Winning digital minds, analog hearts
By COLLOQUY Staff
Through a special arrangement, what follows is a summary of an article from COLLOQUY, provider of loyalty-marketing publishing, education and research since 1990.
Does anyone really remember the first time they downloaded an MP3 of a song? By show of hands at the 2016 COLLOQUY Summit in Los Angeles, at least, the answer is a resounding “no.”
But ask around — many people have a clear, strong memory of buying their first vinyl record. They recall exactly how it sounded, where they got it, how exciting it was to set the record player needle down in its grooves for the first time. The Summit attendees were no exception when keynote speaker Anders Sorman-Nilsson asked about their vinyl memories.
It’s a great example, he said, of how important — and tricky — it is for companies, brands and marketers to understand the digital disruption they all face. Another is the persistent love of the humble wristwatch, even though the time can easily and instantly be found on people’s ever-present smartphones, not to mention features-heavy smartwatches.
“There’s a dichotomy: We’re increasingly in the digital era, but your customers’ hearts are still analog and emotional,” the futurist and innovation strategist told the audience. “How do you seamlessly weave analog and digital together?”
With the lightning-fast clip of change, the future could be incredibly dehumanized, Mr. Sorman-Nilsson said, citing research predicting that machine power will bypass the brainpower of a human by 2023. As companies learn to adapt to digital disruption rather than fighting it, he said, “They don’t have to throw the analog baby out with the digital bathwater.”
Yet there is still a great deal of friction for something as easy, for example, as payments. Removing friction as much as possible will be key for all brands as they continue to transform into an ever-more digital world.
As an example of seamless transformation, Mr. Sorman-Nilsson cited Nike, which once sold simply athletic gear and shoes. Today, through advanced interactive analytics that let people customize and elevate their performance, he said, “What they’re really selling is self-actualization and transformation.”
The key for tackling the future in a way that combines the best of analog and digital: “Ask, ‘What does that transformation look like inside your organization?’ And get really deliberate about how you design the customer experience of the future.”
- Winning Digital Minds, Analogue Hearts – COLLOQUY
- Anders Sorman-Nilsson’s 2016 COLLOQUY Summit – COLLOQUY
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Does developing a brand in a way that connects digital minds with analog hearts make sense for retail? Which parts of the retail experience do you think shouldn’t be allowed to go digital that might?