A possible Norwegian brand success in the making

— Hey, I just love you!

Those were the words I heard myself say to Jens-Martin Johnsrud, a man I hade never met before in my life, after hearing his story about Stereo Skis.

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His cap was pulled so far down that I couldn’t see his reaction of my declaration of love, while I thought to myself “Djeeesus, what an opening line…”. He shook it off lightly and continued the conversation with an enthusiasm, which in its own is a recipe for success. You believe in his story, and as a brand building enthusiast I felt I was reborn.

I can easily be childishly engaged when I meet talented entrepreneurs and business leaders who wants to achieve something extraordinary — the ones with great visions who see the importance of brand building.

What can we learn from the engineer?

I strongly believe that we, as business leaders and as a nation, can be a lot better at fulfilling the potential of the meta product* (*”brand building” with a semi-scientific schwong to it).

We can all learn something important from Jens-Martin. He’s an engineer with the magical combination of nerding and great storytelling. With his quiet enthusiasm he pulls us seamlessly into his world of product characteristics, mixed with a clear and likeable set of values. A true visionary.

Why Stereo Skis will succeed

It’s a great paradox that there aren’t any top Norwegian alpine ski brands in the world. We’re the home of alpine skiing and the world’s greatest skiing nation. This is the gap Stereo Skis are hoping to fill. They’re going to make the world’s best skis, made in the most environmental way.

Here are some of the reasons why I believe Stereo Skis will succeed:

  • True visionary entrepreneur/business leader with the great combo of nerding and being a great storyteller
  • Unique history. The company is built on a clear, inspiring and real story. A genuine wish of making a difference.
  • Top quality product made in the most environmental way
  • Unique design
  • Close relationship with the customers – meet the product users as often as possible to get important feedback.
  • Control of the story through the whole value chain.

What can go wrong?

Many Norwegian companies are having difficulties getting enough capital to finance growth. This can also be the case for Stereo Skis. They need enough money to be able to build up the organization, distribution and the marketing of their products.

The competition is strong, and it costs to both establish the positioning as well as being represented at the most important hubs for skiing around the world. Today Stereo Skis are partly financed through crowdfunding. I believe this is an important strategic solution, also to build fan crowds — but is it enough?

The skis are getting fantastic reviews in Norway and Europe, and the sales have gone up every year. The production volume is still on a small scale , and further growth is always the toughest and most cost consuming step.

If interested, I’m convinced that Jens-Martin and his company will find interesting foreign investors, but I’m hoping some adventurous Norwegians will grab the opportunity. Someone with a passion for being a part of building a proud and great Norwegian brand.

We hope for a fantastic journey for Stereo Skis, and let me moderate my language;

— Jens Martin, I think you are a great guy and I love what you guys are doing!

*My great interest for brand building started with reading the book “The meta product and the market” by Carl Eric Lind in the early 90s.

NB: If you think this is product placement, think again. I have no connection to Jens-Martin either financially or businesswise. My goal is to share my passion for building Norwegian brands, and I believe that there’s a great potential that needs to be fulfilled. That’s why we also make the podcast “Oppdrift”, which I hope you will listen to.