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When two worlds collide

How brand and digital are changing the game



Article by George Porteous

As the worlds of digital and brand collide it’s imperative for organisations to both understand human beings and deliver experiences and technology that meet their needs. That’s incredibly powerful.

The worlds of emotion, brand and creativity are colliding with the rational and trackable world of data and digital to create new opportunities for organisations. Key to getting started on the digital journey and taking advantage of this new world is the ability to understand consumer behaviour, to use that insight to generate new ideas and then rapidly prototype those products and services.

Two worlds are now coming together to create new digital opportunities. There is the world of brand and creativity, which is a world of emotion and engagement but in the past it wasn’t always easy to track the effectiveness that had in driving clients’ business objectives. And then there is the world of digital, which was less emotional but is trackable, rational, efficient and effective. It is driven by data and is something you can measure.

Now it’s a really exciting time because those two worlds are coming together offering completely new opportunities for organisations to connect with customers. There are three ways for organisations to innovate and address this challenge. 

At the strategic level, it’s about using consumer and market insight to understand the client’s market and customer behaviour and answer fundamental questions about the organisation’s reason for existing.

Underneath that is the service design level, which is about looking at the customer journey, identifying the pain points for customers and generating ideas around potential new products, services and experiences.

Then if an organisation already has ideas around new experiences it wants to try out, it’s about shaping those and bringing them to life very quickly by prototyping technology to come up with something tangible they can put in front of their board or customers to get feedback and iterate fast.

Putting all the pieces together

Here at Cognizant we are well-placed to help clients address these challenges with the relevant skills and expertise from these two worlds of both brand and digital. We bring design, ethnography and insight, and of course we bring the core digital skills of Cognizant around technology and delivery.

Starting with strategic insight, we have a team of insight and strategy experts who do deep thinking informed by customer research. This element combines social science tools and digital technology to help clients better understand their customers and how they are engaging with technology. Ethnographers, behavioural economists and sociologists work with data scientists, designers and technologists to explore how customers behave and engage. That in turn helps businesses connect more closely with real-world consumer behaviours.

For service design and prototyping, we have boosted our capability with the acquisition of Zone, who bring digital content and customer experience expertise. Zone was the biggest independent digital agency in the UK and was the BIMA Agency of the Year in 2016. Zone is now part of Cognizant Digital Business and can design and prototype products and services that take advantage of the latest digital technologies.

One of the big challenges for organisations is that most are already on a digital transformation journey and are aware of the need for change, but they are asking themselves what to tackle first and how to organise themselves effectively to address these new trends. Our Collaboratory innovation spaces bring together these experts and our clients. They’re a perfect place to start on the digital journey, allowing them to quickly co-create tangible thinking and work with us, whether that be analysing consumer behaviour and thinking about big strategic issues for the organisation or rapidly prototyping existing ideas for new products and services. 

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