Customer-centricity: Fresh perspectives and approaches

Recently, we hosted an inspiring in-person event in Leeds, where senior insight and marketing professionals gathered to delve into the concept of customer-centricity. This event provided a platform for industry leaders to share their diverse perspectives on what customer-centricity means to their organisations and to explore its critical importance in today’s competitive market. In this blog, we distill some of the key messages and profound revelations that emerged from the exchanges between our speakers and the audience. 

The importance of a customer-centric approach

STRAT7 Advisory Managing Director Björn Dufwenberg  brought to life the importance of a customer-centric approach, emphasising that it can be applied to any business, brand, or sector. He stressed that it is key to maintaining relevance, profitability, and growth. 

But why?

Björn went on to explain that a customer-centric approach is advantageous for the following three reasons: 

  1. Clear customer understanding
    It allows your brand or company to clearly define and understand your customers. 
  2. Cultural integration
    By adopting this approach, you can systematise customer-centricity into your internal culture, decision-making processes, and every-day practices. 
  3. Enhanced engagement
    It can be leveraged to better engage with and delight both new and existing customers. 

Another key benefit he highlighted is that this approach provides a much more holistic view of customers, as opposed to the siloed perspectives that often result from isolated projects managed by various stakeholders.  

The bottom line with Björn’s message is – the more you can align your company, people, and practices with a customer-centric approach, the more successful your business will be. We whole-heartedly agree!  

Choosing a customer-centric approach that works for you 

Two insight leaders at Researchbods, Katie Francis and Frances Revel-Cooper, delved into the best ways to implement customer-closeness within an organisation. They debated whether the more successful approach is treating customer closeness as a stand-alone methodology or viewing it as a red-thread across your research programme.  

Katie championed the effectiveness of applying various tried-and-tested methodological approaches to customer closeness. In contrast, Frances advocated for a ground-up perspective, emphasising the importance of breaking away from buying common methodologies and instead tailoring approaches to specific business challenges. 

Despite their differing viewpoints, both agreed on the paramount importance of a customer-centric approach and agree that it can address challenges and questions at every level, from brand and customer, to consumer and category, to the broader culture. 

Considering the challenges with implementation 

At the end of our session, we opened the floor to a broader group of clients and industry specialists and held a series of discussions around the implementation of customer-centric programmes and the challenges often encountered.*   

Unsurprisingly, some of the biggest challenges in implementing a customer-centric programme include: 

  1. Lack of structure and communication
    There can be internal confusion about who is responsible for customer-centric initiatives, with many assuming it is everyone’s responsibility. 
  2. Challenges with internal buy-in
    Securing internal buy-in can be difficult, involving challenges like getting everyone on board, understanding the value, and approving the associated costs. 
  3. Diverse customer needs
    Addressing varied customer needs is challenging – there is no one-size-fits all approach which makes planning and resource allocation tricky.  

One of the key takeaways from this discussion was the recommendation to start your customer-centricity journey by identifying the most influential stakeholders and team members within your organisation and making sure they’re onside with you. These advocates can significantly bolster your initiative. Another crucial point highlighted was the importance of emphasising the long-term nature of this approach when seeking internal buy-in. While it may take some time to see results, the benefits, once realised, are substantial and enduring. You won’t want to turn back!  

Wrapping up

It was great to have many different brands attend this event, engage in thought-provoking discussions, exchange innovative ideas, and explore actionable strategies to enhance their customer-focused approaches. The event underscored the value of placing customers at the heart of business decisions and highlighted the transformative impact of a truly customer-centric culture. It’s clear that there’s still work to do across every industry to truly understand customers.  

We will be hosting more events like this in the future. If you’re interested to attend or to chat to our team in more detail on how Researchbods can help with customer-centricity and beyond, please contact us here. 

*Client and industry specialists participated: 

  • Mat Watson, Head of Market Research at ITV 
  • Steve Grimwade, Strategy Insight and CX Manager at Yorkshire Building Society 
  • Sam Riley, Senior Manager, Customer Insight at ASDA 
  • STRAT7 Advisory Managing Director Björn Dufwenberg at STRAT7 Advisory 
  • Frances Revel-Cooper, Head of Custom Insight at Researchbods


Ariana Richter

Business Consultant

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