Wednesday, 10 September 2008

Customer Centricity: The Basics Are Not Always Enough (Part 1)

Customer-centricity at its basic is about ensuring the customer gets what they need rather than simply what you want to offer. This is still an improvement on what most companies provide, because it involves at least listening to the voice of the customer. Better however is to give the customer what they want, over and above what they need. This is usually costlier to provide because we're talking about value-adds. Getting the details right. Caring about your customer. The really successful brands and companies do this repeatedly. They get the basics right and then pile on the value-adds. Like Apple.

Fig. What The Customer Wanted...


In emerging markets just addressing needs is enough to get ahead.

In evolving markets, effectively meeting functional needs is often enough for competitive advantage, but value-adds start to become differentiators.

In mature markets however, basic needs themselves become redefined to include what once were value-adds. This means that if you don't already have embedded market share, at the very least you have to match the value-adds that people have gotten used to or you don't even stay in the game.

In part 2 tomorrow, we'll look at Google's new browser 'Chrome' as an example.