Customer Orientation ? Treacy & Wiersema


Every organisation has a certain degree of customer orientation. However the degree to which this exists varies between companies. This degree is based on 'customer values': the ultimate reason why a customer does business with you. Customer values are a combination of customer benefits. All this cannot be an accidental success, but must have a conscious focus: what do we want to mean for which customers.

Making a choice essential for the success of a business. Some statements by gurus:
  • "the most important choice that every company makes is the choice of the customers with which it wishes to do business"
  • "the essence of market segmentation and determining target groups is choosing not to serve certain customers"
  • "no company can succeed nowadays by pleasing every customer in every regard"
The options from which one can choose are:

Product Leadership:
lead the field in everything; the new trends, be first to identify the next big thing. If one opts for this focus, one needs to spend a lot of money on research.

Consequences for structure and culture:
  • knowledge and exploitation of the market;
  • loose, ad hoc structure, constantly adapted;
  • result-oriented management style, success is evaluated;
  • and rewarded, room for experimentation;
  • corporate culture stimulates performance and imagination, nurtures;
  • unexpected ideas and forward thinking.
Consequences for marketing:
  • more trend analysis than market analysis;
  • creativity and ideas in the marketing approach as well;
  • innovation and branding;
  • event-driven launches.
Operational Excellence:
have the entire process described in detail and everyone must abide by it; the process is leading in everything; the customer can therefore make no changes, because those changes could then 'worsen' the process; all this with an unequalled combination of price and quality and ease of purchase.

Consequences for structure and culture:
  • product turnaround time streamlined and optimised;
  • activities standardised, simple, controlled, centrally planned as much as possible;
  • management style aimed at rapid, harmonised transactions;
  • corporate culture: efficiency is rewarded, waste is abhorred.
Consequences for marketing:
  • market research aimed at optimising the range;
  • mass communication;
  • promotion marketing.
Customer Intimacy:
personal service and expertise play an important role in this; the customer comes first.

Consequences for structure and culture:
  • emphasis on core processes (solution development, result management, relationship management);
  • decision-making power with people who are closest to the customer;
  • management system aimed at a carefully selected customer base surrounded with a high level of care;
  • corporate culture: set up for customer-specific instead of general measures and long-term customer relationships.
Consequences for marketing:
  • customer loyalty;
  • customer lifetime value;
  • direct and personal communication;
  • account management;
  • structural binding through personal relationships.
A standard can be applied to each dimension (how do we want to implement that): basic, distinctive or unique.

A superior customer value = experience benefits - experience price, or:
Product leadership or Customer Intimacy – Operational Excellence


Link with Quinn

This model fits into the quadrants of the Quinn model as follows:

More information