How can your brand become more agile and future facing?

3 min read
Aug 1, 2018 12:00:00 AM

Recently, one of our food and beverage clients asked us a question:

"How can we position ourselves nowadays to be agile and successful whilst putting consumers/shopper at the centre of what we do?”

The truth is we hear this from many of our clients. At the start, I should say that our belief at OxfordSM is that the key to being agile and future facing is to deliver customer centric communications or C3 as we call it.

Simply put - connect with your customer brilliantly from beginning to end of their journey in a way that works for them.

For this client, and for others, here is a quick overview of the simple steps we follow to enable clients to be nimble and prepare for the future:

1. Check perceptions of where you are today

First, we check in on what is happening right now in your business. To aid our client in doing this, we tapped into a proprietary research study that we collaborated on with MediaSense, our data and technology partner. Together, through our C3 partnership, we talked with 80 brand marketers from major multinational brands representing £10bn in ad spend.

By asking a series of questions, we learned about how well each company believes it is doing in delivering C3 communications. Here is a snapshot of the SEVEN characteristics we ask about and the responses from consumer goods and best in class companies (or top 10%).

Seven Characteristic of Customer Centric Communications


2. Define what’s getting in your way

Next, we worked with the client to help them be clear on WHY their organization was or wasn’t well positioned for the future. By using other questions from the research, we looked at five key levers or “Vital Signs” (as we call them) to assess how well (or not well) a team is structured around putting the customer first.

Five levers to diagnose if you are ready to deliver customer centric communications


Once again, we are able to help the client understand where they were versus other consumer good companies and best in class brands.

3. Understand what others do WELL and HOW you might make similar changes

Helping our client truly understand the keys to success was the final piece in answering their question. From the research, we created a summary of WHAT companies who deliver customer centric communications do DIFFERENTLY. Here is what they do which is unique:

  • They have a clear vision for the brand, the relationship it has with its customers and the role communications play
  • Use data responsibly and deliver actionable insights
  • Their leadership team is committed to customers and focused on customer KPIs
  • Always challenge colleagues to work collaboratively across silos that obstruct progress
  • Think creatively about the capability to deliver authentic communications - making clear decisions on what to own, rent or buy
  • Invest in skills needed to earn loyalty and interact with customers personally and seamlessly

In the end, our client had a solid story of where they were today, the keys to being more future focused and agile and some simple, practical ways they could begin the journey to delivering customer centric communications.

If this has piqued your curiosity, we would love to chat with you about your own brand and how well YOU are positioned for the future.

OxfordSM has undertaken a joint initiative with our partners MediaSense, bringing together combined expertise in organisational design, media and technology to support and enable brands to deliver truly customer-centric communications.

Together, we have developed a proprietary diagnostic, the five “Vital Signs” identified as key contributors to customer-centric communication.


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