In the rapidly changing ecommerce scenario, organizations must start thinking and building a customer-centric culture to create value for all stakeholders. Thanks to the Internet, customers can easily access information about products and brands from experts, friends, colleagues and users of the product across the world. This means that brand as a surrogate of quality is becoming irrelevant; this also means that customer expectations are far more realistic before buying a product or service. It must be mentioned here that brand would still be relevant in several other ways—as ‘badge’ value, as a manifestation of trust and in the consumer goods sector. One must also mention that the impact of social media will depend on the product or service category too.
The movement from brand to customer means that the organization needs to shift from a production-oriented mindset and capability to a mindset of ‘mass customization’ where each customer is a market of one—this is when the organization can create real value, for customers, shareholders, employees and other stakeholders. However, this may also be the biggest barrier in an organization’s metamorphosis from brand to customer. Given that what gets measured gets managed, the starting point for the change must be clearly defined customer metrics that is closely related to business outcomes. The article explores the options available for any organization to enhance the customer metrics more specifically through customer experience and relationship building.
This article is about the inevitability of organizations to move away from a production and/or brand mindset to a customer-centric mindset. This article focuses on how an organization can build and manage such customer-oriented culture. Given that what is measured gets managed, the article starts with a discussion on the key metrics—customer metrics—that need to be defined, measured, discussed and driven within the organization. The article then explores the options available for any organization to enhance the customer metrics more specifically through customer experience and relationship building. The article is written keeping in mind the working executives. This article is based on the author’s experiences, observations and formal and informal discussions with his clients and non-clients.
From Brand to Customer
Journal of Creating Value May 2016 2: 18-30, first published on March 9, 2016 doi:10.1177/2394964315627253