Thinking that a good product will sell itself is not enough on the international market. The product needs to be packaged appealingly, and it needs to tell authentic stories to the target audience. The Lapland brand, radiating purity, safety and the Arctic, helps natural products companies with their internationalization.
VEEN Waters speaks to you with pure spring water
Design, premium, natural. These three words are the cornerstones of VEEN Waters Finland when communicating its’ brand to the world. VEEN Water exports bottled spring water from Lapland to Middle East, Far East and Russia.
“Our strategy has been to focus on markets where it is not common to drink tap water as the local water supplies are not safe for human consumption”, explains Managing Director Aman Gupta.
Gupta emphasizes the role of branding when expanding to international markets. More importantly, it is essential to keep the end user and customer experience in mind. With storytelling and interaction with the customer, a brand can separate a commodity product from a unique product.
“Things like the choice of language on the label, local regulations and cultural norms must be considered carefully when expanding to the international markets. It is also important to consider the brand communication, tone of voice and identity, and how they would fit in each market. For example, I think that Finnish words or brand names can be quite daunting or hard to understand as opposed to a brand name which is easy to read in multiple markets.”
The growth of tourism in Lapland has had positive effects for VEEN Waters.
“We are a brand from Lapland. If the brand of Lapland grows, it will also increase the recognition and awareness of our brand.
Tornion Panimo draws from history
On the side of Tornion Panimo’s Lójhtu bottle, you can see the blazing northern lights. Lójhtu is a gin craft-distilled from the herbs and berries of Lapland. It has won awards in many international competitions, including the modern gins series of the International Spirits Challenge, which is perhaps the competition most highly regarded by professionals.
“Packaging plays a huge role in whether buyers and consumers choose the product. The packaging grabs the attention. Conducted as a blind test, the competition is about the quality of the bottle’s contents,” says Kaj Kostiander, managing director of Tornion Panimo.
However, the product’s appearance is only part of the brand. The most important things are the overall image and the stirring of emotions with stories. “Each of our products has an authentic story linking back to the 140-year history of the brewery. Lapland is also strongly featured.”
Tornion Panimo has negotiations underway in several countries in Europe and Asia. However, the biggest success has been just across the border. Five of the brewery’s products, including Lójhtu, are available for order in Systembolaget in Sweden.
Arctic Warriors conquers the world with a warrior attitude
Manufacturing superfood with the power herbs of Lapland, Angelica Archangelica, Rhodiola Rosea a.k.a. roseroot, spruce sprouts, and nettle, Arctic Warriors sprung onto the international market from the village of Narkaus in Rovaniemi. The company combines old traditional knowledge of herbs with current research data on the purity, aroma and nutritional value of the natural products of Lapland.
“It is not enough for the modern consumer that the herbs are sold with self-made labels in paper bags. The packaging must be visually appealing and communicate the company’s story. Furthermore, the company’s values, story and operating methods must be articulated in everything the company does. Based on our customer survey, we crystallized these into three words: naturalness, authenticity and Lapland,” says CEO Ilkka Kauppinen.
Unlike many natural products brands, Arctic Warriors shuns being cute. “We do not feel it is our thing. As a result, our brand communications are quite raffish and fierce. We have retained Finnish names for our products. Kerkkä has a good deal of perkele in it!”
Arctic Warriors products are widely distributed throughout Finland. Internationalization is also well underway. The products have retailers in several European countries, and the Japanese market has been sounded out as well. The online store makes the products available to customers around the world.
“The tourism industry has done a great job in promoting the Lapland brand. When we say that the ingredients for our products come from Lapland, the products almost automatically gain a label of quality.”