±: 1.4.3 The Stakeholders

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Can't live with them, can't live without

Thanks, Wired!Previous chapters have been dealing with internal and some external stakeholders. This chapter is dedicated the most important stakeholders of them all:

The customers - the ones actually paying you to continue your business.

Yes, I have followed the discussions Chris Anderson started with Free! Why $0.00 Is the Future of Business where he uses King Gillette as the first master of "free" when he gave out the razor for free and sold the disposable blades. I find Chris Anderson's argumentation interesting when I go to the supermarket to buy disposable blades. Yes, the blades still cost money - but so does the razor. If you know where I can find a free Gillette razor, tell me.

In some western countries you are not allowed to use the word free in marketing, since they believe that nothing in life is free: You always have to pay, some way or another. The currency can be your money, your time, your attention, your efforts, etc. This calls for defining more effective and descriptive customer roles.

I have found three customer roles, how many can you find?


Planned publishing: April.

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TBF by April 12th.


This is some stray thoughts.


It took some time for the razor-business to become a profitable business, but if the web are to follow the same track, we will soon be paying there as well. If you have paid for reading this, you are a living proof of my argumentation.

This site is an example of that.


Nowadays customers are very seldom possible to define as only one person or entity. You need to define your customer even further by defining the customer roles. The B2B-industry have been doing it for years, now it is up to B2C to embrace the same issues.




The traditional customer situation

In B2B you have several customer roles, which when defined will help you in the sales/communications process. You have the one ordering the product/service, you have the one using the product/service and you have the one paying for the product/service. Each of the roles must be addressed during the sales process. Old news for B2B-agencies, rather new news for the B2Cs .


The new customer situation



Good to read

Free, Chris Anderson