Who Killed the Customer? - Vusi Thembekwayo

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About Who Killed the Customer?

Consider the question: What is a ‘customer.'

Since the dawn of the industrial revolution, businesses-built products in factories. Then, contracted skateboard riding, tattoo plastered ‘creatives' employed by quirky ad agencies to market their widgets to a mass of grey bundled consumers.

Middle-aged workers (whose pants couldn't seem to hold their rear waistline) were dispatched by logistics companies to collect goods at the factory-floor and deliver them to the local retailer.

Retailers ran promotional campaigns off a business model driven by local presence, stock holding, and pricing.

This is the tried & tested formula. The “push” formula.

But that formula is expired. That customer is dead – and we killed her.

In the hazy race for market share and consumer relevance, we gave them choice. We gave them competition. Most importantly, we gave them a voice.

Now, new-era human beings have a deep desire to be a part of the product’s design. To co-conceptualise, co-design, co-create it. To inform the R&D process rather than be the subject of it. To be at the centre of the innovation, rather than at the end of it.

Using traditional demographic profiling tools – age, race, past behaviour – is no longer relevant, because human beings are now behaving outside the lines of demography.

This keynote is aimed at the business that is actively seeking to learn the most foreign of skills to the 20th-century big business: listening.
It is for the leader that wants to learn how to turn information into insight, and that insight into action.

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