Brand Marketing: From Customer-Centric to Customer-Driven



Martin Roll
01/21/2009

One of the business ideologies that has gained the maximum currency in the recent past is the customer-centric business operations. With the immense power bestowed upon customers by the Internet, companies were forced to sit up and think about their business models. Organizations began to modify their businesses from company-centric models to customer-centric models, where customers were the focal points in all matters. Customers enjoyed the power of information and speed.

But today, customer-centricism has been taken to a new different level—customer-driven models. In this new scenario, companies explicitly solicit customers' opinions and ideas to further enhance the products and services. The simple objective is to bring the brand closer to customers and in line with their needs and wants.

A case in point is Procter & Gamble's Vocalpoint. Vocalpoint is a new initiative to enhance the Procter & Gamble brand with influential moms. The interactive Web site allows mothers to register and offer opinions on Procter & Gamble's products in exchange for special discounts, coupons, inside information about new products and samples of products in pipeline. This way, Procter & Gamble ensures that its customers are involved in the product development process from an early stage.

This initiative not only helps Procter & Gamble to constantly feel the pulse on the market in the specific segments but also facilitates an emotional bonding between the customers and the brand. The result is a very focused and cost-efficient approach to research and development that helps Procter & Gamble to drive brand innovation across new boundaries.

Adapted from VentureRepublic.com.