Embrace customer centricity for sustaining a profitable business

Many businesses are product-oriented – and this, without noticing it or without thinking about it. Working processes, reporting structures, KPIs, reward systems, etc. are set up in this way.

In a market where product features are on centre-stage, this works for some time. We find this usually in environments with low competitiveness or in mature markets, where sales plateaued and/or decline.

But times have changed in virtually all industry sectors and customers are gradually moving into the focus of business attention. Why is this important? The realisation comes in when the market has “moved on” and customers have vanished.


At H22, we are working with clients that have realised that customer-centricity is challenging, but it can also be an opportunity. We agree with both and would like to add: it is a necessity to get right for remaining relevant in business.

You can do this on your own. To become even stronger, you would like to engage with partners that share a similar mindset, purpose, and ambition.

There are two sides of this. Markets are so fast-pace moving, it is exciting to explore and understand the mechanics of it. All of our consultants have a solid academic foundation, typically publishing their thought leadership in high-impact academic articles.

On the other, we are working with businesses to create noticeable impact in their industries. For some, this 180-degree change of perspective can be a long journey to realise and implement; others are closer to realising the goal. For this reason, we are exploring, developing, and delivering short 1-day high-impact workshops, extendable to full-year customised learning journeys. It really depends on where you are right now and where you need to go.

Strategy development is absolutely critical; implementation is key to success. At H22, we delivery on both.

Fred Lemke


Founder // director

Prof. Dr. Fred Lemke

Fred serves as advisor for companies in the areas of customer-centricity, hidden needs analysis, and value creation, since 2004.

He received a Chair in Marketing & Sustainability in 2013, possibly (one of) the first professors with the combination of the two business disciplines. At that time, when being asked ‘what is marketing’, he answered “marketing is the co-creation of sustainable value for business.” This explains the twin-focus of his passion that he lives by for decades. Yet, marketing and sustainability are still often seen as contradictory terms, today.

Since 2017, he serves as a professor at a leading European business school, besides holding Visiting Professorships at accredited Universities in Europe and Vietnam. Fred develops and runs business workshops and leads executive education programmes in various industry sectors, ranging from small to multi-national organisations, offering services and/or manufacturing capabilities. He has worked in Europe as well as in the USA and has a strong B2B focus.

Fred publishes in practitioner magazines as well as in high impact academic journals. For instance, he co-authored an award winning book on “Identifying Hidden Needs: Creating Breakthrough Products”. and speaks frequently on international conferences, either as keynote speaker or as thought leader.

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© 2022 HORIZON22, Prof. Dr. Fred Lemke