Goodbye Scandinavia

Hi everyone, first and foremost, we want to tell you that our trip was absolutely incredible and something that we will never forget! Seeing different parts of the world makes you cherish all the of great things we have at home, as well as take back information that can benefit our lives and businesses in years to come. Lexy4

It was amazing to see how different countries conduct business and how the Scandinavian design was seen throughout all of the companies we visited. As we travel back to the states we wanted to take some time to reflect on our last two weeks in Scandinavia and the different marketing techniques between Scandinavia and the US that we learned about.

We started off our journey in Gothenburg and the most interesting companies we visited there were Volvo and Saab Aerospace and Defense. Something both of these companies had in common was that they had offices within the United States that used different marketing strategies compared to Scandinavia. Volvo for example has been redesigning there marketing campaign and vehicles to attract US consumers, while holding onto their loyal Scandinavian and worldwide customers. One way in which they have been doing this is adding new technology to the vehicles such as a large touch screen and high tech safety features like Sensus. Americans want cars that not only look fancy with nice finishings on the inside and outside of the car, but we also like cars that are high tech and known for their safety. Volvo's new line-up of cars now has all of the features Americans will be interested in. With great marketing campaigns that highlight all of these features, Volvo knows that their cars will be desired all of the world while gaining more American customers.Lexy3

Saab has unique requirements it must meet in order to sell to the U.S. military. While Saab builds its radar units in Gothenburg they are then shipped to Saab U.S. where only U.S citizens can work. At the Saab U.S. factory, the radar units are outfitted with classified technology before being brought out to the field. This allows the U.S. to have top-of-the-line military technology, while putting their own spin onto the products.

After Gothenburg, we traveled to Stockholm where we were extremely intrigued with Sqore and Keolis. Sqore is an employee recruiting app that can be used throughout the world to recruit talented employees. We found the app to be extremely intriguing because it allows potential employers to test employees before they come in for an interview. Because Sqore is a mobile application it allows employers to have a wide range of options from anywhere in the world. This app is marketed to companies all of the world who are in search of recruiting amazing employees. Since this company is fairly new, many companies come to Sqore and asks to partner with them.

Another innovative company we saw on the trip was Keolis. Keolis is one of the largest private sector transport groups that operates and manages passenger railways, tramways, bus networks, cableways, trolley buses, and airport services all over the world. Its office headquarters are in Paris, France, but its office in Gothenburg had a unique office layout that resembled a bus station. Keolis allows employees to sit anywhere they want with an open office layout. There are quiet rooms for employees that want to get away from noise and work stations where employees can collaborate with each other. The coolest thing about this layout is not even the managing director of the company has his own office. This structure is very different from many U.S. companies. Keolis markets to cities and countries all over the world. The cities could already have the infrastructure in place or Keolis will come in and set up the transportation system that works throughout the city and then they will monitor it, making sure everything is running smoothly and on time for their passengers.  They sign multi-year contracts once a country/city accepts their bid. The company can easily enter the U.S market depending whether a city accepts there competitive bid.

Next we visited Tallinn, Estonia were we learned about the countries emerging technology with online government systems. This system is all connected through the X-Road, where everything interacts with one another so information is easily accessed for each citizen with highly secure protection. We all found it fascinating that Estonian citizens can vote, fill out prescriptions, and check medical records all from online. The Estonian’s have a PKI identification card that allows them 256 bit encryption to access these sites. We found it disappointing that the United States has not adopted such a system for its citizens and seem to be behind on the times when it comes to technology. At the same time though, some Estonians we spoke to said the system was flawed and rarely worked. This is a great vision that Estonia has for its citizens, but clearly some kinks need to be worked out. Lexy5

Our last stop was in Helsinki Finland where we visited Rovio the makers of Angry Birds. Rovio was an amazing company with a very Google like office atmosphere; employees could play games such as pool and air hockey or get food from the companies private cafeteria. Rovio has games worldwide that have taken off in popularity, their most famous being Angry Birds. The company continues to develop and market a variety of games that are popular in all countries.

This trip was such an incredible learning experience that showed us how different countries conduct business and market themselves, while still staying true to their culture. It was evident that many start-up companies had small marketing budgets, but they still were bringing in a lot of business to help them grow. The larger companies that we saw all were so large with big budgets, but they were not spending outrageously on marketing due to their size and relevance in their industry.lexy1

This trip was a once in a lifetime experience and we could not thank everyone enough for making this trip possible! We hope you enjoyed our blogs as we traveled throughout Scandinavia!