The other Swedish furniture giant

The other Swedish furniture giant. This is how we like to refer to Kinnarps, Europe’s largest office furniture manufacturer and a client of ours for over 10 years. Since arriving from Sweden in 1972, the brand with a hard-to-pronounce name (try ‘Shinnarps’) has earned a reputation for creating innovative products without compromising on sustainability.


The challenge

Kinnarps are in an interesting position in the office furniture market. Across Europe, they are a big player – the biggest, in fact. Whilst here the UK they are up against some bigger and better-known names. As a sales-led organisation, Kinnarps have looked to ABA to raise awareness of the brand Give the sales team a reason to call.

We started by asking ourselves this: ‘What does Kinnarps possess that their competitors don’t?’ We were looking to find both owneable position in the market, but more specifically (and of particular importance to the sales team) we were after relevant and interesting content that their audience would stand up and take notice of.

The answer was simple. The Swedish way. The truth is us Brits are fascinated by pretty much anything Swedish these days. The culture, customs, and ethos of the nation had infused Kinnarps – but they were quick to admit: ‘We don’t know what it is about Sweden that’s interesting. Will you help us?’


Our solution

So we got to work – helping Kinnarps uncover its Swedish-inspired strengths and distinctives. What we found was that Kinnarps was a brand that genuinely had something to say to modern workplaces. Like how to look after the wellbeing of employees, the value of making office design participative, how furniture can help (or harm) employees’ health, and how workplaces can be committed to sustainability.

The next challenge was finding interesting and memorable ways of bringing these great insights to their audience of facilities managers, HR directors, and architects & designers. It was a creative content marketing challenge with a particular focus on helping increase sales – a challenge that we relished. Here are just a few of the ways we have gone about this task…


Welcome to Work: We created a Kinnarps-branded microsite called Welcome to Work, providing the latest thinking, research, and advice around health and happiness in our places of work. Articles were written, research commissioned, emails sent, and sales appointments made – all with the aim of positioning Kinnarps as a brand with something to say and giving their sales team the chance to start a conversation where they could showcase the products behind that thinking.

Sit Stand: Commonplace across the continent, Sit Stand desks have remained largely a novelty in the UK. But that trend is changing, and we wanted to help Kinnarps stay ahead of the curve. To that end, we started a campaign that included a customer trial, research on the benefits of standing at work, and the creation of a wide-range of sales materials that included a fast-moving video, a series of ‘did you know?’ emails, a leave-behind guide for end users, and a consumer-facing microsite.

The Better Effect: As a Swedish company, it’s hardly surprising that Kinnarps take their commitment to sustainability seriously (they even have a name for it: The Better Effect). We’ve helped them tell this story through a motion animation, a series of blogs and emails, and a social media ad campaign – all the time threading a consistent message that simply says: ‘If it’s good enough for the Swedes…’

The results

Kinnarps is no longer the little guy of the UK furniture market. With the support of our creativity and thinking, the company turnover has risen to £16m and their market share continues to grow. Not bad for a small town Swedish brand with a name that’s still hard to pronounce.