Jonathan Salem Baskin, author of Bright Lights & Dim Bulbs, describes himself as a Chief Heretic. He started out challenging the idea that customer centricity was a new idea. "Did we build western civilisation by accident? Have we not been listening to our customers?"
Jonathan counsels us against the idea of the crowd running things. It is dumb that companies like Ford and Microsoft listen to customers and utilise that listening answering the customers' wants directly.
Jonathan wants to present us with new ideas for what customer centricity might mean, and explain what we need to do from a design and brand perspective.
Recognise we're all customers:
We're not passive consumers but potentially active purchasers. If you're not selling something to your employees they are less likely to be loyal. If you're not selling to customers they really aren't your customers. If you're not selling you're just talking.
You're in the relationship business:
Relationships are currency. Customers are what you do for a living. You don't have end users, everyone is a customer and the customer is developed through relationships.
Brands are episodes:
Your brand is a network for the relationship to your customer. You have no brand when the network isn't working. The brand is an episodes in these networks. When things occur - you have a brand, when nothing happens you just have a memory or potential.
You company is a narrative:
You company doesn't need to have a grand purpose, it just needs to have a reason. We need to narrate the ongoing experience of the brand.
To sum up - we're on a journey:
Customers > relationship > networks > moments in those networks
Through this journey we tell the story.