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May 9, 2013

Marketing Customer Value

by LeeD

In their 2011 article, “Shared Value: How to Reinvent Capitalism—And Unleash a Wave of Innovation,” Michael Porter and Mark Kramer suggest that companies must update their understanding of value creation by reimagining it as process through which creating economic value also creates social value; that is to say, companies must dissolve the artificial boundary between business and society. However, given the customer-centric focus of today’s business, I wish to push this reconceptualization one step further to encompass not only businesses’ perceptions of value but also customers’ perceptions of that value along the supply chain. Thereby, businesses must anticipate and cater to consumers’ dynamic value demands and desires. This consideration begs the question how can companies both create value and shape consumers perceptions of that value. In that sense, the aforementioned concept of shared value encompasses these thoughts. However, it appears to miss a critical component: marketing customer value. We see this play out in the market with companies such as Amazon. Although the company is certainly at the top of its class with regards to customer service, it also does a particularly good job at advertising that value proposition. The charge, then, is to dissolve the barriers between business and society by both creating distinct customer value and communicating that value to consumers in relevant ways. 

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