Digital Transformation, or DX, is often misunderstood as just “going digital” – having a website, a Social Media account or online shopping. These certainly fit into the DX category, but it hardly scratches the surface. The true impact is much much broader. Consumers are demanding access, convenience, and simplification, and the technological hubs and world-renowned tech companies driving DX are giving it to them. We now see startups outpacing legacy companies in ways never seen before. Here some examples:
· AirbnB started in 2007 and is now worth $38 billion without owning a single hotel room
· Uber started in 2009 and is valued at $68 billion and doesn’t own the vast majority of its fleet

· Stripe is only 7 lines of code and worth $20 billion
DX is not only the availability of new digital technology, but the ability for tech companies to solve traditional problems in entirely new ways. It’s not about “thinking outside the box”, it’s “let’s blow up the box and create a new one”. Digitization refers to the extent to which firms and industries invest in and use digital. Here is where there is lot of room to grow — and money on the table. 
A McKinsey study predicts for Europe alone:

Europe can add €2.5 trillion to GDP in 2025, boosting GDP growth by 1 percent a year over the next decade.
Innovation vs Digital Transformation
The transformation stage means that digital resources open up previously unimagined avenues of commerce, communication, and specification, rather than simply enhance and support traditional methods.
Digital Transformation is:
· When I shop for groceries at Amazon — and they deliver to my doorsteps
· When I us an app to book a vacation home on AirBnb instead of looking up a travel agent or call a hotel
· When I don’t have to look for a taxi at night but simply order an Uber
· When my smart speaker adjusts the temperature in my house as soon as I get up in the morning — and plays my favorite music
· When my car lets me know if an oil change is due or the tire pressure is low
· When my smart watch makes food recommendations based on my health metrics and activities (hey dude, you need more protein!)
· When my bank sends me investment suggestions based on my financial performance
The state of DX in Europe: A stunning amount of unused potential
A recent McKinsey report shows how companies in Europe are falling behind in comparison with other nations, primarily the United States — but mostly China:

“Today, Europe operates at only an estimated 12 percent of its digital potential, compared with the United States’ 18 percent. In addition, there is enormous variation between Europe’s countries: while France operates at 12 percent of its digital potential, Germany is at 10 percent, and the United Kingdom is at 17 percent.” (McKinsey)
Where business leaders need to lead — and governments need to evolve
Companies must assess how much digitization matters to their customer base and how to adapt their business model. A nicer taxi is not what consumers were asking for, they asked for smartphone access and instant availability. Uber delivered. DX requires businesses to adapt to specific consumer needs, digitize their operations, and promote open innovation along the way.
Governments will need to keep pace with new infrastructure: removing restrictions to capital and data flows, and addressing issues surrounding data protection and privacy. Ultimately, they will be responsible for managing the social and economic impact brought by digitization.
As a brand consulting firm, where do we fit in?
The mechanisms of the Digital Age differ vastly from the analog world or even the digital realm of the 20th century, but the ideology of B2C marketing remain the same — detect (problem), define (strategy), design (solution) and deliver (product). This is where we come in the game. User Experience (UX) and User Interface (UI) design have become pillars of the sales process. Communications are no longer one-way streets but rather an interactive conversation. Traditional advertising has been replaced by influencer recommendations and experiential marketing. Data mining and smart engineering aside, it’s the carefully crafted message that touches people’s hearts and drives choices. Opus helps craft these messages and develop state-of-the-art UX and UI.
The same applies to B2B: We see increased focus on brand experiences and users as brand ambassadors. Analytics software allows us to pinpoint target audiences with laser sharp precision and respond to customer’s demands in real time. Automation removes tedious repetitive tasks and leaves room for more in depth consulting which we already see in the banking sector. Instead of operating a cold uninviting branch with tellers behind glass windows, companies like Capital One started to introduce cafés with lounges and shared work spaces where people can gather and interact. Here design is imperative to provide a welcoming and friendly atmosphere and not just a poster on the wall. With Opus Brand Experience Design, creative engagement is no longer confined to the package or the décor, but expands to stretch across the full spectrum of customer interaction—and they’re taking notice.
Let’s get to work.
Opus Brand Consult (Los Angeles, Munich, Paris). We are Creative Business Consultants who help established businesses thrive in the age of Digital Transformation. From branding and marketing strategy to communication and sales, Opus facilitates the implementation of modern digital resources to give companies an edge in a digitally transformed marketplace. Contact us: +1.213.446.7986 email (Source quotes: McKinsey Global Institute)
Back to Top