We have seen in section B.1 that massive changes, opportunities and risks are coming in the 2020s for entrepreneurs and investors. As a result, the level and intensity of competition in every developed country and in every market sector will increase by orders of magnitude compared to the current situation.
We believe that customer centricity is the key approach to staying relevant, salient and valuable for any and every business throughout the 2020s and beyond. Much of what passes for "competitive advantage" in business today (transaction speed, logistics efficiency, customer relationship management, etc) will be automated away and become hygiene factors. Businesses will require a more fundamental, sustainable and valuable level of competitive differentiation which is impossible to copy. In this section B.2 we examine how customer centricity works in practice and why it represents the way forward for businesses in Latvia and indeed throughout Europe.The customer centricity approach to strategy and management, in short, treats customers, both external and internal, as the most valuable financial, technological and strategic (lifetime value 80 years +) assets of any company, and demands an entirely new approach to win-win maximisation between a business and its customers.
Over time, a highly productive, inspired and innovative, conceptually differentiated corporate culture evolves which even the best artificial intelligence will struggle to replicate. Customer centricity is the key to sustainable business differentiation in the Roaring Twenties.
Most successful businesses in Europe and North America today are "customer- oriented" but definitely not yet customer-centric. In other words, customer-oriented businesses listen to their customers and give their customers the products and services that their customers say they want. This "customer orientation" is no longer enough to remain competitive in the 2020s. Partly this is because this product- market feedback loop can now increasingly be automated (and is therefore becoming a hygiene factor = zero differentiation), but mainly because customers don't really know what they want until you show it to them. As Henry Ford said over a century ago "if I had asked customers what they wanted, they would have said "faster horses""The challenge for business is the 2020s is how to become fundamentally, successfully and sustainably differentiated for the medium to long term. Customer centricity is the answer to that challenge.
Where customer oriented business seek to reinvent their product or service, customer centric businesses seek to reinvent the customer himself: to make the customer himself, herself or itself smarter, faster, healthier, wealthier, stronger. In other words, treating customers as the most strategic assets, investments and liabilities. For these businesses, wonderful customer outcomes are the target metric to radically increase the value of customer assets. Indeed, the quality of customer outcomes, together with the customers themselves, become the critical differentiation factors for the customer- centric business. A new win-win culture takes hold, where value and loyalty to the customer generates value and loyalty from the customer. Customer delight, lifetime value to and from customers and customer success become the new KPIs for customer centric businesses.
We examine the evidence worldwide of where customer centric missions, strategies and cultures both succeed and fail to deliver results, and draw practical learnings and conclusions on what level of customer centricity is achievable and desirable for Latvian entrepreneurs
(A) Show Me The Money: Why is customer centricity the best way forward?
(B) Customer Centricity vs Customer Orientation = Night vs Day – an entirely new approach to corporate strategy, development and planning
(A) B2C & C2B Customer Centric Strategies: Successes, failures and lessons from brands and markets around the world
(B) B2B Customer Centricity: B2B SaaS "Customer Success" methodology sets B2B standard beyond software
(C) Buyers as Customers is one of many segments: the new generation of internal and external customers. Employees as Customers, Investors as Customers, Suppliers as Customers, Sellers as Customers, Competitors as Customers, Planet as Customer
(D) The future of customer centricity: what waves of B2C and B2B and C2C innovation to expect in the coming 3 years. What will absolute cutting-edge customer centricity look like and who will be the key innovators, inventors and inspirers?
(E) Customer centricity in practice:
- (A) KPI, how does success look like
- (B) Segmentation, targeting and positioning
- (C) Promotion, guerilla marketing and demand creation
- (D) Products, services and solutions
- (E) Channels, ecosystems and affiliates
- (F) CX, UX, UI
- (G) Business microeconomic logic, model and system
- (H) Business processes
- (I) ESG and sustainability
- (J) Technology choices
- (K) Investment choices