CEO BrainFood

012 The Magic of Customer Obsession, Part 1 with Blaine Millet

Episode Summary

Welcome to CEO Brain Food, a show aimed at providing key insights, fresh perspectives, and proven tools that CEOs can apply to build enterprise value, generate higher profits and develop the talent needed to succeed in their businesses. In this episode of CEO Brain Food, Michael welcomes author, speaker, and entrepreneur Blaine Millet to discuss his background and passion for customers. Blaine shares his belief that customer obsession can directly impact an organization’s culture and ability to market themselves. He provides examples of customer obsession with stories of Zappos and Ritz-Carlton Hotels. Finally, Michael teases part two of his interview with Blaine Millet and provides the audience with a new useful tool.

Episode Notes

01:02 – Introducing today’s guest, Blaine Millet
02:45 – Focusing on customers
06:42 – The importance of differentiation
11:18 – The Holy Grail of customer obsession
14:29 – Why Blaine advocates for organizations to stop marketing
17:45 – Strategies to get customers to talk about your organization with others
19:48 – How customer obsession ties into the culture of a company
21:19 – The Zappos example
25:23 – Blaine provides some advice on building the right culture
29:15 – The Florida Ritz-Carlton Story
34:10 – Michael teases Part Two of his interview with Blaine Millet
35:10 – Where to find Michael’s Functional Team Scorecard


“That’s the magic of customer obsession. If you’re so over the top obsessed with your customers, your customers are so over the top happy with you that they’re more than happy and actually will go out of their way to be an advocate for you.” (12:44)

“Stop marketing. Your customers are dying to do it for you.” (14:49)

“Customer obsession is synonymous with culture.” (20:56)

“Why don’t we go out and look at ‘How would this impact our customer positively, negatively or no change at all?’ And let’s bring that back and discuss it before we make a decision.” (28:42)


Michael’s LinkedIn

Michael’s Website

The Functional Team Scorecard

Jim Collins' Website

Blaine’s LinkedIn

Blaine’s Website