Q&A with Axel G. Heyenga, Industry Strategy Director (Automotive and Retail) at Adobe

A blog by Axel G. Heyenga, Industry Strategy Director (Automotive and Retail) at Adobe

On September 12th, Youwe will welcome a group of motivated, digital-minded professionals from companies across Sweden for a Digital Adventures Breakfast at Epicentre Stockholm. Meet one of our expert speakers Axel G. Heyenga, Industry Strategy Director (Automotive and Retail) at Adobe, who answered a couple of questions for us!

 
What is the key ingredient for a brand to be successful in several countries? 

I believe any brand regardless of local or global presence will have to have clear values and the ability to articulate these with honesty. It needs to have personality and reputation on which it can live and on which consumers can reflect their values on and become. emotionally connected. This is the basic ingredient and the ability to carry this into different cultural and economic environments should not change the core values and characteristics of the brand. With clear values the brand will be able to take the values and communicate them in the view of the market and culture and make it relevant to consumers they want to attract.

Beyond the core values, one other key ingredient is to be able to reach consumers through multiple channels and make business with you fun and an experience second to none. Regardless of channel or touchpoint.

What can a business do to 'export' the popularity of a well-known local brand?

I am not sure if you just can “export” popularity as it always depends on how a brand is recognized in one country and how that applies to other countries. I believe the core values need to be consistent at any time and the art of communicating these in the lens of a country, its culture and its people will differentiate. Taking care of how a brand is experienced by local consumers is key. Consumers have a very fine sense when it comes to the honesty of a brand or if some company is pretending to have values. Business can wrap themselves around these questions on the WHY of the brand. What do we stand for and how do we go to market?

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Beyond the core values one other key ingredient is to be able to reach consumers through multiple channels and make business with you fun and an experience second to none. Regardless of channel or touchpoint.

Axel G. Heyenga, Industry Strategy Director (Automotive and Retail) Adobe

Do you have any advice for companies looking to expand their business internationally?

I haven't been in a role executing expansion internationally, but have been privileged to work for Adobe in a global role, interacting with many different cultures and companies. I believe it is crucial to educate yourselves as a brand on the local facts and the habits and not just to expand on a commercial level. Be onsite, be where your consumers are, understand what it is they are expecting today and based on data map out what you can contribute and deliver.

Which company do you see as a frontrunner when it comes to digital and global success?

I like sports (Sailing, Mountain biking, Surfing, Running) and giving my global travel I am quite impressed on Garmin and how they have developed their brand from a “Navigation Company” to a Technology company supplying high tech for any sport and combining it with additional services that help consumers to be more successful in their sports.

Which technologies are key for scalable, cross-border business?

To be able to build and operate a global business I strongly believe you need to manage Content and Data on ONE Platform. Like a digital chassis which is strong and in one piece to enable to have content and data available in real-time. Using and mixing various technologies increases the complexity of a “platform” and will hinder the delivery of real-time experiences at any given touchpoint (mobile, web, store screens, etc.). Establishing the solid chassis will enable to build a unique customer profile that allows communicating 1to1 in real-time with your consumer regardless of where he is. Making the experience unique and adaptive to the situation, regardless of where he is. I call the customer engineering in balance to Product engineering.