Digital Darwinism - A survival guide

Updated: Mar 5

Digital Darwinism is the evolution of consumer behavior when society and technology evolve faster than companies’ ability to adapt. The point of natural selection is that only some businesses will survive.

Knowing where to start with digital transformation is far from easy. For many companies, the concept of overhauling a workplace culture, retraining staff, and remodeling long-trusted practices is a daunting prospect. But here’s the thing: digital transformation is no longer an option. It’s no longer just a means of communication or even a separate marketing channel. It is the channel. It is the future. Digital Darwinism is upon us.

So how can companies embrace this trend - huh the million-dollar question right?

It comes down to one word, relevance. If consumer behavior is evolving as a result of technology, businesses either compete to get ahead of it, they perpetually react to it, or they belittle it. One of the most problematic aspects of digital maturity is that technology is both parts of the solution and also part of the problem. Some companies tamed this and while others have not idea on how to move up the ladder.

When Steve Jobs returned to Apple in 1997, he was on a mission to rebrand the company to connect with consumers. Jobs, introduced the employees to its iconic advertising campaign, “Think Different.”

“For me, marketing is about values,” said Jobs, “This is a very noisy world and we’re not going to get a chance to get people to remember much about us. So, we have to be very clear what we want them to know about us.”

The company then looked inward in an attempt to answer the questions: Who is Apple, what does it stand for and where does the brand fit in the world.

“What we’re about isn’t making boxes for people to get their jobs done,” said Jobs during the company meeting, “Apple’s core value is that we believe people with passion can change the world…for the better. Those people, crazy enough to think that they can change the world are the ones that actually do.… Here’s to the crazy ones.”

The “Think Different” campaign ran from 1997 and effectively rebrand Apple for years to come. But that was just one example of how a company would use the brand experience to compete for customer attention.

So what is a Brand experience?

The experience that a user should have before, during and after engagement with the platform. How does it fit into their lifestyle? Where does it add value? and how does it make me feel for it again?

Brand experience is better defined as the culmination of all experience people have at every given moment as defined as brand experience which is delivered through the moment of CX, UX, and SX with the help of ever-changing technology platform.

CX as coined as the sum of all interactions at any given time of truth. UX being looked up as designing of entire customer experience with products and services. SX being dubbed as design, staging, and delivery of services through orchestrated approaches, roles, props, processes, and technology.

In the end, digital Darwinism represents the future of business by creating a brand experience through the re-alignment of, or new investment in, technology and business models to more effectively engage digital consumers at every touchpoint in the customer experience lifecycle. It’s bigger than any one area of technology disruption though and that’s the point.

Survival of the Fittest

The behaviors that all players must display to perform at a high level in this ecosystem are now evident to a certain extent. They revolve around getting closer to consumers, engendering conversations, mastering the context of marketing messages, making better use of consumer data and insight, and building new and more collaborative relationships across the value chain.

If organizations cannot recognize opportunities to further compete for attention and relevance, they cannot, by default, create meaningful connections, a desirable brand or drive shareable experiences. The brand, as a result, will lose preference in the face of consumer choice, which may one day lead to its succumbing to digital Darwinism.

Gartner research estimates than only 30% of companies who undertake a digital transformation will actually succeed. With technology like artificial intelligence progressing so rapidly, there is no time to waste. Companies that don’t get involved now will be left behind, possibly to the extent that they will never catch up.

So the key factor driving in this survival game is

  1. Don't delay experimenting, constantly map the customer journey to create a cross channel customer experience

  2. Track global trends, own metrics, and developments to realign continuously

  3. Empower your workforce led by a strong digital-focused leaderships

  4. Make smart investments and Build bilateral brand experiences

  5. Cultivate digital skills and mindset across the organization

  6. Adopting customer-centric design philosophy

  7. Explore multiple channels of reach-outs

  8. Place context on par with content

  9. Collaboration for bigger success

  10. Avoid Siloed initiatives


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