I have nothing against "customer-centricity" if it means providing goods and services that customers need or desire, and ensuring an excellent experience before, during and after purchase (or similar).
But shouldn't businesses be doing this as a matter of course?
Didn't we move on, in the last century, from a production-led world through a sales-led world to a marketing-led world?
Why do companies have to boast about "customer-focus", "true customer-centricity", or "looking through a lens of customer-centricity"?
Possibly the worst cliche of the lot is the one about "we put the customer at the heart of our business." Apart from having an aversion to customer/consumer in the singular (if there is just one, it's easily understood and controlled), I find this yet another example of the arrogance of brands - or I should say, the people behind them.
The whole phrase suggests a glorified game of piggy-in-the-middle, with the (single) hapless customer pushed into the centre of an organisation by an omnipotent brand, then held there trapped while balls fly over their head. The reality is that no organisation can "put" any customer anywhere - they will come of their own accord if you get your marketing right. And then move onto the next thing that takes their fancy.
I mentioned the 2019 Workforce Purpose Index from Imperative last time:
People are more likely to report being fulfilled when they perceive that leadership makes employees a higher priority than customers.
This makes so much sense. With your employees, you stand a good chance of:
Reaching them in the first place.
Knowing and understanding them - at least in certain aspects of their lives.
Building a relationship with them.
And with employees who are not just engaged and satisfied, but fulfilled too, you stand a far better chance of fulfilling your many individual customers' needs and desires, too.