The one sentence summary

Customers now run companies, so you need to flip your brand their new orientation


  • Customers now run companies. They are no longer consumers – they are people with hopes, dreams, needs and emotions, focused on meaning. They don’t buy brands – they join them to build their identities. This is your tribe. How will you lead it?
  • There are 18 brand flips you should consider:
  1. Products > meaning
  2. Tangible > immaterial
  3. Selling > enrolling
  4. Company identity > customer identity
  5. Better products > better customers
  6. Customer segments > customer tribes
  7. Transactions > relationships
  8. Authority > authenticity
  9. Competing > differentiating
  10. Processes > values
  11. Features > experiences
  12. Punishment > protection
  13. Deciding > designing
  14. Plans > experiments
  15. Overchoice > simplicity
  16. Static brands > liquid brands
  17. Storytelling > storyframing
  18. Purchase funnel > brand ladder


  • The Brand Commitment Matrix has two sides. On the left is the customer column: Identity (who they are), Aims (what they want), and their tribe’s M The acronym spells IAM. On the right are the company statements. These describe Purpose (why we exist), Onlyness (what we offer), and Values (how we behave). This acronym is POV. Left and right must align at each level. See diagram.
  • One of your greatest challenges is to complete this sentence: “Our brand is the only _______ that ______.” Your category goes in the first blank, and your main differentiator in the second. It’s harder than it looks.
  • Social tools now allow Ridiculously Easy Group Forming (REGF), according to Sebastien Pacquet, thereby routinely ignoring the boundaries of customer segmentation.
  • The enemies of simplicity are the urge to add, the desire to make a mark, the need to grow revenues, the lure of competition, the fear of falling behind, the expediency of extension, and the masking of weak design.
  • A strategy meeting should not be an annual summit but a monthly exercise in course correction.


  • This is classic Neumeier – pithy and sharp.