These are the most valuable brands in Sweden

IKEA today opens up its first India store in Hyderabad City. The Swedish furniture retail giant continues to be ranked the most valuable Swedish brand according to an annual survey by the brand valuation and strategy consultancy Brand Finance. In a new report listing the top 50 brands in Sweden, IKEA holds the number 1 position in terms of brand value, followed by H&M and Nordea.

“IKEA’s brand value dropped 5% over the last year to SEK197.1 billion, as the brand faces many of the same issues as other conventional retailers, especially increasing global competition from online-only sellers and digital home-improvement offerings.”

The top 10 list remains intact from 2017 but there are significant changes in value among the leading brands. For example, Nordea is the only brand among the top 6 that actually sees an increase in value, up 7% according to the metrics used in the report.

Top 10 most valuable Swedish brands:

  1. IKEA (-5%)
  2. H&M (-7%)
  3. Nordea (+7%)
  4. Ericsson (-15%)
  5. Telia Company (-12%)
  6. Volvo (-7%)
  7. Swedbank (+7%)
  8. Handelsbanken (+3%)
  9. SEB (+6%)
  10. Skanska (+7%)

Among the losers on the list is for example forestry and paper giant SCA which drops from number 18 to 38, with an estimated drop in brand value of 86%. The highest new entry on top 50 is hygiene and health company Essity which enters the list at number 20. The explanation for this dramatic shift (which the report fails to mention) is of course that SCA in 2017 split its business into two different brands: SCA and Essity.

The fastest growing brand is the e-casino B2B provider Evolution Gaming which increased its value by 82%.

See the entire list here.

Press photo: IKEA.

How to use micro influencers to drive engagement

micro influencersBrands have been using social media influencers in marketing campaigns for a long time. As the practice has grown over the years, many individuals have become celebrities with millions of followers and they can charge thousands or tens of thousands of dollars for a social media campaign or even a single Instagram post.

As influencer marketing has become more expensive and sometimes less effective, many brands look at micro influencers as partners in online campaigns.

So how can brands use micro influencers to increase engagement online? In this webinar, digital marketing consultant Shane Barker goes through the process of finding, contacting and using micro influencers to drive engagement.

His definition of micro influencers is that they are:

  • Social media users with 1,000 to 100,000 followers
  • Specializing in a certain niche
  • Could be everyday consumers (they are very genuine, more down to earth, more like ourselves)

Some of the advantages of using micro influencers is their ability to engage, since their engagement rate normally is higher than for an influencer with a larger following:

  • Average engagement rate for influencers with fewer than 2,000 followers is 10.7% (source: influence.co)
  • Average engagement rate for influencers with 100k to 150k followers is 2.5%
  • Average engagement rate for influencers with more than 1 million followers is 1.5%

Watch the video above to learn more about how to use micro influencers in digital marketing campaigns.

Top 10 Swedish Instagram accounts

Like

My favourite photo app Instagram continues to grow and reached 400 million active users per month last fall. Many Swedish brands, celebrities and skilled photographers have been able to build huge followings on Instagram.

The 20 largest Swedish accounts added approximately 5 percent more followers last month (between Dec 4, 2015 and Jan 4, 2016).

18 Instagram accounts now have at least a million followers

You now have to have more than 100,000 followers to be among the top 100 Instagram accounts in Sweden. At least 18 of them have more than a million followers, not bad for a country of less than 10 million people. But then again, the most successful users all have an international audience.

The Swedish brand with most followers is H&M – 11.8 million (global account, they have several local accounts too).

Among individuals, PSG’s Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Swedish Youtuber Felix “Pewdiepie” Kjellberg are in a league of their own. Excluding businesses, the top 10 accounts in Sweden are (data collected on Jan 4, 2016):

  1. Zlatan Ibrahimovic – 10.7 million
  2. Pewdiepie – 6,900,000
  3. Tattoos of Instagram – 3,200,000
  4. Avicii – 3 million
  5. Men with class – 2,700,000
  6. Anna Nyström – 2,100,000
  7. Elsa Hosk – 2 million
  8. Maher Zain – 1,800,000
  9. Rachel “Yoga Girl” Bråthén – 1,700,000
  10. Alesso – 1,600,000

Note: I am @kullin on Instagram

Using social media influencers as brand ambassadors

Christine Donaldson

At today’s Rethink conference in Stockholm, Christine Donaldson talked about her experience as an Oakley Women Brand Ambassador. Christine who is a musician and a skier uses social media to create a unique online persona in order to garner the attention of an online audience. She started using Youtube for her music and Instagram to show her passion for skiing. When she began to establish herself as a social influencer, brands began to approach her with suggestions of partnerships. Today she is an ambassador not only for Oakley Women but also for other brands.

For someone who is interested in building a personal brand her advice is to find a personal voice and make your content distinguishable from others.

Today, there are no or few passive audiences. Customers rely on peers and create content on their own. By partnering with social influencers, brands could reach customers in ways that hopefully increases trust in the brand. Or in Christine’s words:

“Use the tool of human experience to get customer attention.”

Ideally, a brand ambassadorship should:

  • Strenghten relations with customers
  • Influence people to buy your product

From her experience as a brand ambassador, Christine gave the following advice in regards to ambassador programs.

Steps in building a brand ambassador program

Find the team – how to find your brand ambassadors

  • Hold a contest (have applicants create content)
  • Use a hashtag (see who is submitting the best content, that is of value to your brand)
  • Invite relevant social influencers (if you already know who is influential, invite them to participate)
  • Create a relationship (approach them with interest and offer)
  • Provide a contract (make it official, sort out the terms that also allows you to terminate the relationship)
  • Promote interaction and support between ambassadors

Beware of robots

  • Never use robots to attract an audience (stay clear of influencers who are using non-ethical ways of building a following)

Provide value and build spirit

  • Hold a retreat
  • Offer fair product trade or value
  • Share ambassadors profiles on your web site
  • Use exposure as an incentive for quality content

Activate with ambassadors

  • Utilize ambassadors in owned advertising assets (video/photo shoots)
  • Feature as models in campaigns
  • Create community events for ambassadors to attend or manage (so that customers can meet brand ambassadors)
  • Ticketed events where ambassadors attend (for example interested customers can pay to learn skills from ambassadors, like skiing)

Set expectations

  • Give social media training and training on brand voice and values
  • Share campaign launch information so that ambassadors remain informed
  • Enforce a  certain number of posts and collect data monthly

When brands start to engage with social influencers they can follow the ladder of social engagement, a model described by Tara Hunt. Read more about that process here.

ladder_of_social_engagement

Bob the Builder gets a remake. Twitter says “can you fix it?”

Toy maker Mattel yesterday unveiled a makeover of the character Bob the Builder, with a taller, slimmer and younger look. But the new computer generated Bob has not landed well with the social media audience.

New Bob the Builder

On Facebook, Bob the Builder has close to 2 million followers, but the page hasn’t been updated since January. Now would probably be a good time to start engaging with the audience again, since the page is attracting a lot of comments and most of them are negative.

Some comments:

“I like your new look as a deformed, child-faced freak.”

“Bob plz don’t get plastic surgery in 2015 u look fab as u are”

“God! Bob the Builder has been destroyed!”

The sentiment on Twitter is similar. Here are some of the most recent tweets:

Even Curtis Jobling, who once designed the original character, is unconvinced.

“If it’s not broke, don’t fix it,” he said. “I was surprised to see the new design. My original designs captured children all over the world.”

McDonald’s tweets to Luis Suarez: bite a Big Mac instead

Uruguay striker Luis Suarez is a controversial football player to say the least. His history of scandals on the pitch is lengthy and another chapter was added today during the FIFA World Cup 2014 in Brazil.

During the game against Italy, Suarez suddenly bit Italy’s Giorgio Chiellini in the shoulder. This was the third time he bit someone during a game as he had previously bit PSV Eindhoven’s Otman Bakkal and also Chelsea’s Branislav Ivanovic. Both times he got lengthy bans.

Suarez was immediately mocked on Twitter by football fans. And as often happens these days, brands also try to seize the moment and piggy back on trending events. McDonald’s Uruguay tweeted the following tweet tonight:

mcdonalds_uruguay_tweet

The tweet reads in English:

“Hi @luis16suarez, if you get hungry come and take a bite from a BigMac;) “

Reactions to the tweet were initially mixed but it quickly got thousands of retweets. What do you think? Genious or tacky?