Digital Transformation

Why expanding to digital products was an incremental process for Moleskine

Moleskine's head of digital innovation talked about the six year journey of creating a digital writing system in a company known best for notebooks and paper products.

TechRepublic's Dan Patterson spoke with Moleskine's head of digital innovation, Peter Jensen, about creating a digital product within a traditionally analog company.

Watch the video, or read part of their conversation below:

Patterson: Peter, I wonder if you could help us understand your digital transformation journey and lessons that other companies may face when they're trying to transition from legacy or ... if not older infrastructure, an older mindset or more analog mindset, into the now very cloud, mobile and IoT space.

Jensen: For us, I'd say the transformation was predominately two ways. One was the internal understanding and perception. We talked about this, sort of a startup mentality in the beginning. When we talk about the consumer perception, it's clear that when you have a brand with as strong a presence as Moleskine, that's good and it's constraining to some degree. So it was a journey that we had to go on with our customers to let them, let's say, absorb the idea that we were even doing this thing in the first place.

SEE: How Sephora is leveraging AR and AI to transform retail and help customers buy cosmetics (TechRepublic)

And really only by very incremental movement towards a reality, we call it analog, digital analog, but by slowly moving people from the core proposition into a digital ecosystem and potentially coming back, were we able to sort of form a trustworthy or credible story with our audience, and get them to ultimately transact and buy the product. For us, that's hugely important. We are in 29,000 points of sale, lots of internal customers and distributors that need to be on board with this whole thing so it is ... For us, the key learning was that it was a journey that was incremental. It was not one day waking up and saying, 'Now we're going to do intelligent handwriting recognition apps and services.'

That's something that's coming at the tail-end now of a six-year-old process.

For the rest of the conversation, check out these articles:

Also see:

  • Essential reading for business leaders: Why digital transformation belongs on your roadmap (TechRepublic)
  • Digital transformation: Three ways to get it right in your business (ZDNet)
  • 54% of tech leaders believe their company will fail if they don't achieve digital transformation (TechRepublic)
  • Digital transformation: A guide for CXOs (Tech Pro Research)
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    About Dan Patterson

    Dan is a Senior Writer for TechRepublic. He covers cybersecurity and the intersection of technology, politics and government.

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