Insights | By Howard Tiersky

WHAT DIGITAL REINVENTION REALLY MEANS

Companies that are digitally transformed make it possible for us to access their capabilities wherever and whenever we want. 

They create journeys that are enjoyable and easy so that customers no longer have to work to “figure things out.” 

This is what digital reinvention is all about. It’s innovating the way your products and services are delivered and consumed to give your customers the best possible experience. 

When my son Joseph was 4 years old, he was already an avid Netflix surfer, flying through the iconographic menus to find his favorite shows, despite not yet being able to read.

He was also a persistent question-asker. One day, when we were watching TV, he held up the remote control provided by our cable company and elbowed me. 

Pointing to the volume controls, he asked, “Daddy, these buttons make the sound get louder and softer, right?”

I responded, “Right.”

Then he pointed to a very similar set of up-down buttons just adjacent to the volume, asking, “Do these also change how loud the TV is?”

“No,” I said, “those buttons change the channel.” Joe, who already watched hours of “TV” every week, furrowed his brow, then looked at me confused and asked, “What’s a channel?”

I realized there wasn’t much point in explaining it to him, as the concept of a channel wasn’t going to be a part of his life any more than rotary phones or 8-track tapes.

What is a TV channel anyway? It represents a certain frequency used for terrestrial broadcasting—an outdated technology that offers an experience far inferior to that of today’s home entertainment options.

Companies that have digitally reinvented themselves have dropped or marginalized legacy products and services and reinvented what they do for the digital world. 

They have replaced waiting lines with apps, call centers with chatbots, and channels with on-demand videos on any device, and it’s all in the service of improving the customer experience by meeting their needs in an efficient way.

For example, Gmail lets you check your mail over a dozen ways,  such as using their Gmail app on your phone or using the web browser from your desktop.

While Google Drive allows you to access your documents using Cloud Technology, creating a seamless and portable experience.

That doesn’t mean, by the way, that these companies have abandoned the idea of a physical presence.

Amazon has recently started opening retail stores, E*TRADE has physical branches, and many “pure play” apparel brands born online have created “pop up” stores as an alternative way for customers to learn about their products.

Of course, in all these cases, their physical presence as compared to their digital footprint is of quite a different ratio than more “old school” banks or retailers, and the in-person experience is highly digitally enabled.

But nevertheless, they recognize that physical locations are also a valuable part of the customer journey.

It’s not about making your company entirely digital, but rather about reshaping your brand experience to resonate with an audience of digital customers—customers who are living a lifestyle with digital at the center.

So ask yourself, Am I giving customers the best service that they deserve? Will you be able to handle the challenge of bringing digital lifestyle customers to your brand? 

You can read more about digital reinvention in my Wall Street Journal bestselling book, WINNING DIGITAL CUSTOMERS: THE ANTIDOTE TO IRRELEVANCE, where I outline a proven 5-step strategy for transforming your business successfully. Get access to the first chapter for free at https://WinningDigitalCustomers.com.

Get FREE access to the first chapter of FROM`s
Wall Street Journal Best Selling Book

WINNING DIGITAL CUSTOMERS


  • Learn the three patterns of all successful digital brands (including companies like Apple, Netflix and Uber).
  • Understand why many great new products fail, and the formula for building products that won’t.
  • Discover the key reasons companies resist change and how to overcome them.
Get FREE access to the first chapter of FROM's
Wall Street Journal Best Selling Book

WINNING DIGITAL CUSTOMERS


  • Learn the three patterns of all successful digital brands (including companies like Apple, Netflix and Uber).
  • Understand why many great new products fail, and the formula for building products that won’t.
  • Discover the key reasons companies resist change and how to overcome them.