A year ago, we opened our doors in Stockholm. Gwen, her husband and their two kids left Berkeley for the suburbs of Saltsjo Boo. And then Martyna who interned here in San Francisco a few years back, took a chance and quit her PR job to join the Sköna Europe team.
Going into it, I had a hope and a hunch that there would be a need in Sweden for what we do here in San Francisco. But of course no guarantees. Having been away from the Swedish market for over 15 years, I wasn’t sure of where it stood today, and where a B2B creative agency focusing on bringing high tech brands to life might fit in.
I couldn’t have been more pleasantly surprised. What an amazing year this turned out to be! We’ve met some great clients and partners such as Tacton, PayNova, Qred, HYCU, Loop54, Kontract, Hydro66 and Mercuri International. And we’ve gotten to work on some really amazing projects, The team in Sweden has grown along with our capabilities. We have had the opportunity to speak at some interesting talks including a seminar about Silicon Valley B2B marketing as well as the overview of how to unlock the code to success in Silicon Valley.
One of the biggest differences we’ve had to adjust to is the size of the markets. The Swedish market is smaller in general, meaning that Enterprise IT is fractional in size compared to what we see in the Silicon Valley. Hence, the standard playbook of outdoor media and large print runs doesn’t quite translate.
Likewise, everyone told us before we went to Sweden that Sweden operates on a different timeline. The approach is that it’s better to think things through first… meanwhile here in Silicon Valley, it’s better to get something out and then iterate than wait for it to be perfect. So we’ve learnt to ask early on now if this is a Swedish ASAP – or an American one.
As we move forward, I feel grateful to the Swedish team and their gung-ho attitude. I feel lucky to have such an amazing team here in the US supporting them. And more than anything, I feel excited at what we can create in the next 12 months and our continued ability to serve not just Sweden and the Nordics, but the entire European market.