Which came first, the Product or the Customer Outcome?

It is along towards ten o’clock one April evening in 1990, and I am sitting in a restaurant in west London with my friend John Frazer-Robinson – JFR for short. We went there for lunch and are now nine hours in to a lively conversation about the future of sales and marketing. (Total Quality Marketing[i] was published in 1991.) One of the topics we discuss is his theory of three generations of selling. I am immediately fascinated. It’s the genesis of an obsession with Customer Value Management that has stayed with me to this day. Value Creation All buying decisions (all decisions, in fact) are based upon Value judgements, where ‘value’ is an individual’s or group’s assessment of what something is worth, weighing the benefits of whatever is on offer against the costs of accessing those benefi...

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