The Character of a Country

Each person has their own pathway to cultural understanding: food, public transportation, museums, Wikipedia. We both made friends on the plane, before even setting foot on Swedish soil. They were all too happy to share stories and cultural insights and make suggestions bound to influence our plans over the next two weeks.

With only a short time to get at the heart of Scandinavia, we thought it best to work as many angles to cultural understanding as possible, in order to gain a better overall perspective. In combination with everything we learned in class and our new friends, the following article gave us a great starting point:

It starts by describing Swedish culture as “one of simplicity, equality and openness to thoughtful influences.” The author then posits that Swedish companies try to remain neutral, as opposed to capitalizing on a strong national image; an attitude possibly born out of the ideal of Jantelagen.

Throughout this journey, we would like to review the marketing of multiple products and services of Swedish companies, compared to their non-Swedish competition. We are interested to see if there is a pattern of neutral rather than national portrayal of international Swedish companies in their public communication. We will draw on a combination of observations from the street and notes from specific company visits.