There is a wide range of company cultures out there: some are maniacally focused on defining it, protecting it and building it, while for other organizations, culture may creep in and the good and bad ooze out organically. Marketers can't be the only group that cares about being consumer 1st however, every member of your organization directly or indirectly effects the consumer experience. Unfortunately, without a deep seated passion and continual understanding of who your brand ultimately serves, inefficiencies and non-strategic moves can prevail.
Here's a punch list of 10 ways to tell if you're building a consumer centric culture:
1. Associates (at all levels) participate frequently in a wide range of direct & indirect moderated consumer behavior exercises (ethnographies, shop-a-longs, focus groups, etc.)
2. Your Consumer Insights Manager is seen as one of the most valued positions in the company.
3. Meetings regarding business issues start with the question: “How do consumers feel about this?”
4. When focused on key company initiatives, a task force can answer “YES” to the question: “Does this add value to our consumer’s experience?”
5. Product Concepts are evaluated by consumers BEFORE product development begins work.
6. Product Testing & Prototypes are evaluated by consumers along with the competitive set BEFORE entering the market.
7. Consumers input is included in pricing decisions to objectively understand price elasticity and price/value relationship.
8. People within your organization are open minded, curious, and objective when new information that may contradict historical information about consumers is revealed.
9. Every person in the organization knows and can articulate the Target Consumer and their Persona.
10. Every Person in the organization recognizes whether they personally are the target consumer.