Swan have collaborated with TikTok sensation, Lauren Saddington, to bring a fresh new look to our Nordic range. Lauren’s bright and bubbly personality has captivated a whole online community, encouraging positivity across all of her platforms, and is reflected into the products within this Scandinavian-inspired collection.
We sat down with Marketing Director, David Foulstone, on how Nordic came about, what inspired this range, and why it's being re-launched.
"Hi, I'm David Foulstone, Marketing Director of Swan, and this is the relaunch of Nordic.
It was October 2017, I believe, and we were at the Canton fair in China. We were doing our usual trips going around the trade show and all the balls and booths and we stumbled upon what now is the Nordic Kettle, but not in its current format, in pink with a walnut Dash style handle. So we looked at that and I remember thinking ‘yeah we could do something with this’. Grey was becoming very very popular through Instagram, I remember literally getting that kettle mocked up really really quickly and we ran all the way literally to the microwave Factory and said to the guys, ‘we're working on this kettle, it's mega important, but we need a matching microwave because we'll launch this immediately, I think we're on to something really special here’ and then we had to grow the range quickly because we had to build on that momentum.
What we wanted to do was make this really highly Instagrammable range. Back then it was more about photo-first and user generated content. I just wanted to really get down that path and we felt that this was the right range to do it. Off the back of the kettle, toaster, and microwave, we added housewares to it, so things like canisters and bread bins, and the difference with those products is, because they're not electrical, we could actually make parts of it wood, and so it took a little bit of time to finesse that range, but we wanted to use actual wood rather than artificial wood like we have on the electrical appliances, so it really adds that authenticity to the range.
The reason for the reshoot was, back in 2017, as I mentioned earlier, it was very image first, picture first, now in 2022 it's video first. Everything's video; Instagram, TikTok, you know TikTok wasn't even a thing in 2017, well it was, but no one knew about it. So for us with the relaunch of the range, we wanted to find somebody that would fit the product range and help influence on TikTok because that is the emerging market, and that's why we selected Lauren - we felt that she would be a really good fit for the range.
So one of the great things about my job now is that if somebody spots one of our products in a TV show I'll get a WhatsApp or an alert immediately, so it was always me that used to spot it but yeah we get, it gets spotted a lot. So for instance a WhatsApp message from somebody saying they've just seen our kettle in Chris Nolan's film Tenant and so that's quite exciting so it must have been, what's really interesting is, I don't think at that time that product was available in America, so I'm assuming it's probably shot somewhere in London in one of the studios and they've just used one of our products. For me, personally, people joke about it but I can spot one of our products in the distance even blurred a lot of the time on TV shows, but the big one for us is the microwave, the Nordic microwave, is featured still on Great British Bake Off.
So for me, one of the key parts of our relationships with Swan is working with Blink because even though we might find a great product, it's about the story. So, for instance, the George Foreman grills were around for years before without George Foreman's name on it, and then once the guys at Russell Hobbs and George Foreman had come up with a story and the idea behind George Foreman, then it suddenly becomes a multi-billion dollar business. So for me it's all, what I've learned in the last 10 years, it's about storytelling. So you come up with the idea, the range, and then you follow it through, so once we found the kettle and we found the design that's where Nordic was born, and working with the guys at Blink, that's where we've come up with this idea and it just and it flows through so we’re really storytellers and it never stops.
It's very important that we're one of the first to a concept because, again, early days, 10 years ago, we were doing what everyone else was doing: red metallic kettle because Morphy Richards did it, stainless steel kettles because Russell Hobbs did it. For me now, it's about we're ploughing our own journey, we're working with our influencers, we're listening to the communities that we've built to find out what's the next big thing, what are they interested in - how are they styling their kitchens - that's what we're paying attention to; what are people's kitchens like on Instagram now and have they changed where Nordic wouldn’t fit, and what would we need to create to fit."
Watch the full interview here:
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After joining the team at Swan 14 years ago, Marketing Director David Foulstone has taken the company in exciting new directions. With a passion for innovation and an eye on what's coming next, he’s been instrumental in launching fresh product ranges and enlisting influential brand ambassadors to get people talking - ensuring that this business is always up-to-date with tomorrow's trends.
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