New ways are needed to achieve an edge and to stand one step ahead of others (Keller 2003).
In the phase of increasing competition, many corporate mission statements set customers as the focus of an organisation's business activities, and key thinkers have defined the quality of goods and services with reference to how well they satisfy needs and expectations of the customer base (Johnson et al 2005). At the other end, some companies are paying performance premiums. According to Aaker & Keller (1990) delivering superior value to carefully targeted customers seems to be the generally accepted path to sustained profitability (Keller 2003).
In the light of the above, this essay essay is an attempt to clarify how developing a customer orientation affects the profitability of firms by referring to the fundamental elements of a customer driven marketing strategy: segmentation, targeting and positioning. It also presents a comprehensive understanding of the customer and the customer value imperative by using relevant examples.
As competition grows bigger, more and more organisations try to maximize customer value in order to achieve their full potential and get a competitive edge. There are several reasons for this awakening and change in perception (Porter 1990). Realizing the role of 'customers' and 'customers' equity, companies strive at satisfying their customers through the creation of brand equity (Aaker 1990).
Customers are important stakeholders of a company. According to Sacconi, (2004), customers need quality products and services as well as increased customer value and customer satisfaction (Sacconi 2004). A customer is one who buys and uses goods and services. They are individuals who are affected by or who affect the product and service supplied, and bear the value and cost of a company's activities (Sacconi 2004). In most companies, customers are seen as the most important assets. For example, Berry & Parasuraman (1991) argue that, It is easier - and much cheaper - to keep existing customers than to get new ones. To Berry et al. (1990), the benefit from achieving satisfied and loyal customers stems from the fact that, the willingness for future repurchases will be much higher for satisfied and loyal customers than for dissatisfied and indifferent ones. Despite this awareness concerning the importance of customer satisfaction, it is beyond the ability of many of today's companies to maintain satisfied customers (Aaker 1989).
To fully understand the meaning of 'customer value' and customers value creation, Aaker (1990) argues that this should be approached from the customer's perspective. Today, most companies have realized the importance of satisfied custome