LynxEye investigates which companies are digital winners and are perceived to have meaningful brands. According to the study entitled Purposeful Brands – Digital, there are five areas in particular that are important, says Johan Ekelin.
"Credibility, contributing innovative solutions to normal everyday needs, being perceived as a visionary company that will contribute to improvements, being perceived as a future winner and being a company that assumes responsibility through what it delivers to its customers."
Two of the digital winners are the search engine Google and the music service Spotify.
"Apart from being perceived as being meaningful brands, not least by improving and simplifying everyday life for many, they've also created a unique position by quickly becoming leaders in important new segments.
"Anyone who intends to challenge a digital winner must find an innovative approach for the same basic needs. It's difficult to come in as number two or three when someone else has achieved a temporary monopoly."
He highlights the social media Snapchat and Instagram, which quickly established themselves among younger groups of consumers.
"The basic need isn't unique, but they created new sub-segments and applications to meet this need in a new and better way.
"The challenge going forwards is also that you can't just create digital brands that are related to a specific application, but rather to a bigger idea. Google's a good example. They've constantly developed their basic concept to organise content and make it searchable and usable. With a strong basic concept as a foundation, the brand will be strong for longer."
Algorithms v. brand
Many companies are currently using algorithms that guide consumers towards certain services and products based on, for example, previous purchases or Internet searches. Will the one that's best at creating algorithms out-compete brands in the digital world?
"Algorithms are already important, but they don't replace a strong brand. It's all a battle to create a direct relationship with the user. A service that's based on a direct relationship with customers, such as Airbnb, is difficult to replace with an algorithm," says Johan Ekelin.