min read
February 2, 2016

How Nestle's Digital Transformation Made the Brand a Major Player in Today's Marketplace

Digital Transformation

What’s the secret to Nestle’s successful digital transformation across the company's multiple brands?Nestle has proven itself to be a world leader in terms of its approach to the digital age. Despite having been around for over 100 years, Nestle has kept up with the modern age, becoming a trendsetter in the tech and marketing worlds. Its digital strategy, approach to social media, and entire team devoted to digital transformation, have contributed to the brand's success in today's marketplace. Whether your company is large or small, is just beginning to implement a tech strategy or has been growing its digital footprint for years, you could learn a lesson or two from this mega player in the branding world. Here's what you can take back to your own company from Nestle's digital transformation.

Nestle's Secret Weapon: DAT

Your company may not have the digital transformation strategy and focus that allowed Nestle to jump ahead of the game, but it's not too late to implement one now. Nestle didn't always have such a digital focus either. When the company's Digital Acceleration Team (DAT) was created, the focus of the brand shifted to digital in a major way. The DAT is charged with vetting through potential advertising technology. It's centered around two purposes: First, DAT's job is to train employees on the digital side of the business. This includes everything from social media to SEO. The second job of DAT is to experiment with interesting digital trendsetters to find unique and new ad approaches. This part of DAT helps Nestle stay relevant and cutting edge in its marketing approach.Nestle invests 12 employees in scouting out and testing new ad technology to find innovative digital strategy that will help boost Nestle's digital footprint. The team sits in front of screens that showcase current, real-time data trends, providing a window into what's happening across Nestle's digital world at any given moment. The screens measure metrics like trending posts, conversations and sentiment level. This data allows the team to figure out exactly when and how to engage with their social and digital followers. Nestle's DAT has succeeded in building a global name that includes thousands of smaller brands, so it's safe to say that your own company could likely also benefit from a digital-focused team.

What You Can Learn From Social Networking at Nestle

There are two types of social networking at Nestle. The first is the kind you're probably most familiar with — and the type that your brand likely also embraces. Nestle has a huge presence across all channels, including Facebook, Twitter and everything in between. Many Nestle brands feature their own pages, and across those brand pages alone. s a whole, the company posts more than 1,500 times each day. Combined, the brand's Facebook pages have more than 180 million fans. Plus, Nestle has the inside scoop. It works closely with its partners Facebook and Google, and is currently in the process of establishing similar ties with Twitter. By establishing this type of partnership with social giants, your company could be in the know about what's trending, the latest social technology, online advertising and more.Nestle also features a private social network within its own company where employees can engage with one another. The network currently stretches to 200,000 employees. Employees are encouraged to share ideas and strategies on the internal social platform. They are then ranked to establish who has the most innovative and helpful ideas. This approach helps establish brand leaders and new ways of thinking, even within company walls. It also helps employees connect with one another to create a more collaborative approach to business and may be worth considering adding to your own company's strategy.

Nestle's Six Points of Brand Building

Nestle takes a six-point approach to brand building that you may be able to apply to your own brand's approach. “The best and brightest come to our headquarters for eight months at a time for pure training and doing work on digital,” Nestle's head of digital and social marketing Peter Blackshaw told CMO. “It’s about 11 marketers at a time, and they execute projects by listening and engaging.”The six points that helped with Nestle's digital transformation include:

  • Innovating
  • Knowing its customers
  • Winning over shoppers
  • Forming creative and engaging brand experiences
  • Granting excellent product experience
  • Using and inspiring through its brand vision

In addition to implementing a strategic approach to digital brand building, Nestle has worked hard to make sure that its traditional marketing approaches blend well with the newer, tech-savvy ones. They've worked to incorporate things like QR codes on candy bars as a way of mixing the new approach with the old. They utilize this blend and determine when to go with traditional vs. digital media by observing their consumers' behavior. If they see that a particular product appeals to a younger generation, digital is clearly the way to go. However, they know this doesn't mean they should completely abandon the more traditional approach to Nestle's marketing, either. By mixing these two worlds together, the brand is better able to hold onto its older and most loyal customers while still staying relevant with today's new technology and younger generations. For Nestle, this dynamic marketing approach is the most rewarding.It's DAT's job to make sure that all of the Nestle employees across the company's multiple brands embrace its successful strategy. By implementing a cohesive approach to digital branding at your own company, you can take a page out of Nestle’s book and reap the benefits of the tech age without losing your core roots.

Centric Digital