People have a few misperceptions about Sweden. One of them is that it’s so cold we spend our lives dodging polar bears in the streets of Stockholm. Happily, this week the weather has been spectacular, well above 25C/80F all week, and not a polar bear in sight.
However there have been some spectacular yachts parked in Stockholm harbor. The Volvo Ocean Race is in town, on one of it’s scheduled stop-overs. The race circumnavigates the globe during its 10 months and is truly one of the world’s great endurance events. The ‘Race Village’ in Stockholm has been extremely busy over the past few days with over a million visitors attending the daily activities. It’s also been a great opportunity for Stockholm, as The Capital of Scandinavia, to promote itself and I’ve been fortunate enough to have been keynote speaker at some of the official events.
The brand strategy we put in place for Stockholm has received enormous publicity and generated plenty of discussion. Being invited to give these presentations has also given me a chance to listen to some of the other speakers. The Swedish telecoms giant Ericsson has two boats in the event and the Ericsson team captain gave a fascinating insight into the business dynamics behind their sponsorship in the event.
Interestingly the race is the major vehicle in their marketing program. Ericsson spend a cool 100 million dollars using the event to meet and entertain their corporate clients around the world. When it comes to getting quality time with your key customers, what better place than on-board a boat with the eleven stopover ports giving them a global opportunity to do it. I’ve always said brand building and marketing is about so much more than just advertising – especially in the B2B arena. Ericsson are doing exactly that – now that’s smart marketing.
Head of Global Branding