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, busi- nesses-built products in factories, contracted clinically off-centre skateboard riding, tattoo plas- tered ‘creatives’ employed by quirky ad agencies to market their widgets to a mass of grey bun- dled consumers.

Middle-aged men (whose pants couldn't seem to hold their rear waistline) were dispatched by lo- gistics company to collect the goods at the factory-floor and deliver them to the local retailer. Re- tailers 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 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 just be the subject of it. To be at the centre of the innova- tion, rather than at the end of it.

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