Swedish branding consultants makes brands stay relevant in the digital world
Fast increasing digitalisation and disruption are on everybody’s lips, with many businesses, based on yesterday’s models, struggling in this new online landscape.
The brands of today may, or may not be the brands of tomorrow. It depends on how they act and adapt in order to truly matter. Today consumers define the products and services to be developed and consumed (rather than the opposite way around). And with that comes challenges that require attention at the very core of any business. That is where the Swedish brand management company LynxEye, with offices in Stockholm, Singapore and London, expertly assists.
Spearheaded in Singapore by co-founder and partner Christian Ihre, they come up with strategies that help companies stay relevant for the long term and in future scenarios – whatever these may bring.
Most companies they meet know that change is inevitable, but not many know how to manage it. But, guided by LynxEye, brands and businesses can foresee and lead game-changing disruptions in their industry.
“What we do is assist companies to find themselves, or help launching on a new market and then help to find where there is growth potential,” explains Christian at a café across from their downtown Singapore office.
“How will the consumer of the future evolve and how can I position my brand to reach a growing target group that suits our kind of core competence? And position it in a way to become future proof in times of rapid change.”
LynxEye developed a method for this quite “early”, and did exactly this market entrance for Spotify when they entered into the U.S. In Sweden they assisted the Swedish evening newspaper Aftonbladet in their successful digital transformation, to mention another client.
“That is within media the most successful digitisation of its kind in the world, actually.”
They also assisted Volvo Cars’ previous owner Ford in making the Swedish brand attractive for a new owner, (in itself a really interesting case story).
“So we help companies with larger transformations; to direct them towards a new positioning on the market and ensure that it gets implemented.”
Christian elaborates further: “We look at what positions are actually steering a business; how will it evolve in the future, and what the company can do to head toward that position already today? And this is across the whole company, because a brand is not being created through its communication but it has become so multi-faceted that today it’s more about ensuring that every little facet, every meeting point between the company and its consumers, speak the same message.”
But repositioning has a lot to do with the experience as such.
“Where the digital experience or the meeting with the web takes place is where the brand is being created in your consciousness; where you get the impression of what kind of brand this really is. We have therefore expanded the business from being just strategy consulting into also assisting the digital transformation: how do I make my brand relevant when it has turned completely digital.”
And this digital transformation, says Christian is actually about something else: to find positions in a digital world. Understand implications for your brand in future scenarios!
“What opportunities are given to me in that digital world when I try to position my company in a certain way. Now you have all these digital tools, use them! But you really don’t know what to use them for. What is it they should create?”
“You must have a clear focus on who you are there for. And what need is there to satisfy for those persons, and then use the technology to ensure it happens.”
LynxEye works a lot with scenario analysis; looking at where the consumers are going in the future, what will affect them and how their behaviour will change, so that LynxEye can set strategies for how these companies should develop to end up right in five years’ time from now.
And that can mean a company needs to start completely new things: “Absolutely! We are, for example doing a parallel process with a regional bank, completely outside their core business. We are to build an entirely new bank based on that they can see that their consumers are heading in a completely different direction than where a traditional bank can be relevant to them.”
These ‘outside in’- driven strategies, says Christian, is the reason behind why LynxEye has been so fortunate with good growth and a good customer base.
“Before, it was good information to have but these days it’s absolutely defining, since there are so many markets being completely torn to pieces by companies from completely different categories and industries that through the technological possibilities we have today all of sudden start competing with you.”
“Development on the markets in this region is so fast today that they need help with understanding what will be relevant tomorrow, because once the strategy is changed and new products developed, you are a few years into the future, and then your strategy should not already be obsolete. The method we have developed in anticipating where the market is heading has been our success here.”
“The more disruption the better for LynxEye! Because what it means is that the old truths are no longer valid. Then our methodology comes in handy, where we say: “Disregard all the tech opportunities at hand, and all the new competitors that might show up, and just focus on the market you want to aim at, or the companies you want to have as clients, and where are they heading. What are they trying to achieve and where can you give them new opportunities?’ Then you find where they are heading and that they will be attracted by these kinds of products going forward,” says Christian and adds: “This is much more difficult on market standing still because then those companies are sitting with enough knowledge on where they are going and much less need our assistance.”
Local and regional players in Asia can feel competition on a scale never before seen.
“They must be clear with their relevance and differentiation and what products they have that others do not have. So, that has in itself made our approach grow more attractive for our customers. And we have been with them in coming up with their product portfolio and innovation processes in order to come up with consumer-relevant results.”
LynxEye has also had to adjust their services to be relevant on the Asian market.
“Here one is more transactional. Long, fluffy strategies that will help them sometime in the future aren’t really the Chinese mentality, but rather: if you recommend something tomorrow, how do I make money on it today? We need to come up with these rapid, tactic recommendations: ‘Here you have an opportunity; we are heading there, which is an exciting position, but tomorrow you can already do this, which is the first step,’ and help them very hands-on in making those happen.”
LynxEye’s aim is to become one of the world’s top three authorities within brand management.
“We started having so many assignments in Asia that we had a critical mass to actually develop locally. That combined with having this vision to become one of the three leading brand agencies means that we must be here, in the U.S and in Europe.”
Their Swedish origin is also a strong advantage in Asia, where Christian believes they can ride on the wave of Sweden’s brand that stands for things growing in relevancy over in Asia: sustainability, environment, equality and innovation.
“I came here with the idea that people did not care where one is coming from, especially when from a small country like Sweden. But I more and more have started to push our Swedish pedigree as that gives us trust.”
“Lynx is a Nordic animal. And our Nordic values are the base that we have always had and that we find to be very important.”