Geert van Kuyck

Chief Marketing Officer
Royal Philips Electronics

Geert Van Kuyck

In this “age of responsibility” how do you see your consumer changing?

“The customer is back!“ Many companies have lost sight of why they are earning money. They engaged in all kinds of marketing activities where the toolkit became more important then its purpose. This is changing now and customers increasingly expect superior value from a company. The company’s responsibility is to add value to the customer and there is no excuse not to focus on these essentials. It is time that the customer gets a voice in the boardroom! Accountability for customer performance greatly pays off, even or particularly in times of crisis. Our proactive and well-staged product recall of Senseo coffee machines has been a case in point.

"At Philips...'simplicity’ is not just a tagline. It is a guiding principle, which is continuously tracked externally and internally.”

Is there a single touchpoint of your brand that you think will become more influential to your customers in the next five years?

“The other customer!“ Trust is shifting away from the organization to the customer’s community. The immediate experience with the product and services is shared, influencing choice more than ever before. Controlling the consistency of the customer experience, from the sales personnel, to product’s functions and design down to after sales service, will be the highest priority. Developing and aligning these experiences is the challenge of the coming years and requires a much more integrated and holistic approach. Gone are the days when marketers relied on messages and focused on communication alone. Communication based marketers that focus their efforts on trying to "control or harness" the new and fragmented media landscape soon realize they cannot…the controllable is what you do for your consumer or customer.

How does your brand influence the decisions made at your organization?

“As a guiding principle!” If the brand is not at the heart of every decision, it won’t create value for the customer. How else can a credible and relevant customer experience be managed if not by the brand’s central idea? A prerequisite is, of course, that there is an idea and that the idea has relevance for the businesses and its target audience. At Philips, the brand informs how we do business, from product development to the billing department. “Simplicity” is not just a tagline. It is a guiding principle, which is continuously tracked externally and internally. Our people are very engaged. They take it very personally. We, in fact, track our people's engagement with the brand as a key performance indicator. This needs to be taken personally to be effective.

Geert van Kuyck is Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) of Royal Philips Electronics. Mr. van Kuyck began his career with Procter & Gamble, holding various marketing positions in Europe and the U.S., with a combination of local, regional, and global responsibilities. He then joined Starbucks as Vice-President of Marketing for Europe, the Middle East, and Africa before joining Philips in 2005. He was appointed to his present post as CMO for Royal Philips Electronics in December 2007.