Top Posts of 2023 on Customer Centricity

Here at C3Centricity, we publish books (Winning Customer Centricity), articles and training on customer centricity, because we’re passionate about helping companies to successfully adopt a customer-first strategy.

Since we founded C3Centricity in early 2011, one of our traditions has been to share the most popular posts on customer experience at the beginning of each new year. 

This past year has been particularly successful for C3Centricity, with many of our newest posts getting the top scores globally! This is quite tough for a blog that has been running for almost 13 years and highlights the quality of the content we share with you each month.

Of course, there are also a few perennials that have been appearing in our top 10 list for years, like insight development and customer observation. Since no brand is successful without a foundational insight, and customer understanding is its major essential element, these two will always be popular – they also are on Google’s first page, which certainly helps and confirms the quality of their content.

So let’s have a look at the Top 10 list in 2023, and see if your own favourites are there. If not, then please let us know in the comments. Thanks.  

#1. Five Brilliant Ideas to Boost Your Insight Development

Boost your insight developmentThis post regularly appears in the top three posts on C3Centricity. This shows the quality of its recommendations and content. And the importance of business insights. 

Ever wondered why you struggle to develop actionable insights? This post shares some of the main reasons why even large companies sometimes fail at this essential art. Then, it offers some suggested solutions to help you.

Insights are the foundation on which every single successful brand is built. If your brands are lacking strong positive growth, they are probably missing that insight that will make them powerhouses.

So it is vital that you learn how to develop them and then how to action them in your communications and innovation. Again, if you struggle to action your insights, you’re most certainly missing one of the steps covered in this post.

To stimulate your thinking, the article includes many real-world examples of how great insights can be turned into powerful ad campaigns that connect with customers and motivate them to buy.

If you’re ready to finally learn how to develop actionable business insights, check out our online course on the topic HERE.

#2. Five Rules of Customer Observation for Greater Success

Measure your company image

This post has also been among the top articles on C3Centricity for many years. It is a cornerstone post that is regularly updated to remain highly relevant in today’s marketplace.

Its popularity clearly shows the need we all have to understand how to get up close and personal with our customers – the right way.

The five rules it includes are easy to follow and will make every occasion to watch and listen to your customers so much more interesting and valuable.

And if you want to learn how to watch

Click to continue reading

The Power of Creativity: How to Foster Innovation in Your Organization

How important is innovation in your organisation? You’re missing out on revenue and growth if it is not one of your top three objectives!

Innovation isn’t just a buzzword; it’s a critical component of success. Companies that embrace innovation consistently outperform their competitors, adapt to changing market conditions, and create sustainable growth.

To truly ignite innovation, organizations must foster a culture of creativity and continuous improvement. In this blog post, we’ll explore the importance of this culture and provide insights, statistics, and real-world examples to help you cultivate it within your own company.

 

The Imperative of Innovation in Your Organisation

Innovation is not an option but a necessity. Customers rarely stay satisfied for long these days and are constantly looking for something better.

According to a PwC Global Innovation Survey, 80% of CEOs believe innovation is a key driver for business growth. This sentiment is supported by hard numbers: Companies that prioritize innovation are 50% more likely to outperform their peers over a ten-year period, as reported by McKinsey.

But what exactly is innovation? Wikipedia defines it as:

The practical implementation of ideas that results in the introduction of new goods or services or improvement in offering goods or services.

As you can see it has ideation as its foundation, which already gives an indication about nurturing it in organisations.

It is usually accepted that there are three main types of innovation: product innovation, process innovation, and business model innovation. Since I always try to take the customer’s perspective, we will be concentrating on product and, to a lesser extent, service innovation in this article.

So, how can you leverage the power of innovation in your organisation to drive growth, stay competitive, and future-proof your business? The answer lies in creating a culture that values creativity and continuous improvement.

 

Creating a Culture of Creativity

There are three main ways you can encourage more creativity in your business. Or should I say there are three ways to stifle creativity if you don’t follow these three rules?

Encourage Open Communication: Open and free communication is one of the cornerstones of a creative culture. Employees who feel heard and valued are likelier to share their ideas and insights.

In a study conducted by Gallup, organizations with high employee engagement were found to be 21% more profitable and 17% more productive than those with disengaged staff.

Engaged employees outperform their peers because they tend to be more innovative, and efficient, and have higher customer retention rates. This illustrates that a culture of creativity isn’t just about generating ideas; it’s about harnessing the collective intelligence of your workforce.

Example: Google is a great example of a company that has understood and embraced this concept. Their famous “20% time” policy, where employees are encouraged to spend 20% of their work hours on projects of their choosing, has led to innovations like Gmail and Google News.

Embrace Diversity: Diverse teams are more likely to generate innovative ideas. We all know that men and women … Click to continue reading

Never Give Up! How to Succeed in Business When Everyone Else is Failing

I was recently reminded of a famous and inspiring quote from Winston Churchill’s address to Harrow School in the UK back in 1941. It was certainly one of his shortest speeches, but probably also one of his most quoted. He said:

“Never give in, never, never, never, never”

You can read his full speech – which is not much longer! – here.

Hearing this quote got me thinking about failure. Failure in our lives, our businesses, our jobs, our relationships. And more importantly, about how we often fail merely because we give up too quickly. Unfortunately we’ll never know, but we can do something to avoid failure. In fact we can do a lot!

Now whereas I believe that advising you on your private life is best left to my other platform https://finding-your-happy.com, I do feel sufficiently knowledgeable to speak about your business failures here.

I recently wrote about the 7 reasons most companies fail to adopt a customer first strategy. They were the conclusion to a post on what a customer first strategy is, and what it isn’t. If you missed it, then click the link above to read the full article. And if you want to learn more about how to adopt a customer-first strategy, then I’m sure you’ll be interested in checking out my new course on Udemy called “A Customer-First Strategy for Accelerating Brand Growth.” It is a success roadmap for putting your customers at the heart of your business for faster growth & profitability.

Over the many years of blog posting, I’ve written many posts on numerous topics, including my solutions to failing in countless areas of marketing. I therefore thought it would be useful to share four summaries of the most important articles related to failure in business and innovation in a single post. Let me know what you think.

 

 

How you React to Failure could Make You a Success

For this first summary of a post, I’d like to share not a list of solutions but a selection of inspiring quotes on reacting to failure. I think it sets the stage beautifully for the three other summaries to come.

In the full post (which you can read by clicking the above link) you can also find suggested actions for each of them. They will make you realise that there is great opportunity in every failure! So don’t be afraid to fail. Just don’t miss the chance of learning a valuable lesson!

1. “It’s fine to celebrate success but it is more important to heed the lessons of failure” Bill Gates, American Businessman

2. “Failure is not fatal, but failure to change might be” John Wooden, American Coach

3. “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail” Benjamin Franklin, American Politician

4. “Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently” Henry Ford, American Businessman

[bctt tweet=”4. “Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently” Henry Ford, American Businessman #Quote #Success #Failure … Click to continue reading

How to Succeed in Leadership, Marketing, Innovation and Insight

Although I love quotes, especially about how to succeed, I love success even more. Do you?

One of my favourite quotes on the topic of success comes from Winston Churchill during his address to the Harrow School (UK) during WWII in 1941. It was one of his shortest speeches but probably one of his most quoted. He said:

“Never give in, never, never, never, never”

If you are interested, you can read his full speech – which is not a lot longer! – here.

 

Hearing this quote again recently, got me thinking about failure. Failure in our lives, our businesses, our jobs, our relationships. And you must admit that we are just at the beginning of the impact of covid on the world and I know we need to prepare for a lot of failures in the coming months and years. But I ask myself how often we fail merely because we give up too quickly?

Another of my favourite quotes on success and failure comes from Napolean Hill:

“Most great people have achieved their greatest success just one step beyond their greatest failure.” 

Now whereas I do advise people today on how to find more happiness in their lives (See my new website on intuitive coaching at Finding-Your-Happy.com), I want to address here the many current and possibly future failures in business.

Another recent post of mine concentrated on why companies fail in their adoption of a customer-first strategy. You can read it here: 7 reasons most companies fail to adopt a customer first strategy. This was a follow up to another popular post on what a customer-first strategy is, and what it isn’t. If you missed it, then you can read it here: “What Customer First Strategies Really Are (And What They’re Not!)”

Over almost a decade of blog posting, I have written many other articles which include my solutions to failing in countless areas of marketing. I, therefore, thought it would be useful to share four of the most popular ones here in a single post (Links to original full-length posts in titles). Let me know what you think.

 

How you React to Failure Could Make You a Success

For this first summary of a post, I’d like to share not a list of solutions but a selection of inspiring quotes on reacting to failure. I think it sets the stage beautifully for the other articles to come.

In the full post (which you can read by clicking the above link) you can also find suggested actions for each of them. They will make you realise that there are great opportunities in every failure! So don’t be afraid to fail. Just never give up!

1. “It’s fine to celebrate success but it is more important to heed the lessons of failure” Bill Gates, American Businessman

2. “Failure is not fatal, but failure to change might be” John Wooden, American Coach

[easy-tweet tweet=”“Failure is not fatal, but failure to change might be” John Wooden, … Click to continue reading

How to Innovate Successfully (What You’re Still Getting Wrong!)

I’ve written a number of posts on innovation and yet I still get client requests to further help them innovate successfully!

One of the favourite articles here on C3Centricity about the topic is “Improving Ideation, Insight & Innovation: How to Prevent Further Costly Failures.” 

Despite all the great ideas and tips it includes, I believe there is still more I can share. That’s why I am adding to last week’s post on marketing in general, with a post specifically about improving your innovation. In particular, I wanted to help those of you who may be unable to complete all the “best-practice” actions I recommend, through a lack of resources, be it time, money or people.

Not every organisation has access to large market research or marketing departments and extensive budgets. In fact, in many companies these roles are being handled by one and the same person with very few resources; is that your case? If so then you will definitely find this post of interest. But even if you’re one of the luckier ones with a good size team and plentiful budget, I’m sure you will still find value from the ideas shared.

Let’s start by taking a look at some of the reasons why new products fail. And then we’ll identify some creative ways to completely eliminate them from your next launch. Sounds good? Then read on.

Why your innovations fail

Did you know that the proportion of product launches which fail every year is generally “guesstimated” to be somewhere between 74% and 95%?

Why CEOs accept such abysmal levels and accept their organisations’ continued use of the same old innovation process is beyond me!

Book on innovating successfully

In this article in HBR, Saul Kaplan, author of “The Business Model Innovation Factory” shared five important reasons that explain why companies fail at business model innovation:

  1. CEOs don’t really want a new business model.
  2. Product is king. Nothing else matters.
  3. Cannibalization is off the table.
  4. ROI hurdles are too aggressive for fledgeling models.
  5. Rogues and renegades get no respect.

I find these five reasons spot-on. They are all based on fear of getting outside the organisation’s comfort zone. If you can identify yourself with even one of these, it might explain why your innovations are not as successful as you would like them to be.

Successful innovation involves change, and human beings don’t like being out of their comfort zone. It may involve challenging accepted ideas and ways of working too. No wonder so many innovations fail.

And with such odds, I think it is incredibly courageous to start a whole company based around just one new product idea, but that seems to be the norm for startups in many areas today.

Taking the organisational reasons mentioned above, I’d like to detail ten more ideas I have found in my work with clients as to why innovations fail:

#1 The process itself: Innovation is by definition a creative process, but many organisations use a well-worn, restrictive and uncreative process to develop … Click to continue reading

A Customer-First Approach to Successful Innovation (and 3 Secrets Shared)

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Whether you believe that 60% of new product launches fail, or the number is 80% or 95%+, the truth is that successful innovation is rare. Why is this? Read on for my own ideas of the reasons and propositions for some simple solutions.

Last year I wrote a highly popular post on “Improving Ideation, Insight & Innovation: How to Prevent Further Costly Failures.” In it, I spoke about the importance of starting the innovation process with customers. I also mentioned that it should be a virtuous circle rather than the funnel that most organisations still use today. 

This time, I want to examine the role of the customer in successful innovation. And why they should actually have a prominent position throughout the process.

 

Start with the Category rather than (just) the Customer

Every customer-centric organisation should start their processes with a review of the customers they are looking to please. But to do this, the first step to both insight development and successful innovation is to identify the category in which you are, or want to compete. Especially when looking to innovate, it is vital to identify what business you are in.

Now you probably can immediately answer that question but would you be right?

A recent client of mine was looking to launch a juice flavoured soft drink. They naturally (?) thought they would be in competition to juices. When we dug deeper, using our “Home or Away™” decision tool, we found they were actually competing with energy drinks for athletes!

Another practice I use is to zoom in or out when looking at a category, in order to identify new opportunities. Today’s technological world is forcing many organisations to take another look at their complete business models – whether they like it or not!

  • Telecoms have become geolocalization data providers to other industries.
  • Pharmaceuticals are being forced (?) to move from treating illness to maintaining wellness.
  • Food companies are moving into nutraceuticals, concentrating the health benefits of certain foods. (have they really only recently understood that our health comes primarily from the food we eat?!)
  • Tobacco companies are reinventing personal pleasure systems with e-cigarettes and other tobacco replacement products. In fact, André Calantzopoulos, Philip Morris International’s CEO recently predicted a “phase-out period” for cigarettes.
  • Alcohol providers are turning more and more to lower and non-alcoholic drinks trying to keep up with the interest in wellness. They have understood that whereas drinking is a social behaviour, most people no longer include getting drunk with that sociability.

From these examples, it is clear that most companies could benefit from a re-evaluation of their assumed category, to see whether it has or will change in the near or longer-term future.

Once the category is defined, it becomes much easier to identify the correct customer segment to target. Of course, you still need to get to Click to continue reading

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