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[Podcast] How to Build Culture with Fred & Erik of SNASK

[Podcast] How to Build Culture with Fred & Erik of SNASK

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Frederick Ost and Erik Kocku of SNASK join us to discuss how to build culture, and along the way our conversation diverts into a myriad of topics including creativity, empathy, philosophy, and of course, branding.

We discuss how their agency SNASK approaches brand building, the key to creativity, how to create a culture of trust and creativity, as well as how leading with vulnerability and empathy can give you an edge in the industry.

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Transcript (Auto Generated)

Hello, and welcome to JUST Branding, the only podcast dedicated to helping designers and entrepreneurs grow brands. Here are your hosts, Jacob Cass and Matt Davies.

 

Hello, and welcome to JUST Branding. Today we have Frederick Ost and Erik Kockum of Snask, a kick-ass creative agency based out of Sweden. They are, I quote from their website, doctors of disturbance, wizards of disruption and spokesmen of disobedience.

 

As you’ll soon come to realize, these guys do things a little bit differently and we love it. Today we’re going to be talking about brand strategy and how to build culture. And yeah, we’ll get into it.

 

So welcome to the show, fellas.

 

Thank you. So happy to be here, guys. Awesome.

 

Awesome. So first off, Snask, what is that? Tell us, what’s the name, where did that name come from?

 

Well, actually, we were studying in the UK and before we started the agency, of course. And in the UK, we were talking a lot about iCandy at university. And we thought like, well, since we’re not moving back to Sweden, we were thinking about moving to New York or London to do the agency.

 

We were like, oh, let’s choose an old Swedish name that means candy, filth and gossip all in one word. And it’s a disgusting sounding word in Swedish. We were like, oh, it’s easy to remember, Snask, Snask off, sweet mother of Snask, you Snask me, et cetera.

 

And so we did. And in the end, we decided to move back to Sweden where everyone knows what it means.

 

So that’s basically why is it a disgusting word?

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Yeah, why is it disgusting?

 

Yeah, why?

 

I don’t know. No, but it’s just like, yeah, it just sounds a bit dirty. I don’t know.

 

It’s like, snask.

 

I used to live in Sweden, actually, for a year. But I don’t really remember much. That was back when I was 18, so it’s quite a while ago.

 

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But we’ll get back on track. You guys have some pretty awesome creative projects, right? So I’d love to know what’s top of mind for you guys in terms of a creative project.

 

And the one for me, it’s like your shower beer project. But I’d love to hear a little bit about your work and perhaps your personal favorites, just so people can get a taster of your, I guess, flavor when it comes to branding and design.

 

I think that we build a lot of brands no matter what we do. If it’s film or communication or if it’s actually brand strategy or design, it’s always about building a brand and making it come to life. I think we have many, many favorites, but one of our favorites is also Clarion.

 

We worked with them for three years and we built a visual world. And Erik worked a lot on this and tried to build their brand world without actually saying anything, like trying to sell anything, but actually give the viewer a feeling of the brand and make it kind of spectacular. Give it almost like unreal proportions and things that happens, expectations.

 

And I think that’s something that is really interesting when you look at our portfolio, it kind of riffs off with almost every project, but I think Clarion is like one of the best in building that, making that brand come to life.

 

They also had good budgets. But you know, no, but it is true. I mean, I think it’s hard for us sometimes to single out like a project that we like, oh, this one.

 

We’re so proud of that one, because we’ve been working more of an overarching direction, I think, of the work we do and to have like a bit of a style or an attitude in everything. And so when we can do that, it can be, yeah, it can be a bank over there or, you know, some food product there or a music festival or, you know, it can be anything. I think that we go in with the same type of values in what we want to create and how to do it.

 

And so when we get to do that fully, I mean, we enjoy ourselves. Like we have that Malmö Festival thing that we did some couple of years back, where we tried to create the world’s largest poster, where we basically designed the poster like you do normally in the digital world. And then we just took it out and we built it gigantic for real.

 

I took photos of it high up with a sky lift. And then it became also like an area in the festival, like physical area and so on. Yeah, that type of stuff is fun.

 

I mean, also I just rebranded BANNED ALWAYS SOME, and Erik just shot the film and new music video for The Hives. So it’s like very different projects, but we’re trying to bring in our creativity and our way of working into any project basically.

 

So, you know, you mentioned that everything like feels like very different in the worlds and the kind of the visual environments that you create. How do you kind of get to that point? Is it very much what, you know, come from almost like an artist from like within like what you feel like could be different and work in this space, or do you work more strategically?

 

Do you get research done? How do you kind of start to think through like, okay, I’m going to build a visual environment that’s very individual. What’s your first sort of steps in the process to think that through?

 

I think it’s like it’s both. The boring answer is both. Because we have like something that we enjoy.

 

And like I said, like a style and an interest that we, you know, that came from when we studied or before, you know, an interest that sort of we connected with Snask and then like started to do that and explore that more and more in different ways. And that is maybe, you know, bold graphics, colorful, a lot of like physical outputs like from like, yeah, removing using the computer used as a tool and then like taking it further. But then like, what do we do for this exact project or client or whatever?

 

I mean, there is the research and the ideation as, you know, as I think many people do in, you know, we, we always try to find like smart solutions, you know, that we, that we didn’t know before we started the project. So I’d say some people, I know some people that we know in the industry and like that we that are maybe sometimes in the same world, like of style. And so they have like big fat notebooks where they have like sketches of loads of ideas.

 

And then when they like start a project, like for any client one, they start going through their sketches, you know, and they like, oh, this one maybe could be cool here. You know, we don’t work like that at all. We, we, we, we, we’re stupid and we start from a blank page.

 

Each time it feels like it’s, it’s so I think.

 

So just to continue on with that. So let’s say for our listeners, designers, entrepreneurs who, you know, are running their own business, what would the process look like for you? You know, you have these bold, wacky, fun, like vivid projects as the output, but how are you getting there?

 

Like what’s the process in terms of understanding the brief and getting the client to, I guess, sign on with this wacky idea or big bold idea? Like, what does that look like for you? Or an agency like Snask?

 

One thing that we do with most of our clients is it’s like a workshop, like a more, almost like a full day workshop where we dig into what they want and their visions and, you know, and their goals. And there we have the chance to infuse that with like more ideas or taking it further. Like we challenge them a lot.

 

And then this classic thing becomes, you know, that we make them say it, right? So we just like, but what about this? What about that?

 

And then they’re like, yeah, we should do this and that, you know, then they start doing it. And that’s it. So, I mean, we wanted to come from that.

 

We can’t just do go and do something over here and they have no clue or they don’t want that or whatever. So, I mean, that’s one way to like align. But then it’s also from the start, it’s all about the ambition and the budgets and all of that.

 

They need to align. I mean, some people come with lots of money. They have no ambition.

 

That’s not fun. We don’t know what to do then. Some people come with loads of ambition.

 

They’re like, we’re going to take over the world. And then we’re like, yes. And then like, but we won’t spend any money, you know, and then it’s like, and we can’t do anything without either, you know.

 

So, I mean, it’s like, you need to have the right, let’s say, set up the possibility to do something. And then, yeah, we start with that. And then I think our process, I mean, we do the normal thing.

 

We sit and talk. We spread out. We come together again.

 

We, you know, we think and I think you need, the only thing that you need is time. I mean, you need time to be able to figure something out and especially try it. I mean, if you want to be creative and try to come up with something original or new, you need time to do things wrong and then, you know, try it out.

 

Oh, this didn’t work. OK, let’s try something else. And so if you have that, I think, you know, it’s possible to do something good.

 

So what kind of time do you like to work to? What sort of time? What’s your sort of if it was an ideal world, Erik, and it was a good brand with loads of money and said, right, I need a new visual world that I need you to create for our brand.

 

Like, what kind of time would you take as much time as they give you? Or like, you know, what’s your ideal sweet spot?

 

Great question. Is this a request? Can I like?

 

I will, two months ish, you know, it’s a good start for something, I would say. But like, it also depends on what we’re delivering, like what are we talking about? It is so, but I would say that almost always the client is have a too short time plan, you know, at least connected to their ambition.

 

And then it depends on are we like building a brand or more like straight on to a more creative concept or, you know, in like, and again, if it’s like a film production, then it’s where like you have more like a classic structure and you go through this like sort of steps that are kind of clear what to create and you know what to what to present. If it’s more like an open, you know, oh, what can we do? Then then you need more time, you know, but I think like to use tab, the best like Freddie mentioned Klarna.

 

Like when we did some of the Klarna stuff, especially the earlier Klarna stuff we did, then we had so much time because they gave us that and we asked for it. So we had really like a couple of months of just ideating, you know, we could really try out things and do, yeah, redo and so on. And that was unusual.

 

And I remember how I felt like, oh, this actually became really good because of all the time we had to spend on it. We had the chance to redo. What do you say, Freddie?

 

Do you have any?

 

A sweet spot when it comes to time. I mean, I think it has to do with the project. It can be a great client that agrees with us on everything and we don’t need to push them and then go really fast or the opposite way.

 

I think comparing it to a race, even though the client is like, yeah, we want to run 100 meters really fast. Yeah. But if you just do that instantly, you will probably injure yourself on the way.

 

Though you don’t normally have the right expectations, ambitions, etc. So basically the whole workshop thing is like a warm up for the race. And that gives us the chance to actually push them and actually make them realize that maybe you aren’t the fastest in the world today.

 

And if you want to be world class, it won’t just take five minutes. It will take a long time and we need to push you. We need to work on your agility, etc.

 

So it’s just like making them realize that what they are today is not right. And what they want to be might not be right either. But when it should be, that can compare that to reality.

 

And then you put it out in a time and say, wait a minute, this would probably take three months to complete. And then it becomes more tangible for them to understand. OK, it’s not just something that is already in their heads.

 

It’s a teamwork that we need to find out as a team, one of us.

 

And one thing to add on that is like, OK, many clients come and they don’t. They’re just like, we need this on that day. Can you do it?

 

Otherwise, we can’t. You know, we go to someone else or something. And the answer on that is like, yes, we can do it.

 

That’s not the problem, because we can. We are so experienced that we can all we could create something in less than that. We can create something this week or it’s just like, it’s do some.

 

But then it will be something that we have already sort of done. Like we can’t be like, create something completely crazy new and original. No, we will have to go to our experience then and do the things that we know work.

 

You know, and that’s a really interesting motion, isn’t it?

 

That you’d have to go, you know, to do something new. You almost have to break out of what you know and go into somewhere that’s never been gone before. And you almost have to push that forwards in a very uncomfortable kind of dramatic way.

 

Whereas if you’re working at extreme pace, what you’re saying is that doesn’t give you any space to kind of do those unusual things because you just fall back naturally on what you know will work because you have to hit that deadline. I get that. I think that’s really a really interesting insight there.

 

So that kind of the creative mind.

 

Awesome. I think it’s like in a relationship, like every man who goes out on Valentine’s Day after work five o’clock, they go to the flower shop. There’s already a long line of guys who didn’t think about what they’re going to do on Valentine’s Day.

 

They all like buy that rose or three or ten if you’re richer. They come home and then maybe the missus gets like, oh, this is the only thing you did. You didn’t actually think about it.

 

And that’s the thing, like if you don’t give time to think about things, going wrong, doing things, then you will just go for the first thing that pops up in your mind. And creatively it’s not very creative. Sometimes you have to do it, but it’s much more fun, of course, to allow your mind to wander and do weird things instead.

 

I mean, in the end it will probably end up somewhere better and more fun.

 

So, let’s talk a little bit more philosophically, if I may, just ask another quick question. So, why is that important for creative work and brands to go somewhere unusual and somewhere different? What’s your take on differentiation and being different?

 

What’s your thoughts on the value of that?

 

Well, it brings us into interesting subjects. Thank you for that, Matt. I think that the ordinary way people think and brand strategists and communicators think that, oh, we need to ask people what they want all the time.

 

The target group always knows what they want and we need to ask them. The truth is that they have no clue of what they want or need. And that’s why Apple never asked us if we wanted an iPhone, because they would never have created it, because we are basically very basic monkeys.

 

We can maximum take one thing, add it to another thing that exists and say like, wow, we have a new thing here. But iPhone was so many steps forward because it didn’t listen to us. The car wasn’t a faster horse, which was what people would have asked, like told Henry Ford if he asked them.

 

And that’s the thing. I think that’s why we need to step into the visionary and the innovative side of us ourselves. Instead of asking people what they want, we need to trust in expertise.

 

And that expertise in our field is creation, innovation. That’s where it comes from. And no one can measure that.

 

No one can say that this innovation will give this result. You can’t do that. So in that way, it’s uncharted territory every time you create something, but it’s also very interesting.

 

And once you learn to live in that territory, if you become more comfortable in doing some doing mistakes, do it going the wrong path, and it’s fine. So I think that’s like philosophically where I would take the discussion.

 

You know, we’re talking about creativity and we kind of settled on time being a key point. Money, budgets, obviously. Is there anything else you would add to the mix for, you know, to be creative, to be visionary, to be innovative?

 

I think that would be, I mean, then we may be coming into culture and things like that. I mean, you need the right place and, you know, we say like, yeah, the right culture at the workplace, you need like the right type of relationships and feeling of freedom and that you’re able to express yourself, et cetera, et cetera. I mean, I think it’s and that’s and I mean, again, that can connect to time and everything of that.

 

But like, to create a work environment where you are allowed to make mistakes, basically, I think is the key in that. I mean, there’s so much like pressure sometimes in our industry to be such elite and like, oh, you need to be the best and deliver and show all this like amazing stuff. And, and there is a lot of like ego going around too, of course.

 

And, and so it can be tough to like, to even get people to share what they are working on or like to show something that isn’t done or, you know, so it can, I think it goes both ways that you need to, yeah, both like in a, in a nice way, create an environment where people, where you basically push people a little bit to share and to show what they’re doing and dare to do it. But then, of course, turn it around and make them feel comfortable as they do it, you know, so it’s, it’s, it’s very common when people get stressed and so on that we start like, no, that won’t work, or I don’t like that, or, you know, because we are like, again, like, we see seeing this deadline or whatever. And, and, but like, to try to create an environment where we more like to support and say yes, and try things and, you know, and that freedom, that feeling of freedom, I think that’s when also when everyone can get created.

 

Because if you like, if you, if you feel free, you know, it’s almost like, if we would talk about any type of idea now, like, oh, we need to create an ad for this podcast or something, we would start talking about ideas, you know, then we would like, you know, we would start filtering immediately, all of us like, but I can’t say that, or, you know, maybe that’s weird, or they will, they will think something weird. Something weird about me, if I say too much here, or whatever, you know, and that’s the type of thing that like, can stop a really good, you know, creative process to that, that you start thinking too much about, like, yeah, how it looks, or, you know, how what other people would think, that’s why sometimes maybe you work better at home sometimes, because you’re more like, you then you don’t have that feeling. But, yeah, if you feel like you’re allowed to do things, then I think anyone can create anything, it’s, we’re creative every day in our lives, you know, doing, going, taking a faster route to the bus station is great, you know, but maybe you weren’t supposed to take that route, but you made, you found it on the way, you know.

 

So it kind of comes down to trust, right? Just be like, trusting your teammates and trusting that you’ll get to the solution and having an open environment, open culture where you’re not, you know, put in a time crunch or, you know, in a place where you feel uncomfortable or unsafe. What are your thoughts on that?

 

For sure. I mean, I think that’s super important to have that in the team. And as Erik said, sometimes you can be afraid of saying an idea because it is stupid, or it isn’t polished.

 

It isn’t a diamond yet. And therefore, if you voice it, it might be shot down by people because it’s so perfect. Or, for example, like following trends or showing a design that maybe isn’t trendy.

 

And I think that we are trying in our culture to do non-trendy things and not like anti-trend. We have to feel like let’s not listen too much to trends. Let’s not listen to what other people think of the time.

 

And let’s try to create something from within us. And from within us, it comes from our loved ones, our partners, our friends, our pets, our family, movies we watch, even bad ones, TV series, the books we read, music we listen to. And in that sense, you get inspiration from within and from your world around you.

 

Not only culture at work, but also, as Erik said, culture at home or the freedom of being at home where no one else is watching you all the time, et cetera, et cetera. And if we see like, we can see this in other parts, like people who are professionals taking inspiration from other parts than their own. Like in like the NASCAR driver who won the race because he had watched people on a video game, NASCAR video game, driving in full speed towards the wall, using the wall of the video game in the NASCAR race to go past everyone and then win the race.

 

And in the real race, he asked, he was third, and he asked, I’m going to try this. So he went against the wall and the whole car started scratching full blast. And he drove past the two other one and he won and everyone afterward asked him, like, did you watch the video game?

 

And he’s like, yeah, I watched the video game. And I thought, why not? It should work.

 

And it’s interesting because he didn’t only look at how other drivers did it. He was like, let’s look at how other people don’t do it and how do people do in video games, et cetera. That’s super interesting.

 

And you can say FIFA, the football game, lots of young people are taking inspiration from how all the players are doing, like step over, so shoots and things like that from a video game. It’s kind of interesting taking inspiration from other things than like reality.

 

So it’s also interesting this notion of freedom, because I think if you were to say, you know, I used to run creative teams and I always used to say to everyone, like, you know, the fear dispels creativity, right? If you are fearful, then you’re not going to share that idea, because you’re going to feel like restricted and judged and, you know, you’re not going to allow it to give birth or you’re not going to give birth to it, at least publicly, you’re just going to think it. And I used to say to my teams, look, you know, this is a place where you shouldn’t be afraid of anything.

 

Nobody shuts anyone down. Even if you think it’s the stupidest idea that anyone has ever had, then just keep your mouth shut and listen, right? Because actually it’s those stupid ideas that actually turn out to be the really exciting ones, the really different ones, the really bold ones.

 

And I think that kind of, you know, just to bring it back to the philosophical, if you like, just bring it up, you know, and to think that through. I think we notice what is different. As consumers, as people that kind of buy products and buy into brand experiences, we notice what’s different and we crave the difference because what a lot of businesses do, and I don’t know if you see this a lot, but this is in my experience, is you get a new startup in a particular category and instinctively, usually what folks do is go, oh, who’s number one?

 

And they look at what they’re doing and then they go, oh, I want to be like them. I mean, the amount of times I’ve heard people say, well, I want to be a bit like Apple. You’re just like, oh, just come on.

 

That’s been done. That was done 10, 15, 20 years ago. What’s the next thing?

 

So why Apple was brilliant was because of this really strict minimalism that they brought to bear on all of their communications and then into their products, try to make things simple and easy. And I get that usability-wise, that’s good. But positioning, you can’t compete with that now.

 

It’s dominating. So what’s next? And stop looking at the number one leader in your category and start thinking about, well, your aim shouldn’t be to follow.

 

If you’ve really got something radical, if you’ve got some amazing product or amazing kind of new brand that you want to kind of put out there, your job is to lead, not follow. And when you want to lead, you need to do that in everything, in the way you communicate, in the experience, in the product, in all of the touch points that you produce, and then, as I say, actually in what you’re doing, the way you’re doing it. If you then fall back on, hey, this comfort thing, you want to play it safe, then ultimately you’re going to be less effective.

 

I’m not going to say you’re not going to be successful, because there’s plenty of brands that are successful by that kind of strategy. I think if you really want to make bold moves, you’ve got to get uncomfortable. That’s where the work that you guys do is super exciting, because what I see is this bravery and individualism that runs through what you do.

 

That’s why it’s super interesting to hear you talk about freedom, Erik, and that individualism comes from that culture of freedom. How often do you pitch ideas and clients get completely freaked out and you have to convince them of that? Does that happen a lot or do you find people are coming to you now because you’ve become renowned for this type of work?

 

How do you find it? How much persuasion do you have to do?

 

That’s a great question.

 

Maybe some years back, then we had to really sell these ideas, then we had to convince, then we had to really do that whole process of getting people on board. And then we were very strict with what type of work we showed, our portfolio and so on during these years. Then it started to shift a little bit, that people saw us for the work we did, and therefore they approached us.

 

Suddenly we started on a different platform. They were more expecting. We even had clients that came to us and said, we want to be like you.

 

Can you create us to be the brand of Snask?

 

Jacob gets that all the time, doesn’t he, Jacob? People just want to be like Jacob. I want to be like him.

 

That’s amazing. So you’re almost led by example, right? So folks were looking at what you were doing.

 

I want some of that.

 

Exactly. But then that also became weird because we then, again, why can we do the Snask thing? Because we have total freedom there from our point of view.

 

If we come up with an idea, me and Freddie or someone else, that Snask talks about something, then we’re like, yes, let’s do that. And then it’s being done. It goes so quickly.

 

We had some times that we were serious about that thing, that they were like, we are like you. We can be like you. We were like, we don’t think so, but let’s try it then.

 

And then we came up with a couple of those type of ideas that you take out, you know, different. And then they were like, oh, yeah, but I don’t know how are, but how will they think about this from the, you know. And then we’re like, see, you can’t be us, you know.

 

And then it became like a normal project in the end anyway. But like, so, I mean, that is hard. And then today, I would actually say that we, we sometimes we have a struggle that now it feels like a little bit like our name as an agency has become bigger now a little bit for it.

 

So we get recommended to people on some just for being like, oh, you should work with Snask or check them out. People just hear about us somehow. And then they approach us and they don’t really know about that style.

 

You know that so they think we maybe we’re a little bit fun. They sort of noticed that, but they still don’t really know that type of direction of work we’ve been doing. So then it’s like it’s almost starting over again that we now need to again like stall in the whole sort of direction of the things that we do and like why we do it and so on.

 

So it’s like almost like starting over again, but in a different way. So yeah, it is difficult. It is definitely difficult.

 

And I think like generally like that’s what we do with like I mentioned, we mentioned that workshop, we mentioned those like pros and stuff. That’s like we just need to really like do it thoroughly to get people on board and feel like they are like, okay, I know they know why we were doing this. And we can always like step back and be like, remember you said this and this and these things, you know, like do you think that, you know, what would those people back there say about these ideas now and so on?

 

Yeah, and I think that unpredictability, what you talked about, Matt and Erik, I think it’s interesting as to be the future like it has us with AI, because everything that is predictable in creativity, in work, everything that is predictable, and AI, because we will all have AI systems soon in our private life, in our work life, everywhere. Everything that is predictable, and AI can basically do, and AI can fill up our fridge with what we normally like and what we normally eat. But giving us a surprise is kind of hard for it.

 

And being human is not about being predictable. Being human is more about using that unpredictability. That’s why we evolved as a species.

 

And I think everyone is born with it, but society slowly strangles us and tells us, grow up, get a job, do this, whatever. But I think that we all have that, and the unconventional ideas, the unpredictability, that’s also what’s going to separate you from an AI’s work, for example, in five years. Being able to give a client an idea that isn’t conventional.

 

But yeah, but how do we measure this? And is there a predicted success? No, it isn’t.

 

It would most likely be very different, but that’s the genius that that’s a nice part about it. And that’s Apple, actually. That’s what they did.

 

They didn’t ask people before. Yeah, now it’s minimalistic and it’s done. But when they came out, it was very light.

 

They did not ask anyone and they just went for it.

 

I want to take a little bit of a left turn here. And you guys are very focused on vulnerability and empathy, which kind of ties back into it. So did you want to share your approach with those topics and your work?

 

I think that everything that we do now, I mean, when we started out, we were pretty young, 16 years ago. We thought we were like on the top of the world, but no one had discovered us yet, etc, etc. I mean, a lot of insecurities buried beneath us that felt like, oh, hope no one understands that we don’t know anything.

 

We tried to like kind of hide that and instead run as fast as we could away from that. And I think the older we get, the more we realize and stopped running from it. And actually, we realized, I think, that we can use that vulnerability, we can use that those weaknesses or these sort of weaknesses, like those human aspects are the most fun.

 

Yeah, it’s more honest, it’s more genuine. That’s where most interesting ideas comes from. That’s where you can speak to someone else’s heart.

 

It’s like we work a lot with finance and a lot of clients when it comes to us say that, yeah, we need to be a trustworthy brand. Okay, what does that mean? Oh, it means suits, it means being serious, being very like this and that, square and boxed in.

 

But when we asked them, can you name the five people in your world that you trust the most? Yeah, it’s my mom and dad, my partner, my sister, et cetera. Okay, and is it because they walk around in suits and being very square and professional all the time?

 

No, it’s because they’re vulnerable, because they make mistakes, they’re human, they accept you exactly who you are, your true, dirty self. That’s what gives and builds trust. And instead, in our industry, it tends to be thinking the other way around.

 

That it’s like, no, it’s something, it’s like when Klarna used Snoop Dogg as their ambassador, every bank in the world thought like, oh my god, this is so bad because people would think they’re so unprofessional. People didn’t give a s**t about that Snoop Dogg, it was just a positive thing. Oh, fun that they used Snoop Dogg.

 

By the way, I’m going to check out here. Oh, Klarna, yeah, I’m going to use them. I mean, so it says trust, vulnerability, all this thing being genuine, I think also is something that we’re going to see brands having to work into.

 

They have to be more genuine. I’m not saying pink washing, green washing, but they actually have to care, start caring about the world. For real.

 

And most brands are like, oh, we care about the world, but what do you mean? Do we need to care about the world for real? And I think that, yes, very soon you need not only as a brand, but also as a company, care for the world for real.

 

We always say about us that we built a brand on mistakes. Like Fred said, when we were younger, we were so trying to find our way. But we quite quickly understood that the only way was our way.

 

So we didn’t look at other people. We just got frustrated with the industry and the conservative world and everything. And then we started to do it.

 

Or we went through, if we had some idea about something, we were like, let’s do it. Let’s try it on everything. And then many of those ideas were really bad.

 

And there were things that we quickly realized that like, oh shit, this became like the opposite effect than what we thought. And so on. But that created our own thing.

 

And we can like, both of us can look back, if we would talk about something that happened 10 years ago, like, oh, but why did you guys choose to do that? And that I can explain exactly why, because I know we discussed it. Then we came to a clue.

 

And then, okay, it was the wrong idea, but like, I know exactly why. It wasn’t like, oh, because some old guy told us that we, you know, didn’t, that we had to listen to or something. And I think that’s also part of this whole thing that like, we’re very like, yeah, we’re like, happy to talk about those mistakes and like, you know, share them and, you know, whatever.

 

And say that other people should do it too, you know.

 

But I think it’s very important to listen to us. Yeah, I think it’s important also as men, because we were brought up, at least me and Erik probably in Sweden, but many other people as well around the world in a kind of macho way where our fathers didn’t speak about emotions or even connected to emotions. And we can see today, like with all the shootings, it’s not women running around.

 

I’m going to jump into this car because I’m so angry and I can’t handle my emotions. All these things has to do with like guys not being able or taught to like how to feel, how to express emotions, how to talk and be vulnerable about emotions and being able to lean on a friend’s shoulder and talk about hard things. And I think those are super important things.

 

And it comes back to branding, it comes back to design, everything, everything that we do has to do with empathy and being able to show and receive empathy. I think it’s very, very important also in any industry.

 

That’s really interesting, that kind of psychological kind of aspect to what you’ve just said there about, you know, being male in today’s world. And I think it’s really tough. I mean, if you go back, you know, even two, 300 years, you know, to be male was something very different to what to be male is today, right?

 

And I actually, you know, which I keep bringing it up to some philosophical level, but you kind of did, Frederick. So I’m going up there as well. But like, you know, I think almost like to be male has, you know, facing a kind of an identity crisis.

 

Like, what does that mean? Like, we used to be like, okay, we’re the stronger sex, right? So that automatically put us in a place where everybody relied on the men to go out and fight the wars, to go get the food, to go make the houses, to build the roads, anything physical, practically, you know, really physical, you know, men got on with.

 

But then as time’s gone on, now we’ve got technology, right? And also, you know, women, obviously, through technology, through contraception and the pill and all that stuff, are not, you know, as vulnerable perhaps as they used to be, absolutely not. And so we’re now in a position where, you know, to be a woman is slightly different as well.

 

So we’re kind of, as a species, I think we’re in this kind of really warped kind of place. And I don’t know if we’ve got all the answers, but I definitely know that what you just said there about, you know, having some way of dealing with some of these kind of conundrums, I think I meet a lot of men and they feel very lost, you know, very lost. They’re not sure, you know, they’re not sure who they are anymore.

 

If they step too far to the right, they’re overly aggressive. If they step too far to the left, they’re too soft. It’s very hard to get that balance.

 

I think, you know, that’s really interesting. And I think it’s like, I think it’s the issue might be that we are searching so hard to find a belonging or like some type of we want to put a headline on something and have like the the explanations like what if being male was just being human, you know, whatever, like you could be anything. Do we even need to?

 

I mean, I’m not, I don’t want to take it too far now, but like, you know, why do we have this need to call them like what’s being male? You know what I mean? Because it’s actually, it’s that so important though.

 

Like, but then I understand that like, yeah, so people search for belonging, people want to know, people want to follow something. That’s why we have fucking religion or, you know, that’s in our industry. When you show a logo, the first thing people do is to think of another logo that it looks like, because people just need to have some type of like reference and something to hold on to.

 

And that’s how we work, you know, but like, I think the best thing would just be like, if you could just be anyone, you know, you don’t, we don’t need to put you in any type of box. And but if you choose to go more, the values of like the that strong man or like, yeah, fine, do that. If you want to go and be something completely else, then like, yeah, do that too.

 

And the same for female, like you today, you can go and be a fire man, or whatever, you know, it’s like, even if you’re a woman and stuff like that, and it should be like, as much as we can just make it like an open free choice. So I think, I’m not saying it’s easy, but it would be nice.

 

I think that instead of like, being a man and being a woman, try if we can could be free and like, I’m a human instead. And because I think it’s so much in these gender stereotypes, and we put them, and as a man, if you go too soft, you hear a girl saying, I don’t want the too soft guy. See, girls don’t want that.

 

They want aggressive, angry guys. And no, you get all wrong. And we kind of judge ourselves.

 

And we kind of believe everything we hear from other people. But they are also stuck in the same system. And I think also the thing with like, if a girl says that she doesn’t like a too soft guy, it doesn’t have to mean that she likes aggressive guys.

 

It just means that she mainly wants a guy who can put limits and is responsible for his own feelings. And that’s not the opposite of being aggressive. It’s just a person who’s like, okay, I can be a nice guy, but I’m going to put down my foot when it comes to my emotions or take responsibility of how I feel.

 

But that doesn’t mean that this is an aggressive guy, for example. So I think it’s also so many complex things. And now I think I’m going to play TikTok because I don’t like it, but they’re spreading this Andrew Tate thing with guys.

 

In Texas, girls, most girls throw abortion, but most young guys are anti-abortion, which is like, it’s crazy how this is happening and what this is going to do to the world when these girls won’t date those guys and those guys will date those girls. And what’s going to happen in the world when we have like very segregated society and based on all toxic norms? Yeah.

 

We definitely took a deep dive into that. It was where I was expecting this. I was just thinking as we were speaking about this, I’ve seen you guys speak.

 

It was kind of more of a performance when you guys were on stage. It was complete opposite of these conversations we’re having. Right now, we’re pretty civilized and sitting down in our plain clothes, but when I’ve seen you guys perform, it’s always bright, fun outfits and you’ve got a lot of energy.

 

It’s a lot of passion. You’re jumping around and there’s big slides and there’s jokes and everything. It’s like the different contexts of how we show up.

 

I guess it does come back to the scenario, but I was just thinking of the differences and how we show up in different circumstances. I’m not sure where I’m going with this, but it’s just something I was thinking about as we spoke. Was there anything you would add on now that we’ve come full circle to our conversation today?

 

I think just to comment on that, I think that five years ago, we were much into the rock band, we drink beer, we party hard, blah, blah, blah, all these things, which is fun. But we were also kind of like, we didn’t think about how that, oh, this is going to be the brand of Snask. We were just doing what we were doing, putting things out.

 

Now, I think we’re more like, okay, now we realize, okay, that was kind of like we gave only one version of ourselves. And this version we’re talking here has always been there, but we didn’t put that out. And in that sense, showing up in different colors, I think that we feel also that it’s important that people see that there’s something else as well.

 

Yes, we do listen to rock music and we do like beer, but we also like deep discussions or talking about things. I think that’s, I just wanted to add that to your thoughts.

 

The soul, it’s so important, the soul behind the business. There’s always a party in the back for sure, but the deeper core, there’s much more, for sure. And I think that wraps up with branding.

 

We have to go deeper and ask questions and peel back those layers to find the soul.

 

We got that memo wrong. We were like, we put out the party in the front, and then we were like, they work in the back. We were like, we did the opposite for a very long time.

 

But again, we always work with transparency in many ways. But like Freddy said, we were just doing that, and we didn’t think about it that much. It was maybe what type of image it also created, or that we need to, we have more we can talk about.

 

But an interesting part connecting to our, to our like, yeah, to the industry, and especially in the beginning of the first year, so Snask, was that like, we had that like, okay, we had a bit like attitude in like, in the stuff we did, but we also had like a kind of like flamboyant side in it, like how we showed ourselves. We often, yeah, we were wearing like this weird clothes, and we used to color pink all the time, and like these things that again, for us was just fun and normal, and we were like, having a, yeah, a fun time, and in like the design world. But then like, all our clients in the first years became, they were all women.

 

Like, it was like the men, the macho thing that was still going on a lot then. They couldn’t, like, if we sat down with these like guys, we never been good at like connecting with those, like the guys who does that type of thing, you know, like super ultra cool, and you know, and they want to, the status thing going on. We never like caught them that thing, and then they started a meeting, then like, oh, yeah, but what’s your turnaround?

 

You know, that was like the first question we got in a creative meeting about some concept. We were like, why are you asking that? You know, because they felt like they had to do something with us too, that they couldn’t, I think they got a bit like afraid of us almost, that we were not like, we weren’t playing that game, but we were more like stupid and not understanding it.

 

We were just like doing our own thing. But with the female leaders and so on that we met, then we could like sit and we started talking about things. And then, you know, they were, yeah, we had a great time.

 

Yeah, I think it’s like maybe like the ten first clients were all female and stuff like that.

 

So how have you turned it around since then?

 

I have a full circle thing about male and pink just because pink is our color and like our whole bar and workshop area and after work places is pink. The whole everything is pink. And we saw a study done where they said that men who hang around in a very pink room gets weaker.

 

And we were like, this is interesting. Well, how come? And it turns out that testosterone levels go down a bit in the pink room, they say.

 

And then we found that that’s probably making men stronger because that’s a lot of like blockage often to like being more vulnerable, being able to not like be the big alpha male in the room or whatever. So in our sense, we feel that the color pink is probably makes guys stronger rather than weaker.

 

Jacob, we’re pleased to hear that. He loves flamingo pink.

 

Love to hear that. Well, I think we’re getting on time. So I’m just wondering if there’s anything else you’d like to add, any insights, parting words?

 

Great, great talk with you guys. Yeah. Me and Erik talking a lot, of course, but it’s very, very nice talking to you guys.

 

I’m very thankful for being here.

 

Well, thank you for joining us, Frederick and Erik. Where can people find you?

 

This is the Instagram, snaskstlm or our website, snask.com.

 

Awesome. Thank you so much.

 

Bye-bye.

 

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