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Are digital practices leading to overload in companies? 

Digital transformation is a necessity for practically all organisations today, whatever their type and activity. With fast-changing practices, generational imbalances and the current health crisis, there are many reasons to embrace digital. Besides the daily challenges it poses, what if this forced transition produced employee overload? What if it was actually counter-productive?  

 

The daily challenges of digital transformation 

Most companies are working on their digital transformation. And they manage this necessary step with varying degrees of success. Events such as World Mobile Free Day, held on the 15th of April, highlight simple observations in the world of work:   

  • Well-being at work is an essential priority (related to the place and role of Social and Environmental Responsibility) 
  • Digitalisation is gathering pace and becoming more widespread (video-conferences, processes, services, documents, training, etc.) 
  • Environmental impacts are under scrutiny (waste reduction and processing, responsible energy choices, etc.) 

Normality is now based on constant change. Business leaders’ strategies are now supposed to be based on ‘directions’ rather than ‘goals’. This means defining a path to a destination that is never really known, which can be somewhat disorienting! For employees, whose careers are getting longer, adapting to the acceleration of changes, in order to handle them better in the future, is a question of balance. Finally, companies are under financial pressure and must remain innovative, productive and profitable. None of this is really conducive to feeling relaxed! 

 

When change + transformation = overload 

Change and transformation should not be confused. 

Change is generally seen through the lens of projects. More often than not, they are numerous, occur simultaneously and add up. Projects involving change are generally initiated by the Information Systems Department and are seen as “obligatory”. Because there is a form of urgency (real or perceived), they are given a beginning and end date, but in many cases they suffer from disorganisation, stop-and-go progress and poorly identified targets, while collaboration rituals celebrating project completion have less value or disappear altogether. Furthermore, various forms of change may be involved, including unexpected situations that we have experienced and know how to respond to, and more chaotic changes that we have never encountered and catch us off guard. The latter cause the most difficulties and sometimes damage. 

Transformation, on the other hand, is cross-cutting It includes a set of projects, without a precise time frame, and takes place over the long term, through changes in behaviour, attitude and lifestyle among employees. 

When these collective changes and transformations become greater than the company’s ability to “absorb” them, overload occurs, as well as the accompanying disengagement. 

 

How to recognise the symptoms 

In terms of projects, they enter into conflict with one another, there is no segmentation over time, and they come in rapid succession, without the time being taken to celebrate successes. 

In terms of employees, emotions get out of control and are expressed in various ways, including fear of not managing, resigned but fundamentally unwilling acceptance, or a feeling of powerlessness, disorientation and rejection. These emotions understandably bring with them stress and uncertainty, and highlight the courage that needs to be demonstrated to tackle changes. 

This is where change management comes in. Introduced at the beginning of each project, alongside project management, this is an essential component, mainly focussed on human aspects. When based on a suitable methodology, this approach can ensure the following:  

  • Faster adoption 
  • Improved use of the new tool or solution 
  • A more agile team 

The 2018 PROSCI longitudinal study reveals that “projects with excellent change management were six times more likely to meet objectives” and ”by accelerating adoption among employees, excellent change management ensures that project budgets are met and there is a better return on investment.” 

 

Which solutions can help avoid overload and disengagement? 

Seen through the lens of the highly unusual year that was 2020, when changes came fast and digital uses grew rapidly, change management is a clear choice. People have had to learn quickly and efficiently, and adapt more than ever. Certain forms of resistance to change have disappeared altogether. That said, employees still need to be supported. Now that people are forced to work separately, it is essential to use actions/formats that create time for sharing and co-construction, which facilitate change management: communication from the management team, identification of needs, assessment of systems implemented, training and events. All of this with the spirit of benevolence, appreciation of competencies and gratitude that is essential in everyday life.  

As for managers, they now need to adapt to their teams’ new ways of working and learn how to operate in an uncertain environment. Communication plays a crucial role here. Messages from the CEO or a member of the management team are essential to explain the reasons and aims of expected changes. They should be widely disseminated. 

To communicate about change, managers can demonstrate their intentions by “telling the story”:  

  • Put the current situation into perspective 
  • Highlight past successes 
  • Present the desired situation 
  • Specify why the change is needed and how it will be achieved 
  • Demonstrate the benefits it will bring 

 

Managing resistance 

First and foremost, managers need to take into account their own resistance. How can they win over their teams if they are not convinced themselves? Next, resistance should be managed collectively: communications should be addressed to the group, and sticking points should also be dealt with in the group. 

Individual resistance should be addressed last. It should also be anticipated as far as possible. If this is not possible, it should be identified when it is expressed by employees. Here, the ADKAR1 method is particularly relevant and can be used to manage, and even rapidly resolve, weaknesses and/or issues that generate resistance. 

 

When they build a wall to protect themselves from a frightening change, employees can be reassured and encouraged to move forward by management teams that adopt a methodical, confident and benevolent approach. They will then willingly contribute and take part in the adventure. They will be proud to do so. This is the ultimate sign of a successful, overload-free transformation. 

Why you need to upgrade your digital customer journey

The impact of a global pandemic has taught us many things, but most of all it has taught us about the importance of meaningful and real contact with the people around us. In a digitalized and automated world, we often replaced personal contact with a chatbot, an automatic e-mail or a call center. In this article we answer the “Why as a brand should I shift my automated customer journey towards a personalized approach and how do I do this?”. We’ll give you a head start with some concrete examples as well.

Happy reading !

 

Brand perception versus brand experience 

The way people perceive a brand is mainly thanks to marketing efforts, Public Relations and influencers. But when people start to buy from a brand, that’s when perception versus experience come into play. Most customer dissatisfaction stems from the difference in these two factors.

During the outbreak of the pandemic, we all saw brands either communicating in a transparent and honest way, and thriving via the core values they believe, or brands that remained silent, by putting up walls and not being easy to get in touch with. You can guess which ones received a better perception and experience.

Whatever the global crisis or brand crisis, we strongly believe in these 2 insights:

Digitalcustomer1

 

Where to start with your online brand experience

Personalization is key, it’s everywhere in every digital marketing blog article that you read (including this one). But it’s not just about mentioning your customer’s first name when they visit your website again or adding that name to the intro line of your automated mails. It’s knowing:

  • Who are my customers? Do they fit into the standard persona’s I created for them?
  • What moves them to keep on buying from my brand?
  • What are they not getting from me as a brand?
  • Are my core values clear? Is this a main USP to make customers loyal?

How can you get the answers? Check your demographics data from your social media channels and website metrics. Test with multiple ads and communications where you show your main USPs and see which gives the best results. Or simply by just asking them via a questionnaire or via your customer service (make.it.personal)

The moment you have clear eyes on the above questions. You can start building or upgrading your online experience.

 

How-to build your online brand experience

Whether your customers visit you offline or online, it’s all about the experience and the positive (or negative) vibes that last. How to create these vibes:

  • A frictionless environment (no bugs, short loading times, fast checkout, …)
  • Clear and transparent communication: what you see is what you should get
  • No unexpected extra costs during checkout or during delivery
  • Show your phone number, e-mail address or contact form. Don’t hide it or make it a mission impossible to get someone on the phone for help
  • Fast response times: don’t let your potential customer wait for a week
  • Stick to your true core values. Never “borrow” popular core values which you can’t make true in reality and make sure you live by them in your online environment as well

 

Digitalcustomer2

Example of the Live chat update on the Ethias website

 

Chatbots

Digitalcustomer3

Let‘s say you are preaching closeness and personal contact, but the chatbot on your website clearly is a programmed machine with some standard replies. How can you still automate the process but make it more human?

Start by giving the bot a name, preferably someone from customer service and use a real-life picture. Then create an introduction and let the conversation be natural. Most bot technologies rely on Natural Language Processing (NLP) to make fluent conversations without using standard replies or a “I don’t understand your question”, it’s the backbone of your conversation. You can use this technology to give your chatbot a personality and a specific tone-of-voice. He or she can be funny, make some small talk first or just  check in on how you are feeling today. A bonus is when you store previous conversations, and your bot takes this into account the next time there’s a new question from the same user.

You can even use this on your Facebook page, with standard replies when you are out of reach at that moment. Golden tip: link your WhatsApp to your Facebook business account to always keep a finger on the pulse when customers need you urgently.

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Example of integrating WhatsApp in your Facebook account

 

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Example of automating a conversation on Facebook Messenger

 

Conversational marketing campaigns 

Most of your Paid media campaigns will be one-sided push communication where it’s the brand talking and the customer viewing. With conversational banners you can upgrade your campaigns and make it a two-sided conversation where you get to know your customer and ask them what they are looking for. Just like a chatbot, you can program the questions and answers in advance, fully adjusted to your own tone-of-voice and core values. It’s a fun new way to engage with your target audience and to start a conversation without first asking your viewers to “click here”, “like this” and “buy that”. Not only do these banners drive high quality traffic to your website, but it also uplifts the online perception and experience of your brand.

 

Digitalcustomer6

Example of a Conversational Banner for Adidas

 

Instagram live shopping events

One of the key take-aways from this pandemic is that you always need to be able to shift fast towards an online environment. Brands look for many ways to present their products online, but it just simply does not replace any offline engagement. Luckily there’s an in between state thanks to Instagram, Facebook or YouTube live streaming. Via Instagram it’s even possible to link your product feed to your livestream and showcase your products while answering questions from customers and engaging with them. A great way to show the face of your brand in a personal way, or even include your ambassadors or biggest fans, is via an online event (such as Urban Decay did on their website) . In addition to boosting engagement, it also instantly increases sales online as customers can view and shop for the product directly on Instagram.

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Example of online event from Instagram live and on the website of Urban Decay

 

Our predictions for the future

Don’t get us wrong, we still highly recommend investing in marketing automation, but it only works if you invest an equal amount in personal contact with your customers. As global pandemics can come back at any time, you should always be prepared as a brand. Coming up with new ideas on how you can keep on servicing your customers both online and offline and how to streamline the experience should be continuous. We believe people have now learned that choosing brands with the right values and the right approach actually bring value to all of us. So, keep on investing in your values, your communication, your transparency and your trustworthiness.

New and traditional insurers: there will be no digital war

In the face of the current health crisis, new insurers and their promise of a fast, full-digital buying journey have been getting a lot of media coverage in France in recent months. Coupled with regular capital-raising efforts that demand respect, they are questioning the status of established insurers and making digitalization of customer journeys and the industry as a whole a hot topic.

On the one hand, there is the promise of speed and a fully digital experience offered by new players on the market; on the other, there is the promise of proximity and human contact that has been developed by traditional insurers over the years. Between the two, however, there is a path that traditional insurers must follow if they are to continue to meet both their clients’ expectations and their own business needs. It’s all about striking the right balance: there is a fine line to be found and widened, in order to move forward without betraying their promise.

 

Are physical and digital two opposing paths?

 

In the insurance sector, as in others before it, the number of potential digital channels has grown, with websites, mobile apps and social networks. At the same time, with their fully digital buying journey, new insurers are standing out for the speed of their service, which is the basis of their current success. It therefore seems easy to see established players as digital dinosaurs relying solely on their national networks of branches, but failing to allocate enough resources to digitalization. This could not be further from the truth.

They have been putting significant effort into digital transformation for a number of years. Direct Assurance, for example, was ranked top of the insurance industry by Google in its 2021 benchmark of the best mobile purchasing experiences. In late 2020, the wholesale broker APRIL set about revamping its medical formalities and health contracts for professionals by working with the French startup BioSerenity, creator of an innovative telehealth service for cardiovascular diagnosis and monitoring.

 

Phygital: a natural evolution

 

While the promise of speed offered by full-digital players can be attractive, is this really what customers are ultimately looking for? For some, such as generations Y and Z, there is no doubt. However, taken as a whole, insurance customers continue to favor traditional channels (branches and telephone), according to a study conducted by Colombus Consulting[1]. For example, 42% of people in France questioned prefer to go to a branch to purchase comprehensive home insurance, and only 15% prefer using the website of their chosen insurer.

The physical channel is not dead; far from it. It is, however, set to evolve as digital uses grow, in order to maintain its position as the favored touchpoint for insurance customers and strengthen relationships of proximity.

With this in mind, established insurers do not hesitate to adopt a two-pronged approach. They are going beyond digitalization alone, making the digital journey an extension of their brick-and-mortar branches. They have begun to digitalize their back offices: all of the processes that are used to obtain and check supporting and contractual documents, such as for the signature of contracts or the retrieval of car registration papers and medical certificates. They are redesigning their workflows to adapt to the age of digitization and simpler procedures, and meet insurance customers’ need for instant service, enabling them to switch freely from a digital channel to a branch, where staff can track all the information in their files, whether physical or digital.

It is, therefore, no longer a question of choosing between two paths today: they must converge to offer a robust and efficient phygital experience, combining speed and proximity.

 

Know yourself and know your customers

 

Striking this balance can be difficult and insurers should not begin without full knowledge of their own system and customers.

Once they have decided to go phygital, insurers find themselves faced with the complex task of coordinating digital specialists in charge of the web journey, IS teams in charge of business tools in branches, and owners of solutions in charge of the customer experience. What’s more, they don’t all speak the same language. So, a shared framework of reference must be established, by mapping out the various touchpoints in customer journeys and measuring their effectiveness using accurate indicators, including performance, time spent at each touchpoint and financial gain generated.

Combined with fine-grain analysis of customer data and the definition of standard profiles or “personas”, inspired by marketing tools, this global map can be used to identify digital and physical tools that can be deployed to meet potential use cases, as well as potential synergies that need to be capitalized on to offer a true phygital experience adapted to individual customers.

Contrary to what some may predict, in no way does the emergence of new players on the market signal the end of traditional insurers. They now have the resources and tools they need to unify their promise of proximity and a personalized digital experience.

[1] “Digitalization & Customer Experience 2020 edition”, Colombus Consulting: a study performed between October 12 and 19 2020.

MANUFACTURING: DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION IS IMPOSSIBLE WITHOUT DATA MANAGEMENT (2/2)

With global supply chains and the complex landscape of suppliers and vendors, the coronavirus pandemic has impacted manufacturers the hardest. As digital becomes the lifeline for many organizations today, Covid-19 is fast-tracking digital transformation worldwide. As the driver for digital transformation, Master Data Management (MDM) lets manufacturers create tangible business value out of their data.

This article follows a first one, published previously, which you can find by clicking here.

The ability to streamline product development and to shorten the time to market are determining factors for your revenue, but require access to reliable data throughout the entire process and a data management solution. Data stored in a compartmentalised manner is frequently susceptible to errors and inconsistencies. Information obtained on the basis of this data is also less easy to use and collaboration between teams is more complicated. By collecting, improving and linking your data, Master Data Management (MDM) creates a hub that supports marketing and market launches. From design and sampling to production and distribution, all your processes are significantly improved by the use of MDM.

As manufacturers, you can also share your data with multiple vendors, distributors and retailers. Each of these partners will provide their content in line with their internal systems or ask you to adapt your content to meet their needs.

In the face of this challenge, MDM can be integrated into your existing ERP, PLM, CRM, CMS, e-commerce and marketing automation solutions and, above all, can improve them thanks to a scalable and structured process for initiating, cleaning and integrating your data hosted in various environments. It makes this single source available to your vendors, wholesalers, retailers, marketplaces and commercial partners in the form of high-quality data, simplifying the data supply chain, for increased collaboration and efficacy.

Manufacturers: deploying MDM for a post-pandemic era

Manufacturers who wish to survive in a post-pandemic economy will have to choose a flexible Master Data Management (MDM) solution that enables them to scale up when required. Ideally this is handled in the cloud, in a hyperscale / clustered environment. They will also have to consider the growing demand for access to data and therefore it will be essential to establish a data security strategy to ensure protection against cyber-attacks. As a result, involving everyone within the organisation is fundamental to MDM.

One of the key challenges you may face is dealing with systems that are not as open as they should be, making it difficult for people to access information. Integration may also be an issue, especially for enterprises, where a best-of-breed approach is taken. However, by establishing a flexible and a cloud-based approach you will be able to overcome such challenges and focus on growing your business.

According to ResearchAndMarkets.com the MDM market is forecast to grow from $11.3 Billion to $28 Billion by 2025. We expect to see an increase in Artificial Intelligence (AI), leading to more efficiency. There will also be a switch to real-time data access together with solutions for predictive analytics, context driven services via Machine Learning and cloud clustering technologies. Innovation will therefore have a key role to play in the future of MDM and for those who aim to deploy it successfully.

MANUFACTURING: DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION IS IMPOSSIBLE WITHOUT DATA MANAGEMENT (1 / 2)

With global supply chains and the complex landscape of suppliers and vendors, the coronavirus pandemic has impacted manufacturers the hardest. As digital becomes the lifeline for many organizations today, Covid-19 is fast-tracking digital transformation worldwide. As the driver for digital transformation, Master Data Management (MDM) lets manufacturers create tangible business value out of their data.

These are challenging times for manufacturers. Amidst the non-stop news shaking up global economies, from trade wars to Brexit, the arrival of 5G and the Internet of Things (IoT) to regulatory pressures such as the GDPR and digital disruption, the coronavirus is piling even more pressure on the manufacturers. Their biggest challenge lies in preparing for the post-Covid world.

The situation therefore requires them to re-engineer business processes to meet this fluctuating demand and rework their entire supply chain so that their organisation is ready for the next disruption. Digital transformation, driven by data, will become critical in this regard. As a driver of this transformation, Master Data Management (MDM) helps manufacturers extract tangible business value from their data.

As a single source of truth, MDM allows manufacturers to define, manage, centralize, organize, categorize, localize, synchronize and enrich all their master data.

By creating an ecosystem of quality data that’s accessible to everyone along the supply chain, manufacturers will not only have a head start on their competitors, but they’ll also be lean and agile in the run for business in the digital post-Covid world. Whether it’s for e-commerce, D2C, vendor management, supplier onboarding, faster production or innovation.

MDM: a unique and reliable source of data for better operational management of manufacturers

Rather than relying on data stored in different systems and locations, manufacturers can use MDM as a single, central repository for gathering and integrating supplier information along with critical internal data. By leveraging a single view of relationships, you can optimize production and reduce the costs of products sold.

MDM provides a single solution to manage each step in the entire value chain. It cuts through disparate data and links information together that delivers actionable insights into the full supply chain. You can start with product design and assembly, from the computer chip that goes into a smart appliance to the water that goes into liquid cleaning products, all the way through to production and delivery.

With quality data as your driving force, you can develop new models and processes for building, managing and shipping products with quality data as your driving force. Whether producing automobiles or packaged food ingredients, manufacturers need precise, timely and consistent data that feeds multiple systems for warehouse management, inventory management, supply chain, shipping and packaging.

As a common, trusted data repository, MDM ensures that the product manager and the sales manager look at the same data sets when making strategic decisions.

PXM : L’EXPERIENCE PRODUIT, MAILLON CLE DU PARCOURS CLIENT

Pour faire la différence aujourd’hui, il est essentiel de fournir la meilleure expérience client possible. Forrester indique dans son rapport que “85% des clients considèrent les informations produit comme étant les principales données recherchées sur un site web”. La qualité de l’information produit est donc un élément clé d’une expérience client réussie.

 

DU PIM AU PXM

Le PIM (Product Information Management) est une solution de gestion centralisée des données produits. Il légitimise la véracité des données et leur cohérence et permet une intégration simplifiée des informations venant de tous les acteurs en charge du produit.

Le Product Expérience Management “est l’art de fournir des informations produits contextualisées, adaptées et personnalisées pour chaque canal et chaque région afin de satisfaire l’expérience d’achat à chaque point de contact” (1). 

Le PXM s’inscrit donc dans une notion plus globale de gestion de l’expérience client (CXM – Customer Expérience Management), grâce à une nouvelle approche plus qualitative de la relation avec les clients, qui se concentre sur la prise en compte de leurs préférences individuelles. Il s’agit de leur fournir une expérience personnalisée, dynamique et ciblée, comprenant des contenus, des offres, des produits et des services.

PXM est l’adaptation “produit” de CXM, qui consiste à fournir à chaque client une expérience produit unique afin de créer un lien émotionnel avec le produit.

 

Quels sont LES AVANTAGES BUSINESS DU PXM ?

Les bénéfices offerts par un PXM sont multiples :

  • L’amélioration de l’expérience client, grâce à une expérience produit sur mesure avec des informations contextualisées,
  • L’amélioration de la qualité des données produit et donc l’augmentation du taux de conversion et la réduction du taux de retour,
  • L’accélération de la commercialisation des produits et une meilleure productivité,
  • La promotion de l’image de marque !

 

POURQUOI PAS VOUS ?!

Dans le cadre du partenariat entre SQLI & Akeneo, nous vous invitons à évaluer votre maturité de la gestion de l’expérience produit. Cela vous aidera à comprendre comment vous vous situez par rapport à vos pairs mais aussi à mettre en avant vos forces et faiblesses en matière de gestion des informations produit.

Après avoir répondu aux 14 questions de l’évaluation (4 minutes), l’éditeur vous donnera accès à des recommandations opérationnelles qui pourront déclencher des questions et discussions entre vous & nos équipes d’experts PIM/PXM.

 

 

 

 

Pour contacter SQLI, écrivez-nous à l’adresse : experts@sqli.com

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(1)La gestion de l’expérience produit pour les nuls de Productsups

Luxury brands in Asia have reinvented themselves

Following a drop in sales of approximately 25% during the first quarter of 2020, brands in the luxury sector have decided to experiment with new methods to attract an online audience and build loyalty in the face of the health crisis. With online sales in the sector accounting for only 10% of total sales in 2019, according to McKinsey1, luxury brands have sped up their transition to digital.   

In Asia, China has been driving growth in the sector for several years, to the extent that Chinese consumers are set to represent 50% of the market by 2025, according to Bain & Company2. Hyper-connected Chinese consumers are therefore a core consideration. Digitisation of luxury brands is mainly happening through marketplaces, which are essential platforms in this country.  

With the pandemic, two underlying trends have emerged. On the one hand, brands have been led to use new channels, such as live streaming and online auctions. On the other, growth in second-hand purchases is encouraging them to rethink their products’ life cycles. Furthermore, some brands are already using blockchain technology to improve the traceability of their products and, therefore, the buying and reselling experience.   

 

Marketplaces: the emperors of China’s luxury sector 

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Image of JD.com’s 618 shopping festival. Source: pandaily.com 

 

Have you ever heard of the ‘618 Shopping Festival’ (618 stands for June 18th)? It is a sales period in China, like the now famous Singles’ Day. During the 2020 festival, luxury brands achieved the same sales in just half an hour as they did in one day the previous year, via the marketplace run by Chinese e-Commerce giant JD.com. On the Tmall platform, operated by its competitor Alibaba, 178 luxury brands took part in the festival, which is double the number of brands that took part in the last Singles’ Day festival in November 20193 

More and more luxury brands are creating stores on these platforms, after having attempted to focus on a Direct-to-Consumer (D2C) strategy aimed at maintaining total control over their image and prices. Marketplaces have indisputably become essential, particularly during the crisis period. Alibaba and JD have created specialised platforms to attract luxury brands: Tmall Luxury Pavilion and JD.com TopLife respectively. Here, the brands have dedicated luxury spaces, where there is a guarantee that their products will not be displayed alongside general consumer products. These stores also offer total freedom to personalize their interfaces, content, prices, and so on.  

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Tmall launched its Luxury Pavilion platform in 2017 in order to attract luxury brands.  

 

Live streaming and online auctions: new boons for the luxury sector? 

Luxury brands have also begun to experiment with live streaming, which grew massively during the health crisis as a new sales channel. Louis Vuitton was the first international brand to try out live shopping on the Chinese platform XiaoHongShu (also known as RED or Little Red Book) on the 26th of March 2020. The company chose a famous actress and fashion influencer to carry out this one-hour session, which was viewed 880,000 times4. These two figures shared their advice about accessories and ready-to-wear in the summer 2020 collection.  

Marque luxe asie 3

 

Another example: in February, during the Paris Fashion Week, the company Lanvin broadcast its 2020 autumn-winter fashion show as a live streaming event on Secoo, a Chinese e-Commerce platform dedicated to luxury5. The audience was able to watch the show, which was commentated by a Paris-based Chinese influencer, using virtual reality headsets. The campaign was run in partnership with iQiyi, China’s answer to Netflix.    

Marque luxe asie 4

 

Many fashion shows around the world were cancelled due to the pandemic. In March, Shanghai Fashion Week linked up with Alibaba to broadcast the show exclusively online, on the tech giant’s dedicated platform, Taobao Live, making this Shanghai Fashion Week the first entirely digital fashion event.  

 

https://www.facebook.com/alibabagroupofficial/videos/2628120837407009 

 

Last May, the Asian subsidiary of the auction house Phillips carried out a sale of contemporary art pieces in Hong Kong, alongside luxury jewellery and watches. This cross-category auction was a first6The health crisis obliged Phillips Asia to carry out this auction exclusively online, which also helped to attract younger generations. 90% of the lots were sold at the auction, with 56% of the buyers new to Phillips and 42% aged under 407 

Marques-de-luxe-asie5

 

Second-hand shopping and blockchain are forcing brands to rethink product lifecycles
 

The second-hand market is thriving in China, and elsewhere in Asia, and looks set to continue to expand after the crisis. Luxury brands will need to take into account the entire lifecycle of their products and rethink their distribution models in light of this new trend. Blockchain is the technology that could enable this change.  

Read our article on the growth of second-hand shopping in China 

The Hong Kong-based luxury brand Lane Crawford is a pioneer in this area, encouraging its community to donate clothes that it resells in order to raise money for charity organisations and sustainable projects. It lets customers know the date of the donation, how long the item was previously worn, and in which city, by simply scanning a QR code. What’s more, customers can access information about the environmental impact of their purchase: for each item, the amount of resources saved (water and CO2) is calculated and displayed following the product description. Lane Crawford does this via its own pop-up store, Luxaritywhich uses a platform built on the blockchain Ethereum.  

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The brand Lane Crawford enables second-hand buyers to see the life cycle of a clothing item

 

More recently, Southeast Asia’s leading second-hand luxury products platform, Reebonz, announced that it was working on a digital certificate with VeChain, a Singapore-based startup specialised in blockchain technology. The aim of this digital certificate is to enable customers to establish the origin of items bought. Since January 2019, all of the products in its inventory have a QR code that provides access to the product’s details, origin and transaction history. While the project is still in the pilot phase, 50,000 products have been linked with a digital certificate since December 2019. The system also offers other advantages: it will enable Reebonz to achieve economies of scale with its authentication service and customers to revoke the certificate in the event of a theft.  

 

As we have seen, digital is no longer optional for luxury brands. With the opportunities it offers in the areas of marketing and the circular economy, digital is an essential tool for brands to reinvent themselves and overcome the Covid-19 crisis.   

 

Graphic facilitation: capturing words in the air

Now more than ever before, with a constant flow of inputs, we need to record information that concerns us. Organisations face a tough challenge in the current work environment. And all it takes is an open window (Slack, Zoom, Teams, etc.) to pull our attention in a different direction. One method to address this issue (in addition to filtering and closing parasitic channels) is known as ‘graphic facilitation’, or notes augmented with drawings. It seems suspiciously simple.  

Facilitation 1

 

However, there is no doubting the results: drawings can be memorised three times more rapidly than text. Producing drawings yourself also increases this effect and they do not need to be “well executed” (see Ref. #1). By using the channels that our brains respond to best, you can capture people’s attention.  

 

Graphic facilitation covers several areas  

It can be divided into the following: 

  • Scribing, or visual recording, captures oral content by recording it live through writing and drawings; Facilitation 2

 

 

 

  • Sketchnoting means augmenting text notes with drawings, in an individual manner; Facilitation 3

 

 

 

 

  • Modelling aims to take data that is already known and structure it into a written and drawn document Facilitation 4

 

 

 

  • Talking and drawing involves making an oral presentation and sketchnoting at the same time. 

OK, but what is it for?  

Facilitation 5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We already have many tools at our disposal, including meetings, workshops, presentations, conferences and more. 

But using graphic facilitation is something different. The complexity of ideas to be expressed means we need to invent something new, while getting back to basics. We have all endured meetings that seem to go on forever, with too many details provided at the wrong time. Or workshops where, under the guise of encouraging participation, entire pads of post-its are stuck to the walls, or where the tedious reading of painstakingly written reports could have been avoided. None of the people trying to get this information across wanted these results. 

 

Graphic facilitation offers an approach that is both fun and provides structure. It enables us to engage the channels our brains respond to best, capture attention and provoke thought. Participation and the memorisation of information presented will naturally follow. 

 

Facilitation 7The universality of this practice is also its strength: you do not need to be a Da Vinci to do it. The drawing ability of a five-year-old is easily enough. I have met very few facilitators (if none at all!) who are designers as I am. They are agile coaches, project managers, developers or UX designers, for example. Actually doing it can be scary though. For me, as a graphic designer, the main barriers I had to overcome were to let go of my work and avoid being too demanding of myself. The rest is all about training and structure: once you have learnt how to write legibly, draw shapes that are simple and provide structure, and listen actively, the hard work is done.  

 

One of the essential parts of graphic facilitation is the ability to tell stories and, as you do it, you realise that anything can be used to do this: a story has a beginning, a middle and an end. The way in which we structure our words, our speeches and our presentations is no different. Once you identify the underlying hierarchy in any structured speech, applying simple images to it is child’s play. 

 

The resulting physical material becomes valuable, fun, organic and inspiring again (and it can be shared and re-explained).  

 

(Tempted? So why not come and try! A caring community) 

Facilitation 8

 

(And now/Some references/Visual food and entertainment) 

 

(see Ref. #2 #3 #4 #5 #6). 

 

References 

#1 Association for Psychological Science (APS). (2018). For Learning, Drawing a Picture May Really Be Worth a Thousand Words. Found online, on the APS website at www.psychologicalscience.org/publications/observer/obsonline/for-learning-drawing-a-picture-may-really-be-worth-a-thousand-words.html 

#2 @romaincouturier 

#3 @Jan_Gunter 

#4 @UnPictoParJour 

#5 playability_de 

#6 beingvisualwithadam.mystrikingly.com 

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The Modern Workplace: How to create one effectively! 

Today, employees are increasingly required to work from home and some have to learn totally new ways of working and using collaborative tools. In light of this, companies are beginning to become aware of the opportunities and benefits offered by the Modern Workplace. Putting in place such a system will enable employees to work more efficiently, individually, as a team and remotely. 

 

BUILDING THE MODERN WORKPLACE TOGETHER WITH EMPLOYEES 

First and foremost, creating a Modern Workplace means giving your staff the ability to work together in a more flexible and mobile way, from anywhere and on any terminal. Users are at the core of the Modern Workplace and their needs must therefore be identified from the outset of deploying the solution. When setting it up, you need to think about the best possible deployment for team working, as user needs are based on key areas that include communication, coordination and facilitation. The human dimension must be given as much weight as technical aspects. 

 

CHOOSING THE RIGHT TOOL FOR THE RIGHT JOB 

The company must define the specific way each tool will be used, including its features, its functions, its utility for users and how it will facilitate their work on a daily basis. Users must always be the first consideration when making choices. 

Modern Workplace tools are useful for both individual and collective production. For example, employees need to be able to easily communicate between themselves and with people outside their organisation, using the same tools. The portal aspect is also important for community and company-wide communication (e.g. Intranet), as is the social aspect, providing a space where colleagues can interact (e.g. corporate social network). 

Sometimes, the tools chosen by a company do not meet users’ specific needs, which is why the development of usage scenarios is essential in order to ensure the Modern Workplace is effectively deployed. 

 

CREATING A USER GUIDE & GOVERNANCE 

Employees may have many questions about the use of tools: why use Teams more to make calls and not Skype? Where and why should documents be shared to save time? How to improve collaborative projects and save time with them? 

By establishing a governance system, it is possible to define uses and harmonised guidelines, and communicate them to employees.  A user guide sets out the tools’ features and explains what they can be used for. This helps users and new arrivals at the company get to grips with digital tools more rapidly.  

Governance is provided by a committee made up of people from various departments linked to the solution, who will have a vision of the deployment and development of the Modern Workplace. 

 

AN AMBASSADOR TO PROVIDE ASSISTANCE AND ANSWER QUESTIONS 

Users will need to work with these tools on a daily basis and will not always be sure how to use them, how to manage bugs (yes, these are unavoidable!), how often updates should be performed and so on. This is why an employee-ambassador, who is able to answer questions, can play a key role in the smooth adoption of the Modern Workplace. This ambassador can ensure effective management of the changes brought about by the solution. This is why an employee support plan must be introduced as soon as development of the Modern Workplace begins in the company. 

 

COLLABORATION BETWEEN DEPARTMENTS 

Globally, interdepartmental collaboration ensures that the Modern Workplace is set up effectively. Firstly, there is collaboration between the IT and HR departments which play crucial roles. HR has knowledge about employees and knows who to contact and how to contact them, meaning it can rapidly pass on their needs to the right people and help the IS department choose and deploy the right tools. The committee created for governance can therefore include people from these two departments. Other departments are also involved in this approach, such as the Communication Department and General Management.  

The key to effectively setting up a Modern Workplace is to avoid underestimating employees, their desires and their needs to work efficiently and more independently. As we have seen, a Modern Workplace presents many positives for both the company (competitive advantage and increased productivity) and employees (increased independence, more efficient working through the elimination of repetitive tasks, etc.). The Modern Workplace is a significant asset for the growth of a company and its ability to provide a stimulating environment for employees.