you might also like” feature to Uber’s one-tap payments, consumers are used to a whole new level of convenience and personalization. Today, targeted communications get results.

While targeted communications are key, brands that can surprise and delight customers will best establish loyalty. Smarter, automated suggestion algorithms, micro-level trend analysis, and the creative intuition of a savvy marketing team help future-proof digital strategy.

Develop a compelling brand personality, especially in digital

Infuse all communications, not just 
the big TV ads, with a human tone of voice and character to bring your brand to life. Loyalty is created when people connect on an emotional level, when they come to appreciate the character of a brand, in addition to the utility and usability it provides through its products. That is what makes the MINI car brand so strong and its customers so happy. And it is what makes ordering business cards from online print service MOO.com a surprisingly pleasant process. These products don’t just fulfill a need, but let us connect with a personality behind the product.

Dominik von Jan (dominik.vonjan@interbrand.com) is Senior Director of Strategy-Digital, Interbrand New York