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German Mittelstand

Germany has just one-fourth of America’s population, and yet 4 times the net exports, i.e., exports minus imports. It is the second largest exporter behind China, and ahead of the United States. It has the world’s largest trade surplus, ahead of even China. The secret to Germany’s success is the German Mittelstand - the German midmarket. Mittelstand companies dominate many diverse market niches across the world, some with market shares of 70 to 90 percent globally.  Germany has some of the most successful midmarket companies in the world.

Mittelstand companies follow the same basic formula for doing business on many things, but differently on a few things. These are what Dr. Bernd Venohr, a Mittelstand expert calls 'uncommon common sense'. Read about 'Success Habits of the German Mittelstand!' in the Midmarket Institute blog based on interviews with a dozen mittelstand experts in Germany -

For many midmarket companies in other countries, there’s a lot to be learned from the Mittelstand, but nowhere to learn it. Until now, that is. Now, we have identified some key things these companies do differently and have been aggregating them - as videos, articles, podcasts, etc.  And, we have organized all the sections of the websites around them so that you can easily find and leverage the Mittelstand approach into your own business.  


  • Our company wants to command premium pricing like the Mittelstand.
  • We are looking for narrow market niches like the Mittelstand.
  • We need to figure out how to invest more in customer intimacy like the Mittelstand.
  • We need to hire nonfamily members into top leadership positions like the Mittelstand.
  • We want our company to be self-financing for growth and innovation like the Mittelstand.

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