Market orientation – The customer is always right
Harry Gordon Selfridge, the founder of Selfridge’s department store in London is reported as having coined the phrase, ‘The customer is always right’ in 1909. It is often wheeled out when trying to convince hard done by employees of one thing or another. It is often misunderstood and misused however, which causes all sorts of problems. My suspicion is that Harry simplified to aid wider understanding. If you use the phrase to refer to customers in the plural rather than the individual it makes sense. In fact it is as important and useful as it is famous and lasting. It succinctly captures the idea of market orientation.