How can consumer goods companies accelerate their digital transformation?


The retail company Amazon and its founder, Jeff Bezos, appear in the cover of the February-2015 issue of Fast Company magazine. Although several services companies have been the reference in the digital transformation, consumer goods companies are also focusing on accelerating their digital transformation.

As an example, in this same issue of Fast Company the Coca-Cola’s VP of Innovation, David Butler, writes about the relevance of combining the scale, required for the success of big companies, with the agility of start-ups for their evolution. And even in the luxury market, Louis Vuitton combine social media, sponsorships… with its traditional icons updated.

“Coca-Cola Founders” new program is fostering an agile and open ecosystem of start-ups. The idea is both being an incubator for them, but also getting the benefit of agile systematics and creative ideas worldwide. Although these programs of open innovation are well known in different industries (i.e. BBVA Open Talent), in the Coca-Cola program it is focused on solving human problems with the “lean start-up” method. So gaining agility is on the innovation roadmap.

On top of agile innovation and digital touch points, these consumer goods companies are also beginning to explore big data opportunities as a source of engagement with their consumers. Coca-Cola is supporting the start-ups “iHydrate” and “Vending Analytics”. “iHydrate” is using biosensors to manage in a better way consumers’ health and sports. “Vending Analytics” uses cloud data and software to optimize vending machines’ sales.

Even the luxury goods companies are on the road of accelerating their digital transformation across channels. Their challenge often is to translate the high standards of touch points, to their on-line interactions. As an example, Louis Vuitton (LVMH Group) is evolving its brand and relationships. With a new creative director, it is looking back at its heritage to update itself across channels.  To foster social conversations, Louis Vuitton developed different actions regarding the FIFA World Cup™ Trophy Case, based on its traditional monogram trunk and escorted by Gisele Bündchen.

It seems that these efforts are rewarded: Interbrand set Louis Vuitton in the best global brands ranking as the the 19th, and consumers are engaged with the brand in social media: 18 millions fans in Facebook and 3.8 million Twitter followers. For Luxury Daily Magazine, Louis Vuitton was the marketer of 2014.

To highlight: consumer goods companies can increase their engagement combining agile innovation, big data and omni-channel experiences

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