Which brands do digital well?

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Nike FuelBandDuring a meeting with a marketing executive for a national brand, they were thinking in terms of campaigns when they asked "which brands do you feel do digital really well?"

My answer was simple: "Whoever uses technology to address consumer needs. The new 'campaign' is creating real value, not concepts. Its daily usefulness, not momentary cleverness. Companies who do digital well are companies that understand their customers enough to fix actual problems."

At Integrity, we see digital as offline or online technology that connects a brand to a customer in a meaningful way. I might buy a pair of Nike shoes because I use their FuelBand to passively track my activity or buy a Domino's pizza because their online ordering system gives complete transparency. They solve real life consumer problems.

"Doing digital well" means "extending consumer value into a new format." Pizza stores didn't used to deliver or take credit cards. As new opportunities presented themselves, they adapted their business to better meet the needs of their customers. Now that almost every American is walking around with a powerful, networked, geolocation-aware computer in their pocket, brands need to reconsider the problem they are solving for customers or risk becoming irrelevant.

Ultimately, this is not a "digital" question - this is a brand question. A consumer question. A business question. Digital is not an additive element to mix into your marketing formula. It is a global cultural shift that has altered what your customers need from you. No jingle, amazing creative copy or tear-jerking Super Bowl commercial will save you. You have to deliver tangible value.

To survive, engage a new kind of agency; the kind born from this turbulence that has leadership that understands how to turn technological chaos into brand loyalty, expanded market share and profits.

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