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Digital Transformation for Legacy Brands

If you’re reading this, you’ve probably uttered one these statements recently about digital transformation:

  • “we’ve tried it – doesn’t work”
  • “we’re in the process – not sure if DT will work”
  • “we’re curious about it – proceeding with caution”

Modernizing your core competency through digital transformation can have a rapid impact across the business from net promoter scores and customer service ratings to internal processes and efficiencies and profit margins.

Below, we explore some more specific catalysts for change, challenges commonly faced, and implementation ideas for digital transformation initiatives.

catalysts for change: why you, why now

Whatever mantra gets you out of bed – “Faster. Better. Cheaper.”, “Everybody’s Doing It”, “Change is Essential for Survival” – legacy brands face intense pressure to keep up with innovation and evolving market needs.

  • Increase revenue
  • Increase profit margin
  • Improve net promoter score
  • Increase customer satisfaction reviews
  • Increase internal satisfaction reviews
  • Reduce overhead
  • Improve agility and scalability
  • Improve speed to market

digital transformation challenges

For legacy brands, in particular, many of the challenges that could impact the implementation of modern-day initiatives like digital transformation must be addressed at the business model level. This serves as a lever to identify what other secondary areas like departmental processes can be affected by the business model.

Here are some areas that we like to dig into to identify where to start – or approach a “repair” of – digital transformation initiatives:


  • How does your current business model support a digital transformation initiative?
  • How has your strategic roadmap incorporated digital transformation initiatives?
  • How confident are you that your digital transformation initiatives are adaptable, measurable, and realistic for the organization?
  • What gaps do you have in your strategic and departmental processes? How are you addressing these gaps?
  • How are you approaching continuous improvement/learning cycle oversight?
  • How often are your CSFs (critical success factors) and KPIs (key performance indicators) being monitored, reported, and iterated upon?
  • What are you doing to operate cross-departmentally rather than in the old-school silos?


  • How committed is C-level leadership in serving as “champions” for digital transformation?
  • Where else in the organization do your champions reside?
  • What other partnerships does the business have in place – or is actively seeking – to support digital transformation initiatives?
  • Do you have the right stakeholders in place to manage the CSFs and KPIs?
  • Is your IT department budget sufficient to support a re-organization and increase in services beyond the typical support role (old school!)?
  • What on-going training do your staff have in digital transformation areas like artificial intelligence (broadly), machine learning, virtual reality, virtual augmentation, IoT, mobility, and cloud?


  • What tools has the business sourced to support digital transformation initiatives?
  • How well is the business gaining insights on the opportunity landscape?
  • How well is the business sharing those insights — and acting upon them?
  • How capable is your infrastructure to manage the changes required to support DT initiatives across mobile, social, Cloud, analytics?

opportunities for modernization

You’ve probably heard the old saying “it takes 15 days to create a habit.” The idea of this adage is that you have to make a habit repeatable for a long enough period of time in order to gain enough insights to determine it’s stickiness, how well it’s working, and what triggers for change exist. Beyond checking off the list that you have a digital transformation initiative in the works, true success begins when you’re actively and creatively assessing opportunities to “live” with digital transformation at the business model level.

Here are a few examples of where legacy brands can identify opportunities to incorporate digital transformation initiatives:

Omnichannel marketingImplement deep machine learning chat technology across website, social media, and SMS platformsImprove customer service experience
Cloud computingRe-develop and re-platform enterprise legacy systemsIncrease speed and performance of applications

what’s next

The landscape of your road to digital transformation is unique to your legacy business, which undoubtedly has its own sets of challenges. Regardless of where you’re at on the road to digital transformation, success is based on the unification of efforts to address the intrinsic needs of adaptation in business process, it’s people, and technology. No organization is too big to evolve, though. It just might take a little more elbow grease to get the wheels turning in a positive direction!

When you’re ready to discuss how to modernize your legacy brand, give us a call at C2. Digital transformation is not the future – it’s the present.