As organizations move from product-centric to customer-centric, they often discover a missing core competency. They don’t have an executive with clout who acts as the advocate for each target customer audience (customer segment+role). Most companies have product marketing managers who represent the product line and ensure that the brand message, competitive positioning, and customer experience wrapped around that product are appropriate and consistent. But many organizations don’t realize that they also need a “brand manager for customer experience” for each key customer segment they serve.
Retail financial institutions are one exception to this rule. They often have VPs in charge of High Net Worth customers and/or for customers in different life stages and demographics (young adults, middle-class Hispanics, about-to-retire, parents with young children, etc.). Automotive brand managers are a hybrid of a product marketing manager and a customer segment/audience brand manager. Every car brand is designed to appeal to a particular audience. But these are the happy exceptions. Companies in other industries are beginning to realize they need “customer brand managers.”