Pierre Woreczek – the former chief strategy, customer and digital officer at McDonald’s – has joined B&Q-owner Kingfisher in the newly created role of chief customer officer.
Woreczek left McDonald’s after a decade long stint around two months ago, The Drum understands, and will take up the board level position with Kingfisher on 1 March.
Leaning on his experience of brand, marketing, digital and data gathered from his time at the fast food chain Woreczek will help Kingfisher design the customer experience both online and in-store, and integrate customers’ knowledge and insight into the whole customer journey under its ‘One’ Kingfisher plan.
“This is a great opportunity to join a business at a really interesting stage in its development,” said Woreczek. “I look forward to working with all the teams to continue Kingfisher’s journey to create good homes by making home improvement accessible to everyone.”
The rhetoric around “customer centricity” has gathered pace of late with the rising adoption of the title ‘chief customer officer’. The likes of Notonthehighstreet.com, John Lewis, British Airways and Tesco – all with expanding digital offerings – have introduced the role to their organisations to ensure the creation of a seamless customer journey, from marketing through to transaction.
Woreczek recently spoke of the importance of making these changes but said it needs to lead to brands building advocacy by standing for something more than simply what they sell.
“We should be, more than ever, a customer-centric organisation. But I ask – what was it before?” he said at an event earlier this month.
“Being customer centric is not enough. People are judging organisations with more elements in their hands so now I’m talking about winning the advocacy battle. We need to be more focused on advocacy.
“Profit will only happen if people understand the value of a company and can buy into those values,” he said. “Corporate strategy has become more important than brand strategy […] companies are the engine of the brands.”
This philosophy will serve Kingfisher in what is an interesting time in the home improvements sector. Following a buyout last month, ailing Homebase’s new owners Wesfarmers are planning a £242m injection of funds into the brand to position recalibrate its “soft home improvement” offering.
This could potentially encroach on the DIY-heavy standing of Kingfisher’s flagship brand B&Q. Anticipating the increasing competition, the retailer this week (22 February) revealed it would shake-up of its consumer engagement strategy, with a specific focus on its ‘B&Q Club’ loyalty scheme, following the hire of Partners Andrew Aldridge.