You can’t put a price on insight. After two weeks of company visits and many euros and kronor spent in the process, I have returned to Boston with a series of experiences that will stay with me a lifetime.

For me, the most impactful visit was to Carolina Herrera. This is a company that lives its brand. We observed admirable attention to detail not only in the company’s manufacturing production line, but also in the way its leadership communicated with a group of MIT Sloan MBAs. I’ll never forget how much these executives knew about the granularities of their business and how much care they put into anticipating our needs during our visit; it’s a lesson for me as an aspiring corporate leader.

At Spotify we learned how a company’s brand strategy can grow with it. Early in its development, Spotify’s messaging was explanatory and straight-forward. But as the company grows to take on new markets abroad in the US, it is switching to a more abstract, life-style driven brand message.

Our visit to Acne Studios showed us the importance of a compelling story to a brand strategy. Our initial research on Acne gave us the impression that the company had adeptly created a brand via a masterful use of counter-signaling. However, hearing the company’s leadership describe the almost accidental discovery of iconic denim fashion among other more organic growth stories is what convinced me, personally, to want to own part of this brand story, i.e. to go back to the Archive store and buy up a good deal of Acne denim and wool.

I think that the experiences from this trip, now stored in me, will keep surfacing whenever I encounter a marketing decision. It is food for thought saved up for future business decision-making.

Thank you to all the companies and individuals who made our visits possible and so enriching. 

Stockholm as “the capital of Scandinavia?” We’ve only been here a few days, but I already have a long list of things I want to come back to do. Stockholm is enchanting. All the Nordic history and Viking legends that dazzled you as a child come vividly back to the imagination while exploring the city. There are tons of places to eat, learn about history, and lose yourself in art. Natural beauty abounds within the city and more tempts nature-lovers from just outside the city. The people are friendly brand ambassadors, eager to share the city and its Scandinavian heritage with you. I’ll be coming back and launching a broader Scandinavian exploration as a result of this experience. So, yes, Stockholm, your branding resonates and rings true.