Digital native brands: what lessons can they teach?

It was certain every event on market trends pointed out that the future was in digitalization. But few companies have made substantial changes. What nobody expected was that a pandemic could give the ultimatum, but it arrived and the so-called digital transformation needed to be implemented in a short period of time. The exception was

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It was certain every event on market trends pointed out that the future was in digitalization. But few companies have made substantial changes. What nobody expected was that a pandemic could give the ultimatum, but it arrived and the so-called digital transformation needed to be implemented in a short period of time. The exception was due to native digital brands, which have always understood the positive impact of technology on the business model, consumer behavior and branding strategies.

The digitization of processes – added to other consequences of the pandemic, such as the home office and social isolation – has intensified consumer demand for digital content and communities. Therefore, more than ever, traditional brands need to understand the impacts of digital transformation on branding and be aware of their positioning actions in the online universe. For that, a great way is to look at the strategies of brands that were born in the virtual environment!

What is so different about native digital brands?

If you still don’t know the digital native brands, we introduce them to you! The futurist and founder of consultancy Aerolito, Tiago Mattos, argue  that there are three types of business expression: non-digital, digitized and thoughtfully digital:

  • The non-digital are designed for the analog world. Examples: the neighborhood grocery store, the famous bakeries, bars, mall stores.
  • the digitized reproduce, in the virtual environment, the same model as the analog business. Think of a physical store that decides to implement e-commerce.
  • The thoughtfully digital are created within the logic of the internet. Nubank is a great example of this!

Although the discussion gained momentum during the pandemic, the term “Digitally Native Vertical Brands” was coined by businessman Andy Dunn, CEO of the clothing brand Bonobos, in 2016. He sought to define the companies born in the digital universe, which have product, brand and experience as pillars. According to Dunn, these companies relate directly to the customer, at all stages of the sale, establishing co-creation processes that bring consumers and brands together.

What to learn about branding with digital native brands?

Combining innovation with brand positioning, digital native companies show that insertion in the virtual world goes far beyond implementing state-of-the-art technologies. This means that the watchword for analogue brands is “rethink”! While working to digitize services and rethink priorities, they can learn from native brands how to strengthen their positions and get closer to customers. Meet some good examples!

1. Bring authentic content and empathy to the community

The virtual environment offers a series of points of contact between your brand and the public. Each of them is an opportunity to reinforce the company’s values and start a conversation. Hence the importance of a good content strategy, as the luggage suitcase startup Além has shown in recent months.

The brand, founded two months before the pandemic, was born with the aim of “inspiring, informing and equipping the modern traveler”. For this, it started her strategy by offering very informative content about the world of travel. Then came the coronavirus, and travelers from around the world were forced to cancel tours. What did the brand do? It remained firm in its purpose of being empathetic and collaborative, prioritizing content with clear and proactive information and leaving its products in the background.

The strategy worked: this transparent dialogue about the world of travel, in the context of the pandemic, built brand confidence and strengthened the Além community – an aspect that was essential in the resumption of the company’s activities more recently.

2. Consider all the points of the shopping experience in your narrative

Native digital brands sell directly to the consumer, without dealing with intermediaries. With this, they have the possibility to take care of all stages of the relationship with the customer, in addition to diagnosing, in a more agile way, some bottlenecks in the process, improving the experience and the brand narrative. Who teaches a lesson on this subject is the Brazilian startup Zissou, which sells high-performance mattresses, pillows and bedding.

In order to develop products that guarantee a good night’s sleep for its customers, the company soon identified some bottlenecks in the traditional mattress buying process: in addition to the wide variety of products (which confuses people), they are hard to pass through. elevators, portals or stairs. To solve the problem, the brand developed a mattress that fits in a one meter high box.

3. Understand that it’s not all about technology

Native digital companies extract the maximum potential of technologies, especially in relation to data analysis, which allows them to have greater operational efficiency and explore new business possibilities. However, as we recently told in our newsletter, the secret trick of digitalization is to understand that it is not just about implementing new technologies, it also involves inserting the consumer in the center of all processes, and, consequently, in the brand narratives .

The hair products company Meu Q set out to go further, bringing its customers into its formulas. It provides a virtual questionnaire for users to create personalized shampoos and conditioners. They can even choose the color, fragrance and name of the products. To embrace this diversity, all brand communication follows a minimalist and fun proposal.

The digital transformation, accelerated by the impacts of the pandemic, shows that different generations can learn from each other simultaneously. Just as analog brands have a lot to teach about the market, they can also (and need) to receive precious lessons from native digital brands, who were born understanding everything about the virtual environment. The public wins!

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