Brand-Led Transformation

Brand-Led Transformation

Pier M. Massa (NEXUS, Malta & EuroMed Research Business Institute, Malta & M2 – Business Frameworks Limited, Malta)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-2524-2.ch022
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Abstract

Customer centric strategies are often conceived and developed within marketing departments of organizations. The marketing team, leveraging a keen understanding of the latest theories on effective marketing management and consumer behaviour, often does an outstanding job initiating new customer centric thrusts within organizations. However, to be truly successful, these strategies must flow from and build upon the company brand and be operationalized across the entire enterprise. Brand-led customer centricity must penetrate all aspects of the firm from corporate leadership to staff, and across all customer offers, business plans, projects, processes, and programs of the organization. Only in this way can organizations transform the way the consumer experiences their brand. While most organizations subscribe to the need for customer centricity, the number of companies that consistently and effectively implement such strategies are few. Organizations typically struggle with translating brand-led customer centric strategies into tangible and specific initiatives. This chapter melds a practitioner’s view with current theory and offers pragmatic and proven approaches to translating these strategies into initiatives that drive direct customer and company benefits with successful enterprise-wide outcomes that impact the full business.
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The Scope Of Customer Centricity

Truly, customer centric organizations have the customer embedded at the core of their organizational DNA. The scope is enterprise-wide and transformation touches all parts of the organization, tangibly changing the way the organizations function. As such, brand led transformation is a process of conscious change to enable organizations to define their core customer experience principles, often explicitly stated in a brand or customer promise, and then to operationalize these across all aspects of the business.

The concept of customer centricity is certainly not new. As early as the 1950s, Peter Drucker, in The Practice of Management, signals the importance of customer centricity indicating that

there is only one valid definition of business purpose: to create a customer. What business thinks it produces is not of first importance—especially not to the future of the business or to its success. What the customer thinks he/she is buying, what he/she considers “value” is decisive—it determines what a business is, what it produces, and whether it will prosper (1954, p. 37).

Since then a number of additional concepts have extended this notion of customer centricity. Two of these ideas are of particular importance in the analysis of this chapter—service-dominant logic and the concept of customer experience. These extend the traditional notions of customer centricity and address the experiential aspects associated with the customer’s actual engagement with a company’s products or services.

Service dominant logic is particularly important as it recognizes the service element embedded in every product sale as a critical element defining the customer’s experience. As such, the service component becomes a direct part of the value proposition and is intrinsic to the experience. Moreover, the user’s interaction with the product itself, as well as with the service components, can further improve or weaken the overall appreciation of the offer itself. As Gummesson explains:

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