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Archive for the ‘Brands’ Category

Finnish design bottled water lands to Harrods

Posted by Janne Saarikko on June 15, 2009

VEEN Long John 033Today’s great news is that Veenwaters, a Finnish design bottled water brand, will be sold exclusively in England at Harrods Knightsbridge. Veenwaters’  new 0,33l new bottle VEEN Long John 33 will be the only water sold at all of Harrods restaurants and Harrods Food Halls.

This is really a remarkable news for a small Finnish company that launched their first design water just under two years ago. Veenwaters’ first bottle, designed by Antti Eklund,  have won numerous awards icluding “The Good Design” award.

I had a chat with their CEO Tomi Grönfors last week, and there are so many good things coming from there.

Attaching the whole press release here, read yourself.

HARRODS CHOOSES ‘VEEN’ AS HOUSE BRAND
Harrods has chosen VEEN as its house water brand. A brand new, smaller 0,33L edition will recieve its global launch at the world famous department store later this month. The award winning
spring water will be available in the store’s restaurants in the designer 0.33l and 0,66L bottles, as well as continuing to retail exclusively in the Food Halls.

Exceptional taste and quality
VEEN comes from a free flowing spring in the natural wilderness of Finnish Lapland, one of the least populated areas of Europe, resulting in exceptionally low nitrate levels. The low minerality
in the Lappish soil creates a unique, smooth taste. “VEEN’s smooth taste pairs well with excellent food and wine, we are delighted that diners at Harrods restaurants will now be able to appreciate the match.” Says Tomi Grönfors the MD of VEEN Waters Finland Ltd.
VEEN LongJohn
The crystal clear Extra Flint Glass was the natural choice for VEEN bottles to protect the taste and quality of the water as well as to ensure recyclability for sustainable product development. The clear Scandinavian design form of the new LongJohns bottle is a brand signature, with the ”LongJohn” embossing bringing a contemporary twist. The name comes from the design’s continuous wallpaper pattern that resembles the classic underwear design used in Finland.
The bottle is created and manufactured in close co-operation with Owens-Illinois.

VEEN Waters Finland Oy
VEEN Waters Finland Lts. is a privately owned company located in the town of Ylitornio in Finnish Lapland. The company was established 2006 December. VEEN is sold worldwide in selected outlets. VEEN Waters Finland Ltd, is a marketing, development and production company that is challenging the big multi-nationals with entrepreneurial spirit and Finnish flair.

Posted in Blog, Brands, News, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Interactive window shopping and gaming experience

Posted by Janne Saarikko on March 18, 2009

This is so interesting. On my way home yesterday I heard a voice across the street calling: “Hey bypasser! Come closer and touch the screen!” I saw a window of a shop having a screen with this guys face smiling. I had to run across and look further…


(edit: WordPress – Ovi are not very good with each other.

This link should get you to the video.

Your task is to break the bubbles while the time is running. For each section, there is a book under it, and you are awarded 10% off the price of that particular book. The call to action is “walk inside the bookstore and get 10% off from these three books”.

It’s really simple, but it seems to be attracting people, since there were some 16K games played (dunno the timeframe). This is not a high-traffic pedestrian street. In better location with more addictive gaming experience (toplists etc) it would be collecting crowds, I reckon.

I anyone knows who did this applications, please let me know. I want to talk to you!

Posted in Blog, Brands, guerilla marketing, Innovation, Social Networks, WOM | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

Finnair goes Corporate blogging

Posted by Janne Saarikko on February 17, 2009

The traditional Finnish airline Finnair announced that they are now officially doing corporate blogging.

The blogs are being written in English by some key executives. They categories cover enviroment, production and service.

Finnair is known to use blogs quite aggressively. Finnair CEO Jukka Hienonen made some special moves by blogging publicly and aggressively about the disagreement between the company and pilots’ union couple of weeks back.

Interesting to see how the downturn of economy is forcing the corporates down to the public. And that is good, since that’s the only way to survive.

Finnair blogs are located in http://blogs.finnair.com/

Posted in Blog, Brands, Internet, News, Social Networks, WOM | Tagged: , , , | 2 Comments »

The coolest phone ever? The Lego Phone!

Posted by Janne Saarikko on February 11, 2009

The hottest mobile rumour for a while. Alcatel and Lego are bringing out a mobile phone that looks like a Lego block.

Yes, it’s true…the rumour is there, I mean.

If this is true, can you imagine every kid in the world wanting one? No, more like can you imagine every marketing/advertising/creative geek wanting one, especially if you can make your own look by changing the various plastic bits into your own…?

The story came via BGR, who has also pics on this great thingy.

Posted in Blog, Brands, Innovation, Social Networks, WOM | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

What’s in your eco-backpack?

Posted by Janne Saarikko on February 4, 2009

Yes, how to measure the size of your extended ecological backpack?

OneDidIt is a new Finnish startup service delivering ways to calculate and share the size of your total ecological spending. It covers area such as how you live, eat, consume, travel etc. and delivers you information on how you compare to international standards. They also have a nice widget to embed your own total to your website, if you dare… ;-)

The company is headed by Asmo Halinen, founder and former CEO of Apaja, an online gaming company. It has financing from both governmental and private investors such as Esko Reinonpoika Alanko.

Now go to OneDidIt and check how you compare with me!

Posted in Blog, Brands, News, Social Networks, WOM | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Fruugo unveiling the curtains – Don’t kick the panda

Posted by Janne Saarikko on January 30, 2009

There has been a great deal of buzz about Fruugo during the last few months. This “biggest startup in Finland”, “Jorma Ollila and Risto Siilasmaa venture”, “Tekes funds their fun” and “most NDAs in Helsinki” rumoured company is now finally starting to unwrap from their stealth position.

I had a pleasure to be in the first group of non-NDA intros on the current Fruugo beta couple of days ago. This means I have access to their system. I can use it and even buy stuff (which I’m propably gonna do during the weekend). Yes, it’s still in beta, but it works!

I’m not going to give you a tour around the user experience of Fruugo, that is being covered already by Startupbin, who attended the same group with me. Also, for screenshots of the service in Fruugo photostream in Flickr.

How’s their business outlook?

Instead of judging a system like Fruugo by it’s cover, I think we should look at the business model they are providing. Before getting to talk to Fruugo people and seeing how the system will function, I had my expectations high.

I was thinking that this is a chance to make ecommerce really happening by removing the obvious obstacles that have slowed down the wider use of international business

  • Trusting the merchant
  • Trusting the buyer
  • Complex it systems required
  • Challenges with international payment systems
  • Language problems
  • Problems with the logistics
  • Problems with customs and other related paperwork

I knew that if Fruugo can solve most of these problems, they will be very successful.

And glad I was, when I was presented how Fruugo will work. Let’s see:

Trusting the merchant. Fruugo will check the background of all merchants in the system. They will also make sure that customers’ are being served by offering Fruugo customer service – someone to get in touch with and solve the problems with.

Trusting the buyer. Fruugo will take care of the customer side as well. Fruugo has their own “fraud management” system, that clarifies the problems with buyers behaving badly.

IT-systems. Instead of having to invest huge amount of money into websales systems, Fruugo will only need to have an interface with merchant IT-system. If the merchant is not selling online yet, there is no need to start a new multilingual webstore – just integrate the current system with Fruugo, and you’re good to go.

International payments. Fruugo has it. Customers pay with the systems they normally use in their country, and in their preferred currency.

Language problems. Not to worry anymore. Fruugo is localised in your own language, but you can also choose multiple languages that you understand. My primary language in the system is Finnish, but I also said I can use Swedish and English. When searching products, I can do a search using any of the languages, and I get the results in my primary language. If I was to seach for “hame”, “kjol” and “skirt”, I would always get a nice selection of skirts, in Finnish.

Logistics. This is something that may be in their future pipeline. Now the logistics are taken care by the merchant, but is of course automated and supported by Fruugo knowledge.

Customs. At this point Fruugo doesn’t really need to help with the customs, since their markets are within the EU. I personally believe this will be solved, once Fruugo expands outside of the EU.

Fruugo will start opening to limited number of users gradually. First they will take Finland, and very soon after that Sweden. It is expected, that Fruugo is available in most of Europe during this spring.

I had the opportunity to talk to Fruugo CEO Juha Usva and VP of Marketing Janne Waltonen about this. They are very convinsing, down-to-earth, cut-the-crap and brightvisioned with Fruugo and their opportunity. No, there is no company jet or huge parties. Fruugo is not hosting huge parties.

They are working hard to provide something that will hopefully change the way people do ecommerce.

And feeding their little baby panda. Gently.

Links: Fruugo CEO Juha Usva on MTV3 interview today (in Finnish)

Addition: Now Arctic Startup joined the club as well

Posted in Blog, Brands, first, News, Social Networks | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments »

Interview with a winner of Fennia Prize 2007 Honorary Mention

Posted by Janne Saarikko on February 16, 2007

Shunjiro Eguchi is a Senior Designer with Nokia Design Group. He is the designer of Nokia N93 multimedia mobile phone and a winner of honorary mention in Fennia Prize 2007, an international design competition.

In this interview Shunjiro Eguchi explains the design principles of Nokia N93 and his view on the future of mobiles devices and mobility from a designer’s point of view.

This interview was made in Design Forum Finland in Helsinki during Fennia Prize 2007 award ceremonies.

A link to a page with the actual video interview.

Posted in Blog, Brands, Internet, Mobile | 2 Comments »

 
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