The current pandemic has brought about many changes. It has raised questions relating to society and the economy. We have had to learn hard to integrate new ways of working, interacting and living. Suddenly, our weaknesses have been put on the table, but so have our strengths. Technology and all things digital has proven to be a key component of our collective effort to confront a reality for which no one was prepared.

Technology has emerged as the engine of necessary change. By offering, for example, laboratories the possibility of finding a vaccine more quickly. But also making it easier for people to stay connected to an outside world, and for most companies the means to stay operational, facilitating remote work and fully integrating into everyday life.

The world – from business to personal and social – has become dependent on the digital environment. Nowadays everything has a solution on the net or on social media. And with this shift in communication there is a real need for transparency and for companies to act and take a proactive role.

Technology has become a facilitator of exponential growth, being a multiplying factor of the sum of knowledge (science) plus the will to innovate, resulting in gigantic progress in a very short time, at multiple levels.

So far, there have been significant companies and brands that have grown exponentially under the protection of digital: Instagram, Netflix, Spotify, Ebay… But this crisis has shaken the principles of some of them, such as Airbnb. It took us 12 years to build the Airbnb business and we lost almost everything in a matter of 4-6 weeks,” said the company’s CEO and co-founder, Brian Chesky.

This is the dark side of exponential growth, and it sets up what we can call exponential decline. Like living things, brands grow from infancy to maturity, and many of them eventually die. Those that live longer have inevitably faced the dangers of extinction in one way or another, even if they have been able to pivot their strategy to maintain success. Recently we saw how Kodak seemed to be reborn from its ashes by refocusing its business towards the pharmaceutical sector and managing to shoot its shares exponentially by up to 1500%. Sadly, a scandal could be destroying his new achievements.

Whatever the industry or business model, brands are required to understand and integrate the dynamic environment in which they live and serve. Honesty and transparency are more important than ever, otherwise rapid growth can also lead to big drops.

In any case, digital transformation transcends business or technology; It is in itself a cultural change and as such needs to be integrated into any company. The success of so-called “digital transformation” is a driver of business growth, productivity and competitive advantage. From improving collaboration and productivity to realizing true ROI and business value, from breaking down silos to a more engaged workforce. Digital transformation will only be truly achieved if brands are also transformed on the inside.

Brands that aren’t fully embracing the power of digital and embracing the way the world has shifted to a more digital approach won’t see their growth evolve at the same pace. Here, the selection and intelligent use of the right technologies for the benefit of the business will be responsible for ensuring that the brand keeps up with the competition and is positioned for future technological and digital developments.

The world’s largest companies and their brands undoubtedly see growth and digital transformation as strategic imperatives. Other brands have no choice but to follow suit and accept the need to coexist effectively in the digital world. Ready?

 

Carlos Puig Falcó

CEO of Branward

 

 

Photos: Shutterstock