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  • Lou Killeffer

What Companies Come to Mind When I say "Consumer Centric"?

I tend to avoid “listicles” as a blog form because they’re so often superficial if not out right mis-leading. But here’s my sense of the companies currently most famous for consumer-centricity which worked well in beginning an engagement with a fast paced, cpg firm early last year.

Acknowledging one person’s opinion might create a spirited debate, this list helped a bright, multi-functional team set aside their day-to-day responsibilities and envision the future of a dynamic market leader. It gave everyone something to shoot at and got folks thinking while raising passions around the subject.

Trust you’ll agree the companies most well known for consumer-centricity span some fascinating categories and clusters.

And please note: the marketplace is dynamic and this catalog is therefore outdated. The single biggest impact being the very public struggle of Wells Fargo to restore some sense of trust in the wake of their massive sales scandal. However, Wells remains included as they originally were, as an explicit reminder of just how closely linked and fragile behavior and reputation are…


  • The Coca-Cola Company (Branded beverages and concentrates)

  • General Mills, Inc. (Branded consumer foods)

  • PepsiCo Inc. (Branded foods, snacks, and beverages)

  • Nestlé Purina Pet Care (Pet food, treats, and litter)

  • Zarbees Naturals (Natural vitamins, nutrients, and probiotics)

Financial Services

  • The American Express Company (Financial services: credit cards, travel, business services, insurance)

  • Sun Trust Bank (Retail banking services)

  • Umpqua Holdings Corporation (Community banking)

  • United Services Automobile Association - USAA (Insurance, banking and investment services)

  • Wells Fargo & Company (Banking and financial services)

Media & Entertainment

  • The Walt Disney Company

Package Delivery/Supply Chain Logistics

  • UPS

  • FedEx


  • Chik-fil-A (Fast food)

  • Union Square Hospitality Group (Danny Meyer’s restaurants)


  • Inc. (Online)

  • (Online shoes and clothing)

  • QVC (Home shopping broadcast network)

  • Target Corporation (Discount)

  • Wegmans (Grocery)

  • Trader Joe’s (Specialty grocery)

  • IKEA (Furniture, appliances, and home furnishings)


  • Southwest Airlines Co. (Low cost airline)

  • Virgin America, Inc. (Low cost airline)

  • Marriott International (Hospitality and hotels)

  • Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts (Luxury hotels and resorts)

  • Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company (Luxury hotels and resorts)

Consumer Tech

  • Apple Inc. (Consumer electronics, software, and online services)

Business Tech

  • International Business Machines (Business services, software, systems, and support)

  • Rackspace Hosting (Dedicated and cloud computing services)

So, that’s my list, who’s on yours? Who would you add or subtract? And would you include your own company? Where do you sit on the continuum of consumer-centric companies? Where do you aim to be in the near and long term?

How does consumer-centricity ladder up to your corporate mission? Your business strategy? Your plan for 2017? Which of your company’s beliefs and practices must be sustained - and which changed or eliminated - to better align behind consumer centricity?

Great food for thought as we begin the New Year!

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