Brand Strategy Consumer Sentiment Build A Brand

What is customer-centricity and why is it important?

By Margo Waldrop, Content Writer

March 2, 2023 | 6 min read

Customer-centricity is like a Jenga game. Your target audience is the foundation, the bottom few layers. If these layers aren’t solid and thoughtfully built then the tower is likely to fall.

Putting customers first is the foundation of any brand

Putting customers first is the foundation of any brand / Adobe Stock

‘Build it and they will come’, they said. First, who exactly is ‘they’? Second, it looks like ‘they’ were wrong, at least in today’s highly competitive world of consumerism. Traditionally, companies have followed the pattern of developing products, targeting their messages, and going after customers’ wallets. But today’s consumers are savvy and tired of being ‘sold to’. They want to be heard and have their needs met. If their hard-earned dollars are going to be spent then it must be worth their while.

A recent survey showed that 91% of consumers will purchase from brands that offer personalized offers or recommendations. This reinforces the fact that customers just want to have a voice in the products they are offered. Remember, if you are truly trying to incorporate 'audience first' into your marketing and development, your target audience shouldn’t be a target at all. Instead, let them be the foundation from which your product development and messaging will be built.

What is customer-centricity?

The phrase, “The customer is always right” was never meant to be taken literally, however in the case of customer-centric marketing it does ring true. The reason being that product development and marketing are shifting into understanding the actual needs and wants of consumers and not what brands ‘think’ the consumer wants.

It’s similar to your aunt gifting you an ugly, too small sweater every Christmas. She is getting you what she thinks you want, when that isn’t what you want at all. For dear auntie to remedy this she can take the time to not only ask what you would like, but also observe what you already wear, the activities you take part in, and how you live your life.

Customer-centricity, also called audience-centricity, puts the customer first and uses data to help develop or improve products and craft intuitive messaging. It is Auntie 2.0., new and improved with much better presents.

Brands must reach past just surveys and focus groups and actually communiate with potential customers. Genuinely understanding your audience is the driver.

  • Find out what they want
  • Why they want it
  • How they want to use it
  • How they want to get it

Then and only then can your marketing strategy follow suit.

Why is customer-centricity so important?

When eating at restaurants, the waiters don’t bring out the same food and drink to everyone. They ask what you want and how do you need it cooked. They are serving you at a high level because they took time to ask what you would like before they brought anything out to you. This is customer-centricity - customer first.

Customers want products that fit so perfectly into their lives they felt created specifically for them. One-size-fits-all no longer applies, consumers want to be heard and valued. This is the goal of customer-centric marketing, to find out how to best serve the customer from the get-go.

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Wrapping up

Customer-centricity is not about lining up products in a neat little row and forcing people to choose. It is about creating a product or even a brand around the actual needs of consumers. Once you take the time to listen and build from there, you will reinforce brand loyalty in the hearts of happy customers everywhere.

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