The Outside-In Corporation: How to Build a Customer-centric Organization fro Breakthrough Results

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9780071459310: The Outside-In Corporation: How to Build a Customer-centric Organization fro Breakthrough Results

Drawing on insights from Dell, FedEx and eBay, a leading business innovator shows you how to transform your company, putting customer needs at the center

Business strategies and company-wide initiatives must be based on customer needs, even when little hard customer information is available. The Outside-In Corporation helps you develop “customer pictures” and, through rigorous customer analysis, create unique value propositions. Barbara Bund, recognized as an innovator in both academia and business, outlines techniques for devising and implementing customer-based strategy, pricing, communication, and distribution initiatives that will drive success in the marketplace by building or remaking a business “from the outside in.”

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From the Back Cover:

Strategies to escape outmoded inside-out thinking and make satisfying customer needs the focus of everything you do

Your company's survival and success rely on your ability to sense and satisfy your customers' needs. Nothing else matters. The Outside-In Corporation presents and explores the first detailed process for moving beyond both ignorance and irrelevant research to base your business on your customers' gut-level likes, dislikes, wants, and needs and to implement an organization-wide, customer-focused, outside-in marketplace strategy.

Whatever your industry or competitive standing within that industry, The Outside-In Corporation will change how you view your customers--and more important, how they view you--by providing you with a step-by-step approach to:

  • Get past the real-world challenge that there's never as much available information about customers as you want and need
  • Design an outside-in strategy with a good customer-based reason for every marketplace action
  • Communicate that strategy effectively, making employees at every level a part of your new outside-in orientation
  • Adapt your outside-in strategy over time as customers and marketplaces change

Delighting your customers is the surest route to success. But how can you understand customers well enough and then focus all your efforts on accomplishing that goal? The Outside-In Corporation will give you the knowledge and tools you need to rebuild your strategic thinking and approach around the needs of your customers--the only needs that in the long run, really matter.

"'Outside-in' is a powerful idea."
--Jack Welch

Unfortunately, "inside-out" thinking is the norm in the business world. Decision makers gather around conference tables, scrutinize each aspect of their organizations, and base their strategies on conclusions derived from that internal perspective.

The problem is, your customers couldn't care less about your company's internal operations. Their concerns are more personal: How can your product or service help me address my concerns and meet my needs? And the majority of companies have not yet discovered a viable approach for truly understanding and addressing these gut-level concerns.

The Outside-In Corporation presents a commonsense yet revolutionary approach for making sure that all your strategies and actions are designed and implemented from the perspective of your customers. Acclaimed international consultant and MIT senior lecturer Barbara Bund draws on her decades of experience working with hundreds of global organizations, from little-known start-ups to household-name juggernauts, to explore:

  • Directed approaches for using outside-in thinking to address the four key marketing areas--product, price, communication, and distribution
  • Examples of outside-in strategies at leading corporations from IBM and Dell to Procter & Gamble, FedEx, and eBay
  • Insights from customer-based business innovators, including Peter Drucker, Jack Welch, Michael Dell, Kenichi Ohmae, and numerous others

Chapter by chapter, The Outside-In Corporation unveils a commonsense program for developing accurate customer pictures and, through rigorous analysis and application, using those pictures to create compelling value propositions for current and potential customers. It shows you how to improve your strategy design, better communicate that strategy to others, and hone your ability to adapt when circumstances change.

In short, you substantially increase your chances of success in the marketplace by improving your understanding of your customers and basing your strategy firmly on that understanding.

Outside-in is not easy. It requires a wide-ranging examination of virtually every attitude and assumption you have ever had about marketing and a renewed commitment to constantly learning new aspects of your customers' lives. But if you take the concept seriously, and commit the necessary time and effort to requiring an explicit customer reason for everything you do in the marketplace, The Outside-In Corporation will give you the tools you need to make your organization more intuitively responsive--and bottomline successful--in every customer interaction.

About the Author:

Barbara Bund, Ph.D., is a senior lecturer at MIT Sloan School of Management. Credited by Philip Kotler with popularizing the term relationship marketing, Bund has also taught at Harvard and is the author of Winning and Keeping Industrial Customers as well as other books and articles.

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