I’ve been in various parts of Finland for the past couple of weeks. Here’s my take on the key brands that I came across most often during my travels.
Born in the town of Nokia, nearly 150 years ago, it started off selling paper products then rubber boots and throughout it’s history has continued to re-invent itself. Best known as a mobile phone brand, it sold the mobiles business to Microsoft in 2013 and is about to go through another phase of re-juvenation.
Finlandia is the national vodka and according to the people I met in Finland, the purest vodka you can buy. The most distinctive element of the brand is it’s beautifully designed bottle. I also really like the ‘Life Less Ordinary‘ Comms Campaign. Very quirky, outdoorsy and a little bit scary/
I have to say, I got quite hooked on Fazer milk chocolate. It’s like Finland’s version of Cadbury’s. Founded over a hundred years ago, Fazer chocolate is everywhere. They even hand them out free at the Finnair Lounge in Helsinki airport. There’s loads of different flavours and various sub-brands, but the classic chocolate is the blue pack is the one for me. I always stock up at Duty Free.
Marimekko is a Finnish design company, renowned for it’s distinctive bold prints and bright colours which you soon begin to recognise. It sells a range of clothing, accessories and home decor items. Founded in 1951, you can find Marimekko items all over world. Very stylish
The Moomins are hippo-like creatures which appeared originally as a series of cartoons and comic strips. Since then, they’ve come to life in tv series, films and even as a theme park – although not quite on the scale of Disneyland. In Finland, the Moomins are hard to avoid – mugs, fridge magnets, tea towels – you can find them all with Moomin characters
Stockmann is Finand’s best known department store. There’s a huge one in the centre of Helsinki, but they’re in other cities. It’s a fairly upmarket store, i guess equivalent to John Lewis, but maybe not quite as upmarket as Selfridges. Had a wander around one when I had a bit of spare time – nice.
I really enjoyed Finland. Full of nice people, beautiful scenery and lovely restaurants. I look forward to returning.