Event Highlights from The Bloomberg 50 Think Tank: Customer vs. Customer. The Customer Comes First.

Event Highlights

Think Tank: Customer vs. Customer. The Customer Come First. 

By Yazhou Sun, Bloomberg Live

More than ever, it is imperative that brands rethink their goals, purpose and operations to center around customers and their evolving needs.

Simply put, for a company to be successful and make it to the next quarter, it must evolve and innovate. That means listening to customers and delivering relevant, personalized experiences that anticipate their needs. Companies that do that end up enjoying higher customer loyalty, more revenue, positive publicity — and stronger profits. 

A successful customer-centric company has a well-balanced approach toward employee experience, a healthy and safe workplace, focuses on innovation and digitizing processes and is committed to sustainability.

Customers are already sharing their deepest needs and priorities across websites, apps and e-commerce. What are companies doing to deliver on their needs? And how are they looking at the data customers share to determine next steps?

At Bloomberg’s “The Customers Come First” think tank, we convened key voices and leaders across different sectors. Speakers included:


  • Tiffani Bova, Global Growth Evangelist, Salesforce
  • Jennifer Estabrook, President, FILA North America
  • Rob Falzon, Vice Chair, Prudential Financial, Inc. and member of Prudential’s Board of Directors
  • Carol Massar, Co-Anchor Bloomberg Businessweek, Bloomberg Television and Radio
  • Brian McNamara, CEO, GSK Consumer Healthcare
  • Brian Niccol, CEO, Chipotle Mexican Grill 
  • Pete Nordstrom, President and Chief Brand Officer, Nordstrom, Inc.
  • Pieter Van der Does, Co-Founder & CEO, Adyen
  • Sumit Singh, CEO and Director, Chewy, Inc.


Click here to view the event.

  • On Covid-19 accelerating digitization: Brian Niccol, CEO of Chipotle Mexican Grill says digital-only restaurants have been a saviour during the pandemic. “Our digital business went from 5% of the business to about 20% in March, and when Covid hit, it became about 80-90 percent of our business,” Niccol said.
  • On employee experiences in Covid-19: “The fastest way to get your customers to love your brand is get your employees to love their job,” Tiffani Bova, Global Growth Evangelist of Salesforce said. Bova said the pandemic has given organizations an opportunity to create more tailored responses to workplace challenges.
  • On business continuity: “It’s been a humbling year,” Barbara Weisz, Senior Vice President and Head of Global Operations of Groupon said. Weisz said 2020 has tested the agility and flexibility of any business and there’s a lot of learning to do for everyone.
  • On putting customers first: Pete Nordstrom, President and Chief Brand Officer of Nordstrom stressed the customer experience is core to Nordstrom’s DNA. “You have to find things that can galvanize people on a mission that everyone can buy into and play a role in,” Nordstrom said.
  • On collaborating with retailers: “We had a lot of retailers cancel orders or ask for payment extension, and we worked with them,” Jennifer Estabrook, President of FILA North America said.
  • On consumers guiding the business: “We use the merchants to guide us on what’s the next thing we release,” Pieter Van der Does, Co-Founder & CEO, Adyen said. Van der Does says the customers’ feedback has been instrumental to Adyen’s business directions throughout the pandemic.
  • On responding to customer demands: Brian McNamara, CEO, GSK Consumer Healthcare says customers’ desire to boost their health has been “turbo-charged” by Covid-19. “The idea of going into this health crisis healthier, and having a much better chance of coming out the other end is something that’s imprinted in the consumers’ psyche now,” McNamara said.
  • On the importance of corporate culture: “You’re relying on a lot of individuals to act in a way that’s cohesive and in the interest of the customers, and the only way they will do that is if there’s a shared culture,” Rob Falzon, Vice Chair, Prudential Financial, Inc. and member of Prudential’s Board of Directors said.
  • On bringing customers together: “It’s a time of solitude, it’s a time when relationships matter even more,” Sumit Singh, CEO and Director of Chewy Inc said. Chewy brought together its customers and hosted a virtual pet playdate via Zoom after the pandemic hit, and the video had more than 1.5 million views on YouTube.

The Bloomberg 50 Think Tank Was Proudly Sponsored By


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