1st Edition

The Customer Copernicus How to be Customer-Led

By Charlie Dawson, Seán Meehan Copyright 2021
    234 Pages 9 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    234 Pages 9 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Some companies are great for customers – not only do they care but they change whole markets to work better for the customers they serve. Think of Amazon, easyJet and Sky. They make things easier and improve what really matters – obvious, surely? They have also enjoyed huge business success, growing and making plenty of money.

    The Customer Copernicus answers the question that follows – if it’s obvious and attractive why is it so rare? And then it answers a second question, because Tesco, O2 and Wells Fargo were like this once. Why, having mastered it, would you ever stop? Because all three did, and two ended up in court.

    The Customer Copernicus explains how to become and how to stay customer-led. Essential reading for leaders and teams who want their organisations to stay competitive by developing a more purposeful and innovative culture.


    Introduction: Why Should I Believe You?

    Chapter 1: Why Customer-Led Beliefs Matter

    Chapter 2: What Being Customer-Led Looks Like

    Chapter 3: What Being Customer-Led Feels Like

    Chapter 4: Creating Customer-Led Beliefs

    Chapter 5: Losing Customer-Led Beliefs

    Chapter 6: Protecting Customer-Led Beliefs

    Conclusion: Believe in Better



    Charlie Dawson is the founder of The Foundation, a London-based consultancy that helps organisations create customer-led success.

    Seán Meehan is the Martin Hilti Professor of Marketing and Change Management at IMD Business School, Lausanne, Switzerland.

    ‘Everyone talks about being customer-led, very few do it for real. The Customer Copernicus explains why, based on real-world examples. It has practical guidance on how to do better. If you’re saying you want to be a customer-led success, read this. It will help.’

    Peter Duffy, CEO Moneysupermarket Group

    ‘Business leaders often say “we are customer focused” and the words sound good. But how often are they true? Like the great astronomer Copernicus, The Customer Copernicus is a different way of looking at the world showing what “customer focus” really means. Fact-based, opinionated, challenging and ultimately inspiring, Dawson and Meehan explain how “outside-in” beliefs can transform an ailing business into a financial success and an innovator making life better for its customers. If you have time for only one business book this year, this would be the one.’

    Gavin Esler, award winning television and radio broadcaster, novelist and journalist

    ‘Charlie Dawson and Seán Meehan explain very vividly what it takes to transform an organisation towards a customer centricity and how to avoid falling back into old habits. The different case studies are brilliant examples of how companies can achieve a sustainable shift towards an outside-in customer-led organisation and that all starts with a strong belief to do the right thing for its customers. Especially in today’s time, this book is a great reminder and a demonstration that organisations will only deliver superior business results in the long term if they put the customer needs at the centre of their marketing activities.’

    Rolf Fallegger, Member of Group Management and Head of Marketing, Lindt & Sprüngli

    ‘The most inspiring and impressive entrepreneurs and founders I know believe unconditionally in putting customers and the frontline first. The Customer Copernicus is really refreshing and hugely important, especially today – it ought to be on the desk of every CEO!’

    Kim Fausing, President and CEO, Danfoss

    ‘Customer-centric systems and behaviours are the key to success. But if it’s that obvious why is it so hard to do ... and harder yet to sustain? Dawson and Meehan take this puzzling conundrum and propose well thought out and actionable solutions. A must read for business leaders navigating today’s markets.’

    Dan Futter, Chief Commercial Officer, The Dow Chemical Company

    ‘Outside-in thinking with the customer at the centre, sustained by many Moments of Belief, has been critical to DBS’ evolution. The Customer Copernicus will put you on this path.’

    Piyush Gupta, CEO DBS

    ‘CEOs never fail to say that the customer is the heart of their business – and some might even believe it – but they seldom do what it takes to make it a reality. This book lifts the veil. It shows what customer focus actually means, how companies put it into practice, and how they keep it alive amid all the vicissitudes of business life. This book helps companies to survive.’

    Anthony Hilton, author, broadcaster and award winning journalist

    ‘The definitive book on how to build, nurture, and sustain a customer-led organisation. Dawson and Meehan show how firms through shared beliefs, systems, processes, and engrained customer obsession make it “how things are always done around here.”’

    Bernie Jaworski, Peter F. Drucker Chair in Management and the Liberal Arts, Drucker School of Management

    ‘At Tesco in thirty years we went from a 10% to a 30% market share. We did it by becoming more and more customer focused. Seán and Charlie have worked hard to find out how it was done by Tesco and many other businesses besides. Lots to learn here.’

    Tim Mason, CEO, Eagle Eye and former Deputy CEO, Tesco

    ‘For those who want to turn the prevailing “inside out” view in companies to “outside in” and ensure long-term success.’

    Paul Polman, co-founder, Imagine and former CEO, Unilever

    ‘Putting customers first is simple to say but hard to do. Using real-world stories, The Customer Copernicus shows why and what it takes to succeed. These ideas would be useful to anyone looking to run a more successful, more sustainable business.’

    David Potts, CEO, Morrisons

    ‘Customers are the lifeblood of any healthy business. The Customer Copernicus explains how and why they need to be at the centre of our thinking and why this is much more difficult than it may seem.’

    Woods Staton, Executive Chairman, Arcos Dorados

    The Customer Copernicus produces the answer to a pertinent question – if the customer at the centre of business thinking is such simple common sense, why do most organisations find it so difficult?’

    Sir John Timpson, Chairman, Timpson