CHICAGO: Aditya Birla Group, the conglomerate, has successfully advanced a customer-centric agenda by focusing on the idea of the "bosstomer".

Prakash Nedungadi, Aditya Birla Group's Head/Customer Insights and Brand Development, discussed this subject at the Association of National Advertisers’ (ANA) 2017 Masters of B2B Marketing Conference.

More specifically, he reported that the firm – a player in categories from agriculture to financial services and branded apparel – wanted to “create a common ground, a common syntax, and a common language” which applied company-wide.

“You've all heard, ‘The consumer is the boss’,” Nedungadi said. (For more details, read WARC's exclusive report: How Aditya Birla Group created a new marketing culture.)

“But we wanted to see how we could take that to the whole organisation, because that was something that we needed to do well.”

Alongside receiving the active support of Kumar Mangalarm Birta, Chairman of Aditya Birla Group, the emphasis on the “bosstomer” was implemented in a bottom-up manner, too.

One way of pursuing this goal was by asking employees across various levels of the company to provide suggestions for a “Tree of Ideas”, which has resulted in numerous pilot programs and new solutions being rolled out in-market.

By moving the notion of the “bosstomer” beyond a simple slogan, Aditya Birla Group made it much more than a marketing proposition, too.

“It’s not about marketing, it's about customer-centered excellence – everybody feeling as if they are part of the customer. For the organisation to be customer-centric, we have to be customer-obsessed and demonstrate it in everything we do,” said Nedungadi.

“Some people think [marketing] is about doing a trade show or putting out brochures. Some people think it is visual campaigns. Some people think it's about strategy. Some people think it's sales.

“What it actually [used to do] was block the rest of the organisation from getting to the customer. We said, ‘No, we don't want that. We want everybody to be a part of the organisation which plays forward to the customer’.”

Data sourced from WARC