The new year is well upon us, and we had great discussions with our clients, reviewing the year that passed and planning even greater things for the year to follow. We discussed what CEOs and CMOs wanted to achieve for 2013, and how that fits in with the overall corporate vision.
Some very interesting thoughts stood out – brands are not looking to sell, they are looking to help customers buy. This slight shift in perspective can have a profound effect on both top and bottom lines, because the brand is shifting from looking internally to looking beyond itself. Making it about the customer, not about the product. Simply by standing on the other side of the fence, you are looking at the playing field from a totally different perspective; that of your customer’s.
When the brand is product-centric, the emphasis is on what improvements, additions and extensions can be made to the product. The marketing message to customers is that of the brand’s features and benefits and how the brand can improve the customer’s life.
When the brand is customer-centric, the emphasis is on the customer. Most businesses know their product well, but not many have the same understanding about who buys their products. A customer-centric brand strives to understand its customer’s buying habits and patterns, and markets the product to suit these habits and patterns. The marketing message is one that incorporates the customer’s physical and emotional needs and makes the brand the ideal solution for customers.
See the difference?
This shift in perspective makes all the difference, as jetBlue succinctly pointed out in their ad. Are you a brand that happens to provide customer service, or are you a customer service business that happens to provide a product/service?
We are compiling a marketing wish list by reputed and growing brands, and would love to have your input. What is your marketing wish list for 2013, the top number of things you want to see accomplished for the year? Do share your thoughts with us, and if you have any tips or insights for your fellow CEOs and CMOs, pen that down to us as well. You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Julia Koh is the Executive Director of Brand 360 Degree Sdn Bhd and thinks relooking at what business your brand is in, like jetBlue, can reap massive rewards.