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.

For travel tips about Sweden, check out my travel blog.

Fake IKEA gift cards – Spam hits Pinterest

The popular online pinboard Pinterest has been hit by a series of spam ads. Pinterest user Craig Fifield found that a strange image had been posted on of of his wife’s boards. It was something she would never pin on the site, an ad for Wal-Mart. The same thing was noticed by Om Malik on Gigaom:

“Earlier this evening, some kind of spam-exploit injected  javascript code that started replacing many Pinterest photos with ads for Best Buy. (see photo.) The actions resulted in disgruntled users blaming Pinterest.”

Fake gift cards for well known brands such as Wal-Mart, IKEA, iPad and others are suddenly all over Pinterest.

pinterest spam ads for ikea and ipad

They all seem to be pointing to the site and some spammer has probably posted several photos and then after they were repinned, the image changed to an ad through some kind of script. The original images seem to have been posted to boards themed “party ideas”, “beauty” and “quotes” to name a few.

Some of the spam ads have been repinned more than 6,000 times.

pinterest spam ad starbucks

This is of course quite serious for Pinterest, since it is a blow to the very heart of the site. If we can no longer trust that images we repin aren’t going to turn into spam ads, dare we use the site at all?

Another form of spam that has been emerging is that the same image is posted multiple times on multiple accounts, but with the exact same text.

pinterest spam ads

Update: one of the accounts that seemed to be the origin of some spam ads have now been deleted:

IKEA victim of Facebook hoax


A while back, more than 200,000 Swedes were fooled to join a Facebook group that promised to donate 2 SEK per fan to the victims of the Haiti earth quake. Only problem was that once the group reached the goal, it changed name and added some really outrageous content. I was somewhat amazed that all these people didn’t see through that scam because when something seems too good to be true, it often is.

The latest scam is a Facebook campaign by IKEA that promises to give you a 1,000 USD gift card if you became a fan of the Swedish company. Of course, this is not really a campaign that is really run by IKEA. If you have any knowledge of the IKEA culture I’m convinced that you would agree that IKEA would never give money away in a stunt like this.

IKEA spokesperson Mona Astra Liss says the “false offer” is not some half-baked publicity stunt by IKEA. “It’s absolutely not a publicity stunt and absolutely not endorsed by IKEA,” she says. She adds that Facebook performs closed investigations of scams, so IKEA doesn’t know who’s behind the hoax.

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IKEA brings change to the oval office

Just in time for the presidential inauguration of Barack Obama on Jan 20, IKEA yesterday opened up their Embrace Change website. It cleverly piggybacks on the historical moment when Obama will be sworn as the next president of the USA. On the site you can furnish the oval office with IKEA furniture and then send your suggestion to the White House. Very clever. And doesn’t it look great with a bunk bed in the oval office?


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How to visualize your Google results in a brand cloud

Search engines increasingly play a vital role in how brands are perceived. A study in 2005 showed that 40%, or twenty of Britain’s top fifty grocery brands had negative commentary amongst the top ten results on their Google search page. For some the negative comment is the number one result. This week, Media Orchard wrote about a simple way of illustrating “the impression a brand’s Google results are making on potential customers (or investors, or employees)”.

By taking all the words in the first three pages of the search results for a brand, and add them into TagCrowd, Scott at Media Orchard got several “brand clouds”, this one below is for IKEA.


Here are the results for H&M.; Not quite as flattering as for IKEA. Common themes are children, child labour and cotton. TagCrowd doesn’t work very well in Swedish, but there is a stop list of Swedish words that can filter out unwanted words.

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