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Customer Centricity

Focus on the Right Customers for Strategic Advantage

Peter Fader

A powerful call to action, Customer Centricity upends some of our most fundamental beliefs about customer service, customer relationship management, and customer lifetime value

Despite what the old adage says, the customer is not always right. Even companies that can seemingly do no wrong—like the coffeehouse giant Starbucks—have only recently started to figure this out.

Starbucks is one of many companies that has successfully executed a pivot that puts the company in a customer-centric mindset, an approach that Wharton professor Peter Fader describes in Customer Centricity. Fader advocates that in the world of customer centricity, there are good customers … and then there is pretty much everybody else.

In a new preface and afterword to Customer Centricity, Fader reflects on how the landscape has changed over nearly a decade since he first proposed that businesses radically rethink how they relate to customers. Using examples from Starbucks, Nordstrom, and more, Fader provides insights to help you understand:

  • Why customer centricity is the new model for success in today’s data-driven environment.
  • How the ideas of brand equity and customer asset value help us understand what kinds of companies naturally lend themselves to the customer-centric model and which ones don’t;
  • Why the traditional models for determining the value of individual customers are flawed;
  • How executives can use customer lifetime value (CLV) and other customer-centric data to make smarter decisions about their companies;
  • How the well-intended idea of customer relationship management (CRM) lost its way—and how your company can properly put CRM to use;
  • How customer centricity will help you realign your performance metrics, product development, customer relationship management and organization to make sure you focus directly on the needs of your most valuable customers and increase profits for the long term.

ALSO AVAILABLE: Once Fader convinces you of the value of customer centricity in this book, The Customer Centricity Playbook, with Sarah Toms, will show you where to get started to bring it to the forefront of your organization.


The Wharton Executive Essentials series from Wharton School Press brings the ideas of the Wharton School’s thought leaders to you wherever you are. Inspired by Wharton’s Executive Education program, each book is authored by globally renowned faculty and filled with real-life business examples and actionable advice. Wharton Executive Essentials guides offer a quick-reading, penetrating, and comprehensive summary of the knowledge leaders need to excel in today’s competitive business environment and capture tomorrow’s opportunities.

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About the Author

Peter Fader

Pete Fader is the Frances and Pei-Yuan Chia Professor of Marketing at The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. His expertise centers on the analysis of behavioral data to understand and forecast customer shopping/purchasing...

Praise for Customer Centricity

“Knowing what your customers are worth is the secret to focusing your time and money where it makes the most difference. You can’t be all things to all people, so you need to learn to find out who really matters to your success. Fader makes it clear with great ideas and a readable style.”

—Andy Sernovitz, Author, Word of Mouth Marketing: How Smart Companies Get People Talking

Customer Centricity reveals how to increase profits from your best customers, find more like them, and avoid over-investing in the rest. Learn where customer relationship management went wrong, how to fix it, and whether to bankroll customers or branding. Decidedly accessible and absolutely necessary for companies in a social media world.”

—Jim Sterne, Founder, eMetrics Marketing Optimization Summit; Chairman, Web Analytics Association

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