tisdag 22 december 2009

The logo is not the brand

This was written by the Manager of Tourism in Spain - Ignacio Vasallo - in Monocle Magazine, Dec/Jan-issue. It may not be so easy to find those few carefully chosen words, but it is certainlyl important. A logo is not a brand. A brand is everything you say and everything you do. When all is well, the logo illustrates the values of the brand in a good way.

"Nearly 30 years ago, a single meeting with Joan Miro was enough to revolutionise Spain's tourism brand. These days, it's even simpler as the web means nations can promote themselves with just a few choice word.

Vasallo writes: In 1982, seven years after General Franco died, Spain was just getting going as a modern democracy. All that people outside had heard about us as a country was to do with violence, death and repression. They thought we were backward and damaged. I was made junior minister for tourism and, basically, my job was to get people to think of Spain as a tourist destination.

We were creating something from scratch. People in high places were open to new ideas and passionately needed to send out a really powerful message. We came up with a simple one - "Spain, diversity under the sun." And then we started working out how to illustrate that. The in-house artists played with images of oranges and sombreros and that stuff. But nothing felt strong enough.

So I dropped that approach and went to see Joan Miró, one of our greatest artists alive at the time. He was ill and we talked as he ate his soup in bed. And he completely got it. He gave us the red, black and yellow sun that is still our tourism logo to this day. He refused to take any money - he said he wanted it to be a gift "for the King and the government". Some people thought the logo looked like a fried egg. But the country's leaders understood.

When we launched our campaign with this logo in 1984, it was a huge success. In the space of less than a year, perhaps because of timing and personalities and a bit of luck, we had created a symbol of Spain that is still strong today.

It was the first time any country had created an abstract logo to brand itself but today everybody thinks that all you need to do to rebrand a country is make a logo. 

I think that's out of date. Logos are old fashioned. These days, you can communicate almost instantly with the world. And the internet means that message has got to be verbal. How many logos do you ever notice when you're surfing online? If I were in charge of making a new image for Spain now, or a new nation such as Montenegro for that matter, I would not be thinking about a logo.

All you need is to be clear about what you've got to say. In this age of mass communication in English all you need are a few carefully chosen words.


måndag 21 december 2009

Joy in a bottle

Last year, Skånemejerier launched a new range of drinking yoghurt. The bottles are called Joy, Happiness, Harmony and Love. Who wouldn´t want to buy a bottle of Happiness? My favorite is the taste of Love - raspberry and licorice.


måndag 14 december 2009

New workshops coming up

Visit driftig.nu and give yourself a great branding-start of your new year. If you live in Stockholm or close by, take the chance to build your personal brand through inspiring workshops during January and February.

The workshops will be held at Lilla Hornsberg, where you´ll be welcomed by a sparkling tile stove and cream tea.


Focus on your potential, not your limitations.

onsdag 9 december 2009

Living the brand of your dreams

We have had a range of workshops about personal branding during these last couple of months.
I am happy to observe how people find alternative ways of thinking and acting, as they become aware of how they can form their lives in a new way depending on their goals.

In a couple of months we will have a reunion with the group. I´m already excited to find out what has happened with everyone, as they live the brand of their dreams and goals.

onsdag 25 november 2009


Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow.

tisdag 17 november 2009

What is your trigger?

Different things give new energy to different people. What is your trigger? Challenges, people, praise, competition, outdoorlife, physical or mental challenges, music...? When you know what gives you energy and joy, you can look for those things and make sure that you get in touch with them more often. You can also let the people around you know about this, so that they can help you with your triggers as often as they can.

As a leader, it is good to know what makes each co-worker tick. In that way it will be easier for you to motivate them. Ask them or observe.

söndag 15 november 2009

Royal Branding

The Danish architect Bjarke Ingels has created the upcoming VMCP house by Arlanda Airport outside of Stockholm. The balconies of this hotel form abstract patterns which on a distance become portraits of the Swedish Crown Princess, her sister and brother. Cool idea!

Picture: Iconeye

The VMCP-house

This architect is really worth checking out. Watch him speak at TED. Amazing.

fredag 13 november 2009

Personal branding is growing

The expression "Personal Branding" may not be old. Building an image is an old phenomenon, though. People have done that for ages. It is hard not to. All of us give an impression to the people we meet, whether we like it or not. It is a 24/7-activity.

People talk more and more about personal branding. There is a hype coming up. What we need to remember, is that your personal brand is built from within. You can not construct a brand which isn´t genuine. Well you can, but it will not live for a long time. People will see through your shell quite soon.

If you decide to be in charge of your personal brand, you will need to define your values and goals. Based on this, you can move on to building your image. The more clear and consistent you are when it comes to your personal brand, the easier it is for people in your surroundings to understand who you are and respond to that.

Everything you say and everything you do gives people an impression of who you are. Take charge of your personal brand!

söndag 1 november 2009

Time to light candles

As we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.

The personal brand of a celebrity

Imagine being a celebrity. How would it be if media were in charge of your personal brand? You would find stories about yourself in the newspaper, on the internet or on TV. Some of the stories would be true, some would be completely made up. Imagine the frustration of having somebody else tell the world who you are, what you stand for and what you believe in.

Our Swedish future queen Victoria is more focused in media now than ever, because of her upcoming wedding to Daniel Westling. Soon we will be able to send the picture of this couple on letters all over the world, as they will be honored with a stamp. More and more people will become interested in the story of Princess Victoria and they will search for information in media. The princess will need to possess a strong integrity in order to keep some kind of private control of her personal brand.

You and I (unless you are a celebrity) have an easier challenge. We can decide to be in charge of our personal brand and work on it, so that we reach our goals faster and easier. It is a fun job - go for it!

tisdag 27 oktober 2009

tisdag 20 oktober 2009

Believe and achieve

Limiting yourself to what you think you can do holds you back and stops growth. You can go as far as your mind will allow - whatever you believe in, you can achieve.

Paul Martinelli

måndag 19 oktober 2009

Your personal brand on the web

A new article about personal branding has been published at driftig.nu
This time we focus on your brand on the web. The article is in Swedish. Come and visit!

söndag 18 oktober 2009

Branded brothers

This week, the Uppsala International Guitarfestival was held. One of the mainattractions was the Duo Assad, two Brasilian brothers who are considered to be the top guitarduo in the world.

I was there to listen to them. They were fabulous, of course. The way they handled their guitars was fantastic - and as always with extraordinarly people - it looked so easy. They have played together for 40 years and their teamwork is precise and perfect.

Some things that fascinated me about them were their facial expressions, which gave an extra dimension to the music. And of course their "tics", if one could say that. One brother would stroke his forehead in between every piece of music. The other brother would moisten his fingers with his lips just before the first chord of every piece.

From the beginning these gestures did probably have a practical meaning. Now I believe that they are just a way of getting started. So many athletes have similar habits, almost as a trademark.

The brothers were dressed in similar clothes, but yet different. The older brother -living in San Fransisco - had a more traditional shirt, while the younger - living in Brussels - had long hair and a slightly more creative style. They showed their different personalities and at the same time nurtured their common brand in a good way.

Humble and extremely talented. What a nice combination.

lördag 17 oktober 2009

How much can a brand stand?

The Swedish model Filippa Hamilton has worked with Ralph Lauren for many years. These last weeks, a picture of her has been seen in media. Her waist has been retouched so bad that it is smaller than her head. The picture looks absurd. Filippa Hamilton has also been sacked from Ralph Lauren because of her weight. She weighs 55 kg and is 174 cm tall.

This will not gain the fashion company, although they admit that the picture is a mistake. It puts a very strange shimmer on the brand Ralph Lauren.

onsdag 14 oktober 2009

torsdag 8 oktober 2009


A Swedish documentary filmmaker - Fredrik Gertten - has made a film called "Bananas". It describes how the company Dole treats plantageworkers in Nicaragua. Based on this movie, the hamburgerrestaurant Max in Sweden choose to stop selling fruitsalads from Dole. Some other large foodcompanies have booked meetings with Dole in order to discuss the movie and the treatment of the workers.

This is very negative PR for Dole. I have not seen the movie Bananas, but the occurence indicates that the workers are treated in a bad way. Besides the important human aspect of this, the brand will absolutely be affected in a negative way. Treating people badly - especially from a superior position - is something that we do not accept anymore.

Photo: www.fotoakuten.se

fredag 2 oktober 2009

Visa ditt rätta jag!

Nu startar vi inspirerande workshops i Stockholm på kvällstid, där du får möjlighet att utveckla ditt personliga varumärke tillsammans med andra i en mindre grupp. Anna-Karin Lingham föreläser och leder gruppen. Vi träffas vid fyra tillfällen.

Kom som privatperson eller företagare. Besök Workshop för mer info.


torsdag 1 oktober 2009

Hosting the very Radioshow of Sweden

I used to think that I wanted to live my life in such an adventurous and interesting way, that I would be qualified to be the host of a Sommar-program in Swedish radio one day. Not that I need to host one of those programs - I just want to feel that I would qualify and that life is inspiring enough along the way. Sometimes I make it, sometimes I don´t.

At least the adventures of life are interesting enough. And summer was good.

Anna Anka

One may disagree with the ideas and opinions of Anna Anka. Still she is a fantastic example of how fast a person can build a personal brand in a deliberate way.

I believe that Anna Anka is bright enough, regardless of her opinions. I think that she knows quite well how her statements can be perceived as stupid and oldfashioned from a Swedish point of view. She plays with us, and is probably having a blast when she looks at our reactions. I also get the impression that she is bold and insensitive to critique. She goes her own way - which for her gives rise to money and fame. What does she have to loose, really?

In order to build a strong personal brand, you need to stand out in a crowd. You also need to be clear about your goals and your values. Then you need to act on it and build your image. If you are covered in media, you will not be in total control of the image that is being spread about you. Still, there are lots of tools that you can use to get it your way, more or less.

There may be more likeable persons to follow when it comes to personal branding, but I will be observant about how long Anna Anka will be covered in media. She may be a mayfly - gone in a month. She may also take the opportunity to build other concepts around her brand - clothes, perfume, write a book... Well see. The question is - Who will be interested in becoming an Anna Anka-fan in the long run? Is there substance enough to provoke people for more than a few weeks? She is too old to be a rolemodel for young women. Still they are probably more rebellic than the older ones, and may enjoy some of her actions.

Who is her targetgroup, really? Men? And do they care?

I overheard a discussion

At the hairdresser the other day I overheard a discussion between two employees. They were commenting their fellow worker who overslept and turned up two hours late that morning - which of course caused disappointed and lost clients.

It was a negative conversation. I wasn´t interested - quite the other way actually. It gave me an impression of a disharmonic staff.

My haircut was quite good, but will it be overshadowed by my impression of the place? I don´t know yet. The problem for them is that the thought of changing to another hairdresser has even entered my mind.

Keep the internal issues to yourself. Your clients do not want to know about them. (Some may want to, but only in order to spread the word about your issues to others.)

måndag 28 september 2009

Living the brand

Companies which understand that living the brand is essential, will become almost unstoppable. Decisions will be easy to make, the staff will work in the same direction and customers will become loyal.

The management must understand that their task is to serve the brand in all decisions -large or small. If the management is not clear about this, there will without a doubt be signs of "unfaithfulness" in the financial result.

If the brand is not straight and clearly described, it will be hard to serve it. There must be a brand platform, well worked through and easy to apply in all communication. The management of the company should be responsible of creating, implementing and caring for the brand platform. In order to create a strong brand, you need to be patient and work focused on a longtermbasis.

Successful companies do almost always have a clear and concise brand to live and serve.

Build a colorful brand. Then live it!

måndag 21 september 2009

Social media - I am pro

Some companies welcome the growth of social media. They use it in branding, marketing and when it comes to building opinion. One of them is Otto Drakenberg, CEO of Carlsberg Sverige. He is blogging twice a week, mainly in order to build understanding and commitment among the employees. He can tell that the blog has had a positive effect on the company and its´growth.

Other companies are opposed to the use of social medias. They see it as a phenomenon which takes valuable time from the employees.

I believe that social medias are a perfect window to the world, as long as you choose the channels which suit your purpose. If the marketing mix has no social media in it - rethink! Your company will loose part of the target group and its´image will soon be a bit oldfashioned.

I am pro social media. However, I believe that one must use them with a specific goal and a great deal of respect when it comes to expressions and choice of channels. Build an image which is synchronized with your goals and your values. Use a language and pictures that you can stand for. If you handle social media right, it is a great resource.

måndag 14 september 2009


Some of the top comedians in Sweden are starting a humour-training for CEOs. They believe that if you add just a little more humour in your communication, it will make a positive impact on the business and your businessrelations.

Humour is great. However, I appreciate personality, charm and good intentions more than just plain humour. Being able to create a great working environment is essential for the success of a company.

onsdag 9 september 2009

Meeting in space

While the flightcompanies fight to survive, there are other winners when it comes to communication. More and more meetings are being held through videoconferences.

The equipment is quite expensive. So far there are mostly large companies among the users. However, the technique is growing better and better. This opens up for smaller companies.

I believe that there may be lots of advantages of meeting this way, when it is not possible to travel. Our goal to reduce the environmental effect of flying is surely a good reason to stay home and meet in space. However, this can not replace the need of meeting face to face. People need to interact! Use videomeetings when you already know the people and want short and effective discussions. When it comes to important decisisons and new contacts - you may consider meeting in real life.

Picture: Skiptrip

Co-branding claims common values

I can only smile at the example of the margarinbrand trying to sponsor the Swedish national chefteam. Swedish chefs usually use natural products like butter, not margarin. What were they thinking? This resulted in badwill for both brands, unfortunately. As far as I can understand, the cooperation has now ended.

When it comes to co-branding, there has to be common values between the brands and both brands need to be committed. If not, the cooperation will not be trustworthy to the customers. That is a rule which can not be broken.

Think it through before you sign a co-branding agreement. I guess it´s a bit like getting married. You need common values and mutual commitment in order to handle and enjoy a longterm relationship.

söndag 6 september 2009

Handing over the baton

Picture: Bellmanstafetten

I was running a relay race with friends this weekend. It was a good and sunny day, and the place was crowded with happy runners. One of the challenges of the race - besides running - was to find your buddy in the crowd and hand over the baton as smoothly and quickly as possible. It may sound easy, but the place was crowded and we lost a few minutes looking for eachother at the shifts. To us, this was not a big issue. We were there to have fun, and we did. However, next year we will know more about how the relay race works and we will be more prepared for the shifts. Maybe we´ll put baloons on our heads or something, in order to find eachother easily...

We have similar challenges in all projects and processes in work and private life - handing things over to the next person as smoothly as possible. We may loose time, energy and efficiency when this happens. Often it is more important that everything works smoothly, then it was for us on this sunny Saturday. So why does this happen then?

* We may not know who to hand over to
* There may not be anyone to hand over to
* The next person isn´t ready to take over
* We can´t find the person to hand over to
* We don´t know what to hand over
* We are not ready to hand things over in time
* We don´t have the same picture of the process as the next person

If we can eliminate some of these challenges beforehand, we will save time and energy. Prepare, research for information that will help you out and communicate throughout the whole chain of individuals so that you all have the same vision of the process. Then everyone will be moving on with great energy and focus.

Picture: Bellmanstafetten

onsdag 2 september 2009

Communicate your strengths

You may feel that you have many hidden strengths in your personality, but if you are not able to communicate that picture of you - from a personal branding point of view, those strengths are non-existent.

Managing Brand Me

lördag 29 augusti 2009


When it comes to your personal image, the places where you choose to live and spend your time say a lot about you. Of course you may not be staying in your first-choise-home at the moment, for various reasons. Still, your home at the moment gives a clue about who you are.

I am spending the weekend in Rättvik, one of the most beautiful places in Sweden. As I am looking out over the lake Siljan and the blue mountains beyond, I think about the people who have chosen to live here. They get this fantastic view every day. It is probably an important part of their wellbeing. The stress of a larger city is far away from this idyll. There may be other issues to relate to though.

Since the world is growing smaller based on our well developed technical aid, we can live almost anywhere and still stay in touch with knowledge and social networks. I am happy that some people choose places like this to be their home.

fredag 28 augusti 2009

Learn from the geese

"If you ever happen to see (or hear about) geese heading south for the winter – flying along in “V” formation – you might consider what science has discovered about why they fly that way. As each bird flaps its wings, it creates uplift for the bird immediately following. By flying in “V” formation, the whole flock adds at least 71% greater flying range than if each bird flew by itself. Any goose that falls out of formation suddenly feels the drag and resistance of trying to go it alone and quickly gets back into position to take advantage of the lifting power of the bird in front.

When the lead goose gets tired, it rotates back in the set and another goose moves up to fly point. And the geese in the back honk to encourage those in front to keep up their speed. Finally, when a goose gets sick or is wounded and falls out of formation, two other geese fall out with that goose and follow it down to lend help and protection. They stay with the fallen teammate until it is able to fly or it dies. Only then do they launch out on their own – or with another formation – to catch back up with their group.

Like geese, people who share a common direction and sense of community, who take turns doing demanding jobs, and who watch out for one another, can get where they are going more quickly and easily because they are traveling on the thrust of their teammates. Geese are defined by how they stay connected with one another. Successful teams – and excellent leaders – are defined the same way. "

Lee J. Colan

fredag 14 augusti 2009


When it comes to moving around in the city, riding a bike is one of the best ways. It is fast compared to the traffic jam, it is cheap and it is good for the environment. It is also easy to stop by a market to buy some cherries on the way home - or to choose some extra scenic roads. And it is good exercise and a chance to get some fresh air on the way to meetings.

I am a fan of biking. My red bike is a great travellingcompanion. When it comes to personal branding, your means of transportation is part of your image. I guess my image is a bit divided in that area. I have a car, I ride the bus, the train and the plane, I walk, I canoe (but not to jobmeetings...). Then there is the bike. It is always a favorite.

The city of Stockholm will make it easier for us bikeriders, in order to make more people choose the bike. That is good news!

onsdag 12 augusti 2009

New logo for Gothenburg

I like the new logo of Gothenburg - Göteborg - the second largest city of Sweden. It works internationally as well as nationally. Go Goteborg!

lördag 8 augusti 2009


Madonna is in Sweden tonight. She is extremely proffessional and focused. Still I´d say that she hasn´t reached the point of turning into a sterile moneymachine. She has some kind of heart and warmth in what she does, although it is hard to understand how she does that with such a strong image to care for.

I don´t have a ticket for the concert tonight. I´ll be eager to get the concertnews from my friends. I am sure that the concert will be fantastic.

torsdag 6 augusti 2009

The value of your staff

The people in your company are the most important parts of your brand. They interact with your clients and with other people in your network. They also interact with eachother and spread rumors and atmosphere in the company. If your staff is positive and inspired, then your brand will have a good chance to be radiated and perceived in a positive way.

When you hire new people - make sure that they will represent your company in a good way. You will at least need to have some basic values in common.

When you evaluate your existing staff - encourage the ones that help you build your brand. Try to log out the ones who will hurt your brand based on a bad attitude and negative interactions with your clients.

The people are extremely important when it comes to building a brand. Make sure that you choose the unique ones that represent you in a good way! It will make a big difference!

fredag 31 juli 2009

You can do it

The strongest single factor in prosperity consciousness is self-esteem: believing you can do it, believing you deserve it, believing you will get it.

Jerry Gillies

lördag 25 juli 2009

Marinating ideas

I learnt a new expression yesterday: to "marinate an idea". It has to do with having an idea and then leaving it alone for a while, for all the flavours to infuse.

When there is time - like on lazy summerdays - I find that marinating ideas is a great way of moving forward. Things fall in place. The trick is to be patient enough to leave the ideas alone for a while and just wait for them to become more juicy and tasty, ready to put on the barbecue and dig into.

lördag 18 juli 2009


I was told that there are loads of blueberries to pick this year. So I went to grandma´s forest to look for them. There were flies and a tick or two. I found blueberries enough for a tiny blueberry-pie, no more. On the other hand - a blueberry-pie is always a blueberry-pie.

söndag 12 juli 2009

Structure and space

I believe that every creative process needs some structure. There is a balance, though. Too much structure is like being caught in a net - no space for improvisation, easy to suffocate from the lack of space and oxygen.

We need the perfect balance between structure and free space. Enough structure in order to know the goals and directions. Enough space to be able to go beyond the ordinary, create new ideas and let the mind find new ideas.

Creative people may need more space. Structured people may need more structure. There will always be a mix of both.

torsdag 9 juli 2009

Workshopmaterial for personal branding

The draft for my workshopmaterial about personal branding is finished. It will be a great tool for both private and professional development. So far it is all in Swedish, but an English version can easily be made. The material will be supplied in connection to workshops, either individually or in groups of 4-8 persons.

Are you interested? Drop me a line, and we´ll make a plan.

onsdag 8 juli 2009

There is plenty

If you look at what you have in life, you'll always have more.
If you look at what you don't have in life, you'll never have enough.

Oprah Winfrey

måndag 6 juli 2009

Strömma - en ström av varumärken

Idag lärde jag mig förvånat att företaget Strömma står bakom hela 26 varumärken, varav flera är välkända. Visste du?

Strömma Kanalbolaget
Stockholm Sightseeing
Strömma Skärgårdsbåtar
City Sightseeing
Open Top Tours
Ekman Buss
Hemavan Tärnaby
Göta kanal
Vaxholms kastell
Nya Älvsborgs Fästning
Birka Vikingastaden
Ekman Alpin
Destination Stockholm
Copenhagen & Malmö à la Carte
Stockholm à la Carte
Lindholm Cruise Service
Lindholm Shipping
Sea Scape Tours
LS Svensson Shipping

Allt handlar om upplevelser i olika form, mycket baserat på småskalighet. Intressant att kunna driva stordrift i småskalighet.

Veolia - way to go!

I was travelling with the train company Veolia the other day. The competition on some of the Swedish railways has just been set free and Veolia is one of the first to take a chance on that new market. What a positive surprise! The train was full, I didn´t have a ticket and got to sit in the restaurant-wagon. It had a panoramawindow, so I could see the flocks of birds flying over the train. They were playing happy summer-music on a soft volume. The service was nice and people were vacation-relaxed. I could work a bit, drink some tea and chat to other travellers.

Best of all - the nice conductor couldn´t make her ticketmachine work, so she gave me the trip for free! No invoice, no trouble. Just a nice gift as a perfect way of marketing the company.

So I say - way to go Veolia!

lördag 4 juli 2009

Balancing up the perfect state to become even more perfect

The summer in Sweden has been just beautiful these last weeks. We have had hot days and warm nights, perfect to go swimming in the sunset and have barbecueparties on the beach. People are happy, handsome and openminded. Despite the beautiful weather, I have spent quite some time at home, getting things in order and planning for the new season. It gives new energy. There is so much to do, so much to see and so much to enjoy out there.

There has been time for swimming too. No worries.

When the summer is perfect, I need some kind of challenge to balance it up. Some task, some resistance, some mountain to climb. It makes me enjoy the perfectness even more. And it makes perfect even more perfect. Therefore I look for challenges as soon as they don´t show up by themselves. It is the only way to grow.

fredag 3 juli 2009

Taking risks

You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face.

Eleanor Roosevelt

Taking risks is essential when you want to reach a goal and the purpose of goals is growth.

onsdag 1 juli 2009

Big People

Really big people are, above everything else, courteous, considerate and generous - not just to some people in some circumstances - but to everyone all the time.

Thomas J. Watson
1874-1956, Founder of IBM

Who are you?

Summer is a great time for thinking. This summer, why not steal some time to think about your personal brand? What do you stand for, which are your core values, what are your goals, which are your most important touchpoints in order to communicate your personal brand? How do you think that people around you think about you at the moment? Is there something in your image that you would like to adjust?

Pack your favorite pen and paper, put a hat on, find a calm spot where you will have time for yourself and take a brainstorming-trip with your personal brand! Just thinking about your personal brand will make you more alert in how you act and behave in days to come. It is a fun and inspirational process.

In a short while, I will have finished some working material about personal branding. Through workshops individually or in groups, we will work together with your brand in order to bring you closer to your goals and dreams. If you live in Sweden, please contact me if you are interested in these workshops. If you live elsewhere, workshops can be held through Skype and a working material in English.

tisdag 23 juni 2009

Image vs identity

Another of my articles about branding has been published on the site driftig.nu. Come and visit!

fredag 12 juni 2009

Intelligent speaking

I have been told that people who speak fast are fast-thinkers and quite intelligent. I am a slow speaker, partly because of my heritage and my accent. Would that mean that I am also a slow thinker?

I just read some recent research: slow speakers appear to be more intelligent to the listener, because of a clearer way of delivering their message. The most important thing is not how much you manage to say in a short time. The most important thing is what the listeners manages to understand.

My conclusion is this: if I think fast and speak slow, I am as intelligent as I appear to be. (Not saying that I appear to be intelligent, though.)

måndag 8 juni 2009

Branding a nation

In how many ways can you brand a nation?

There is the language, the flag, the currency, the geographic pecularities... There is the culture, the mindset of the people, the music...

There is a certain piece of music which - next to the flag - may be the most special symbol of the nation - the national anthem.

The Swedish national anthem was composed in 1844. It wasn´t meant to become the national anthem. It just became popular, and over the years it was sung more and more. In the 1930´s it was played at the end of the Swedish Radio-telecasts and was accepted as the national anthem.

fredag 5 juni 2009

The Boss

What is it about Bruce Springsteen that makes him such a boss? We have a discussion on Facebook, where one of my singingfriends thinks that he is lacking musical talent. Many would disagree with that.

Besides his existing or non existing musical talent, there is something else that makes him almost magic. I would say that it is partly his charm, partly his genuinity. He´s got IT. He could be one of us, he is nice and humble, he sings about everyday life and plays with joy. That is enough for me. I like him.

I also think that his consistency in music and fellow musicians gives us some kind of comfort. He was there when I was a teenager and he is still here with the same kind of music, partly the same band and the same harsh and handsome look. Maybe he is immortal and forever young. That would be nice.

The Boss is playing in Stockholm this week. I could hear him across the city all the way back to my house, kilometres away from the concert. It was a treat.

onsdag 3 juni 2009


Zlatan Ibrahimovic is one of the best soccerplayers in the world. Growing up in the suburb Rosengård in Malmö and becoming a world-icon, he has certainly built an interesting brand. Part of his brand is his voice and his accent from the south of Sweden. It is charming and a bit cocky in a nice way.

Listening to Zlatan is always entertainment, not only because of what he is saying, but also how he is saying it.

Our voices are important parts of our personal brands. I enjoy listening to different accents and different sounds. It is great when voices are authentic and give a hint about where the person has his or her origin.

Your voice can express many different things. In order to give a positive impression, you should make sure that you have a confident voice. Stress can give you a sore throat or a higher pitch than normal and it may make it hard to listen to you. Calm down before you speak in important situations. It will make a big difference to your message and to your image.

söndag 31 maj 2009

Never underestimate the details

So I got myself a new fancy mobilephone. It seems quite alright, but there are two details that bother me. My contacts and my textmessages won´t move with me to the new phone. They are stuck in the old phone. I´ll have to rewrite hundreds of contacts, since my old mobile isn´t fancy enough to connect to a computer in a correct way. I´ll be busy rewriting contacts on the train up north tomorrow morning...

Some details may be quite important for a customer. Never underestimate the details.

fredag 29 maj 2009

Have fun

"People rarely succeed unless they are having fun in what they are doing."

Dale Carnegie

lördag 23 maj 2009

Lending out your face and your name

Celebrities do often expand their careers by launching products where their name and their face are important parts of the brand. As long as the celebrity him- or herself is in control of the profiling, everything should be fine. When others take over too much, their personal brands may be threatened. New values may be parts of the profiling.

A clear example of this is when magazines are named after celebrities. Every single article in that magazine will build the brand of the celebrity. In those cases, a very stringent brand manual is essential.

fredag 22 maj 2009

Balancing physical and emotional values

Most brand managers focus a lot on the physical values of a product. Quality, packaging, design - all those are examples of important things in order to convince and keep customers. Managing to reach the expectations of the customers over and over again when it comes to physical values, will keep a business growing.

To grow a strong brand, you also need to nurture some emotional values of the products. Build a positive image which the customers can relate to.

The strongest brands do usually have a clear balance between physical and emotional values.

Arla is one of the strongest brands in Sweden.

söndag 17 maj 2009

From good to great

"Nurture your mind with great thoughts, for you will never go any higher than you think."

Benjamin Israeli

lördag 16 maj 2009

Happy colours

On Svalbard, there are no trees. In the winter, the landscape is all white. In the summer, I believe that it would be green, brown and white, since there is grass, some mosses and lichens next to the glaciers.

Because of this finite scale of colours, you are only allowed to use happy colours from a specific palette when you paint your house on Svalbard. Yellow, red, green, blue... This makes Longyearbyen quite sparkly, despite the pale natural coulours. An interesting way to brand a village.

tisdag 12 maj 2009

Skiing on Svalbard

Our maingoal on Svalbard was to ski up and down some mountains. And so we did. We took a taxi to the outskirts of the village Longyearbyen, put our climbing-skins on our skis, and started climbing up the glacier.

Our first day in the mountains was fantastic with beautiful sunshine and clearblue sky.

You don´t want to be anywhere else on a day like that. However, the weather can change in a minute. Therefore it is important to use a map, compass and GPS as much as possible, to make sure that you´re ok even if you´re surrounded by fog and clouds. We noticed that the compass and GPS didn´t work so well. The compass didn´t show the right direction and the GPS didn´t have a map of Svalbard. It seems like the GPS-maker considers Svalbard to be too far up north in the wilderness to cover by maps.

Skiing towards a mountaintop can be dangerous if you´re on steep mountainsides where there is risk of avalanches. You need to be cautious and observant when it comes to the quality of the snow.

We had a great trip to the top, although we were surrounded by clouds for a while. We also had a great race down in the powdersnow. It is easy to be happy on an adventure like this, with the favorite skis working perfectly.