How to gain 800’000 customers in just one day?

Dear reader

受欢迎的 !

This is Chinese and means „welcome!“ (the pronunciation is something like shòu huānyíng de)

I would like to welcome you to this year’s last session of „Speed, Action: Results!“ with our subject „Doing Business in China.“

Bildschirmfoto 2013-12-04 um 15.32.36Click to download the program

For twenty years many an entrepreneur has been seduced by profit prospects in China. The calculation is easily made. Gain 1 ‰ of the adult Chinese as one-time-customer (let’s take 800’000’000 people) and you have 800’000 customers. Say you sell innovative vacuum cleaners like Dyson (from Switzerland) and you can calculate yourself how much you’ll be earning in three years. But is it really working out?

 If only it was not so hard to enter the market. We will provide you answers – we, that is: our selected specialists and lecturers:

Josef MondlHe is responsible for the Sino Swiss Management Training  of the China Competence Center at the University of St. Gallen and Senior Consultant of the TAO China Center Switzerland. The Tao China Center Switzerland is an ideal place meeting, exchange and cooperation not only for economic reasons but also other issues.

Tao Center Schweiz

Together with these speakers we will explore the opportunities and difficulties in doing business with China.

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At the end of the day there will be a round table with a Q&A session. The plenary discussion with all speakers will be moderated by Mr. Josef Mondl, one of the most distinguished China experts in Switzerland.

I am looking forward to meeting you!

Peter Lorange


Revenue growth management. New thinking required.

Dear reader

While most companies are struggling to improve their economic results, a fact comes immediately to mind: the net revenue line is the most powerful leverage to improve EBIT.

It is not easy to drive an increase in net revenues without increasing price, but it is possible and feasible. I have seen great companies doing it through product differentiation, smart segmentation, and improved channel focus; sharp consulting firms such as Globalpraxis are leading the charge in many sectors with outstanding results.

Globalpraxis - consulting at high level

One of the keys to successful business today: understand the modern consumer, innovate regarding his/her needs, and communicate this innovation effectively. Result: more sales at a higher price!

To better understand modern consumers is essential. They are typically different from the traditional breed – multitaskers, who simultaneously swipe their iPhones, work on their iPad, read a newspaper, listen to loud rap music, drink a cup of coffee, and miraculously hold a conversation. We may not necessarily like such a person. Still, it is key that we try to better understand what he / she wants.

Keys to successful business today: understand the modern consumer

This brings us to the importance of coming up with relevant innovations – i.e. something that today’s consumer might need and appreciate. It would be better to bring these out fast (even if on their own, they may be relatively small) rather than to rely on major innovations that might emerge from a central lab, and on an infrequent basis. We could talk about new business models here, such as new routes to market, or developing innovative, more luxury-centric brands. Innovations could also come in the form of further modifications of one’s products, and so on.

Communicate a given innovation to the target customer group. Social media might be particularly key here.

The next step would then be to create an effective way to implement and communicate a given innovation to the target customer group. Social media might be particularly key here. This might be more effective for reaching the modern consumer than traditional advertising, for instance.

Silo thinking does not work (cartoon)The all-too-frequent silo thinking would not work

The amazing, and encouraging, result of all of this is that we might then be in a position to state a higher price, and to sell more! This is value-based selling, not discounting! Plus, our profitability would also grow – good news!

So, there are plenty of opportunities in today’s business world, but to benefit from them would require a focus across disciplines. The all-too-frequent silo thinking would not work!

Peter Lorange

Working Smarter in a Digital Economy

Dear reader

Let me start with a wrong statement: “The future of business is digital.” Wrong, you might ask? Of course it is wrong. The present and the business of today is digital.

Digital business is omnipresent. This is a fact that makes the search for answers on how to profit from it not easier. Everybody is somehow aware that “business is online” and that “the internet is a cash cow”. These are commonplaces.

We will look closer at noteworthy issues such as how to be successful when doing business online and how to gain a new understanding of our way through the cyberspace and the threats, rights, and duties connected to it.

Digiatl Business. Forum. April. 2013.Our day event “Speed, action: results!” on April, 19. Book your seat right now.
Download program

Just think of all the companies and brands that are now advanced by the digital opportunities that allow to acquire, to excite and to engage their customers.

We want to know how some of today’s most important practices look like. We have thus invited speakers from renowned companys such as Robert Beer from XING, Giovanni Fantasia from ebay or Microsofts country manager advertising online, Arend Hendriks.

We are aware that business networks have a growing impact on us. But is this transformation of the information society good or bad? And for whom?

We will provide you with answers. Join us for our day event “Speed, Action: Results!” and learn how to work smarter in a digital economy.

I am looking forward to welcoming you!

Peter Lorange

“Brands will tumble and fall.”

Dear reader
on September 10/11 we organize our next marketing module: Building Global Brands with former BAT Marketing Director Jimmi Rembiszewski *).
Recently he gave this interview, which we shortly published in our newsletter.

Please join us next Monday and start right away your Executive MBA or your Master of Science.

Kind regards,
Peter Lorange


A whole chapter in your new book (written together with Peter Lorange) is dedicated to the ‘hidden champions’. It sounds a bit like: the small, flexible businesses do everything right, contrary to the big ones. Nevertheless, the big players are successful still. Who is doing it right?

What we are referring to in the book is not necessarily the size itself but internal and external obstacles, which have not been adjusted to the new world of e-consumers. Hidden champions is more about old companies, which have developed their business models in the last century and find it difficult to radically adjust it whilst others, mainly companies which where born into the Internet world, find it by definition easier.

Also, you will see the same great examples in the consumer space of old companies which do rather well because their business model does fit the economic circumstances. Take for instance some luxury brand companies.

That’s what we say. All successful companies are doing it the right way.

In your initial question you said that old big consumer companies are successful today. Well, success is relative. Measure it with top line growth and brand value growth and compare it to, say 20 years ago, and you will see: they lost out big time.

“Factories are a liability today. They are one of the key obstacles for fast innovation.”

You are writing a lot about innovation, decentralization, R+D as the formula for success, but you say nothing about the brand itself. You as a branding expert: How important is the brand?

The brand value is critical, but no brand can survive outdated products. So, products need constant upgrades. In the 20th century this has become more important than ever because of the new consumer who is expecting faster. In brief: a brand can rise much quicker than ever but it will also fall quicker.

Mercedes Logo. One of the top brands of the 20th and the 21st centuryOne of the top brands of the 20th and the 21st century

I consider Peter Drucker’s sentence “I’d rather own a brand than a factory” as outdated. I’d rather have a factory than a brand, but could create a brand through innovative products. Isn’t this the root of all evil of our time: We want brands, but we don’t care for content?

No. Factories are a liability today. They are one of the key obstacles for fast innovation cycles. Brands as stated above must deliver content, of course, but they must do it faster and better to stay relevant. Also retail shops that can uniquely bring a brand experience or message across are better to be owned than factories. More along these lines you can find in our book.

“No brand can survive
outdated products.”

On their website, the Lorange Institute of Business writes about ‘Building Global Brands’ (the course Jimmi is teaching on September 10/11: In a global competitive environment professional brand stewardship can make the difference between success and failure. Do you agree with this drastic statement?

I do, a hundred percent.

You’re a man who is never at a loss for an answer. Every year ‘branding trends’ are published. Which of these trends are a fad and which are sustainable?

Marlboro Logo. Marlboro, one of the top brands of the 20th centuryMarlboro, one of the top brands of the 20th century

Well, I am sorry, but this is too broad a field to answer. Some books might be great; having said this I am not an expert in marketing literature. I am a person who learned by doing. Certainly what I have seen so far from the academic side on modern marketing is poor.

To conclude, we are interested in your personal review and a forecast. Which are your top-brands in the 20th century and which brand do you predict a bright future in the 21st?

For the 20th century I choose Coke, Marlboro, Nestlé, Pantene, Colgate, German luxury cars, Swiss watches and McDonald’s.

For the 21th: French and Italian designer labels, Samsung, Apple, German luxury cars, Samsung.


Jimmi Rembiszewski*) Jimmi Rembiszewski

He joined the British American Tobacco Group as a Marketing Director and as a Territorial Director in 1991, having had various senior marketing and business appointments in Procter & Gamble and Jacobs Suchard. In 1996 he became a member of the Management Board of the new BAT and stayed the Marketing Director for the Group until his retirement at the end of 2009.

How to handle chaos or new order in tomorrow’s world?

Dear reader

a few weeks ago 52 students graduated from our business school: an important step in the personal and professional development of all graduates!

My faculty fellow Bill Holstein held a terrific speech I would like to share with you.

Download Graduation Remarks – March 30, 2012
by William K. Holstein, Professor of Strategy and IT, Lorange Institute of Business Zurich

He compared the current economic situation with the weather forecast and concluded that we’ve entered an area of unpredictability, which has a lot to do with the increased speed of communication.

I quickly summarize a few of his statements:

“In 2005 there were 134 million mobile phone users in Africa. In 2011, only six years later, there were 660 million – an average growth rate of more than 30 percent per year. (…) Such explosive growth in such a chaotic area of the works spells opportunity for those who can spell correctly.”

Bill Holsteins Graduation Speech (Graduation Remarks – March 30, 2012 William K. Holstein, Professor of Strategy and IT, Lorange Institute of Business Zurich) at our Business School“Sales on eBay conducted over mobile phones amounted to $600 million in 2009 and over $5 Billion in 2011. More than an 8 times increase in two years! And eBay expects the percentage of sales over mobile phones to grow 100 percent more in the next few years. (…) This changes the business model for a traditional retailer dramatically. Many will not be able to respond fast enough to survive.”

“U.S. workers tenure in their current job is 4.4 years. The average number of jobs in a lifetime: 11.4 for men, 10.7 for women, not three as for me.”

Bill summarized his speech in one word: chaos. Chaos is the opposite of the idea of order.  Or as Bill put it: “when conditions are chaotic, you must apply different techniques. “ This is the true challenge.

Peter Lorange

Der Klimawandel ist wie das Internet. Eines Tages war er da…

Die Business Schule "The Lorange Institute of Business" organisiert regelmässig Tages-Seminare, zum Beispiel das Tages-Seminar über Ökologie und Nachhaltigkeit,.Am Freitag, 27. April, findet unser Tages-Seminar “Grasping opportunities of climate change” statt. In diesem Zusammenhang haben wir unsere Dozentin Margareta Barchan *)  interviewt. Sie unterrichtet Sustainable Business Management bei uns an der Business School in Horgen am 18./19. August.

Der Klimawandel ist wie das Internet. Eines Tages war er da…

Download English Version

“Der Klimawandel ist wie das Internet”, sagt Paul Dickinson, CEO des Carbon Disclosure Project. “Eines Tages war es da, wuchs mit jedem Jahr und wir mussten lernen, mit ihm Geld zu verdienen.” Teilen Sie seine Meinung?

Der Klimawandel, wie wir ihn heute messen und analysieren, ist ein Phänomen, das stärker und auch zerstörerischer wird. Der Schlüssel liegt also darin, andere Lösungen zu finden in der Produktion, der Konsumation aber auch der Organisation unserer Gesellschaft. Sogar im Klimawandel werden ‘Frühanwender’, englisch ‘early adopters’ solchen Denkens erfolgreich sein, sofern sie kommerziell erfolgreiche Lösungen finden. Damit werden sie auch anderen Betrieben Ansporn sein und verbreitet zu klimafreundlicheren Geschäftsmodellen beitragen. Es ist unbestritten notwendig, finanziell erfolgreiche Geschäftsmodelle zu betreiben, welche die Umwelt nicht schädigen. Ohne diese Kombination ist kein Geschäft nachhaltig – weder finanziell, noch ökologisch.!

Neben dem Klimawandel haben wir andere, zum Beispiel soziale Probleme. Auch diese Herausforderung verlangt doch ein radikales Umdenken in Produktion, Distribution und im Konsum. Wie lauten Ihre Rezepten für Konsumenten und Produzenten?

Konsumenten bilden eine mächtige Gruppierung. Sie kann klare Signale an die Produzenten senden. Sobald Konsumenten Klarheit fordern ob ein Produkt ökologisch nachhaltig produziert wurde – oder es nicht mehr kaufen – können Sie die Produktwelt radikal verändern.

Die Produzenten müssen ihre Gesamten Produktionsprozesse und dabei den ökologischen Fussabdruck im Auge behalten, vom Rohmaterial über Produktion, Distribution aber auch bis zu dem Punkt, wo aus dem Produkt Abfall wird (CO2, Abfallmenge, Wasserverbrauch). Wirklich innovative Lösungen werden oft nur in Zusammenarbeit mit den Zulieferern und anderen Stakeholdern erreicht.

Wie kann ein Produzent kurzfristige finanzielle Notwendigkeit und langfristige Umwelt- und Sozialverträglichkeit unter einen Hut bringen?

Der Schritt hin zu einer vollständigen Nachhaltigkeit ist ein langer Prozess. Es gilt, Technologie, menschliches Verhalten und finanzielle Ressourcen gegeneinander aufzuwiegen. Das dauert gerne schon mal zehn Jahre. Aber: Der Anfang kann in kleinen Schritten vollzogen werden, ist einfacher und kostet weniger als ein grosser Turnaround.

“Sobald Konsumenten Klarheit fordern ob ein Produkt ökologisch nachhaltig produziert wurde – oder es nicht mehr kaufen – können Sie die Produktwelt radikal verändern.”

Bringen wir’s auf den Punkt: der wirtschaftliche Treiber ist Gier, nicht Barmherzigkeit. Brauchen wir nicht auch politische Vorgaben?

Politische Rahmenbedingungen können sinnvoll sein, wenn ein Zeitrahmen eingehalten werden muss. Heute herrscht aber eine wirtschaftlichen Realität, die wenig mit Gier und Barmherzigkeit zu tun hat. Es geht um eine Überlebensstrategie in einem anspruchsvollen Umfeld. Kunden, Angestellte, Medien, NGO und weitere Stakeholders machen gleich viel Druck wie (politisches) Regelwerk. Durch Social Media verbreiten sich zum Beispiel Informationen über ein Produkt in Sekundenschnelle und können einen Brand zerstören.

Geben Sie uns ein oder zwei Beispiel, wo Corporate Social Responsibility und Ökologie mehr als ein trügerisches Feigenblatt sind?

Nehmen wir PUMA. Sie haben als erste Firma überhaupt ihre erste “Umwelt-Erfolgsrechnung” veröffentlicht. Damit schaffen Sie ein Verbindung zwischen dem Ressourcenverbrauch und den wirtschaftlichen Konsequenzen.

Puma, weltbekannt durch sein Logo, besticht als positives Beispiel wenn es um Nachhaltigkeit geht.

Der Report zeigt den negativen Einfluss eines ausgelaugten Ökosystems auf die zukünftige Performance einer Unternehmung und stellt jedem Einfluss auf das Ökosystem während der gesamten Versorgungskette einen Geldwert gegenüber. Dieser Report soll der Firma helfen, nachhaltigere Materialien zu finden und sich auf neue Risiken in diesem Segment vorzubereiten. Und natürlich gilt der Report als Grundlage für ein eine noch stärker auf Fakten beruhende Verbindung zwischen allen Interessenvertretern. Ein markanter Schritt im Bereich des ‘integrated reporting’.

Ein anderes Beispiel: MAX, die Hamburger-Restaurant-Kette in Schweden und Norwegen. Keine wächst so schnell wie sie. Sie haben entschieden, die Klimafrage ernst zu nehmen um etwas für die Welt zu tun und sich von den anderen Fast-Food-Lokalen zu unterscheiden.

Max, die Hamburgerkette aus Schweden, hat sich der Nachhaltigkeit auch im sozialen Bereich verschrieben.

Heute beziehen die MAX-Restaurants Strom aus Windenergie, die Menüs sind so C02-arm als möglich, ein Label informiert die Kunden. Zudem gehören zum Nachhaltigkeitsprogramm   Gesundheitsaspekte und schliesslich will MAX ein fürsorglicher Arbeitgeber sein.

Zu guter Letzt Ihre persönliche Meinung: Die Menschheit wächst. Der grössere Energieverbrauch wird mit neuen AKWs kompensiert. Ressourcen sind auf der Neige. Aber mit all dem wird heute noch Geld verdient. Wer sitzt eigentlich auf dem falschen Dampfer?

Unser Lebensstil ist nicht nachhaltig. Dabei denke ich weniger an die wachsende Weltbevölkerung und den Mangel an natürlichen Ressourcen. Ich denke auch an das Ungleichgewicht zwischen der 1. Welt und den Habenichtsen auf diesem Planeten. Dieses Ungleichgewicht ist der grösste Mangel an Nachhaltigkeit!

Viele kann durch neue Technologien gelöst werden. Die grösste Hürde ist aber der menschliche Faktor: sind die Menschen bereit, neue Werte anzunehmen?

Schliesslich müssen Länder nicht mehr ausschliesslich über ihr BIP taxiert werden, so wie die Firmen nicht nur über die Gesamtheit der Erträge, sondern auch der damit verbundenen Kosten bewertet werden. Warum? Es ist unmöglich, dass diese Umweltkosten der Allgemeinheit aufgebürdet werden. Diese Kosten müssen insgesamt reduziert werden und gleichzeitig müssen Aspekte wie Gesundheit, ganz allgemein die Zufriedenheit des Menschen und weitere sogenannt weiche Faktoren neu bewertet werden.

*) Margareta Barchan
Margareta Barchan, Dozentin an der Business Schule, der Business School "The Lorange Institute of Business", der Business Schule in Horgen bei Zürich, an dem man Execuitve MBA und Executive MSc Programme absolvieren kann.Sie ist erfolgreiche Unternehmerin und Mitbegründerin der Celemi International, einem in Schweden ansässigen Learning-Design Unternehmen.  Sie ist Mitinitiantin von New Angles, einer Beratungsgruppe, die Organisationen unterstützt, nachhaltiger zu wirtschaften. Sie hat ihren Master of Science von der HEC School of Management Group in Paris und je einen Abschluss über ” Consulting and Coaching for Change” an der Oxford University und der Harvard Business School (Advanced Management Program).

Let’s not ignore the environment!

Dear reader

On April, 27, we will held a 1-day-seminar under the header “Grasping Opportunities of Climate Change”.

>> Get more information
and the chance of applying for the event on our website <<

What do we mean with grasping opportunities? Do we think of how to make fast money out of resources running short? No, not at all. We have a sustainable approach and think in long term relations.

A business school like the Lorange Institute of Business, what can it do for our planet?The climate change seems to become a reality – and it will change our societies on the long run.  Response measures to climate change will require businesses globally to rethink their strategies. Not only on the side of environmental sustainability, but also on the economic frontier. As a business it is an issue we simply cannot ignore.

Our Partner

We could not organize our seminar without the support of a valuable partner. Our partner is Climate-KIC. The acronym KIC stands for “Knowledge Innovation Community”. So, Climate-KIC is a novel community-driven European initiative. Its activities emerge from innovative and creative partnerships between the best available members – global and local, small and large – from the corporate, public and academic worlds.

Presentation method: Discussions!

We have invited several experts, some of them from Climate-KIC. But contrary to other business events we don’t intend to have teaching-centered presentations. On the contrary.

We invite all participants to interact with our experts and to exchange opinions. According to our experience, all participants take home more value by doing so.

I am looking forward to welcoming you!

Peter Lorange

Business School: The Lorange Institute of Business in Horgen

Africa – An Economic Giant? Part III

Dear reader

a few weeks ago  I published an article, reflecting in brief statements which haven been made by popstar and Africa-activist Bob Geldof. Some of you might have read the article via our newsletter (subscribe here).

I have returned from my summer vacation and present you a few more in-depth thoughts on the topic “Africa – an economic giant?”, reflecting another three statements. Today I continue with the third of a total of five statements.

3. Statement

Europe and the US are hypocrites. They are investing money in China and in the Middle East – Regions far away from being democratic. At the same time, they worry about investments in Africa for the continent is not democratic.

What is wrong with European and American investors?

Here is my answer:

There are plenty of individual European and American investors that are active in Africa. But, we should acknowledge that the time horizon might be longer than what we typically find in well established markets –

hence, family dominated firms may be particularly attracted to African investments, when there might be less of a quarterly earnings pressure.

I have always mentioned A.P.  Moller of Copenhagen (the owner of Maersk Line / Safmarine).

Kind regards,
Peter Lorange