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Case Studies

Sailing Towards Success

Helly Hansen's Local Marketing Success

Case Studies

Sailing Towards Success

Helly Hansen's Local Marketing Success

Icelandic Market Challenges

The turnover of the apparel and sports equipment brand Helly Hansen (HH) currently stands at over 400 million US dollars per annum. The Norwegian company—celebrating its 150th birthday in 2027—generates around 80 percent of its revenue outside of Norway, with HH retail-stores present from London to Beijing. In markets where there are no HH store-fronts the brand needs to work all that much harder not just on raising its profile, but also on finding the right retail partner. Step forward Bjorn Thorisson, Helly Hansen’s representative in Iceland.

“I handle sales and marketing in Iceland for Helly Hansen as a one-man team, but of course, I have the support of the company’s marketing department and sales organisation. Iceland is small compared to other HH markets, hence it requires special consideration. It also requires local knowledge, which I have 30 years of. Finally, we sell both sports and work-wear, so it is important that marketing messages for these two product lines—which, helpfully, have different logos—don’t get confused.”

As one of the key challenges of representing HH in Iceland, Bjorn quotes “getting in the right outlets”. This means carefully picking your clients, particularly when it comes to selling work-wear. “Ideally, we want to work with an outlet that is respectful of our branding, and how it is portrayed in their store. Particularly, as this reflects on our sports-wear brand. It really comes down to the small of the this market. In a big market this would be less of a consideration, but in our small market it is very much a consideration. We want to work with the right partners.”

“When we got the report, we could really pinpoint those areas that needed improvement. That was the biggest thing. But, it was also good to get a confirmation on what we were doing right. brandr Index was proof that we were hitting the mark in a number of areas”

Detailed and Eye-Opening

Bjorn says that he bought the brandr Index because he saw “areas where to improve.” The report confirmed his intuitions. “When we got the report, we could really pinpoint those areas that needed improvement. That was the biggest thing. But, it was also good to get a confirmation on what we were doing right. Brandr Index was proof that we were hitting the mark in a number of areas.”

“My first impression of brandr Index ? It was very detailed. I also thought that it looked good. Actually, I liked the way the information was organised. As mentioned, it was detailed, but clear. The information was not jumbled in any way, and it was easy to get what you needed out of it. The brandr Index interface is well-designed—I would even say brilliant. As to how useful it was, on the scale of 1 to 10 I would give it an 8.5, but that is because I am always reluctant to go for a 10.”

“The main thing brandr Index told us was a bit surprising. It was that people didn’t know where to buy HH merchandise in the capital area of Reykjavik. And that was important. In the word cloud there was no mention of any retailers. We found that pretty unusual, we thought that people would connect certain retailers with HH, but it simply wasn’t the case.”

“The other area where we have to improve our message is sustainability. At Helly Hansen there is a very sharp focus on sustainability and environmental impact, but the respondents did not know anything about it. They perceive the brand as reliable and really cool, they like the name and the logo, but don’t connect that with our sustainability agenda. And to us that is very important as a marketing message”

Sustainability Gap

 “The other area where we have to improve our message is sustainability. At Helly Hansen there is a very sharp focus on sustainability and environmental impact, but the respondents did not know anything about it. They perceive the brand as reliable and really cool, they like the name and the logo, but don’t connect that with our sustainability agenda. And to us that is very important as a marketing message.”

Bjorn claims that brandr Index is a lot more detailed than the other analytical tools that he has used, and that he was able to get much more information out of it. “After the first time we used brandr Index , and that was pre-COVID, I directed my marketing efforts on social media towards those areas that needed improvement, particularly towards the reception of our sustainability story.”

Asked how likely would he be to recommend brandr Index to other marketing practitioners, Bjorn says 9.5 (on a scale of 1 to 10). “When we did a second brandr Index survey post-COVID, we saw a marked improvement. The survey works, and I would recommend it to everyone.”

Start measuring your brand correctly today!

Don’t settle for guesswork. Start measuring your brand correctly today with brandr Index and unleash the power of data-driven brand management to strategically navigate the competitive landscape and optimize your brand’s positioning.

Start measuring your brand correctly today!

Don’t settle for guesswork. Start measuring your brand correctly today with brandr Index and unleash the power of data-driven brand management to strategically navigate the competitive landscape and optimize your brand’s positioning.