Archive for the 'Strategy' Category

What’s the point with concept development?

You know the feeling. The day you rode your bicycle without help. When you knew who to marry, or where to go on vacation. Everything became so easy. Your powers went in one clear direction. And you knew why. That is basically what I offer clients and collaborators. Clarity and confidence. When you see the […]

How broad a brand?

Visiting the Stockholm Furniture & Light Fair 2014, I found this stand with Canada Goose Home bedroom products; duvets, pillows, bedding and blankets. So Canada Goose has decided to extend their brand of down jackets and sportswear into the bedroom. On one point I wonder how the intensity of mountain sports activities goes together with […]

Strategic april fools-joke

Today SAS, Scandinavian Airlines, announced that they from now on will have a ”like” button above each seat in their airplanes. Of course it’s an April fools’ joke, but it’s also an interesting example of playful ways to make your brand and your strategy visible. Happy april fools’ day! (link from the photo to the […]

75 years of CSR

The safety match, and it’s production technology, are two of the inventions that made Sweden an industrial nation with export. When Solstickan (the sun stick) was created in 1936, safety matches had been produced in Sweden for almost 100 years. The label drawing was made by the artist Einar Nerman, and it has been said […]

The business model of a locker

I can see an increase in discussions around business models and it seems that one reason is that business models are becoming more complex, regarded as a way to competitive advantage. When this discussion starts to involve other elements than costs and revenue, I think it gets really interesting. Just to take the simple example […]

Mediocrity 2011 – irony by Subaru

My favourite of japanese car manufacturers, Subaru, is currently running a wonderful viral campaign where they present the fictive ”Mediocrity 2011”. Subaru intends to market itself as the Japanese car manufacturer with integrity, that sticks out. You may argue on the exterior expression of Subaru’s, but as a whole they are quite different with rumbling […]

Not for sale

Many times have I been defending the practice of marketing among people who think of it as tricking people into buying what they don’t need and want. Today’s form of marketing, that I represent, is rather about matching needs, demands and offerings, while taking attitudes and awareness into account. You can make people aware of […]

Cordial Business Model Summit 2010

This year’s Business Model Summit, held by Cordial Business Advisers yesterday, was inspiring in many ways. To have a good business model has always been important but today the complexity calls for a closer attention and more creativity. The media industry and music industry are maybe the most obvious examples of industries in urgent need […]

Start-up of Start-up Stockholm

Sten Nordin, financial mayor of Stockholm, today inaugurated ”Start-up Stockholm” as Stockholms Nyföretagarcentrum (≈New business centre of Stockholm) and Innovation Stockholm start an official collaboration. One more step ahead towards a more entrepreneurial and innovative Stockholm. And no one is happier than me! Instead of cutting the ribbon Sten Nordin tied a yellow and a […]

They started as a mining company

How much is a business idea worth? I have met a lot of people who mean that no business idea has a value in itself – it’s all about execution. (Read more here at, in Swedish) I can agree that execution is very important, but if you succeed, what have you actually accomplished if […]

What is customer value anyway?

There have been many attempts to explain what value is, and the difference between the seller’s and the buyers’ product. Here’s another one! For the seller the deal is about costs and revenue, for the buyer it’s about the perceived value. Only what is perceived has a value for the buyer, the customer. Again, the […]

Customer value margin

A few days ago I attended a seminar at Transformator, a Swedish service design agency. They showed a very inspiring presentation with concrete and tangible examples – very refreshing in a design area that is still under development and where still most of its stakeholders seem to have a different view of what service design […]

Customer experience feedback

Both when entering and when leaving China you can rate your experience of the passport control officer, from sad face ”not satisfied” to happy face ”greatly satisfied”. Basically a good initiative and a nice gesture. But it also raises questions. You say that you cannot measure without affecting the result. This apparatus makes people conscious […]

My talk at TEDxNorrmalm

The video has now been published on YouTube. To see my talk at TEDxNorrmalm, 17th of april 2010, click the image or this link. Welcome!

Focus strategy

Along with Michael Porters’ generic strategies cost leadership and differentiation, there is also the focus strategy which can actually be applied to the other two. By focusing you can be more efficient and clear on your market, but you have to take elements like relevance and risk into account. This guy seems to have a […]

USP, ESP etc.

The concept of USP, ”Unique Selling Point” or sometimes ”Unique Selling Proposition”, has been widely questioned. It has been claimed that you cannot be unique these days; you have to add something else, sometimes called ESP – ”Emotional Selling Point”. Well, even if the idea is correct in some sense, I would argue that the […]

Innovation and creativity – why?

It’s easy to see innovation and creativity as pleasurable things that companies may choose or not. But what is the real reason for companies to work with innovation? Why do companies need to be creative? I would say that innovation, as it’s discussed today, is about development of (new) competitive advantages. Reasons for people to […]

Our biological fundament

A long time ago I took this picture, and I have used it many times since, discussing our biological fundament for how we perceive and consume. How humans in their natural environment spend a large part of the day chatting, thus stimulating their brains so that they can think fast when a lion shows up! […]

The customer/supplier dilemma

I took this picture in Brooklyn, New York, in 1989. I have used it many times as an illustration of the frustrating inconsistency between what companies supply and what customers actually want and/or buy. The need might be there, but no supplier is available. Companies trying to sell things that people don’t really want. People […]

My TEDx Norrmalm talk in brief

My talk was basically about my experiences from several creative areas, and the pattern I have seen when putting these on top of each other. Instead of a PowerPoint I used the blue and red glove so that the audience could follow the idea and make up their own minds on the pattern I am […]


In 1987 a friend of mine and I went on an Interrail trip across Europe. One of the places that we visited was Budapest. It was the summer before starting my industrial design studies at Konstfack. This is one of the pictures I took on this trip, one of the first of my today rather […]

When the customs got customers

A few years ago I assisted at a workshop for the Swedish Customs authority, where we were detailing some of their future visions and strategies. They told me that a couple of years earlier they have had another workshop when they suddenly had a eureka moment: ”we have customers!” They realised that by tradition, customs […]

Clear and obvious – or effective?

In the old industrial world you would look for the linear connections. If I do this, I will have that result. You would set a goal and then set up a linear process and work with determination towards that goal. Same thing in communication. You would define what you do and then formulate how you […]

The Shift – in a marketing perspective

The good old product lifecycle model has been questioned, but I can’t help thinking that it is a good illustration to the shift of focus that we can see. The model in brief: when a new offering is launched your first customers will be enthusiasts and after a while the so called ”early adopters” will […]

How could they be so sure?

In the old world things would not change so quickly. Change was predictable. You could extrapolate the current conditions and get an idea of the future. To some extent you can today also, but in some areas that kind of linear predictions can be quite risky! Apart from all the physical uncertainties you also find […]

Collaboration for success

Someone said that the success of any company, organisation or even country depends on the degree of collaboration. I can only agree.

The creative team

In the old industrial context, there was less need for collaboration. You could develop a structural platform first, than have some ”creatives” powder on some elements of beauty, experience and understanding. Today, and tomorrow, those components are hard to separate, and competencies need to work together. You can more rarely separate one dimension from the […]

Experience innovation, existing components

In the 80’s, the largest milk producer in Sweden – Arla – was facing a decline in milk drinking. From being a standard drink at all meals, milk had started to be considered fattening and was now losing market share to mineral waters etc. Especially in restaurants this was evident – people were drinking other […]

From badge to brand

Branding is not just about the logotype. Not even the logotype is just about the logotype. That’s what every branding expert will tell you. And they’re right! But still, once you have managed to build a certain image and confidence, it is striking how strong the effect can be in changing both expectations and experience. […]

Added value or holistic value development?

I have always thought there is something strange about the concept of ”adding value”. Which is frustrating as that is basically what I try to do in my work. I think the problem is that ”adding value” has a linear touch to it, like if some part of somethings value was already there by itself. […]

Beautiful in itself?

Can something just be ”beautiful” in itself? Looking for examples I find my turntable below. But then I realise that the consequences of this product design were more interesting than that. The beauty is not only in its minimalistic brushed metal shapes, but also in its statement towards the ordinary. Basically, the traditional modernistic approach […]

The meaning of service

Service design is a rapidly growing area that today gets a lot of the attention concerning value creation and cross collaboration. And design. Which is good. In area after area, the potential in developing things and expressions that people actually want, as well as the need of collaboration between competencies in order to create that […]

Cut costs, not meaning

Today is the second day of ”The redesigning business summit” in London, with many fresh thoughts in the field between design and business. The major theme is how design and business development will act after this recession. People will not consume as they did before. They will be more conscious about their spending but they […]

Observation for innovation

If I were to choose one favourite TED talk, it would not be easy but finally I think it would have be this one: Jan Chipchase (March 2007). Jan Chipchase is hired by Nokia to travel around the world with his team, observe and document behaviour and cultural expressions as a basis for Nokias future […]

From compensation to motivation

Motivational theories like those of Maslow and Hertzberg also follow the pattern from practical needs to experience. What they have in common is the idea that if you don’t have enough of the basics you will do what you can to fulfil these needs – shelter, food, enough salary to pay the rent. When the […]

From commodity to experience

Market strategy generally deals with so called differentiation. That is changing your product from being a commodity, like sugar, wheat or crude oil, to becoming a distinguished product with certain properties so that customers will prefer your product from others and thereby also pay more. The first thing you do is to, for example, to […]