Risk Journal Volume Seven

The Customer Of The Future

Companies need to reimagine their business models to keep up with fast‑changing consumer preferences

This article first appeared on BRINK.

Meet Dawn. She’s never been to the doctor’s office, but she visits her doctor every week. She’s constantly shopping, but she’s never waited in line. Her apartment recognizes her face. She doesn’t go into the office, she logs on to a platform. She doesn’t have a resume, she has ratings. She doesn’t have a boss, she has a robo-advisor that highlights upskilling opportunities, giving her the chance to expand her capabilities. 

Value shifts to the business that moves the fastest and knows the customer the best

Dawn is an average 25-year-old in the not-so-distant future. She craves mobility, flexibility, and uniqueness; she demands speed, transparency, and control; and she has enough choice to avoid any company that doesn’t give her what she wants. We’re in the midst of remarkable change not seen since the Industrial Revolution, and a noticeable gap is growing between what Dawn wants and what traditional companies can provide.

Dawn strives for freedom, and technology allows her to untie many binds. She lives a life in flow, where multiple gigs have replaced a single career path and her house has been replaced by a co-living space. She lives a transparent existence where everything from her smart watch to her smart refrigerator collects data from her and applies it on behalf of customization and personalization. She expects everything on-demand, and in a world of predictive intelligence, “right now” might already be too late.


Lippincott senior associate Dan Clay on how companies should rethink their businesses to keep up with the customer of future

About authors

Dan Clay is a New York-based senior associate of innovation and John Marshall is the Boston-based chief strategy and innovation officer of Lippincott, Oliver Wyman’s creative consultancy.

The Customer Of The Future