Customer-centric brands put the customer experience at the heart of the business. They ensure they understand consumers' motivations, in order to meet their needs, retain their custom and maximise profitability. Effective customer-centric strategies recognise consumers' changing demands, have a clear brand purpose, and are embraced at every level of the business.

Definition

Customer-centric companies create a positive customer experience before, during and post-sale which can drive repeat business, loyalty and profit. Customer-centricity is more than providing good customer service. Rather, it involves creating a company culture that focuses on the customer's needs. Customer-centricity can be a good way to differentiate from competitors.

Key insights

1. Some of the most valuable brands are customer-centric ecosystems

The winning formula for brands is now less about what they offer, and more about creating a customer-centric and market responsive ecosystem around their core offering to better satisfy real human needs. Effective ecosystem brands are defined by revenue rather than costs and creation of new markets rather than market share. Such brands have therefore moved away from price to focus on better quality, convenience, speed, and relevance which in turn translates to deeply connected and long-lasting relationships. The most successful have become an ecosystem offering an interconnected set of products and services that enables users to fulfill a wide range of needs in one integrated experience. Digital brands are the best examples – three of the five most valuable brands in the world (Google, Microsoft and Amazon) are ecosystems – but Lego and Disney show how offline brands can also deliver on this front. Three identified competitive advantages stand out with such ecosystem brands: they excel at delivering personalisation; they deliver long-term loyalty; and they enjoy greater return on ad spend than any other brands.