Client Seminar Recap
at SDG Oslo

We think stories are best told by those who live and breathe them, so we invited our clients Vipps, Amerikalinjen, Innovation Norway and Fremtind to share their stories and show us what their brands are all about.

The Stories Behind the Brands

There’s a story behind every brand. Those stories are of people and organisations that find ways of solving key challenges like:

  • Succeeding in the market
  • Evolving in fast paced 
  • Dealing with larger structures
  • Balancing multiple stakeholders

Strategic brand work is not for the short-sighted or faint-hearted – it’s for professionals with talent, stamina and creativity.

Vipps – Business and Brand. Are they one and the same?

Vipps is a fintech company growing at blistering speed while consistently scoring at the very top of the most attractive, most liked and most used brands in Norway. Within the past few years, they have claimed the throne of smart, mobile payments, they have merged with the largest provider of digital identity services, BankID, and also with the biggest infrastructure for card payments, BankAxept. The main challenge for Vipps is to use strategic brand-thinking to evolve the organization, win new markets and export their services abroad, all at maximum speed, and with a “vippsy” attitude, which is completely embodied by their CMO, Hanne Norstrøm-Ness.

One key takeaway from the talk is how the brand strategy developed with an outside-in perspective. Everything Vipps does and all the decisions they make are rooted in that. Their brand strategy and their business strategy are one and the same.

Amerikalinjen  Concept is the hero.

Amerikalinjen is a new boutique hotel built on a rich history, located in the heart of Oslo. The building it occupies was previously the headquarters of the Norwegian America Line, where thousands of hopeful Norwegians started their journey to the “land of opportunity” throughout the majority of the 20th century. On the 15th of March, 2019 – 100 years after the headquarters opened in 1919 – new life was given to these dreams. This iconic building in the heart of Oslo has now been reborn as a vibrant boutique hotel, designed for the modern explorer.

The Amerikalinjen team has rooted itself to the concept, and by consistently holding true to that concept they have gathered a crew around them who are just as inspired by the story as they are. Each collaboration is carefully selected to enrich the brand journey, and each interaction is grounded in the brand story. Throughout his talk Wilhelm Hartwig, General Manager of Amerikalinjen, vividly expressed that this way of working is crucial to the entire experience.

Innovation Norway – Why brand a whole country?

The very idea of branding a country and positioning it as a pioneer of sustainability can seem daunting, abstract and even a bit confusing. At the NHO conference in 2017, the Prime Minister of Norway presented a challenge to the country: our businesses, our capacity to innovate and renew, and our desire to succeed and have global impact demand a new way of communicating the essence of our country. Innovation Norway was given the task to initiate and implement this project. The strategic brand challenge at hand was massive, and Anne-Mette Hoel, Special Advisor to Innovasjon Norge, gave us a thorough run-through of some of the solutions. She passionately presented the new, unified Brand Norway visual profile and the digital matchmaking service The Explorer. 

The main lesson from Innovasjon Norge is to clearly map out the processes you use to support and include stakeholders in your project, especially when the project is gaining momentum. Your project thrives with strong systems.

Fremtind – How to position an ingredient brand.

Goretex, Intel and Star Alliance are some of the most famous ingredient brands around, but creating this style of brand in the field of insurance is not an easy task. This is even more pronounced when your company is owned by two massive competing banks, and your brand and identity must therefore work in both contexts. Enter Fremtind.

The task of figuring out how this would work was handed to Fremtind’s CCO, Kristin Vetleseter, and CMO, Jarle Moe. In their presentation they focused on the results of their work – showcasing how clever visual elements, strategic brand thinking and a healthy dose of design work can be used to accomplish the goal in a methodical yet creative way.

Many thanks to Hanne Norstrøm-Ness, Anne Mette Hoel, William Hartwig, and Jarle Moe and Kristin Vetleseter.

See you next time!