Growing the other Swedish furniture giant

Furniture & Interiors

The other Swedish furniture giant

That's how we like to refer to Kinnarps, Europe’s largest office furniture provider and a client of ours for over 15 years. Since arriving in the UK from Sweden in 1972, the brand with a hard-to-pronounce name (try ‘Shinnarps’) has earned a reputation for creating aesthetic office products without compromising on sustainability.

Across Europe, Kinnarps is a big player – the biggest, in fact. But in the UK they are up against some well-established names. The challenge? To raise the profile of the brand with the hard-to-pronounce name and provide the strategic and creative thrust for the sales and marketing engine to grow the business.

Here's a glimpse of how we've approached our work and built a long-lasting relationship with Kinnarps, initially in the UK but also with the marketing leaders in Sweden...

Doing things the Swedish way

We started by asking ourselves this: ‘What does Kinnarps possess that their competitors don’t?’ We were looking to find both an owneable position in the market, but more specifically (and of particular importance to the sales team) we were after relevant and interesting content their audience would take notice of.

The answer was simple: The Swedish Way. The truth is us Brits are fascinated by pretty much anything Swedish these days. The culture, customs, and ethos of the nation had infused Kinnarps – but they were quick to admit: ‘We don’t always know what it is about Sweden that’s interesting. Will you help us?’

So we got to work – helping Kinnarps uncover its Swedish-inspired strengths and distinctiveness. What we found was that Kinnarps was a brand that genuinely had something to say to modern workplaces. Like how to look after the wellbeing of employees, the value of participative office design, how furniture can help (or harm) employees’ health, and how workplaces can be committed to sustainability.

Creating content that connects

The next challenge was finding interesting and memorable ways to make the brand relevant to their audience of facilities managers, HR directors, and architects & designers. Here are just a few of the ways we've tackled this content marketing challenge…

Welcome to Work
We created a Kinnarps-branded microsite called Welcome to Work, providing the latest thinking, research, and advice around health and happiness in our places of work. Articles were written, research commissioned, emails sent, and sales appointments made – all with the aim of positioning Kinnarps as a brand with something to say about wellbeing at work.

Sit Stand
We wanted to ensure Kinnarps was seen as a go-to-provider for ergonomic office furnture. To that end, we created a campaign that included a customer trial, research on the benefits of standing at work, and a wide-range of sales materials (fast-moving video, ‘did you know?’ emails, leave-behind guide for end users, and a consumer-facing microsite) - all focused on the power of Sit Stand.

The Better Effect
As a Swedish company, it’s hardly surprising that Kinnarps take their commitment to sustainability seriously (they even have a name for it: The Better Effect). We’ve helped them tell this story through a motion animation, a series of blogs and emails, and a social media ad campaign – all the time threading a consistent message that simply says: ‘If it’s good enough for the Swedes…’

Next Office™
When HQ launched their new design consultancy offering - Next Office™ - it needed bringing to life for the UK market. So we set about creating a promotional video, pitch deck, thought leadership articles and email marketing campaign that helped drive both awareness and sales appointments for Kinnarps. What's more, we ensured the proposition spoke to the immediate needs of facilities managers looking to make a change.

Hybrid Office Scorecard
In the wake of the pandemic, we made a quick decision to pivot our focus - away from office refurbishment, and towards hybrid working preparedness. With our help, Kinnarps were one of the first in the sector to launch a self-assessment tool for workplace leaders to gauge their level of readiness for hybrid working. The tool (powered by Scoreapp) was accompanied by a promotional video, email marketing campaign and LinkedIn outreach - all designed to get the sales team on calls during the uncertain period of COVID lockdown.

Not so unknown anymore

Kinnarps is no longer the little guy of the UK furniture market. With the support of our creativity and strategic thinking, the company turnover has risen and their market share continues to grow. What's more, they have ridden out the storm of COVID and are building back even better than before.

Not bad for a small town Swedish brand with a name that’s still hard to pronounce.

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We love working with said & done. Their enthusiasm, professionalism and insights have been a huge boost to us in growing the brand and the business.

Marc Bird
Head of Marketing