Sofia Karlström tells us in an interview the background and the purpose of the Scandinavian Outdoor Group at the OutDoor Show in Friedrichshafen.
Could you Sofia tell us something about the group, what’s behind it, how did it start.
Do you represent almost all Scandinavian brands? Almost all of them.
The initiative started because at the trade fairs and here where we are all now in the Scandinavian Village.
They all felt we could benefit from being together.
To be Scandinavian together and just show how great Scandinavia and Scandinavian brands are.
And by Scandinavia you mean Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark and Iceland.
So broader Scandinavia in this case. And how did it develop? So you started with 10 companies in 2000 and now you have over 60 companies already in 2018 - so 18 years.
It started with the trade fairs and of course on the Scandinavian village and after that more projects have developed so all the projects where the Scandinavian brands can benefit from working together against or towards other markets they can find.
We have projects where we invite retailers and press to Scandinavia to try gear and to try out real Scandinavian stuff in Scandinavia and when they go home they know everything about brands and products when they have tried it in the right environment.
It sounds like a really good thing.
So you cooperate and it helps to actually create a healthy cooperative environment instead of a lot of competition between the bands. Yes and its always a good feeling with all the Scandinavian brands.
Everyone is working together, helping each other. Just having so much fun doing stuff together.
I don’t feel like they’re competitors. Of course they’re competitors but they don’t don’t seem like competitors.
They work so good together So it feels as if it’s a really representing Scandinavian spirits.
I mean working together, staying together. Community.
You also have magazines. Don’t you?
We do the Scandinavian Outdoor News.We do it twice a year.
One for ISPO and one for OutDoor.
So the ISPO one is for the winter products and the OutDoor for the summer products? And this is the Outdoor one. Exactly.
And its full of articles and great reading about Scandinavia and about the market and the Scandinavian brands and also a lot of tips for great products.
So you actually don’t only talk about the digital future of outdoors. You have some promotional material but you also talk a little bit about products and information on brands and whats happening.
This is really representing all those 5 countries. It’s quite nice.
So and where do you see yourself further?
It’s a difficult question.
We are always looking for projects and ways where Scandinavian brands can work together.
We are always listening to the brands. What they want to do. Where they want to cooperate. We do have somenew great products that are coming up but we still gonna keep doing many of the old ones.
I can’t tell you everything right now.
We are always trying to follow the market and see what’s going on. Right now many brands start their own websites. That’s what we have to look at.
So you talk about the development and the future. Do you also feel that the outdoor markets in Scandinavia are developing and growing?
Because the outdoor market in Scandinavia is very strong. I mean it’s part of the national cultures.
Outdoor market and outdoor in Scandinavia is definitely strong. Many organisations from different parts of Scandinavia are working to get more people out and get them out into the nature.
All the brands are also part of that.
One of the things that I also noticed is this golden logo - Scandinavian Outdoor Award. What is it?
We had the award evening yesterday and told everyone about the winners of this year.
We had 20 brands nominated this year and the jury - we have a jury from all the big magazines and they test the products for two days. They really try it out and they really evaluate and they do it for real.
And the winner this year was Morakniv and the floating knife.
This is very nice. Yesterday we interviewed them. Yes, you did? This is the overall winner but we also have a sustainability winner which is OrganoTex this year.
And then we have the winner in every category.
You can see it all on the website. The ScandinavianOutdoorAward.com.
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