How we’re building a consumer brand house that brings the best of the Nordics to a global audience.
What ‘Nordic’ means varies depending on who you ask.
It can mean a cabin in the forest, minimalist design, a sauna, a sustainable focus, happiness index rankings or, if it’s a Sunday morning, trying to read instructions for furniture assembly.
At eBrands, we’re building a consumer brand house that is both digitally native and driven by the culture of the region that we originate from. We grow by acquiring unique, innovative brands that share our values (whether they’re from the Nordics, Baltics, or any other countries around the world) and then we provide them with the resources and skill sets they need to bring their products to a global audience.
However, because the word ‘Nordic’ means a lot of different things depending on who you talk to, we asked our CEO, Robin and Head of Brand Studio, Patrik, what ‘Nordic’ means to eBrands - and why the region’s values are worth building a brand house around.
Question #1 – Why does eBrands want to be a Nordic consumer brand house?
Robin: Well, historically the Nordics have produced some very large companies in transportation, banking, telecommunications, and engineering. One area that we haven’t traditionally been very strong in though is understanding consumer behaviour and building fast moving consumer goods brands that resonate with consumers on a global scale.
We’re a small part of the world in the Nordics, with a lot of good values that we often take for granted and that have been proven to resonate with a global audience. Being from a small part of the world means that we also don’t think as big as we could and that many brands don’t have the reach to be able to create a global brand, despite having products that have the ability to be household names.
There are of course outliers to this. IKEA in Sweden, Fiskars in Finland and Lego in Denmark have all been successful in creating brands that have achieved success and relevance with multiple generations. Overall, though, there really aren’t that many and we believe that there is room for more.
For this reason, we believe that there is a lot of untapped potential in the Nordics to create a house for brands that share these values and using the right strategies, backing and resources, could bring these brands to a global audience. This is an idea that isn’t limited to the Nordics, either, whether brands are from the Baltics, wider Europe, or anywhere else in the world, we want to acquire and grow brands that share our values.
Question #2 – What are eBrands Nordic values?
Robin: When the company first started in Helsinki and it was just myself and our other co-founders, Erika (our COO) and Jonne (our CGO), one of the first things that we did was sit down at a table and discuss what we wanted the values of eBrands to be. The specifics of those values have changed over time as the company has developed, but at their core, they are:
1. Being honest and transparent
2. Building sustainable business practices and keeping a closeness to nature
3. Having an innovation and design driven brand development process
4. Developing balance and wellbeing in life
All of these values are understandable, universally acceptable and simple ideas on the surface. However, the reality is that many companies don’t deliver on these ideas because simple ideas run into huge complexity when you try to implement that at scale. That is why we want these values to be the foundation that we build the company’s culture and decision making on, because the more we ingrain them into our mindset as a company and group, the better will be our ability to execute on them.
Patrik: And you can see the influence of these values throughout eBrands already, from our workplace culture, through to our relationships with the owners of the businesses that we acquire and how we connect with consumers - and we have seen positive feedback from all three of these groups that prove that this idea has value to them.
Question #3 – How does eBrands bring these values into the brand house’s daily operations?
Patrik: From a branding and design perspective, it means we use these values as the foundation for our brands. If we’re designing a brand’s identity, is it honest and open with its customers? Does the brand’s identity and communication support people’s wellbeing? Are the products functional and do they provide a real and positive value to their consumer? Does the brand have a purpose that brings value to its customers outside of the products?
If we’re making consistent actions that move us towards those values, then we know what direction we’re heading in and whether we’re making progress.
Robin: And this is something that is true throughout the business. By having a strong identity for eBrands, then each team, in each area of the business, can develop a strategy that meets their own requirements while still keeping themselves aligned with these values.
And this is an important point to highlight. All of these day-to-day decisions don’t feel like anything when we’re making them, but by making these decisions consistently and committing to a strategy that is driven by this core set of values, these small day-to-day decisions become something tangible and real.