The Little Known Disadvantages of a Customer-first Strategy

The business world has significantly shifted in recent years, and I, for one, am excited to see so many companies adopting a customer-first strategy.

However, like any strategy, a customer-first approach has pros and cons. Therefore I thought it would be helpful to consider both the advantages and disadvantages of a customer-first plan.

 

Advantages of a Customer-First Strategy

If you regularly read my posts, you will know that I’m passionate about companies adopting and improving their customer-first strategies. There is so much going for it, as I will explain below.

1. Improved Customer Satisfaction

One of the primary advantages of a customer-first strategy is that it leads to improved customer satisfaction. By placing the needs and desires of the customer at the centre of all business decisions, companies can create products and services that better meet their customers’ needs. This can lead to increased customer loyalty and positive word-of-mouth advertising.

As an example of this, think about Amazon, which is well known for its customer-centric approach. They offer a wide range of products, fast and reliable delivery, and excellent customer service. As a result, they have a loyal customer base and a strong brand reputation.

2. Increased Sales

Another advantage of a customer-first strategy is that it can increase sales. When satisfied with a company’s products or services, customers are more likely to make repeat purchases and recommend the company to others.

This then leads to increased revenue and profitability for the company. Research clearly shows that businesses that excel in customer experience grow more than three times faster than those that don’t.

A good example of excellence is Apple. They focus on creating products that are easy to use and meet the needs of their customers. As a result, they have a loyal customer base and have been able to increase sales consistently over time.

3. Improved Brand Reputation

A customer-first strategy can also lead to improved brand image. When a company consistently prioritizes the needs of its customers, it develops the reputation of a customer-focused organization. This can attract new customers, retain existing ones, and draw top talent.

Zappos is a good example of a company that has built its brand around customer service. They offer free shipping and returns, a 365-day return policy, and a dedicated customer service team available 24/7. As a result, they have a strong brand reputation and are known for putting their customers first. Zappos built a loyal customer base and a successful business by prioritising customer satisfaction, which resulted in it being acquired by Amazon in 2009 for $1.2 billion.

4. Better Decision-Making

By placing the customer at the centre of all business decisions, a customer-first strategy can lead to better decision-making. When companies are focused on meeting the needs of their customers, they are more likely to make decisions that align with their customers’ needs and desires. This can lead to better products, more efficient processes, and increased profitability.

Procter & Gamble is well known for focusing on

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How People Recognise Brands: I Can Guarantee It’s Not What You’re Thinking!

How do you think people recognise your brand? Is it by its logo, its colour, its pack, its jingle? Well, you may be surprised to learn these are all only pieces of the puzzle. A brand is a combination of elements, that together make it recognisable. But consistency and compatibility are often the two missing parts that are most often forgotten in building a brand.

Before I get started, I would like to suggest that you read a highly popular post on the topic of brand image here on C3Centricity, if you missed it before. It’s called “What Every Marketer Needs to Know about Brand Image, Equity, Personality & Archetypes” and will give you some great background information.

It covers the topic of brand image metrics in quite some depth, so is a great primer. But I feel that there is so much more to brand recognition that needs to be considered, than the elements that I mentioned in that post.

For example, more and more brands today additionally rely on a face, a voice, an aroma, a unique packaging style, a slogan or a sound that immediately identifies them. And when they do, their brand image gains in depth as well as emotional engagement.

In fact I believe that brands that lack connection with their customers are missing these powerful additions. They rely on mere basics to build their brand’s image, but they are no longer sufficient in today’s online -dare I say virtual? – world.

So here is my very personal perspective on some of the best examples in each of the additional areas I just mentioned. Feel free to add your own in the comments.

FACE

Progressive’s Flo and Dr Rick

Some of the faces which represent brands are of celebrities, while others are of unknown people who become celebrities thanks to the brand’s advertising.

One of the first faces I think of for a brand is Flo from Progressive. She won the hearts of Americans, ever since she was first introduced in 2008, with her helpful but quirky discussions with potential customers.

Flo made insurance less confusing and more friendly through her “girl next door” looks and sparky attitude.

In 2012, an animated box was added to their campaign concepts, to represent the company’s products in what was hoped to be a more fun and young-spirited way. Apparently, the vast number of ads with Flo – over 100 – had resulted in a “love her or hate her” relationship, but the box didn’t have the success of Flo.

About five years ago Progressive finally found the answer to attracting younger adults, coming out in 2017 with the “Group session” ads, one of which you can watch below. These were later morphed into self-help sessions with a group leader called Rick, who comes back in 2021 as Dr Rick (see more below). 

Dr Rick claimed to help the younger adult target group Progressive wanted to attract by claiming to help them from becoming their parents. The … Click to continue reading

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