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Purpose: Customer-obsessed organizations put customers first, create exceptional value, and enhance business performance. This article offers a framework for implementing the customer obsession construct. Design/methodology/approach: Using relevant customer value literature, syndicated research, and a qualitative analysis, customer obsession insights are offered. Findings: Customer-obsessed companies know their customers’ needs and engage with them to offer the best solutions. Four customer-centric stages are evaluated and applications of customer obsession in the Now Economy are discussed. Originality: Customer obsession is a strategic mindset built upon strong leadership, a sound business culture, and superior value. While critical to business success, there has been limited scholarly work in this area. This article fills that gap by providing a managerial approach for understanding this key business priority. Research limitations/implications: This analysis of customer obsession is largely conceptual and presents a case study in one metropolitan statistical area. While the findings are insightful, it may not be representative of the U.S. or global healthcare market. Practical implications: Strategic implications relate to a bias for action, types of business obsessions, values alignment, and benchmarking. The article features an in-depth case study on Baptist Health South Florida which assesses customer obsession using a customer value framework. Keywords: Customer Centricity, Customer Obsession, Customer Value, Now Economy, Strategic Business Orientations, Baptist Health South Florida
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Customer obsession the springboard for
a value creation strategy
Art T. Weinstein
Marketing strategy is all about the customer. Value-creating organizations
demonstrate that they truly appreciate their customers’ business. At stellar
companies, marketing teams are obsessed about their customers and continually
strategize about how to improve the service experience. They are masterful at creating and
delivering value to their highly satisfied, loyal client base.
The customer-first message has spread to the workforce. According to Forrester Research,
a customer-obsessed enterprise may be defined as, “one that focuses its strategy,
operations, and budget to enhance its knowledge of and engagement with customers”
(Leaver et al.,2017). Customer-obsessed companies “fare better on key business metrics
than their less obsessed peers” (Eardley, 2018).
This article is about customer obsession and is structured into four major sections:
customer-centric models and research insights, how to compete in the Now Economy,
business strategy implications and a case study on a leading health-care provider.
Customer-centric models and research insights
“We must be more customer-focused, we need to create new market opportunities.” This
management mantra or a variant of this theme, while sound, too often is just lip service
rather than a major investment to improve all facets of the business. As shown in Figure 1,a
true customer-obsessed mindset changes the business culture to create and maximize
customer value which in turn leads to increased business performance.
Marriott International, the largest hotel chain in the world, offers dozens of hotel and lodging
brands. As part of their customer obsession strategy, the company continually revisits and
adjusts its product line. Recently, Marriott introduced the trendy Moxy concept to appeal to
millennials and Generation Z consumers. Moxy was designed to compete effectively
against Airbnb and other youth-oriented micro-hotels. Moxy hotels are a boutique brand
designed to be affordable, playful and stylish and give guests exactly what they want.
Rooms are small and cozy (200 square feet or less), functionally efficient with foldable
furniture and accessories and smart-wired for tech-savvy consumers. The emphasis is
placed on common areas, workspaces, digital technologies, bars and grab and go snacks
and beverages. Moxy hotels are also pet-friendly (Sampson, 2019).
According to the 2017 Global Customer Experience Benchmarking Report by Dimension
Data, 81% of companies stated that customer experience is their top competitive
differentiator. Yet, only 13% said that their company’s level of service was excellent. Also
surprising was that more than 30% of organizations do not have anyone in charge of the
design and delivery of the customer experience (Wildt, 2017).
Art T. Weinstein is based at
the Department of
Marketing, Nova
Southeastern University,
Fort Lauderdale, Florida,
The author thanks Abby
Rappaport for background
research on Baptist Health
South Florida.
DOI 10.1108/JBS-06-2022-0112 ©Emerald Publishing Limited, ISSN 0275-6668 jJOURNAL OF BUSINESS STRATEGY j
Based on a study of 1,024 top executives from the USA, the UK and Germany, Forrester
Research identified four levels of customer-centricity. These include companies that are:
customer-committed; and
About two-thirds of the firms are customer naı
¨ve or customer- aware only 13% were
customer-obsessed and 23% were customer-committed. Therefore, we believe a majority of
businesses should restructure to implement customer-obsessed operations. Organizations
need to build a culture to mobilize around customers, high performing teams, developing
technologies, processes and metrics. Forrester adds that customer-obsessed
organizations such as Coca-Cola, HSN (Home Shopping Network) and the Lego Group
follow four guiding principles. They are customer-led, insights driven, fast and connected
(RainKing Blog, 2017). Customer-obsessed marketers have an empathy mindset and
prioritize lifetime engagement. Table 1 reviews the four stages of customer-centricity and its
impact on value providers, customer relationships and business performance.
While under-performing firms may survive in the short term, they may not last long-term
unless they change their ways and become truly value-creating for customers. Two global
billion-dollar companies clearly illustrate this point. A transaction-based company learned
that customers with the best experiences spend 140% more than those with the poorest
experiences. The second firm was subscription-based; they found that customers with the
best experiences had a 74% likelihood of renewing for another year versus 43% of those
with the worst experiences. Those users with the highest customer experience scores were
Figure 1 Customer-obsessed mindset
Customer -
Culture Deliver
Table 1 Customer obsession ndings
Customer-centricity maturity stage % of companies % of happy employees
% of stronger customer
% of better revenue
3. Customer-obsessed 13 93 95 42
2. Customer-committed 23 85 83 31
1. Customer-aware 41 57 65 23
0. Customer-naı
¨ve 23 20 46 18
Adapted from Ramos (2018), empathy: the hallmark of the customer-obsessed B2B marketer,, February 21,
LinkedIn SlideShare;
defined as “our revenues grew 10% or more during our last fiscal year”
likely to remain members for six more years (Demere, 2017). Eighty-six percent of marketing
leaders compete on customer experience and are 2.7 times more likely than
underperformers to focus on such initiatives (Verleye, 2014).
Companies have different degrees of marketing savvy and commitment to customer obsession.
A five-stage continuum from production-driven to market-driving exists (see Figure 2).
While market-driven strategy is a great way to stay on top of current customer needs
(emphasis on existing business practices including what is observed and what is articulated),
often companies must go beyond the established market and create new market
opportunities. Perhaps a small accounting firm specializing in audit and tax services for
businesses expands into financial planning or management consulting. Market-driving
companies go beyond accepting given market structures and behaviors. Rather than working
in the status quo (existing customer preferences and direct competitive sets), truly innovative
firms try to shape or change markets by eliminating, adding or modifying the players in a
market and their functions (Jaworski et al.,2000). As an example, Expedia redefined the travel
agent paradigm and nullified the need for travel retailers. Customer-obsessed companies
such as Airbnb, Amazon, Apple, FedEx, IKEA, JetBlue Airways, Netflix, Starbucks, Uber and
Virgin Group rewrite industry rules and compete in new market arenas.
Amazon and Apple are obsessed about their customers, which has led to market
dominance. Amazon’s powerful and successful vision is to be the world’s most customer-
centric company. All business decisions are based on an obsessive, compulsive focus on
the customer rather than what competitors do. As the trailblazer and dominant online
retailer, they revolutionized the book buying experience. Digital purchases are the preferred
marketing channel for readers and Amazon continues to innovate with their Kindle
electronic book reader and smart speaker (Alexa). Today, Amazon sells online just about
anything one might want, including beauty products, clothing, electronics, groceries, home
services, pet supplies, smart technology and videos.
In the past two decades, Apple, Inc. (they dropped the Computer from their name)
dramatically altered the landscape of personal entertainment and communication devices
worldwide. Their innovative, cool, customer-friendly “must-have” products struck a
responsive chord in the marketplace. Apple’s cutting-edge core products, led by iPhones
and iPads, were ably complemented by the App Store, iTunes and the iCloud for their
adoring customer base. The Apple mystique and devoted customer loyalty helped catapult
their Mac line of computers into double digit market share.
Market-driving companies lead customers from the established to the emerging and even
the imagined, similar to Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs’ original vision (circa 1976) of
putting an Apple personal computer on the desk of every man, woman and child. Market
driving companies go beyond traditional target marketing and customer satisfaction to
segment-of-one marketing and customer delight.
Customer obsession in the Now Economy
Customer value leaders use the 5-S model speed, service, selection, sociability and
solutions (Weinstein, 2019). Get the product/service to customers fast immediacy matters.
Figure 2 Market focus
Producon Product Sales Market-Driven Market-Driving
Design and deliver an exceptional service experience (efficient and effective). Offer a
complete mix of product options which exceeds user expectations. Use traditional and
digital media and social networking tools to stay in touch with buyers. And give customers
the best solutions to perceived problems or needs.
In the Now Economy, customers want great products, superb service, solutions to their
problems, good prices, innovative companies, relationships and want it now! The 24/7 Now
Economy is always open. Buyers no longer accept shopping from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily and
noon to 6 p.m. on Sundays. Online shoppers expect their orders to be delivered
immediately, within the next 2 h or overnight (not in five business days). Bricks-and-clicks
business models allow consumers to pick up their purchases at neighborhood stores.
Sub-par customer service is not tolerated. Buyers want to be wowed with interesting
experiences and will not settle for yesterday’s ordinary store visits.
Consumer attention spans are short but their brand expectations are high. They want on-
demand convenience and memorable experiences. A survey of North American C-level
executives revealed that 84% of their customers wanted individualized experiences, which
can lead to an additional 18% in annual revenues. Facilitating technologies will be led by
the cloud, connected intelligence, 5 G mobile networks and the Internet of things.
Worldwide spending on communications will double by 2025 with the majority of this
investment in Now Economy products and services (Oracle Communications, 2016).
New types of businesses can be easily spawned in the Now Economy. Tullman prefers the
term “Right Now Economy” and states that if businesses are not operating in “right now
time, another company will surpass them with better, faster, cheaper and more attractive
services. “Right now” businesses often require limited capital, use readily available
technologies, build upon existing consumer behaviors and free-ride on established
distribution systems (Tullman, 2015).
The new economy has morphed into the Now Economy. In today’s digital world, customers
demand the 5-S’s. Value creating firms must be able to deliver on all dimensions to succeed
in the marketplace and marketspace. Table 2 assesses how successful companies are by
assessing Now Economy and customer obsession factors. This 4 5 matrix evaluates key
business issues and evaluates how successful firms are at delivering exceptional value.
An ice cream metaphor can be adapted to assess degrees of customer obsession via the
customer obsession Now Economy (CONE) model. According to the International Dairy
Foods Association (2020), ice cream is best when it is served at 10˚ Fahrenheit. If it is too
cold (less than Fahrenheit), it is frozen and will lack taste. On the other hand, when the ice
cream is too soft (11˚ or higher), it may be edible but will start to drip. The melted cone is the
worst case scenario an inedible soupy mess rather than a tasty dessert. The CONE model
identifies four levels of customer obsession frozen, soft, melted and optimal. Only one
choice (optimal) is effective and efficient for business strategy the other three require
strategic redirection.
Table 2 Now economy customer obsession matrix
Now Economy >customer obsession Speed Service Selection Solutions Sociability
Insights driven
Customer value implications
Notes: Rating scale: 1: industry leader; 2: above average; 3: average; 4: below average; challenge:
build on 1’s and 2’s, improve on 3’s and 4’s
Managers are seeking the ideal level of customer obsession to delight their customers. A
marginally acceptable or soft customer strategy may be acceptable in the short term but will
not lead to long-term competitive advantage. While marketers continuously try to design the
latest and greatest products, at times they may be viewed as misguided, irrelevant or even
invasive. An overly complex or frozen customer strategy will generally not satisfy customers.
Walmart’s recent experiment with in-store robots was viewed unfavorably by shoppers and
removed from stores. A failed business model is viewed as inadequate (melted) by the market.
Viewtron, an online newspaper, was a joint venture of Knight-Ridder (publisher of the Miami
Herald and dozens of leading newspapers in major US markets) and AT&T. The product was
discontinued due to technology problems, inflated pricing and limited demand. While sound in
concept, this computerized offering was years ahead of market capabilities.
Food take-out services such as DoorDash, Grubhub and Uber Eats thrived due to the
pandemic. Amazon and online retailers benefited from the global proliferation in online
buying. Building on CONE insights, Table 3 illustrates emphases (ideal, under or over) on
customer obsession using a package delivery application.
Customer obsession business strategy implications
Here are four managerial considerations with respect to implementing strong customer
obsession initiatives.
Bias for action
Speed matters in the Now Economy whether it is getting products to customers quickly or
making good business decisions. Great companies go beyond satisfying customers: they
are able to predict customer needs and wants and practice anticipatory marketing. These
organizations invest in research, get close to the customer, innovate and accept reasonable
business risks. Citrix Systems was a pioneer in the virtual workplace. Their value proposition
was the belief that “people should be able to work and play from anywhere to live better and
work better.” This customer-obsessed philosophy helped them grow from 30 to 10,000
employees and generate $3bn in annual revenues (Templeton, 2018). A customer-
obsessed leadership team can guide proactive organizations by ensuring a bias for action.
Customer or other business obsessions?
While a solid case can be made for customer obsession (consider Amazon), companies
may opt for other business priorities. Apple’s latest foray into premium noise-cancellation
headphones continues their product obsession strategy. A competitive obsession may rule
with fierce historical rivalries (Coca-Cola versus Pepsi). Other possibilities include an
overwhelming focus on business culture (e.g. lean management), the business model
(Uber, Yahoo), technology (Microsoft, Motorola) or emphasizing big ideas such as Elon
Musk’s Tesla and Space X (electric vehicles and going to Mars). While customer obsession
is clearly the sound default position, other management and strategic emphases should be
carefully evaluated.
Table 3 Customer Obsession Now Economy (CONE) offerings
Degree of customer
Customer perceived
Commitment to the
Now Economy
Package delivery
Optimal Desirable Highly satisfied Highly committed 2-h delivery
Soft Marginally acceptable Satisfied Committed 2-day delivery
Melted Failed business model Dissatisfied Not committed 3-or-more day delivery
Frozen Too techie Not satisfied Overly committed In-home or in-garage delivery
Aligning corporate and customer values
A customer-obsessed mindset implies that customer values should be a major part of
overall business philosophies. Woke companies such as Starbucks and Ben and Jerry’s or
faith-based organizations such as Chick-Fil-A incorporate advocacy or ideology in their
business strategy. While this may appeal to a majority of their customer base, it can turn off
many others who just want a great cup of coffee, ice cream cone or chicken sandwich and
do not want to be preached to or have politics added to their order.
Benchmark best practices in customer-centricity
Customer obsession needs to be the starting point for effective marketing strategy. The
telecom industry nicely illustrates this mandate. According to a recent Capgemini report,
“The Disconnected Customer,” 75% of companies believe they are customer-centric while
only 30% of their customers agree. This gap is most notable in the utility industry where the
chasm increases to 78% management perception versus 7% market reality. It is not
surprising that Verizon Wireless has made customer obsession a key business priority by
delivering the promise which begins with the total experience question (TEQ). The TEQ
query is: “so how has your overall experience been with Verizon Wireless?” Sprint, a major
competitor, wants to rethink customer satisfaction by “providing digital sales that match
Amazon, create customer engagement that rivals Candy Crush, and provide digital care at
the same level as Apple” (Capgemini, 2017).
Case study Baptist Health South Florida
The health-care market is fast growing and projected to be the largest employer in the
service economy in the USA as well as other industrialized nations. Key growth sectors
include emerging and low-income countries, specialized services in developed countries
and new technologies e.g. 3 D-printed devices, artificial intelligence, virtual reality,
point-of-care diagnostics and telehealth (Deloitte, 2017).
Many health-care organizations, however, are slow adopters in creating superior value for
customers. Successful health-care organizations such as Baptist Health South Florida have
embraced a customer-centered philosophy that maintains it’s not just about the care
offered, but about the caring offered by service providers (physicians, nurses, technicians,
front-desk personnel and so forth). To adapt more effectively and efficiently to customers,
new types of value providers (value adders) are often needed. While some changes may
seem to be cosmetic, they are often sound strategic responses to the changing business
environment and the need to deliver superior value to customers. To demonstrate their
customer-obsessed approach, Baptist Health has renamed their front desk receptionists as
directors of first impressions.
Walk-in clinics or urgent care facilities are a relative innovation in the industry. Yet some of
these urgent care centers may be semi-urgent at best. They may be closed after 9 p.m. and
on Sundays, their website says to call but no one answers the telephone, they have long
waits for service or are even ill-prepared to assist with basic medical issues because they
are not staffed by experienced nurse-practitioners or physicians.
About Baptist Health South Florida
Baptist Health is an award-winning health-care provider. They serve 1.5 million patients
annually via 11 hospitals, 40 physician offices and more than 100 outpatient and urgent
care facilities. This organization has 24,000 employees and more than 4,000 physicians.
Their workforce is 73% female and 27% male. Reflecting the minority majority in their
primary county (Miami-Dade), employee demographics are 51% Hispanic, 26%
White, 18% African-American, 4% Asian American and 1% other (About Baptist
Health, 2022).
The organization is faith-based and their mission is, “to improve the health and well-being of
individuals, and to promote the sanctity and preservation of life, in the communities they
serve.” Baptist Health is committed to maintaining the highest standards of clinical and
service excellence and is dedicated to providing top quality, cost effective and
compassionate health care. The organization understands the significance of superior
customer value and has ranked among the best hospital systems in the USA.
Baptist Health pioneered urgent care in Miami-Dade and Broward (Greater Fort Lauderdale
area) counties two decades ago and is all about the health-care experience. Patients may call or
e-mail ahead for appointments and have reserved free parking. Amenities include comfortable
waiting rooms with large flat-screen televisions, wireless internet and freshly brewed coffee and
tea. An efficient expert team of highly skilled and compassionate doctors, nurses and
technologists is readily available and full-service imaging services are provided as needed.
How Baptist Health creates value for stakeholders
Baptist Health values transparency, quality and evidence-based decisions when building
collaborative relationships. For example, Leidos is a leader in health-care technology and
has provided Baptist with real-time, military-grade data integration, mobile monitoring and
patient activation suites. Through this collaboration, caregivers have valuable information
and health-care providers are able to monitor their patient’s journey through visits,
diagnosis, treatment and so on. This collaboration allows Baptist Health to unlock the value
of big data in health care (Baptist Health South Florida and Leidos Collaborate to Bring
Real-Time Big Data to Healthcare Delivery, 2017).
In addition, Baptist Health collaborates with communities to support charitable
organizations. These opportunities create value by bringing together individuals and
creating a winning business culture. Baptist Health also works closely with
regulators such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to ensure they are
up to date with worldwide health concerns. Bethesda Hospitals merged with Baptist
Health South Florida in 2018 and through the acquisition realized a significant
increase in revenue. Baptist Health’s collaborations and acquisitions position the
organization to provide more value through expanded service offerings and facilities
(Ellison, 2018).
Baptist Health offers a plethora of services ranging from primary care, diagnostic,
urgent care, telehealth and so on. Although the organization is innovative and market
leading, they are faced with formidable full-line and medical specialist competitors.
Top rivals include Cleveland Clinic Florida, Coral Gables Hospital, Holy Cross Health
Fort Lauderdale and Mount Sinai Medical Center Miami, each with their own
Value stems from business culture to consumers. Brand promises and an
organization’s “personality” directly affect customer value. Business culture also
includes innovation. The innovative culture at Baptist Health adds value to their
customers by providing market leading services such as telehealth and world class
procedures, research and medicine. Another aspect of business culture at Baptist
Health is their service orientation. The employees at Baptist Health help lay the
foundation for the culture of quality and dedication and the organization’s culture has
adopted the phrase, “Baptist Health Family.” As the organization is constantly growing
through acquisitions and expansions, it is crucial to keep a focus on their culture and
convey it through all facilities new and old.
Assessment of customer value for Baptist Health
A customer value framework (CVF) summarizes the salient attributes of customer value
concepts in action. Organizations must deal with a set of macro issues as well as
customer-specific concerns to excel in business. Viewing the four levels of the model
macro-environment, microenvironment (market), organization and customers through
a broad to narrow lens, ultimately impacts the performance of a business unit. The
values of the major players in the model must be carefully scrutinized. From the top
down, the value drivers are society values (level 1); suppliers, partners, competitors and
regulators value (level 2); owners and employees value (level 3); and customers value
(level 4).
A realistic assessment of value creation opportunities throughout the framework is the next
step. Organizations consist of value providers. If the delivered value by employees and
other value providers exceeds the expectations of customers (perceived value), positive net
transaction experiences result. This leads to ongoing satisfaction and increased customer
loyalty and retention. In these cases, organizations are faring well in their moments of truth
(points where value transfer occurs). Isolated favorable transactions evolve into continued,
long-term relationships.
For the most part, the CVF represents a downward flow with each successive level
being a component of the level above (e.g. markets are part of the macroenvironment;
organizations are part of markets). However, the feedback loops evidenced in levels 1,
2 and 3 demonstrate that market intelligence and knowledge are an ongoing, iterative,
interactive and integrated process. If business performance does not meet corporate
objectives, strategic or tactical changes are mandated. The organization (level 3) can
Table 4 Customer Value Framework Summary for Baptist Health South Florida
Level Factor A Factor B Factor C Factor D Factor E Factor F
1. Macro-environment Society Demographics/
Economic Political/Legal Physical Technology
Online platforms
for scheduling,
telehealth, etc.
Diverse patient
Central pricing office
adapts to financial
situations need/
access and
most wired
2. Micro-environment
(market factors)
Collaboration Suppliers Competition Regulators
network (doctors
are members),
World class
supply chain
vendors as
Cleveland Clinic, Holy
Cross, Mount Sinai,
Coral Gables Hospital;
a multitude of indirect
3. Organizational Stakeholders Business
Organizational structure Strategies Value
A patient-
centered health-
care delivery
Traditional hierarchy
services and
4. Customers Service Quality Image Price
Positive patient
procedures and
patient safety
Word-of-mouth, brand
Superior value
31% market
$406m net
3.7 years employee
retention vs 3.2 years
industry average
Strong brand
reputation in
the community
adjust internally via rethinking its overall direction, implementing training and
development initiatives and revising business plans. Often, however, external
adaptations are required due to changes taking place in the macro/global or micro/
market environments.
An in-depth analysis was conducted for Baptist Health South Florida to understand the
organization’s customer obsession and how well it delivers value to its patients and other
stakeholders. A summary of these findings is presented in Table 4.
About Baptist Health (2022), available at:
Baptist Health South Florida and Leidos Collaborate to Bring Real-Time Big Data to Healthcare Delivery
(2017), available at:
Capgemini (2017), “The disconnected customer: what digital customer experience leaders teach us about
reconnecting with customers”, The Digital Transformation Institute, available at: the_disconnected_customer-
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Deloitte (2017), “2017 Global health care sector outlook”, available at:
Demere, N.E. (2017), “There is a correlation between CX and revenue growth and here’s the data to
back it up”,, January 25, available at:
Eardley, M. (2018), “B2B customer centricity: moving from lip-service to full service”, Forrester Research,
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Leaver, S., Moorehead, M. and Pattek, S. (2017), The Operating Model for Customer Obsession,
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Oracle Communications (2016), “Are you ready for the ‘NOW’ economy?”, Oracle White Paper, May,
available at:
RainKing Blog (2017), “Get obsessed: how to win in the market by becoming customer-obsessed”,
June 12, available at:
Ramos, L. (2018), “Empathy: the hallmark of the customer-obsessed B2B marketer”, February 21,
LinkedIn SlideShare, available at:
Sampson, H. (2019), “Why microhotels, or hotels with tiny rooms, are becoming all the rage”, October 16,
Moxy by Marriott, Motto by Hilton lead the microhotel trend The Washington Post.
Templeton, M. (2018), “Citrix systems distinguished lecture at Nova Southeastern University”, Fort
Lauderdale, FL, February 7.
Tullman, H. (2015), “4 Rules of the ‘right now economy,”, November 17, available at:
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Management, Kendall-Hunt, Dubuque, IA, p. 82.
Customer value,
Customer centricity,
Now Economy,
Baptist Health South
Customer obsession,
Strategic business
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Routledge, New York.
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April 27, available at:
Further reading
Hurtibise, R. (2017), “Baptist hospital retakes top hospital ranking from Cleveland Clinic Florida”,
August 8, available at:
Prahalad, C.K. and Ramaswamy, V. (2004), “Co-creation experiences: the next practice in value
creation”, Journal of Interactive Marketing, Vol. 18 No. 3, pp. 5-14.
Corresponding author
Art T. Weinstein can be contacted at:
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ResearchGate has not been able to resolve any citations for this publication.
The purpose of this article is to discuss two approaches to being market oriented—a market-driven approach and a driving-markets approach.Market driven refers to a business orientation that is based on understanding and reacting to the preferences and behaviors of players within a given market structure.Driving markets, on the other hand, implies influencing the structure of the market and/or the behavior(s) of market players in a direction that enhances the competitive position of the business. There are three generic ways of changing the structure of a market: (1) eliminating players in a market (deconstruction approach), (2) building a new or modified set of players in a market (construction approach), and (3) changing the functions performed by players (functional modification approach). Market behavior can be modified directly or, alternatively, indirectly by changing the mind-set of market players (e.g., customers, competitors, and other stakeholders).
Consumers today have more choices of products and services than ever before, but they seem dissatisfied. Firms invest in greater product variety but are less able to differentiate themselves. Growth and value creation have become the dominant themes for managers. In this paper, we explain this paradox. The meaning of value and the process of value creation are rapidly shifting from a product- and firm-centric view to personalized consumer experiences. Informed, networked, empowered, and active consumers are increasingly co-creating value with the firm. The interaction between the firm and the consumer is becoming the locus of value creation and value extraction. As value shifts to experiences, the market is becoming a forum for conversation and interactions between consumers, consumer communities, and firms. It is this dialogue, access, transparency, and understanding of risk-benefits that is central to the next practice in value creation.
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