It has become a familiar scene in Stockholm’s autumn landscape: Opposite the iconic City Hall and with a view over lake Mälaren, attendees gathered on a crisp Thursday morning in Münchenbryggeriet, a massive brick building that used to be one of Stockholm’s largest breweries, to take part in this year’s edition of Adobe Symposium Stockholm 2017. Digital business experiences were at the top of the agenda, with companies such as Microsoft, Danish cleaning giant Nilfisk and eSport innovators DreamHack sharing some valuable insight into their own take on how to optimize the customer experience in the midst of a digital revolution.
Experience business – how to turn clients into fans, and lovers of the brand
Franck Attia, MD at Adobe Nordic, started off the event by reminding us of how digital disruptions by (initially) small players have the potential to change whole industries. Spotify and Uber are two examples of companies that have made the most of, and in some ways contributed to, an on-going digital transformation.
Franck also took the opportunity to showcase a project called “AdobeRemix”, involving our creative community in the development of our brand by allowing creatives to redesign Adobe’s iconic logo:
The experience business wave – how brands are making experience their business
Next up was Jamie Brighton from Adobe, who talked about the ever-growing shift in the marketplace. Consumers are no longer just buying products, but whole brand experiences. For example, the cup of coffee you buy at a coffee shop isn’t all you’re buying – you’ve also bought the whole experience of the coffee shop brand.
Jamie pointed to a survey showing that 8 out 10 feel loyalty to a brand that offers great experiences. The same study showed that 61% feel loyalty to brands that personalise and tailor their experiences to their customers. Similar insights have already been effectively used, for example by sports giant Adidas. The company’s new soccer shoe – Glitch, is the first ever soccer shoe that is 100% personalised and only available through the Adidas Glitch app.
Three digital techniques that are driving business experience forward
Three technologies in particular are seen as central to the present and future of digital business experiences: Augmented reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR) and Artificial intelligence (AI). Let’s have a look at each of them, separately:
Adobe showcased its AI services, which are all labelled under the name “Sensei” (“teacher” in Japanese). Adobe demonstrated how Sensei can be used to personalise a brand at different digital touch points, in order to deliver the right message at the right time. By learning how to use AI in the right way, businesses can take great leaps forward in terms of their personalised offerings, which allows them to focus on other things.
VR and AR
Volvo Cars and SapientRazorfish offered some sharp insights into the future of VR and AR for marketing purposes.
1. Have a strategy – How do you want to utilise VR and AR practically? What experience can they bring about?
2. Think “storyliving” instead of storytelling – with AR and VR, you don’t need to tell a story; you can let users experience it – live it – firsthand.
3. Create something people want – don’t just use VR and AR because. Create something people did not even know they wanted, such as Ikea Places:
Every single physical and digital touchpoint matters – Made by Sweden
Volvo Cars presented its “Volvo Studios”, stores with a typically Swedish interior design and flair of Volvo in all details – in line with Volvo’s slogan “Made in Sweden”. Here, visitors can design their own car in VR. If this turns out to be a demanding task, there is the opportunity of taking a typically Swedish fika break, as each studio also has its own café.
Together with Volvo’s hard work to be present in all channels and at all touchpoints – the message is clear: To position Volvo as lifestyle car brand.
The times they are a changin’
To summarise Adobe Symposium 2017 in Stockholm, we are in the middle and the beginning of nothing less than a digital revolution.
Brands that can adapt to the rapidly changing digital landscape have great chances to drive their business. Perfect examples of this were given by Danish cleaning giant Nilfisk, with its journey from a catalogue brand to a new digital platform that takes care of every touchpoint. And by K Group, which has quickly moved from mass communication to personalised target communication.
At the dawn of the Industrial Revolution, poet William Blake wrote: “What is now proved was once only imagined.” Those words might just be more relevant than ever.