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Digital Transformation - A Tale of 3 Brands

In a bylane in Mumbai suburbs, specifically, Goregaon. Favourite among school students in the vicinity. And a hit with residents in the locality. A panipuri stall. Business was steady till pandemic hit. Post pandemic, came out in a new avatar Available on Swiggy too.

And in less than 6 months, he has a stall double the size, an assistant who isn’t his son and the composure of a person who dared to see his dreams come through. Making the shift from offline to online.

Bata. A legacy brand. Whose ..99 pricing tool is adopted by so many. Almost into oblivion except the blue and white bathroom slippers that still happens to be my favourite, and, school shoes, of course. Till about some years back i.e. , when they started stocking trendy stuff and got the likes of Kriti Sanon to tell their story on screen.

The rejuvenation, though wasn’t stuck to the externals as my recent visit to their store unfolded. All salespeople on the floor with smart POS gadgets, that helps them track the availability of a particular size not available in the store in real time and place instant order to be delivered to your home. Omnichannel in the truest sense.

Undoubtedly, one of the best known brands globally, Cadbury, a brand that adopted the digital journey much ahead, not just as a ‘check the box’ attempt but deeply immersive and truly conversational.

One of the top ones in the content marketing space, the strategy to use AI and ML to sync in with what is called the ‘Bharat story’ that extends across miles of geography, myriad of languages and millions of SMEs, their Diwali 2021 campaign was so fresh and contextual, that allowed merchants to create promotional videos by recreating Shah Rukh Khan’s face and voice to take the local store’s name in the ad.

Each one of them bearing a story of digital transformation. In various stages and degrees, in unique ways. But what remains common is the willingness – the willingness to adopt and adapt. And, not looking at technology, that which remains at the centre of the digital transformation process, as disconnected to the core business strategy. In fact it’s the other way around. If Guptapanipuri’s business strategy was to extend its audience base, Bata’s was to win back its customers and be relevant with the trendy and Cadbury’s to connect with its huge base of retailers in a relatable and cost effective manner.

As they say, Digital Transformation is more a culture than a task. More a business than just technology. And, always an indelible experience.


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