Browse through twenty Consumer Products (CP) industry articles and you’ll get twenty different well thought-out takes on what direction digital is headed and how your company can best embrace it. But… how do you know which of these points of view is right, and right for your company?

We’re sitting down with Kevin Rose, Principal, Deloitte Consulting LLP and Amanda Jones, Senior Manager, Deloitte Consulting LLP from our Monitor Deloitte Strategy practice (you can think of them as our resident experts on digital transformation in the CP industry) to get to the bottom of what digital really means for CPs.

digital trends comic strip

Alright, let’s start with the comic. What’s the story behind it?

KR: I saw this comic strip online last year and instantly related to it. How often do we hear really strong opinions about what’s up and coming? And sometimes, they’re not just strong opinions. They’re well researched and thought-out points of view. So, the question becomes, “How can we know which one is correct?”

AJ: The comic really gets to the heart of the problem we see in the CP industry right now. With so many experts and publications overloading us with information about how and when to go digital, it’s impossible to really understand which ones we should be listening to, and which ones are best for our companies.

KR: Through years and years of updating and tweaking client presentations, few things have resonated better than the comic. We actually have a client that calls us “the comic strip team” and we love it! It’s a really fun, human way to relate to the issues we’re seeing in CP right now.

How is CP affected by this information overload?

AJ: Through client conversations, we started to notice a pattern in the C-suite. These executives are putting so much time and energy into trying to figure out what digital means for them, that they pursue many digital “hot topics” and are left with less time to do more important things and an unclear view of their digital ROI.

KR: Our goal is to help these executives think through how they can connect digital more clearly to their business. We want to help them sort through all the noise and get focused on what digital means for them, so they can get back to doing what they do best.

How can the C-suite focus on what digital means for them?

AJ: Funny you should say “focus,” because that’s exactly our advice. With our FOCUS framework, we guide companies to shut out all the noise and figure out what’s most important to them, and then implement it in digital ways.

FOCUS framework for consumer products digital transformation

FOCUS framework

KR: And what FOCUS means to us is that you can’t ignore the basics. Even when you embark into the Wild West of the digital world, you’re still first and foremost a business. You can wear jeans and a T-shirt to work, you can be creative, you can use emojis in your emails. That’s great. But you still have to be pragmatic. Think of our FOCUS framework as the lovechild of that pragmatism and the digital mindset of dreaming big.

AJ: It’s a great way to help CPs be more mindful with which parts of digital they’re diving into, and how they’re diving into them. It sets them up to think through their goals and priorities up front, so that they can be successful in the long run.

KR: And it’s also important to know that FOCUS isn’t a linear process. You don’t have to complete F (fixate on strategy first) before moving on to O (optimize structure for ideal ways of working). Ideally, you’d explore all of the components concurrently rather than spending a few months working on F before you get to O. They all work together.

AJ: That’s right. I’d look at it as more of a guide, rather than step-by-step directions. The FOCUS framework offers a way for you to evaluate your business based on what your priorities are. And as priorities change, you can revisit the framework to make sure you’re focusing on the right ways to achieve success.

What does it look like when a CP has successfully become digital?

KR: I’d love to define what a finish line looks like for CPs, but the truth is that digital transformation doesn’t have an end. Even if you were to reach the “finish line,” that finish line would then shift as your priorities shift. No company can realistically plant a flag and say, “we’ve done digital,” because what digital means is constantly changing.

AJ: I completely agree that “digital” isn’t a specific end goal. But one way we can define success is when we have clear goals and a path forward for achieving those goals. I feel successful when we’re able to help a CEO clearly articulate where they want to go with digital and how they’re going to get there.

How can my company get started?

KR: Think about what it would mean for your company if all of your execs were speaking the same language. If they were all focused, and focused on the right things. How many hours are being added back to your day? How much better is the company performing? How much easier is your job? The FOCUS framework can help you get there.

Thanks, Kevin and Amanda!

To learn more about the FOCUS framework, download our POV on digital transformation for Consumer Products companies and listen to our podcast about digital acceleration in the CP industry.