Today we meet Karl-Johan Rydberg, Sr. Brand Manager Innovation & Brand, who contributes with his expertise via Orkla Care - a merger of three major Nordic consumer companies: Orkla Health, Cederroth and Pierre Robert.
How does today’s Brand Manager succeed in a global competition? We continue our series on the theme of sharing knowledge in the digital marketing and brand building area with the help of experts in various specialist areas.
“Build an overall driving force throughout the organisation so that the next product must be even more sustainable and environmentally friendly than its predecessor”
Take part of our expert interviews
Today’s guest Karl-Johan Rydberg lists 5 keys based on his role: Insights, Sustainability, Channel selection, Trend research and Customer engagement. What are your experiences of successful Brand Management? Drop us a line on firstname.lastname@example.org and we can discuss further.
More interviews in the series:
Hanna Granebring, N!CKS, Marketing Manager
Jonny Malmlöf, Dustin, Nordic Social Media Manager
Rebecca Kortenius, Facebook, Sales Enablement, North America
Ludvig Steén, Nestlé, Nordic eBusiness Manager
1. Work super locally with customer insights
To be constantly up-to-date and customer-centric in their work, local consumer insights are the key to success. Incorporating feedback throughout the product cycle helps us generare highly up-to-date knowledge for the next innovation. If the insights give strong signals in, for example, Sweden, that your product is of high quality, it creates good conditions for success outside the Nordic region as well. Therefore, review the situations where you need to take on board insights, and how often you should listen to them, so that you are always up to speed in an ever changing time.
2. Commit to sustainability at every step
Build an overall driving force throughout the organisation so that the next product must be even more sustainable and environmentally friendly than its predecessor. How can we influence everything from transports, ingredients and packaging? It creates a guiding star in the work we do to meet the goals the UN has set on sustainability. It is of course important that the brand takes a very large responsibility in this, but it is also important that the end consumer also understands that more sustainable products often cost more to develop and manufacture than their predecessor. It can sometimes be a very difficult balancing act to meet there.
3. Always revisit your channel strategy
Personally, I don’t think new channels knock out the “old” - rather that they are a complement and create new opportunities that we must constantly evaluate and adopt our strategies for. Therefore, always start from the product’s potential before choosing a budget and channel. With a larger budget, you often get both traditional media and new channels in the same launch. However, when new media or sales channels/marketplaces arise, it is important to act quick. For example, Orkla Care has an Amazon team, where the task is to analyse and work closely to this “new” platform, so for instance how our products win in the short and long term, how we maximise quality, deliveries, the right range and customer satisfaction etc.
4. Master the art of Trendspotting
Trendspotting can never be a guessing game in the role of Brand Manager. It is a structured work that requires continuous collection and assessment of information to track key indicators. Scouting a trend in our industry can range from how and when circular packaging design becomes part of a new standard, a new shopping pattern is established or when a popular fragrance peaks for the masses. Build in trendspotting as part of the organisation’s mission and constantly follow up based on various points on an ongoing basis.
5. User experience and recommendations is the fuel for all growth
The user experience is very central for us at Orkla and other Brand Managers I have met through the years would agree. Companies like Smartson allow us to quickly come out with customer generated content and reviews about a product. The customer is not only looking for price or popularity but also recommendations that confirm that the product they are considering buying is good. If you work with e-commerce partners, it is extra important that you are always top ranked and correctly categorised. Just like you would get the right placement in physical stores.
About Orkla Care’s brand portfolio
Orkla Health: Products that make living a healthier life easier, with brands such as Nutrilett, Pharbio, Pikasol, Litomove, Gevita, Möller’s, Active Care and Gerimax.
Orkla Home & Personal Care: Products in laundry, cleaning, personal hygiene and oral care, including brands such as Grumme, LdB, L300, HTH, Bliw, Family Fresh, Salvequick and Jordan.
Orkla Wound Care: Products in plasters and wound care with the Salvequick brand.
Pierre Robert: Underwear and basic garments closest to the body with the brands Pierre Robert and La Mote.