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Brandinavia: Why Nordic Brands Rule
Great post Barry.That Strid and Andreasson book sounds fascinating. I'd love to hear more about the cultural forces that have turned several Scandinavian brands have into global juggernauts. That Ind article sounds like it has valuable insights as well. It is a telling observation the most successful Scandinavian brands have been category defining by creating markets that previously didn't exist (Absolut, IKEA, Lego); while others psuedo-category defining (Volvo monopolizing the market for safety; H
Charlie Quirk, Brand Strategist, http://charlie-quirk.blogspot.com/ - July 12, 2009
I returned from vacation in Norway and Iceland last month - and was indeed struck by the elegance of their design sensibilityWould you have information on how this phenomenon has emerged, and more importantly - how its purity is sustained in a here-today-gone-tomorrow environment.I would love to learn what has shaped Nordic citizens to this way of thinking and creatingRegards - Dali
Dali Agarwal, Senior Manager, Future Group, India - July 13, 2009
Did you know? Absolut is owned by the Franch spirits group "Pernod-Ricard" !
Gilles - July 13, 2009
As a Swede, and working with international marketing, it is though a sad story that our brands are sold out to other countries. Volvo and Saab are US owned, Absolut is french, Astra and Pharmacia is US/GB just to mention a few, and this will unfortunately continue. Adding a bit more sadness: the possibility to build new global brands like we did since the early 19th century, is decreasing. China and India will take over.
PO Adler, Copywriter - July 13, 2009
Your observations are Absolut-ly right Barry. I've long been an admirer of Scandinavian brands, and have dedicated a whole episode of my TV serie 'The Brand Effect' just to brand-Sweden because the Swedes are just so brand savvy (way more sophisticated in their understanding of brand as meaning than the UK for example). The Viking Manifesto book is an excellent read and re-read too. Public diplomacy expert Simon Anholt describes Sweden as having the 'perfect nation brand', which is says is "just like Switzerland, but sexier". And this powerful nation brand reputation, way out of proportion to its size, is in large measure a result of its world class product brands as you say. As an aside I am working on a re-brand of a Norfolk seaside resort called Hemsby and I am leveraging its Viking roots with a major Scandinavia Festival (in part because of the pulling power of Scandinavian culture and brands).
Simon Middleton, The Brand Strategy Guru, Brand Strategy Guru - July 13, 2009
A power barnd is a function of a coordinated effort and quality input put in over time.It has not happened with the Scandinavian countries.Can we discount the USA on brand bazar.To me,the USA is the real brand churner.Lets just glance the list of best global brand from any recognised research firm or even from Interbrand,majority of the 100 top global brands are from the USA.
Anyway, Barry deserves applause for uncovering the powe brand from the the Scandinavian countries.
Mohd. Rizwan Alam, Assistant Professor, Preston University,UAE - July 13, 2009
Please note the distinction between the terms 'Scandinavia' (Denmark, Sweden, Norway) and 'the Nordic countries' (all of the above above plus Finland and Iceland). It is a common mistake, but a mistake nevertheless.
RONNIE ROCKET, Creative Director, Founder, Signal Digital A/S - July 13, 2009
This well researched article is a pointer to the sound economic policies that exist in the Nordic sphere, the world's highest per capita income state is Norway. In furtherance to this article why is the global iconic Brand from Denmark - Bang
Ayoola Ajanaku, Marketing Consultant - July 13, 2009
It’s great to see you focus on Scandinavia. As an expat in Denmark, I feel we’re a forgotten corner of the world. You didn’t go into detail about Denmark, but there are other outstanding Danish brands, too, such as Carlsberg, B
David Hoskin, Managing Partner, Eye for Image - July 13, 2009
Sorry to learn from PO Adler that Scandinavian brands are being sold to foreign companies but it also proves the huge world value of such brands.
Another sad story in branding is regarding my country Colombia: We, 45 millions inhabitants, have not ever produced a single world brand. Or have we ?
Sacndinavians must have something special we lack.
(Mr.) Joselyn Torres, Director, Colombianense - July 13, 2009
Id agree with PO Adler, we Scandinavians (Does NOT include Finland and Iceland, what a rubbish thing to write!) are fantastic at solving problems and staying innovative, however we sell at first chance like the car brands. Here is a list of inventions that contributed to the world:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1dkV8VzpeQghttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YKrcgaiPMd0
- July 13, 2009
I'm not surprised to hear these stats! Effective strategy and strong product design leads to a good brand—and ultimately consumer loyalty.
Aniko Hill, The Kitchen Collaborative - July 13, 2009
Fantastic post. “They are good products. They have an interesting story to tell. They know how to market their products.” -- This says it all.
Lynn Platow, Creative Director, Partner, Tangerine Cafe Design Group - July 13, 2009
The article moves freely between the terms Nordic and Scandinavia – as one or two comments have pointed out. What's interesting here is not the definition of the two regions. Rather it’s that very few people outside the Nordic region know (or care about) the difference. From a marketing point of view, Scandinavia means something to consumers; while Nordic doesn’t. Many Nordic companies could benefit from remembering this when they speak to international audiences.
Dan Elloway, Copywriter, Eye for Image - July 14, 2009
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