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Structuring for Success

Rik Reppe

Getting closer to the customer is the goal of every business these days. Today’s social networked, device-driven, always-on world makes it possible for companies to know more about customers and be in better touch with them than ever before. 

The problem is that most companies face big stumbling blocks that keep them from doing just that. Namely, established business models, classical organizational charts, entrenched operations and business processes. Traditional brands have more customers and a longer history with consumers than today’s startups. But startups have a better shot at connecting with folks more personally—and disrupting existing business models—because they’re free to innovate. They aren’t weighed down by the status quo. They can do a lot more trial and error in their search to coming up with new ways of getting closer to customers. 


One of the most of popular buzzwords trending right now in marketing speak is the “experience economy.” The notion gets at a basic reality. Information empowered, creative and connected consumers experience brands like no other group before them but—just as powerfully—they craft that interaction with brands, they’re in charge of it, and they dictate its terms. 


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Rik Reppe is an advisory principal in the Minneapolis office of New York-based professional services consultancy PwC.