Don Peppers and a Different Perspective on “Customer-Centricity”
Don Peppers, an author, business consultant, and thought leader on consumer strategy, posted this recent diddy on his LinkedIn profile that nails down what we have been learning in class on “Outside In” strategy. For Peppers, businesses that claim to “place the customer first” are dime a dozen. The reason so many businesses fail to execute a high caliber of customer service is because of their fundamental business philosophy he represents through his simple, two-plane framework that juxtaposes customer-centric businesses with product-centric businesses.
As Day and Moorman discuss in Strategy from the Outside In, too many companies build their operations, marketing, and strategy around inside-out thinking that looks first at their core competencies and asks “what is the maximum number of customers that will buy our product.” Or, as Peppers describes it more aptly, a “product-centric competitor focuses on one product at a time and tries to sell that product to as many customers as possible”.
The customer-centric business, what Day and Moorman characterize as the “Outside-In” business, looks first at “the individual consumer and tries to meet as many of that customer’s needs as possible.” These businesses, like Amazon, have a much stronger chance of remaining relevant because they are constantly thinking about the customer’s needs and how they can add meaning to the customer’s life based on new insights.