A Way of Thinking

When most people think of Swedish they probably think of something clean and efficient, whether it be in the field of industry, fashion or design. Throughout many areas of consumerism, the Swedish love for simple, minimalistic and highly functional products has permeated the world and benefitted people from all walks of life. This basic premise has become the defining hall mark of good Swedish innovation and explains the success it has enjoyed across many different arenas.

Top Swedish Brands

Some of the most successful Swedish companies have been at the forefront of global initiatives that have literally changed the world! The consistently forward-thinking country has always fostered a culture of social awareness and a leaning towards environmental protection. With this in mind it has been able to maintain a balance between what is good for people and the planet and the pocket books of the industries represented. In line with this mode of thinking the biopharmaceutical company AstraZeneca not only developed and produced medicines for gastrointestinal conditions but currently enables research into new treatments for life threatening illnesses. Started by doctors in 1913 the success of the enterprise has been a reflection of the original motive to bring relief to more people and improve the quality of their lives.

Electrolux is another name familiar to many consumers who may have it emblazoned on some electrical appliance in their home. Many, however, are not aware that this company, which is the second largest home appliance company in the world, is also Swedish. Started in 1919 the company expanded its product line and in 2011 was named as one of the world’s most ethical by the Ethisphere Institute, who in the consideration of more than 38 industries could only award this accolade to a mere 110 companies.

Ikea seems to be synonymous with Sweden and its ideals centered on affordability and good design for all. Functionality and good form combine to make interior design accessible to everyone and the innovative flat pack concept was a real breakthrough. Many people have been critical of this business model but the emphasis on making good and useful products for everyone to enjoy speaks to the Swedish forward-thinking mind set, which once again has garnered success.

Equally familiar to the masses the fashion brand H&M has dominated many a high street in the last several decades. Started in 1947 it gradually evolved to sell women, men and children’s fashion as well as accessories and home goods. The trendy stores seen worldwide have once again demonstrated that a business model grounded in good ethical values and a close consideration of consumer needs can be a successful and profitable one. In an age of exploitation and concerns for the sustainability of resources it is encouraging to see this against production of eco-friendly clothes, promotion of re-cycling and an effort to ensure suppliers meet certain standards with regard to child labor laws and work place issues.

Overall the Swedish business model seems to be one well driven by high ethical standards and listening to what the consumers need, not just the investors! This secret to their success should be shared a little more liberally.