Kevin Lane Keller
This chapter explores the customer-brand interface in terms of how brand notions can be infused into customer centricity and customer-related decisions by a firm. Brands and customers are inextricably intertwined, but focusing on one over the other in developing marketing strategy and plans can lead to different insights. In a data-rich world, there is a danger that customer centricity can result in marketers developing a transactional mindset and becoming overly focused on only limited aspects of customer behavior. By also being brand centric, a broader view of customers can be taken that captures other aspects of consumer behavior and how customers can create value for firms in different ways. By blending customer centricity with brand centricity, marketers can make sure they are designing and implementing programs and activities that will drive short-term sales and build long-term brand health. We illustrate the value of brand-driven customer considerations by addressing marketing issues in three key customer-related areas – customer expectations, customer experiences and customer equity – from a brands and branding perspective.