5 Essential Tips to Boost Your Company’s Consumer Appeal in Norway

As a country with a strong economy that was relatively removed from neighboring countries’ wide-spread economic crisis, Norway can be the ideal location for companies seeking to expand their brand or boost their consumer appeal overseas.  However, consumer lifestyles in Norway—traditionally a somewhat isolated and non-materialist culture—can be different from what your marketing department is used to dealing with.  Keep these important factors in mind to ensure high levels of return from your venture into the Norwegian market.

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1. Strong Sense of Egalitarianism.  This is possibly the driving virtue in Norwegian culture: their complete acceptance and fair treatment of people from all wakes of life.  Gender equality especially has achieved greater success here than in most of the world, with women earning the same salaries as men and receiving up to one year of maternity leave from their jobs.  So when trying to appeal to a Norwegian audience, by all means try to present your brand as inclusive and equal-opportunity as possible.  Innapropriate jokes or gimmicks based on ethnic or gender stereotypes will not go over well.

2. Jante Law.  A common social phenomenon in Scandinavian countries, especially strong in small communities where nobody is anonymous, Jante Law refers to a common attitude of negativity towards an individual who sets himself off from the group as inordinately wealthy or successful.  Contrary to the mindset in other western countries where individualism and conspicuous consumption are encouraged, flaunting your wealth is considered extremely ill-bred in Norway.  Gambling on an intentionally arrogant ad campaign will not yield desired results.

3. Know Your Advertising Media.  While internet advertising will certainly connect you to a wide viewership, don’t underestimate the more classic approach as well.  Television and radio ads will be highly viewed, as will communications placed in newspapers.  Norwegians are avid readers of local newspapers, and ads or shout-outs targeting readers should be sophisticated and intelligently written.

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4. Remember the Language Barrier.  While most of your target consumer pool will speak English, certain nuances such as connotations, pop culture references, and sense of humor may not translate as well.  When brainstorming ways to reach out to your clientele, try to keep your message as straightforward as possible. 

5. Demonstrate Cultural Sensitivity.  While English as the international business language is appropriate to use in the business setting, you will prove yourself a trustworthy and open-minded colleague to work with if you show up with a fundamental understanding of the Norwegian culture and language.  Achieve this by doing your homework: research the current events and local history of Norway, and if possible visit for a week or so and get a feel of the environment.

And, of course, you will want to show up able to speak a decent amount of Norwegian to retain the upper ground in the business world.  (Fortunately, much of the grammar and pronunciation is similar to English.)  Get started right away by sending us an inquiry, or by taking our free online Norwegian language level test.

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