Magdalena Gerger, Systembolaget

Customer experience, Purpose

The Swedish alcohol monopoly, Systembolaget, has a nationwide retail network of 431 stores. The brand has a long and rich history of more than 100 years. However it wasn’t that long ago that the alcohol monopoly in Sweden was questioned and a frequently debated issue. Nevertheless, during the past few years, the brand has done a remarkable brand journey.

The story

Today, more and more Swedes are in favor of the monopoly. The brand has moved from a rather tough position, to being considered best in class in customer experience. Systembolaget has now topped the service score among all Swedish companies for four consecutive years.

In this episode of Varumärkespodden we meet Magdalena Gerger, CEO of Systembolaget since 2009, and the leader behind the brand journey. Magdalena has a background with major international brands such as Procter & Gamble, Nestlé, Arla and Häagen-Dazs. She is a board member of Investor and Husqvarna and has previously served on the board of IKEA.

In the podcast, Lynxeye’s co-founder Johan Ekelin digs deeper into what the success factors behind Systembolaget’s brand journey are. The question in focus – How the state owned monopoly Systembolaget became “best in class” in customer experience.

According to Magdalena, one of the reasons is a purpose driven leadership. Today, the brand is a movement towards positive change. With a clear reason to exist and societal role to play, Magdalena has created a customer-driven organizational culture. The societal role is to “minimize alcohol-related problems by selling alcohol in a responsible way, without profit motive”. And today, the alcohol consumption in Sweden is decreasing. Young people increasingly postpone their alcohol debut and Swedes are moving away from the traditional “bang-for-the-buck” culture. Instead, Swedish consumers are changing their behavior towards a more premiumized and qualitative approach to alcohol.

Hear Magdalena’s own story of how Systembolaget succeeded in driving a long-term change resulting in a remarkable brand journey.

About Varumärkespodden

Varumärkespodden is produced in cooperation with Dagens Media and the interviewer is always Johan Ekelin, co-founder and COO of Lynxeye. Don’t forget to subscribe in your podcast app and join the conversation on Twitter with @Lynxeyeglobal.

The podcast is in Swedish.

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