Frédéric Dalsace

Professor of Marketing and Strategy

Frédéric Dalsace is Professor of Marketing and Strategy and Co-Director of IMD’s Leading Customer-Centric Strategies (LCCS) program. He focuses on two distinct areas – B2B issues such as customer centricity, buyer-seller relationships, and value management, and sustainability, inclusive business models, and alleviating poverty.

He believes that companies need to rethink their approach to customer centricity. He says many organizations only consider customer centricity when they are defining their offers, but that they also need to incorporate it into the value delivery and value capture dimensions of their business models. One way of doing this is through risk-sharing business models including fully service-based offerings, such as Rolls Royce’s Power by the Hour model, or performance-based and outcome-based contracts in which payments depend on the value created, with the result that the interests of suppliers and customers are aligned.

Risk-sharing business models are also relevant in Dalsace’s work on sustainability because they lead to more circular and more efficient solutions. He previously worked with 2006 Nobel prize winner Professor Muhammad Yunus on inclusive business models and is currently helping firms to integrate sustainability into their broader strategy by making the business case for sustainability, for example. Many companies have been naive about sustainability and have made the mistake of decoupling it from their overall strategy, he says.

Firms have to fundamentally redefine the way they think about customer centricity; developing products and services that customers desire is only the beginning.

Dalsace is also collaborating with IMD’s Professor of Strategy Arnaud Chevallier on a project to identify and evaluate the types of questions that leaders should be asking of those around them. As this is not something that is formally taught, leaders tend to learn by doing, which can lead to blind spots. Using a database of more than 600 executives, the pair have therefore developed a template for the types of questions that leaders need to ask – and how to ask them.

He has worked with a range of firms including Atlas Copco, UCB, Valmet, VAT Group, Grundfos, MANE, Porsche, and STADA, and he has been published in academic journals such as Harvard Business Review, Business Horizons, Strategic Management Journal, and Revue Française de Gestion.

Before joining IMD in 2019 he was a Professor at HEC Paris for 16 years, holding the Social Business/Enterprise and Poverty Chair, and he has won numerous awards for his teaching, research, and publications.

Prior to his academic career, he held a series of senior positions in the business world, including marketing roles at Michelin and CarnaudMetalbox and as a strategy consultant with McKinsey.

Selected publications
Article
Mindset drives success : Selling beneficial products at the base of the pyramid
Why are so few organizations selling beneficial products at the base of the pyramid (BoP) successful? This is not simply a story of companies failing, and it is one with a dramatic consequence as l...
Published 1 July 2021
Article
The friend or foe fallacy: Why your best customers may not need your friendship
Organizational transactions are handled along a continuum of the firm’s customer relationships, ranging from relational and friendly to more adversarial and us-versus-them in demeanor. For top cust...
Published 1 August 2017
Article
Reaching the rich world’s poorest consumers
Almost 120 million people in the European Union are classified as at risk of poverty or social exclusion. Although many companies offer low-cost products and services, they have largely ignored the...
Published 1 March 2015
Book
L’entreprise contre la pauvreté
L’économie sociale et l’entrepreneuriat solidaire apparaissent de plus en plus comme les porteurs possibles de réponses innovantes face à la crise. En cherchant à réinventer son rôle social et à se...
Published 31 October 2011
Academic publications
Article
Mindset drives success : Selling beneficial products at the base of the pyramid
Why are so few organizations selling beneficial products at the base of the pyramid (BoP) successful? This is not simply a story of companies failing, and it is one with a dramatic consequence as l...
Published 1 July 2021
Insight for Executives
Aikon Medical Devices Co. (A): Strategizing for continuous success
Case Study
Aikon Medical Devices Co. (A): Strategizing for continuous success
Set in 2008, the A case portrays the first 134 years of Aikon, a US multinational based in Minnesota. It is presented to participants as the baseline case, and they are told that the B and C cases ...
Published 20 April 2022
Article
Customer centricity, un viaje sin línea de meta
Throughout his long professional career, Dalsace has advised dozens of multinationals. In addition to the role of business in poverty reduction and the development of business models, his area of r...
Published 21 November 2021
Discover the 3D secrets to true customer centricity
Video
Discover the 3D secrets to true customer centricity
If you want to achieve true customer centricity, you need to combine the possibilities of digital transformation with classic “human” leadership skills. At OWP liVe, Didier Bonnet, Frédéric Dalsace...
Published 1 June 2021
The four types of questions leaders should be asking
Video
The four types of questions leaders should be asking
As leaders progress through their organizations, they face a problem as old as the Socratic paradox: they don’t know what they don’t know. It’s an easy trap to fall into because strong leaders ask ...
Published 6 May 2021
Putting the customer at the heart of your business requires more than just good intentions
Video
Putting the customer at the heart of your business requires more than just good intentions
Integrate a customer-centric mindset, digital enablers and leadership capabilities to serve your customers, advise IMD Professors Katharina Lange, Frederic Dalsace and Didier Bonnet
Published 29 January 2021
Leading in turbulent times webinar series: Sustainability
Video
Leading in turbulent times webinar series: Sustainability
Seeing the bigger picture of how society will tackle sustainability after the COVID-19 crisis
Published 16 April 2020
Rethinking capitalism: An opportunity for Switzerland
Article
Rethinking capitalism: An opportunity for Switzerland
As the World Economic Forum takes place in Davos, Professor Frédéric Dalsace says Switzerland can become a hub for partnerships to reform capitalism
Published 22 January 2020
Article
Reaching the rich world’s poorest consumers
Almost 120 million people in the European Union are classified as at risk of poverty or social exclusion. Although many companies offer low-cost products and services, they have largely ignored the...
Published 1 March 2015
Business Model Innovation: Michelin Fleet Solutions - From Selling Tires To Selling Kilometers
Case Study
Business Model Innovation: Michelin Fleet Solutions - From Selling Tires To Selling Kilometers
Michelin, a worldwide leader in the tyre industry, launched in 2000 a comprehensive tyre-management solution offer for large European transportation companies, called Michelin Fleet Solutions (MFS)...
Published 9 June 2013
Report
The poverty penalty in France: How the market makes low-income populations poorer
What has come to be known as the poverty penalty – the additional cost paid for goods and services by the poor relative to the more affluent – is a familiar mechanism in emerging countries. For pro...
Published 31 May 2012
Programs
liVe virtual New
Leading Customer Centric Strategies

Boost growth. Become a customer-focused powerhouse

How do you become a customer-focused powerhouse that is hyper-relevant and valuable to your clients? The answer lies in leveraging and integrating three key business dimensions: your strategic marketing, digital transformation and leadership.

Location: liVe virtual Length: 9 weeks including 3 weeks immersive learning Fee: CHF 7,900 Next start: 6 February 2023
On campus
Orchestrating Winning Performance

Reset for sustainable and inclusive growth

IMD's signature program, OWP, brings you the latest business trends, thought leadership and insights to revitalize your business, drive innovation and lead you forward. Fully customizable schedule. For executives and teams.

Location: Lausanne Length: 5 days Fee: CHF 10,900 Next start: 26 June 2023