In this guest post, Fjord’s Bronwyn van der Merwe (pictured below), explains what brands should be focusing on as digital becomes an invisible experience enabler.
As technology becomes increasingly affordable, it is being dispersed into the physical world, and the lines between what is physical and what is digital are blurring. Advances in technologies such as voice, artificial intelligence, machine learning, facial recognition, and the Internet of Things are enabling a new breed of services where the technology is everywhere but nowhere, and the customer experience has the potential to become frictionless and magical.
Until recently, customers have been accustomed to interacting with their favourite brands through a screen, either through computers or smartphones but a new dawn is on the horizon. From Airbnb to Amazon, Deliveroo and Alibaba, a growing number of digital brands are now placing greater emphasis on the physical. Amazon Go’s store in Seattle is an example of an organisation making the most of data and digital to improve the customer experience. While a visitor shops throughout the store, their items are automatically scanned to create a seamless, grab-and-go shopping experience. This brilliant move allows customers to interact with the products versus their screens, melding into a convergent technology and physical experience where the tech – while clearly present – is nearly transparent.
People are already starting to move away from intrusive digital technologies and kick against digital saturation. They’re also enjoying the simplicity and convenience of ambient technology. The rise of voice assistants is a prime example of this, as seven out of 10 Australians with digital voice assistants such as Google Home or Amazon’s Echo claim they’re using their smartphones less, according to a recent global study by Accenture.
Customers are increasingly expecting to engage with brands through consistent, connected experiences, and they are receptive to a more personal approach to services and products. P&O Cruises Australia, for example, has developed the Medallion – a wearable device that connects customers to a cruise ship and its staff through a digitally-enabled service called the ‘Compass’. By capturing their preferences, the device allows the crew to be informed and proactive delivering each guest a unique, personalised and seamless experience.
As there is an increasing overlap between physical and digital channels, how can brands use digital as an invisible enabler of physical and sensory experiences? At Fjord, part of Accenture Interactive, we have outlined three steps for brands looking to restructure their design services:
- Stop viewing digital and physical as separate
Organisations need to stop viewing digital and physical as separate entities. Rather than pursuing improvements in these areas individually, organisations need to knock down the walls of silos and create experiences that fuse digital and physical. The relationship and connectivity between devices will be critical, and should be invisible.
- Sharpen your design skills
Creating a greater physical experience must be connected to an organisation’s overall digital strategy. The benefit of this will be more digital integrated into physical products and services from the get-go, and not being reactive.
As a result, organisations will need to ensure their staff has the right mix of skills. This could include adding new physical and digital design capabilities in-house.
- Let technology inspire you
Traditionally, designers think first about the end user. In this space, brand designers also need to understand and look at the technological possibilities from the outset in order to deliver a new generation of services enabled by digital that thrill and excite.
The coming together of physical and digital design opens up a wealth of new possibilities and opportunities, so organisations need to think laterally and beyond the mainstream. It’s clear that consumers still value physical touchpoints and the evolving role that they play in creating an engaging customer experience.
Now, more than ever, Australian organisations will also need to ask themselves an important question: as digital becomes ubiquitous and increasingly invisible, what future structure, brief and role should there be for digital departments or heads of digital? While some organisations are already adapting to this future, it is crucial that all Australian organisations get on board. This will no doubt have huge implications for brands and organisations, both in terms of how their teams are structured and how they develop products, services and experiences.
In this guest post, founders of The Daily Aus Sam Koslowski and Zara Seidler discuss why in order to stay in the game and keep its user, social media giant Facebook needs to do more to combat hate speech… For young Australians, Facebook is on the decline. Unless the platform better responds to its user’s […]
A brave move has paid dividends for Baskin-Robbins Australia who recently announced they won the award for Best Digital Initiative at last week’s QSR Media Awards. Baskin-Robbins Australia’s Master Licensee, Palm Oasis Ventures took a risk in launching a digital winter campaign targeting a new millennial and Gen Z demographic when it partnered with Netflix to launch season 3 of the streaming giant’s most popular show, the sci-fi horror series, Stranger Things.
Leading eCommerce website development agency, Convert Digital, has achieved the coveted Magento Gold Status from Adobe. This accomplishment has been reached following the agency’s continuing work with the Magento 2 platform - platform that is incredibly robust and offers unrivalled flexibility and scalability.
Influencer marketing agency Born Bred Talent has partnered with the Starlight Children’s Foundation to mobilise their talent roster and support the Stream Raiser campaign, contributing over $95k in donations thanks to virtual fundraising efforts. With a combined reach of 6.2 million across Instagram, TikTok and Twitch, 9 Australian influencers contributed 76% of the $124k raised […]
In 2020, the ‘new wave’ of youth consumers have inspired the world with their activism and fundraising, so eGEN is proud to have partnered with UNICEF, Loserfruit and friends to help gamers fight COVID and help the world’s most vulnerable children. The world’s most famous strawberry will be joined by her Click crew for a […]
Silverbullet Data Services Group (Silverbullet), has become one of only four businesses globally to achieve Adobe Specialisation in EMEA for Adobe Audience Manager. Adobe Specialised Partners are acknowledged as the most skilled technical practitioners throughout the global partner ecosystem. Specialisations are earned after organisations achieve a level of certified expertise in an Adobe solution and […]
Food company General Mills has partnered with Zyper, a marketing platform that connects brands with their superfans, to build virtual fan communities for General Mills’ brands. As part of the agreement, General Mills will use Zyper’s software to initially identify the Betty Crocker and Fibre One brands’ top one per cent of fans on social […]
Facebook is continuing its Facebook Australia Groups Impact Fund, today announcing $500,000 in funding for the program. The grant was originally designated for bushfire recovery groups, however, has now been extended to local communities across the country who might be facing hardship. Facebook said it is on the lookout for groups that have a positive […]