Google’s Head of Digital Transformation Reveals 4 Crucial Branding Strategies for Chief Digital Officers [VIDEO]


Joris Merks-Benjaminsen, Head of Digital Transformation at Google giving a keynote at the 2015 E.U. CDO Summit

“Brand is the starting point of all company decisions,” said Joris Merks-Benjaminsen, Head of Digital Transformation at Google and author of “Online Brand Identity: Getting And Keeping Your Brand Future Ready.”

Joris doesn’t deal with digital transformation at Google directly, but advises their top 50 advertisers. For him, brand should be at the heart of any successful digital transformation, and the primary role of the Chief Digital Officer is to ensure all decisions are viewed through the lens of brand identity.

“People who are good at branding understand way too little of digital, and the people who are hardcore digital specialists sometimes have very weird definitions of branding,” Joris noted.

He said CDOs “need to step out of their specialization… and actually look broader, longer term and become strategists.”

That’s why the CDO Club invited Joris to give his keynote, “Online Brand Identity: Getting And Keeping Your Brand Future Ready,” at the inaugural EU CDO Summit on Wednesday, November 4th, 2015 at the Conservatorium Hotel in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

From Joris’ presentation we’ve gleaned 4 strategies Chief Digital Officers need to implement to integrate successful branding into the digital transformation process. Be sure to watch his full presentation below to learn even more online branding strategies:

1. Define Your Brand


“Online Brand Identity: Getting And Keeping Your Brand Future Ready”

“A brand is what people think, feel and say it is, based on the sum of all experiences, that they associate with that brand,” Joris explained.

“The brand manager is not the owner of the brand, everyone that interacts with consumers or end clients in some way, is actually the brand builder,” he added.

This is why it’s crucial to clearly define your brand, and then let that identity influence every business decision you make.

“Brand is not a separate thing: it needs to feed into everything you do.”

Two good examples of clearly defined brands are Android and Apple.

The root brand philosophy of Android is openness, so the source code is open, it’s available on many devices, and the interface is customizable. This openness comes with the downside of less control over the user experience.

Meanwhile Apple is a completely closed system: applications are only available through the Apple App Store, music can only be downloaded through iTunes, and the software only runs on specific Apple products like the iPhone.

However, because of these restrictions Apple can ensure the user experience is seamless regardless of what they do.

Neither philosophy is objectively wrong, and both provide a great example of how branding can define every part of the business.

2. Focus on the Entire Customer Journey

According to Joris, most organizations focus only on the beginning (reach) and end (point of purchase) of the customer journey.


Joris Merks-Benjaminsen: Head of Digital Transformation at Google

“Digital people forget that the <customer> journey is very long,” he said. “If you are relevant only at the moment of purchase, and fail to be relevant earlier, at some point the consumer doesn’t care anymore who they pick.”

Concentrating only on maximizing buy-ins at the final transaction step may not only devalue your brand (think “Buy Now!” pop ups and all they entail), but could lead to price wars that end up costing you revenue in the long term.

What complicates the situation even more is that it’s very difficult to measure ROI on branding in the middle of the purchase funnel.

“You want to be present throughout the full consumer journey, but the way we measure it makes it hard to do it systematically,” Joris said.

To read and view Joris’s other two crucial brand strategies, see more below. 

CDO Club registered members can read the rest of the article and view the video, below. To register as a member, visit here: .....

*The rest of this article is for CDO Club members only*

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