It’s that time of year again. A year ends and we see thousands of trends and to-do lists for 2023. But how many of those will truly happen? 

I consider those trends to be very hyped and would-like-to-happen lists. Although most of them won’t happen, some will. Planning for achievable and realistic goals is key to success. 

On a personal note, I started valuing resolution lists more than trends. Resolutions are our own yearly OKRs, on a personal or business level. They could have a short-term foundation, the “break down goals into achievable tasks” theory, or mid/long-term goals that will materialize by overcoming a sequence of shorter goals. 

But there is a catch if you don’t stay focused and consistent – Blue Monday. Blue Monday is the 3rd Monday of every year (today); it’s when we realize that those yearly resolutions are not happening, we lost focus, the motivation and energy we had the first few days. And we enter an escalation or realization that those resolutions will stay as that, great ideas and resolutions, but far from accomplishing them in the mid/long-term. 

On a business level, great yearly results are those where planning and forecasting are done months in advance, with clear OKRs, swiftly thought out and defined strategy to get there and a resourceful and skilled team to orchestrate everything. Some of my recommended resolutions for every business are to elevate your brand, drive higher ROI or bottom-line results, develop new or more customer-centric products/services infused by data, and deliver a customer experience to the highest degree of competitiveness. 

In a world where the only constant is change, what we can rely on as a business is to always be moving, testing, learning, improving, evolving, and maturing. Providing the best-in-class experience to every customer every time they decide to engage with us. Across industries, competition is growing fiercely, and customers expect from us just as great experience as they had with any of the companies they interacted lastly with.

Here some of the key resolutions I would recommend:

Brand Experience: achieving the best brand experience requires a holistic approach that incorporates various tactics and mechanics. Here are a few key elements to consider:

Brand Identity: develop a clear and consistent brand identity that reflects your values, mission, and target audience. If you already have one, take it to the next step by simplifying the logo, the essence, and the overall experience. 57% of consumers are willing to pay more for simpler experiences.

  • Snackable application: think web3, where brand have the possibility to redefine themselves, modernize, redesign their experiences, communication, or even their image to the world. However, this new space is full of technical jargon. Simplifying the technology and the product/service you offer is key to drive higher levels of engagement from the community. 

Brand Storytelling: create a compelling brand story that connects with your target audience and differentiates you from your competitors. Use storytelling across all of your communications, from website copy to social media posts, to WhatsApp customer service, everything matters.

  • Snackable application: think of a digitally native, young, and dynamic brand implementing their tone of voice across channels. Their authenticity and uniqueness of that experience is compared against others. Consumers today are looking for brands that are genuine and align with their values, so it is important to be honest and consistent in your messaging.

Omni-channel Experience: There is a lot written about Omnichannel marketing, experience, etc. Brands get lost in jargon and complex journeys. One thing is clear, our customer journeys are broken, they are not linear anymore. And we should be addressing the granularity of each of their behavioral segments, touchpoints of interaction and frictionless delivery.

I was recently working with one of the biggest international retailers on their omnichannel strategy. Conceptualizing their full physical, digital, and virtual touchpoints strategy. Most of the brands have resolutions or goals for 2023, they know where they would like to go, but lack the execution and orchestration to get there. Personalization at scale is key, and not a nice-to-have, it is a must. But how do we really achieve this if we don’t have the right tech, tools, and data to orchestrate a seamless and connected experience?

Let’s start with some points to consider in your omnichannel strategy:

Fulfillment: how we fulfill demand and provide easy access to our products is key to provide a well-rounded customer experience. Click and collect, curbside pickups, dark stores, micro or near-me fulfillment are some mechanisms that will power up your CX. 

  • Snackable application: as we said already, test & learn is a well-established methodology in business, where we look at low investment and high-impact use cases. There is no customer the same, but there will be some similarities, cluster them into new fulfillment service and test them as an MVP – retail for instance – dark stores could save you fulfillment costs, warehousing and delivery (cost and time), while increasing the overall brand and customer experience.

Promotion: long gone the time where promotions across multi-touch points were a trend. If this is still a resolution to make for your business, there is a long way to go in your maturity model. How do we provide connected offers across channels, next best actions that are personal to the customer’s needs, maybe even across your portfolio of brands. Don’t forget dynamic pricing, content production, influencer marketing or social commerce, those are some of the must haves. 

  • Snackable application: if your business is looking for a more challenging resolution, web3 and immersive commerce will keep your brand busy. Learning is tough, as it has lots of technical components, but achieving milestones throughout the metaverse and NFTs rabbit hole is not that complicated.

Payment: back until the 2020’s pandemic, the payment side was very much straight forward, cash, card in store, or card online. With the pandemic restrictions, self-checkout, BNPL fractional payments, crypto adoption and NFT loyalty points, the whole payment touch points have been opened. A world of connected devices is allowing businesses to drive the most seamless experience across payment

  • Snackable application: I am at a café while writing this article, I can view the menu, order, and seamlessly checkout by paying my bill with just a tap on an NFC card. Self-checkouts are one of the things I appreciate most from the pandemic crisis.

Services: every customer demands high quality of service, no matter the industry or vertical you are in. When you can’t further innovate your products or service, providing an extra layer of service and premium offering is key. Bundle and unbundle products to provide VIP and luxurious experiences that will resonate with specific segments. Expert advisor, user generated community of influencers, NFT gated community and premium drops. 

  • Snackable application: imagine being a sneaker maker, you can produce new shoes day in and day out, but how to innovate on the asset itself to sell to new audiences and create a completely new market. Design and produce digital twins or new digital versions of your products to sell only in virtual worlds. Direct to Avatar, instead of Direct to Consumer, as it will be the avatar of your consumer who will wear those. Possibilities are endless.

Customer-centric Products: the new virtual space is a renaissance for all brands. The possibility to reinvent yourself and tap into unexpected ventures has been proven with very early adopter brands, Nike, Adidas, Tiffany’s, Burberry, Dior, Balenciaga, you name it. But we don’t need to go that far to create new products and services infused by declared customer data. Web2 still has endless opportunities to improve business performance, we just started to understand the nuances when Web3 came into play. The problem lies in how we read and visualize this data to take these kinds of meaningful decisions.

– Personalization at scale: use personalization to create a customized brand experience for each customer or niche customer segments. This can include things like tailored content, web and mobile app experiences, product recommendations, and targeted marketing messages. With customer data platforms and centralization of business and customer’s data, we can correlate both and create next best actions that resonates with small and niche audiences. Allowing brands to further design their products and services based on those preferences. 

  • Snackable application: think like a CPG/FMCG brand for a moment. They don’t typically own their customer’s data, which is often held by retailers or e-tailers. One way they could gather more personally identifiable information (PII) from their customers without disrupting the supply chain or current business model is by creating a dynamic content platform that serves as a destination for all their existing and potential customers, allowing them to sign in and collect behavioral and personal data. As they continue to refine their platform through multivariate activations, they can also gather and clean the right set of data from specific segments, moving into a test-and-learn model where future products and services can be designed specifically for them.

-Immersive experiences: With the introduction of Web3, VR/AR, and mixed reality, we are witnessing a new frontier in product development. Not only does this enhance our non-digital lives, but it also presents opportunities to develop unique, high-impact/low-cost products and services.

  • Snackable application: Imagine you’re a sneaker maker. While you can produce new shoes day in and day out, it can be difficult to find ways to innovate on the asset itself to reach new audiences and create new markets. One solution could be to design and produce digital twins or new digital versions of your products that can be sold exclusively in virtual worlds. Instead of going direct-to-consumer, you can go direct-to-avatar, as it will be the avatar of your customer who will wear the shoes. You may also consider acquiring a smaller player that already offers these services. The possibilities are endless.

By implementing these tactics and mechanics, you can create a strong and consistent brand experience that resonates with your target audience, driving engagement and business value creation.