From customer centricity to life centricity
Businesses once looked to a product centric approach focused on performance. Then they shifted to a customer-centric strategy, meant to prioritize experience. But now, the dynamics are more complicated. Until companies stop over-simplifying their customers and start accepting that they are ever-changing, multi-dimensional people deeply impacted by unpredictable external forces, they’ll find themselves stuck.
They need to become life-centric.
Life-centric businesses deeply understand the different forces shaping customers' lives and deliver the most relevant solutions for those contexts. Companies that embrace a life-centered approach— one that takes into consideration the humanity of the consumer, their shifting modes and the unpredictable life forces that come into play along the way—are best positioned to thrive in the future.
To move toward life centricity, companies need to do three things:
1. See customers in their full life
Our research shows that as consumers lean into their self-reliance and accept the inevitability of paradoxes, they are breaking every convention. By only focusing on static segmentation models and expecting a straight-line customer journey, companies risk missing out on the deeper insights underpinning behavior—and the ability to drive new value and relationships.
The way forward is to take a holistic, dynamic view of who customers are and what motivates their behaviors—and to treat them as more than just buyers.
2. Solve for shifting scenarios
Life-centric businesses are prepared to adapt so that they are delivering relevant options across their products and services to accommodate the shifting life forces impacting their customers.
Consider where they are in terms of two key factors: time and control. In decision-making, time-based considerations (short-term versus long-term needs, urgent versus unrestricted schedules) can change moment to moment, but always shape the way consumers make choices. Also critical is their appetite for control—sometimes they want something highly specific; other times they value inspiration and new ideas.
Offering options that combine values and priorities in new ways will speak to consumers who are reevaluating what they want and need. Ultimately, businesses need to abandon the idea of one-size-fits-all and focus on flexible options.
3. Simplify for relevance
Amid the pressure of life forces and the chaos of everyday life, what customers ultimately need is simplicity. They are drawn to anything that cuts through the noise and makes their decision-making—and their lives—easier. Businesses that want to stay relevant need to find ways to clear the path for consumers to walk easily.
To do this, companies can look to data, artificial intelligence and expert inputs to help draw connections between their customers’ needs and the external life forces that are influencing them. At the same time, they must simplify from within by being ruthless about prioritization and continuously evolving.
Read the full report to see examples of companies getting life centricity right.
Putting life front and center
Global instability isn’t going away. So as consumers work to navigate it, businesses must embrace a life-centric approach that helps them meet customers’ ever-changing circumstances and priorities. In this way, they will be best positioned to meet the future—no matter what new challenges are around the corner.