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« Why Companies Should Not Be Customer Centric – Really! | Main | More on Whole Foods »

August 23, 2005


Dale Wolf

Dave, of course, you are right. It takes a village. My only point of emphasis is that the internal stakeholders are already overly represented to the detriment of the customer and the channel partner.

For this reason, I think it is important to place renewed emphasis on the customer part of the equation. We all talk about being customer-centric, but what we mean is exactly what you said: "Let's get as much money from you (the customer) as we can possibly extract."

When I say customer-centric, I take it a step further and look for opportunities where we can provide resources to the customer beyond what we sell to the customer. Be truly concerned about the customer's success, happiness and well-being. If you "love" someone, you go the extra mile to help them.

I wrote, for example on my blog today about how Dell and Delta could improve their well-regarded websites with additional content and functionality that would help the customers be more successful. Added content on a website is a lot cheaper than paying SkyMiles as a means of building some sense of loyalty.

Thanks for your website ... always thought-provoking in ways I don't anticipate.

On another subject, my wife and I were watching TV the other night and she brought up the new GAP Store concept of catering to +34 year olds. Why, she wondered, don't more companies feature products and ads aimed at us "mature folk" ... why are all the ads showing young people who don't have a fraction of the disposable income we +34's have?

I told her about your blog.

To which she said, "if someone like Dave is already telling marketers how to do this, I am even more amazed that it took Gap so long to figure it out."



You wrote, "My only point of emphasis is that the internal stakeholders are already overly represented to the detriment of the customer and the channel partner." I could not agree with greater fervor.

That said, my point is that customers (as well as other stakeholders) benefit when their interests are alighned -- not balanced, but aligned. The term "balance" implies static equality. There are indeed contexts in which management should have a bias toward one stakeholder or another, but this should be done without deleterious effect on the other stakeholders.

Tell your wife that irrationality is not the problem behind companies not paying attention to the 40+ population which now numbers about 132 million to the 86 million adults under 40. If the problem were solvable by logic and reason it would b=have been done in the early 1990s when the 40+ crowd decisively became the "New Customer Majority.'

The problem is an outmoded mindset or worldview. Type "belief follows need" in my search engine to access a series about how people manage their belief systems.

Thanks for your comments.


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