…A late model Porsche 911 is parked next to a graffiti calling on comrades to rise against capitalism and, separately, against sexism.
Welcome to Grünerløkka, that
” Greenwich Village of Oslo “, trendy and hip, where opinions and lifestyles diverge and daring ideas being born and implemented.
Grünerløkka is a home to the Northug brand. From here – to the world!
Meet Silje Vasvåg,key account manager at Northug, branch of Brand Assist AS:
Northug does use an unwaning popularity of the man who gave the brand its name as a springboard to people’s hearts – and wallets. But it wants to build a lasting reputation as a maker of quality sport gear and apparel.
Vasvåg, who previously worked both in the media and in the sporting goods industry, is well aware that popularity is not built in a day:
“We want to expand and we shall expand but we are in no rush to conquer the market immediately. A customer’s satisfaction is extremely important to us, we are not cutting any corners there!”
“We want athletes ambassadors who like to be themselves. The results of competitions are affecting the choice but ” cool factor” is equally important “.
It’s not all marketing gimmicks.
Northug Eyewear Performance is designed by Norway’s most famous industrial designer, Bård Eker. Eker is known , among other things, through working with Ducati and ultra-fancy Koenigsegg.
And what of Petter’ debacle last year? Did it affect the brand? We let the man who owns 55 percent of Brand Assist, the company that operates Northug (Petter himself owns the remaining 45 ) answer that:
“…It is too early to say that the attention has only been negative. Many have become aware of Northug products and have purchased them” Jon Inge Gullikstad told the Norwegian press
Together, Gullikstad and Northug have invested some NOK 13.5 million in Brand Assist.
Jon Inge Gullikstad himself is a bit a legend in his own start‐up field – he previously built up & sold the Ulvang and Johaug brands.
Northug the brand is in a truly unique position: it’s got a team packed with creative talent, experienced ” captain” and a ” star forward” who has both time and energy to devote to goalscoring. Compared to, say, Johaug who’s schedule is packed with training sessions in remote locations, Petter has a lot more time to promote, effectively, himself and to be a product tester any brand could dream of. Hard to foretell in a sector where brands come and go ( Kneissl, Casco – still remember those?) – but it looks like winner to us.
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