The overall winners

Tribute to the company which ranked in third place
Thomas Wolfram
, Creative Director Martin et Karczinski and lecturer ZHdK

“Toothache, viewed subjectively, is certainly unwelcome; but it has the good side that the vital energy which is otherwise often wasted is focused and vigorously concentrated on a single internal point. Hardly is the first ache perceived, the familiar boring, twitching, jolting and rumbling felt than world history falls by the wayside, price reports, taxes and multiplication tables are forgotten. In short, every form of accustomed existence, which otherwise seems real and important, suddenly becomes meaningless and irrelevant”.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Wilhelm Busch knew what he was talking about because his own dentition gave him real trouble. The business which holds position 3 in the annual reports rating could surely have helped him because it knows all about implants and restorative tooth replacements.

In all likelihood Busch would have not understood the Straumann Group’s annual report because it is published consistently in English only. But if he did master the English language, he would have obtained a comprehensive pictures of a many faceted enterprise and understood what’s what about dental prosthetics and oral tissue regeneration. The report is written in a language that is understandable to the layman and so gives a rapid overview of the company’s activity and above all of the way Straumann sets about it. That aspect was rated particularly highly by the final jury and praised with the statement “they do this better than anyone else”.

At the centre of the convenient annual report in two parts there is a promise “We create opportunities”. The evidence is impressive and begins already on the cover, where offers for the different stakeholder groups are presented. In the inside section, the opportunities are further enriched by stories and run through the chapters as a constant theme in the shape of visual image islands. The portrait photography is exceptionally realistic and perhaps goes a little too far in image processing. Just three out of ten of the persons portrayed show their teeth with a smile - that poses questions but at the same time makes a human impression.

The latest annual report tells things straight and without frippery. The layout and structure are wonderfully clear and easy to follow. The basic layout with its unobtrusive typography is elegantly understated and stresses the deliberate objectivity of the report. The two colour infographics play on an aesthetic which borrows from PowerPoint and create specific visual experiences with abundant facts. Particular emphasis should be placed on the presentation and comparison with the markets and competitors - nobody else does that.

Anyone who turns to the online version after reading the printed annual report will immediately contemplate mountains, running water and ducks. This conceptual and aesthetic break causes some irritation to the reader. But such criticism must be interpreted as a suggestion of the need to close this gap and understand the overall reporting experience as a single entity.

As was the case in past years value reporting in the printed annual report meets a very high standard. On the other hand, in value reporting online, there is still room for improvement – especially in the areas of shareholder information and corporate governance. If the company were to do even better on this point, competition for the top ranking would be still keener.

But the fact is: even the old love pales, we do not know how the butter tastes because the cavity in the molar is where it is all happening and no matter how much we rage and stamp our feet the decision is inevitable: that tooth must come out!

We congratulate everyone who helped to put together the Straumann Report on their third overall ranking and on reaching the podium this time round.