Recently, Bridge Partners along with 8works, invited business leaders across technology, banking, insurance, and the non-profit sector to our Solutions Exchange Lab in San Jose. The focus of the lab was building brand equity in a digital age. Digital has been working its way into mainstream for decades now—diligently chipping away the surface of many business models, while at the same time feeling like an overnight disruptive sensation.
The premise of a lab is three-fold: Cross-pollinate leaders from various industries with common challenges, apply insights and share perspectives, and leave with practical strategies to pilot in your organization. We spent the first part of our day setting a common foundation. We identified and assessed the issues that cross-cut organizations, departments, and industries with a focus on brand equity, customer experience, and driving sustainable growth. When it was all said and done, two key insights had emerged from the session.
Understand your place and space
The first insight is simply stated: in order to create customer value, you need to first have a sense of place and space. It’s about culture, intent, leadership, organization design, and how individuals operate together with purpose. This opens up new ways to engage, collaborate, and innovate through pilot programs (whether they succeed or fail). By adjusting how you operate, you can better meet the needs of the modern customer. Take a look at Spotify’s approach to customer engagement and innovation (Part 1 / Part 2). It captures many of the principles that help us build our consulting practices and bring value to our customers.
Automation does not equal engagement
Another insight that surfaced in the lab is the fact that digital tools and automation are not synonymous with customer engagement. Your customer may not want to buy online. They may want to buy from you in a retail location but conduct research or book a service appointment online. Know your product and, more importantly, how your customer wants to engage with your brand, product, and employees. Know your place and space in your customer’s lifecycle. You have a moment of relevance—perhaps many. Know when and where to engage and seize the moment!
Engaging with these business leaders at our Lab in San Jose was a rewarding experience. We challenged accepted practices, stirred the pot with new ideas, and walked away with actionable insights to leverage in our organizations. At the very least, everyone walked away with a fresh perspective and new connections with leaders willing to think differently.
Our next Solutions Exchange Lab is scheduled for October in Seattle with limited availability. We are looking for thought leaders, game changers, and strategists with a desire to create change in your business. Contact me if you’re interested in joining us.