Semantics, Semantics…

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by: Jennifer Rice

I asked Chris Lawer about the difference between customer-centricity and buyer-centricity. Just semantics? Here's his answer:

I was asked by Jennifer Rice of Brand Mantra, what is the difference between customer-centricity (CC) and buyer-centricity (BC)? Never one to refuse a challenge, here is my late night attempt to answer!! It can be semantics but sometimes we need new language to distinguish new thinking and concepts, So my summary is that BC is the link (hence PATCH) between customer-centric and Support Economy (www.thesupporteconomy) thinking. Basically it argues that businesses, even customer-centric ones, dont serve people as individuals and address the value-gaps we have – time, attention, knowledge, privacy, trust – which are marketer- and commerce-created. The only way to address these forms of intangible value is to step outside of our organisational mindsets and put ourselves totally in the frame of people as individuals. Customer-centricity tries to do this but it is still geared to selling more stuff – done BY the orgn TO the consumer to max the orgs goals, and not looking at things the other way around – which naturally implies an inversion in the marketing process – hence "reverse marketing"

I like this answer since it relates to my last post on acquisition versus attraction. Since words are abbreviations for concepts, new concepts require the use of new or different word choices. Customer-centric, although an improvement over company-centric, still can treat customers as objects to be acquired (see last post). Buyer-centric requires companies to view their brand from the outside-in.

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