A strong brand is essential for a successful business. The more recognisable your brand, the greater advantage you hold over your competitors, which eventually leads to better results. But how do you make sure that your brand remains strong, during a digital revolution?

Throughout the years, entrepreneurs have been exposed to a variety of ‘revolutions’; technological changes that have had to be embraced and where only the strong brands survive. According to Klaus Schwab, Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum, there are four industrial revolutions:

1. The first industrial revolution which occurred when water and steam power were established

2. The arrival of electricity which made mass production possible

3. The electronic and information technology age of automated production

4. And today, the digital transformation, which merges the physical, digital and biological boundaries

Future-proof your brand during the digital transformation

David Solomon, president and co-chief operating officer of Goldman Sachs, discusses how the significant growth of tech giants and the pace of technological change is leading to “significant strategic shifts” as companies re-evaluate their business strategies and how they compete with their competition.

This is exactly what brands must do to ensure they are future-proofed. By carefully monitoring all the changes that the digital revolution brings and adjusting your business strategy to follow that, you’re strengthening your brand, which puts it in better shape to survive the digital revolution.

Magic and logic

A brand can be seen as the most valuable intangible asset of an organisation and it is much more than just a marketing tool. This is why I sometimes do not understand why brands are not organised in a business administration way. From analysis and strategy to operations and evaluation, a business administration approach for the brand throughout the whole organisation is crucial. Research conducted by SWOCC and VIM Group shows a direct correlation between a brand’s organisation and brand manifestation. In other words: organisations who use a business administration approach in relation to the brand, perform better than their competitors.

Strengthening your brand and brand values goes way beyond creativity, design, colours or logos in this rapidly changing world. Here, it is about profound knowledge and screening your environment, vision, mission, products and the shared beliefs of the whole organisation. Together these factors make your brand strong. Without logic, there is no magic. You have to organise a strong brand.

"Strengthening your brand and brand values goes way beyond creativity, design, colours or logos in this rapidly changing world. Here, it is about profound knowledge and screening your environment, vision, mission, products and the shared beliefs of the whole organisation."

How to navigate an ocean of change

The first and maybe most important step is to go back to the core: your identity (‘purpose’), your brand. Determine the right KPIs for the boardroom as well as the organisation.

Then, proceed with a renewed, agile, brand policy with which you embrace change and use data to your advantage. With a good set-up and integrated data dashboard, you can monitor everything in real-time, adjust when necessary and even use it predictively.

In 2020, 5G will be the standard, which pushes the limits of speed even further. The impact of this can be related to the change from the typewriter (remember those?) to the personal computer. From here on, everything will be faster. Generation Z is set to conquer the workplace. These ‘screenagers’ grew up with smartphones, apps, social media and are constantly online. Important developments, which should be considered when making a brand policy.

When drafting your brand policy, you need to consider every aspect of your brand in an operational, tactical and strategic way. How can your products and services be improved? Can all changes improve the brand supply chain, and with that the quality, productivity and business results of your organisation? Does visual identity seamlessly connect to your organisation’s DNA?

Finally, the most important target group of a renewed brand policy is your employees. They have to embrace the change and adjust to it. This requires a continuous learning programme, based on experimenting, adjusting and learning. After the employees come the clients, prospects, shareholders and other stakeholders. With each target group ask yourself how the digital revolution will change their experience and how you embrace that as a brand.

By taking these steps, your brand will be buoyant in the ocean of change and will have a much bigger chance of surviving the digital revolution.