Aalto EE helps renowned Finnish companies to strengthen their foothold in the US market


Management expertise, local market knowledge, and brand and design know-how are vital to companies targeting the international markets. Aalto University Executive Education’s (Aalto EE) Design for Success program supports companies that are growing their foothold in the US market and boosts the success of businesses already operating there. The program includes the famous Finnish design and consumer brands Lapponia (Kaleva Koru Oy), Reima, Valio, Marimekko and Fazer.

"It's great to be building a program in which strong Finnish consumer brands are jointly seeking to promote their success in the US markets. Given the diverging focus areas of the companies, the development of product and brand portfolios, and the management of international brands and marketing in general, lie at the heart of the program,” says Mirjami Mäkinen, Senior Advisor, Aalto EE.

The program applies the Design Thinking method, which is a pragmatic and creative way of solving the challenges faced by businesses. Jaana Beidler, Professor of Color and Material Design at Aalto University, is serving as one of the program’s experts on the method. She is also strongly familiar with the US market, based on over twenty years of leadership positions with companies such as Nike and Patagonia.

Local partner network is in a key position

“The right partner networks create an important foundation for success. Supplier and channel selections are a key element when building and managing a successful brand. In support of the participating companies, Aalto EE has brought experts into the program who understand the US markets and the nuances of various sectors,” says Minna Wickholm, a Business Area Director at Aalto EE.

Because success cannot be built solely from Finland, the participant companies will make a specially tailored journey to the United States, which will help them to create a partner network and develop market expertise.

“Tekes is demonstrating its open-mindedness by strongly supporting the companies participating in this marketing-oriented program,” stresses Mäkinen.

The core lessons and experiences gained during the year-long "Design for Success – Finnish Brands to the US Markets" program will be gathered and shared via the Aalto Leaders' Insight content stream.

Additional information

Minna Wickholm
Business Area Director, Open Enrollment Programs and Networks, Aalto EE
Tel. +358 10 847 3723

Aalto University Executive Education Ltd

Aalto University Executive Education Ltd offers thought-provoking leadership development services (Aalto EE), professional development services for specialists and managers (Aalto PRO) and creative solutions covering the whole life cycle of entrepreneurship (Aalto ENT). Aalto University brings to our offering a multidisciplinary approach, together with innovative learning methods; this provides a unique combination of practical expertise with the latest research.

Aalto University Executive Education’s strengths lie in its global operating model and diverse offering. In addition to Finland and Singapore, Aalto University Executive Education offers education programs in China, Indonesia, Iran, Poland, Russia, South Korea, Sweden, Taiwan, Tanzania, Vietnam and the Baltic countries. As a part of Aalto University, it holds three respected business university accreditations – AACSB, AMBA, and EQUIS – which places it among the top 0.5% of institutions in the world.