There’s an aquarium in the middle of one of our favourite Vietnamese restaurants. When we are waiting for our food, I establish that I already know the fish. There are always the same six or seven. I can even differentiate between them. Sometimes I wonder how they see me. Do they recognize me? How do they see the restaurant’s guests and workers? How do they look at the TV, which is on the whole time? How do they experience the picture of their whole world?

Customers ask similar questions. The more knowledge and data accumulate, the less concrete our picture of customers is. This picture becomes more and more blurry. What can we do to stop this happening? This isn’t so difficult because in contrast to fish there are interactions and feedback with customers.

Three steps are necessary to simplify the customers’ perspective. Firstly, the complexity of data has to be reduced. This will help orientate the customer journey. In the flood of data, the details that are most relevant to success are most. Secondly, the data must also be added together in order to produce “persona”. A persona is a type representative for a group of customers.

Thirdly, you need an environment to bring this persona to life. We thus come back to the analogy of our favourite Vietnamese restaurant. Where they have their aquarium, we have “clientarium”. In contrast to the fish in the aquarium the customers in the clientarium can talk with us. What they say or recommend, how they act, all these things will be represented through the eyes of the clientarium. To see through the eyes of the fish back to oneself – what isn’t possible in the Vietnamese restaurant – it will come true in the clientarium.