Impact on individuals, families, companies and society
Digital Darwinism has forced companies to quickly adapt to consumer behaviours which are evolving faster than ever. Many brands are facing extinction every day because they don’t pivot their business fast enough to meet their consumer needs, other competitors cut in and offer a better, faster service. Back in the days we considered great brands the ones that you saw a lot on TV or even the radio, repeating a quirky tagline or a jingle that stick in your head. When I was young, we used to sing the commercial tune from the iconic sofa shop Mondo Convenienza or the famous Leche Pascual. The biggest brands from 10–15 years ago, such as Nokia, Kodak, Blockbuster, Tiscali (one of the first Italian tech giant), are names we rarely hear anymore. Nowadays, the definition of a great brand has become much more complicated — identity, values and the crusade of the brand become equally important. Engagement is dictated by convenience and customer journey. Retention is all about service and value (or perceived value) for money. Tech is the king of the mountain because it enables the brand to deeply connect with its customers in many ways. Digital Darwinism is the evolution of brands, whereby survivorship and business longevity are based on its ability to evolve and adapt in our fully disruptive economy. The stronger the digital experience a brand can offer, the higher chance it can convert even the most digitally-behind consumers. Despite the rapid change in behaviour and expectations, some things remain the same in business — the importance of customer care. Companies should promote the culture of customer care by using innovation and technologies. My 5 commandments for Digital Darwinism are:
- Create a culture of customer care and be radically customer-centric. Consumers are becoming more digitally empowered, they are more likely to have joined Facebook, Twitter, or use product-rating sites for conversations about the quality of products or services. The more positive “footprints” a company has online, the higher chance for purchases to take place. That is why it is more important than ever to focus on the consumers, because companies have less control over digitally savvy consumers, who have done their independent research before the buying decision even happens. Genuine customer care brings great reviews, driving “invisible” sales from the internet space.
- Track metrics (read more from my article on metrics). Use metrics that work to see if you are doing a good job, do not use those “vanity metrics” that are pointless to observe. Look at ROE (return on experience), CLTV (customer lifetime value) and returning/retention rates.
- Pick the right tech. Tech is the way to connect but find the most suitable way for your market and industry. Investing randomly is the recipe for disaster and we all know time is money. For instance, Lululemon and other retail businesses are better off on instagram and facebook and SAAP for Linkedin. No matter what your product category is, social media recommendations can remind and facilitate customers to increase their purchases so it is a hugely useful asset. Positive consumer experiences online can increase a brand’s “stickiness”, therefore increasing likelihood of repeat customers.
- Analysis with Big data is the new black. Master them or you will succumb from the early adopters. Use big data and harness analytics tools to understand, analyse, and optimise strategy is essential to decision-making, no matter what your industry is.
- Digital Leadership. All CEO’s should be digitally educated and skilled. The management must lead the change and recruit the right technological talent to develop the company. They also need to be digitally literate enough to strategize products and services in today’s tech environment.
Successful players seem to be pulling away from less savvy digital brands and building up a better reputation through word of mouth in the internet space. However, digital footprint aside, the culture of customer care these companies offer comes from within the team, innovation is just the springboard to deliver those services and values. No matter which bridge of technology a company chooses — social media, augmented reality, or AI — to connect with its customers, the key is to pamper them and let them feel that brands care and is available to help in every possible way. Now that you know it all about Digital Darwinism, it’s your pick to die, survive or evolve!