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Develop Digital Solutions for Branded Environments

By Miller Zell

Well-executed digital initiatives optimize the customer experience, support associates, create brand connections and minimize friction along the path to purchase.

The challenge, of course, is incorporating digital purposefully and efficiently into your branded environment so it supports your goals and overall strategy.

Out of necessity, the pandemic forced many retailers to accelerate the adoption of digital interfaces that minimized contact, and the good news is previously reluctant customers often embraced the new technology. Now would be a good time to review, improve and augment existing digital touchpoints, while also projecting forward how customer engagement will continue to evolve.

Before you begin, answer questions that will help direct and focus your resources, such as:

  • Why are you pursuing this digital initiative and what do you expect to gain?
  • What pain points are you trying to solve?
  • What tech do you want to implement?
  • What’s the plan for A/B testing?
  • Which metrics and KPIs will you track and how are you going to measure and interpret that data?

Answering these questions can become complicated.

Often, it helps to enlist a partner with diverse digital capabilities and industry knowledge who can help deliver insights and recommendations, whether that’s about strategy, hardware, software, creative concept, app development, analytics or ongoing content management.

It also helps when that partner is what Miller Zell calls “tech agnostic.”

When we partner with businesses, whether that’s in retail, financial services, QSR or collegiate facilities, we don’t sell specific digital brands. We provide the best solutions based on industry knowledge we’ve acquired over nearly six decades developing branded environments.

What are digital solutions?

Digital solutions and the tools that develop them come in many forms:

  • A/B testing & persona building
  • Shopper research
  • Solution-based prototypes
  • Content strategy & creation
  • Digital signage & CMS
  • Experience & environment gamification
  • Digital content management systems
  • Virtual & augmented reality
  • Personal device, web & in-store integration

As in all major initiatives for branded environments, it’s a connect-the-dots process that requires a wide range of expertise. Ideally, testing, research and prototypes connect strategic goals and digital concepts (user experiences, back-end systems and integration) with technical design (systems architecture and APIs) and then are followed by efficient development and delivery.

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The process continues after installation, reviewing impact to KPIs and adding data-driven enhancements and useful new features.

There is no finish line. Digital personalization and localization, along with app development, will continually evolve. You are pursuing moving targets: eliminating pain points, improving operational efficiency and creating a more purposeful and informative experience that fosters customer loyalty.

Digital content management

Media mogul Sumner Redstone first said, “Content is king,” but it’s also notable that many attribute the quote to Bill Gates. The latest media content and advanced tech are inevitably intertwined.

So know that digital content isn’t a one-off cost. It’s a recurring and evolving one and will be a critical part of a purposeful digital strategy.

Content needs to be managed, maintained and refreshed. It’s about serving the customer with the best experience possible, so it’s an investment toward securing their loyalty.

Great content strategies, developed by top-level 2D and 3D animators, educate, entertain and attract customers, while also generating optimized ambiance within your branded environment. Thoughtful UX/UI strategies and well-executed motion graphics ensure the right messages are played at the right time, engaging the right customers.

Ultimately, great digital solutions emerge from a holistic approach that is precisely integrated within your branded environment, meeting your customers where they are and where they want to go.

Digital Myth Busting Checklist

End-to-end branded environment services under one roof to craft the optimal customer experience wherever people gather, shop or learn.