07 July 2024

Season 4, Episode 28. Customer Capitalism with Hunter Hastings

How can businesses reclaim the customer-centric approach that defined early corporate success and adapt it for the 21st century?


In this enlightening episode of Innovation Meets Leadership, host Natalie Born engages with Hunter Hastings, an economist and former corporate executive turned advisor and author. Hastings shares his rich experience spanning various roles, including CMO and CEO positions, and discusses the evolution of customer-centric business practices. He emphasizes the importance of putting the customer at the center of all business operations and innovations, drawing parallels between 19th-century entrepreneurial approaches and modern customer capitalism.


Hastings provides valuable insights on removing organizational barriers, embracing self-management, and the power of empathy in understanding customer needs. This episode offers a compelling perspective on the future of management and the revival of customer-focused business strategies.

Hunter Hastings is an economist who took up a career in corporate marketing and occupied the posts of Chief Marketing Officer in a global consumer products business, Chief Executive Officer in a Silicon Valley start-up enterprise, and Senior Partner in a global consulting company. He’s been an advisor to several Fortune 500 clients in the area of customer motivation and service strategy. 


[00:00:00 - 00:07:00] The Customer-Centric Journey: From P&G to Silicon Valley

  • Procter & Gamble's focus on understanding and serving the customer's needs

  • The importance of maintaining customer focus in technology companies

  • The shift from entrepreneurial to managerial approaches in the 20th century


[00:07:00 - 00:14:00] Breaking Down Barriers: The Path to Organizational Innovation

  • Identifying and removing barriers to customer information flow

  • The emergence of cross-functional and dynamic teams

  • The potential future of self-management in organizations


[00:14:00 - 00:19:00] Reimagining Implementation: Working Backwards from the Future

  • The importance of visualizing the end result in great detail

  • Working backwards to identify necessary components and steps

  • Balancing technology with customer needs and feelings


[00:19:00 - 00:26:00] Empathy in Engineering: Understanding the Customer's Unspoken Desires

  • The importance of understanding customer feelings, not just functional needs

  • Recognizing customer dissatisfaction as an opportunity for innovation

  • Balancing customer input with entrepreneurial vision

[00:26:00 - 00:30:00] The Revival of Customer Capitalism: Embracing the Future

  • The return of customer-centric approaches in 21st-century businesses

  • The power of imagination in entrepreneurship

  • Resources for further learning about customer-focused business strategies



"The future of management then is no management. It's self-management." - Hunter Hastings


"The customer does know what they want, or at least they know what they want to be better. They don't know what they can want." - Hunter Hastings


Connect with Hunter:

Website: https://hunterhastings.com/


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