Category Archives: Branding

How to choose your brand design agency in the age of digital transformation

Digital transformation – the buzziest term in any business press worldwide these days. The reason being that industry after industry is being disrupted at a speed unseen. Examples: Spotify for music, Uber for transportation, all of the travel industry and all of the media industry etc, etc. Any sensible big company board of directors these days are painfully aware of this and by the fact that 52% of the Fortune 500 companies in the year 2000 no longer exists.

Who’s going to disrupt my business and be the next ”Uber of my industry”?
We or someone else?

Does the choice of brand design agency matter?

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Tankar bakom (the work behind

For our international readers: is a new digital service addressing rural interests. Söderhavet made strategy, concept, design and the brand identity. (The rest will be in Swedish. Sorry).

Idag lanserades den digitala publikationen i sin första version. Traditionellt hade den nog etiketterats som en beta-version, men det tycker vi är fegt. Vår grundsyn på digital produktutveckling är att det är bättre att snabbt komma ut på marknaden och låta den återstående utvecklingen och prioriteringen ske tillsammans med läsarna – eller användarna som vi föredrar att kalla dem.

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How to design a brand identity in 2014 – Part 3 to 5

Part 3 to 5: Just contact us.

Part 2 in this was series published about 6 months ago. Since then, we have been up to our beards in super exciting brand work with our beloved clients. We still are. Requests for continuation has been dropping in, “when is part 3-5 coming?”.

Well, they aren’t. Not right now anyway. Clients first, then family, then health, then blog posting. A poor excuse for laziness? Probably. But on the other hand – I would be happy to tell you the rest of the story face to face. So for the content of part 3-5: e-mail me at Sorry.

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How to design a brand identity in 2014 – Part 2

Part 2: What is required of a brand in the new reality?)

What can you as a brand manager or CMO do to manage in a society of emerging digitization and constant change, what does it require of your brand and what can you do to turn the threats into benefits? A lot of things, probably, here’s a few tips from Söderhavet:

  1. Focus on usable strategies
  2. Act nimbly in all aspects of business
  3. Position the brand more clearly
  4. Think integration, but act digitally first
  5. Turn design into a competitive strategic tool

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Sweden’s global identity – reactions

When we launched Sweden’s new global identity a little over a month ago, we were eager to know how it would be received, especially abroad, among the target audience, and with our peers in design circles. So we ran some metrics on reach and sentiment. How did we do?

News of the identity made it into the social news feeds of at least 2.6 million people, via at least 31 web publications, the overwhelming majority of which were positive, both in their coverage and in the comments they generated. For those interested in the raw numbers, here’s the data as a spreadsheet.

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Two reasons why Minecraft is succeeding where Second Life failed

Söderhavet’s redesign of Sweden’s digital identity is not the first time that we’ve worked on a nation-branding project. Back in May 2007 we helped build Second House of Sweden, Sweden’s embassy in the virtual world of Second Life.

That project proved to be a remarkable PR coup for Sweden, with major global news outlets covering the inauguration of the embassy by Sweden’s foreign minister Carl Bildt.

As we now know, the rapid adoption of Facebook and Twitter soon monopolized mindshare, helped along by the rise of smartphones. Second Life’s star began to fade — Sweden’s official presence in Second Life was toned down in 2009, and the embassy was turned off in January 2013.

Today, another contender is vying for (virtual) world prominence: Minecraft, by Sweden’s own Mojang AB. So what’s different this time around? And will it be enough for Minecraft to avoid the fate of Second Life?

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2013 Brand New Conference

In the 10+ years I’ve been in the design business I’ve become fascinated with the complexities of building a strong brand identity, so I was eager to attend the Brand New Conference in New York a few weeks ago. It turned out to be a fantastic experience, with some great speakers approaching brands from different perspectives. In this post I’d like to highlight some of the presentations that stood out for me.

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Söderhavet and Sweden nominated

At the behest of the Swedish government, we’ve been hard at work developing a new common integrated identity for our country, to be used by Swedish governmental agencies when promoting Sweden’s interests abroad.

Our client is The Council for the Promotion of Sweden, comprised of Sweden’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Swedish Institute, VisitSweden and Business Sweden.

The identity is now nominated in the Swedish Design Awards (Svenska Designpriset) in the category Identity Print – Profile.

If you wan’t to vote for us (until september 22nd) do so here.
Scroll down to category 3ab, vote for NSU Sweden, then scroll to bottom and confirm.

Sweden’s new identity spotted in the wild

US President Barack Obama’s day-long visit to Stockholm on September 4 was headline news here in Sweden, but our eagle-eyed designers spotted something else of note in the live broadcast: The first use of Sweden’s new brand identity in the wild.

Granted, you probably had to know what to look for — the flag, flanked by the word “Sverige” and a smaller translation in English. Still, to the best of our knowledge, this is the closest a Söderhavet-created design has come to a sitting US president.

Just a few days later, the brand identity was once again used in the wild — this time far more conspicuously:

Yes, that’s Times Square in New York, on the morning of September 9, when Sweden’s Minister of Trade Ewa Björling was invited to ring the opening bell of the NASDAQ stock exchange. The occasion was commemorated with a promotional video for Sweden that looped on Nasdaq’s video billboard on Times Square. This video was the first mainstream use of the new brand identity for Sweden developed by Söderhavet.