What do you get when you combine a mother who is a pharmacist, a father who is a medical doctor, and two children with a humanitarian, entrepreneurial bent? You get the brother-sister team (Jeff Koz and Roberta Wilson, to name names) behind a company which is elevating the edibles & CBD industries to new levels.

The award-winning company, Dr. Norm's, was no stranger to success from the get-go. Initially, its products (THC and CBD cookies) were available only through retail dispensaries. But as the global physical retail sector humbly made room for increased online commerce, Dr. Norm's realized that it, too, needed to make a leap towards the digital in order to break through regulatory barriers and profit ceilings.

Naturally, that entailed lots of attention to detail, from technological aspects to legal ones, but within a year (thanks in part to the expertise of the Buoyancy Digital team), half of Dr. Norm's revenues were projected to come from consumer direct e-commerce.

And that is what you call a digital transformation.

For the most part, it doesn't matter what industry you're a part of. Digital transformation is no longer an option, but a necessity. Unfortunately, fewer than a third of attempted digital transformations succeed, including those implemented by legacy brands like Sears and Toys 'R' Us.

Obviously, the question that entrepreneurs should be obsessed with answering is ‘what's the difference in those that succeed and those that fail’

If there was a simple answer to that, believe me, I think I don't I'd be writing, I'd be a billionaire VC of sorts. But overall, I'd say it comes down to fundamentally misunderstanding the idea of transforming into a digital company.

Here are three things about digital transformations that companies get wrong:

1. Thinking you're exempt.

I already mentioned this, but it deserves reiterating. The shift from physical to digital--or ‘phygital’ if you will--isn't isolated to a handful of industries. Customers can and do purchase almost any product or service online. If yours isn't one of them, you're way behind and need to fix that, quickly.

2. Thinking it's a finite process.

Moving into the digital isn't actually one big step. It's a series of many, many small ones, and the most important thing to understand is that there's not a final step. Adapting to the digital age requires a mindset as much as it does a specific set of actions, and you have to grant your organization flexibility to let that happen. When you understand innovation as evolution, you're on the track to digital transformation.

3. Thinking it's a trade-off.

Digital transformation doesn't involve neglecting the face to face experience. Customers still want to walk into a store, talk to customer service reps who care, and feel connected to the people they do business with. Remember, your goal isn't to transform your whole business, just your business model.

Bear in mind if you have the right team, this can happen in weeks (not months, not years). At the end of the day, it’s how the cookie crumbles. You decide.

Published on: Dec 11, 2018
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