Adobe Symposium Stockholm 2017: Setting the tone for the latest in digital business experiences

by Imran Afzal

Posted on 10-27-2017

It has become a famil­iar scene in Stockholm’s autumn land­scape: Oppo­site the icon­ic City Hall and with a view over lake Mälaren, atten­dees gath­ered on a crisp Thurs­day morn­ing in München­bryg­geri­et, a mas­sive brick build­ing that used to be one of Stockholm’s largest brew­eries, to take part in this year’s edi­tion of Adobe Sym­po­sium Stock­holm 2017. Dig­i­tal busi­ness expe­ri­ences were at the top of the agen­da, with com­pa­nies such as Microsoft, Dan­ish clean­ing giant Nil­fisk and eSport inno­va­tors DreamHack shar­ing some valu­able insight into their own take on how to opti­mize the cus­tomer expe­ri­ence in the midst of a dig­i­tal revolution.

Experience business – how to turn clients into fans, and lovers of the brand

Franck Attia, MD at Adobe Nordic, start­ed off the event by remind­ing us of how dig­i­tal dis­rup­tions by (ini­tial­ly) small play­ers have the poten­tial to change whole indus­tries. Spo­ti­fy and Uber are two exam­ples of com­pa­nies that have made the most of, and in some ways con­tributed to, an on-going dig­i­tal transformation.
Franck also took the oppor­tu­ni­ty to show­case a project called “AdobeRemix”, involv­ing our cre­ative com­mu­ni­ty in the devel­op­ment of our brand by allow­ing cre­atives to redesign Adobe’s icon­ic logo:

The experience business wave – how brands are making experience their business

Next up was Jamie Brighton from Adobe, who talked about the ever-grow­ing shift in the mar­ket­place. Con­sumers are no longer just buy­ing prod­ucts, but whole brand expe­ri­ences. For exam­ple, the cup of cof­fee you buy at a cof­fee shop isn’t all you’re buy­ing – you’ve also bought the whole expe­ri­ence of the cof­fee shop brand.

Jamie point­ed to a sur­vey show­ing that 8 out 10 feel loy­al­ty to a brand that offers great expe­ri­ences. The same study showed that 61% feel loy­al­ty to brands that per­son­alise and tai­lor their expe­ri­ences to their cus­tomers. Sim­i­lar insights have already been effec­tive­ly used, for exam­ple by sports giant Adi­das. The company’s new soc­cer shoe – Glitch, is the first ever soc­cer shoe that is 100% per­son­alised and only avail­able through the Adi­das Glitch app.

Three digital techniques that are driving business experience forward

Three tech­nolo­gies in par­tic­u­lar are seen as cen­tral to the present and future of dig­i­tal busi­ness expe­ri­ences: Aug­ment­ed real­i­ty (AR), Vir­tu­al Real­i­ty (VR) and Arti­fi­cial intel­li­gence (AI). Let’s have a look at each of them, separately:

Adobe show­cased its AI ser­vices, which are all labelled under the name “Sen­sei” (“teacher” in Japan­ese). Adobe demon­strat­ed how Sen­sei can be used to per­son­alise a brand at dif­fer­ent dig­i­tal touch points, in order to deliv­er the right mes­sage at the right time. By learn­ing how to use AI in the right way, busi­ness­es can take great leaps for­ward in terms of their per­son­alised offer­ings, which allows them to focus on oth­er things.

VR and AR
Vol­vo Cars and Sapi­en­tRa­zor­fish offered some sharp insights into the future of VR and AR for mar­ket­ing purposes.

  1. Have a strat­e­gy – How do you want to utilise VR and AR prac­ti­cal­ly? What expe­ri­ence can they bring about?
  2. Think “sto­ryliv­ing” instead of sto­ry­telling – with AR and VR, you don’t need to tell a sto­ry; you can let users expe­ri­ence it – live it – firsthand.
  3. Cre­ate some­thing peo­ple want – don’t just use VR and AR because. Cre­ate some­thing peo­ple did not even know they want­ed, such as Ikea Places:

Every single physical and digital touchpoint matters – Made by Sweden

Vol­vo Cars pre­sent­ed its “Vol­vo Stu­dios”, stores with a typ­i­cal­ly Swedish inte­ri­or design and flair of Vol­vo in all details – in line with Volvo’s slo­gan “Made in Swe­den”. Here, vis­i­tors can design their own car in VR. If this turns out to be a demand­ing task, there is the oppor­tu­ni­ty of tak­ing a typ­i­cal­ly Swedish fika break, as each stu­dio also has its own café.
Togeth­er with Volvo’s hard work to be present in all chan­nels and at all touch­points – the mes­sage is clear: To posi­tion Vol­vo as lifestyle car brand.

The times they are a changin’

To sum­marise Adobe Sym­po­sium 2017 in Stock­holm, we are in the mid­dle and the begin­ning of noth­ing less than a dig­i­tal revolution.
Brands that can adapt to the rapid­ly chang­ing dig­i­tal land­scape have great chances to dri­ve their busi­ness. Per­fect exam­ples of this were giv­en by Dan­ish clean­ing giant Nil­fisk, with its jour­ney from a cat­a­logue brand to a new dig­i­tal plat­form that takes care of every touch­point. And by K Group, which has quick­ly moved from mass com­mu­ni­ca­tion to per­son­alised tar­get communication.
At the dawn of the Indus­tri­al Rev­o­lu­tion, poet William Blake wrote: “What is now proved was once only imag­ined.” Those words might just be more rel­e­vant than ever.

Topics: Digital Transformation, adidas, AI, AR, Franck Attia, Glitch, jamie brighton, K Group, Nilfisk, Nordics, Spotify, Stockholm, Symposium, Uber, Volvo, VR, UK, UK Exclusive, Digital EMEA