Brands are horizontal.
Most companies are stuck in their verticality.
Customers don’t care that you have a “stores” division and a “.com” division with separate P & L’s and bonus targets and buyers. They want to buy how they want, when they want.
Customers don’t care that one department handles your social media, another worries about web advertising and yet another directs more traditional media. They want to be spoken to in a cohesive manner in ways that are relevant, differentiated and reflect their unique wants and needs.
Customers want to pick up where their last conversation left off with you, so don’t go telling them about your different databases or systems that “don’t talk to one another.”
When you say that you “put the customer at the center of everything you do”, or publish annual reports and deliver investor presentations that extol your “customer-centricity” while you remain, at your core, a vertical enterprise, realize that these are just words. Creeds over deeds.
More and more, customers move seamlessly across an increasingly frictionless omni-channel world.
If your plan is to stick with silo-ed data, silo-ed marketing, silo-ed organizations, silo-ed metrics and silo-ed product offerings, it’s time to get a new plan.
Brands ARE horizontal. The sooner you blow up your vertical thinking and behavior, the better.
It’s later than you think.