Consumer Rights as the In-house lawyer’s contribution to Consumer Centricity
Maria Del Carmen Ordonez-Lopez , Vice-president and Associate General Counsel for Latin America and Canada, Philip Morris International, USA
Consumer centricity is a business approach that puts the consumer at the center and builds every aspect of a company’s operations (product design, distribution mode, communication strategy, product issue resolution) around the consumers, their real and observed needs, wants and values, to give consumers the best possible experience and increase company growth. However, consumer centricity should not be looked at in isolation, purely as a commercial approach. It must be seen as an element of a more general concern with companies’ impact on society and the type of conduct that gives them a license to operate and be profitable. In that context, the protection of consumer rights as per the principles of the United Nations and nationally adopted legislation is a fundamental manifestation of consumer centricity. In that context, in-house lawyers have a unique role to play in consumer centricity, there is a specific mindset for lawyer consumer centricity and specific aspects of the in-house activity in which it is evidenced. Adopting a lawyers’ consumer centric mindset will improve in-house lawyer performance, improve their relationship with their business colleagues and, ultimately, have a perceivable impact in business and consumer value.
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