Interview with Sema Schmidt about the re-branding & re-platforming of Teknikmagasinet
Meet Sema Schmidt, CCO & Head of E-commerce at Teknikmagasinet, and learn more about the re-branding and re-platforming of one of Sweden's most loved retail brands since 1989.
Hi Sema, exciting times at Teknikmagasinet. What are you and the company working on?
We are full steam ahead with multiple initiatives, 2022 has been a year of transformation and many exciting projects are ongoing at Teknikmagasinet. The most important project is a total re-platforming of our e-commerce business, a complete makeover technically and functionality, and a revamp of the customer experience and journey. On top of that, we are modernizing and repositioning Teknikmagasinet as a brand including creating a new modern graphical identity. 2023 marks the year when it all comes together, and we are all very excited about the upcoming launch.
Teknikmagasinet is truly an extraordinarily strong retail brand. What is "that special thing" that Teknikmagasinet is all about? Why does it give so many Swedes a lot of emotions?
Well, we have been on the market since 1989 and with that said, many Swedes, in particular, have lots of emotional memories from visiting the stores in their childhood to buy the latest tech, gadgets, or other fun products. And countless products we´ve offered throughout the years have been on people´s Christmas wish lists. Teknikmagasinet has been the destination for buying gifts and Christmas presents, offering a wide assortment of technical accessories but also fun games and gadgets. With so much nostalgia and fond memories associated with the brand, we are balancing between maintaining a strong recollection and offering a new market-leading experience. But also expanding our commitment to sustainability with mobile phone repairs and selling refurbished phones.
Tell us a little bit more about yourself. What is your background and who are you?
I’ve been working with marketing and branding for almost 20 years now, having an extensive background in consumer electronics, telecom, and retail both online and brick and mortar. I love the fact that consumer behaviors are everchanging, and I enjoy operating at the intersection between marketing, brand, and technology, owning the end-to-end experience for consumers, from marketing to checkout. I´ve been spending most of my recent years, building a strong knowledge of technology and I guess my master’s in computer science, was a good choice after all.
Why did you choose to partner up and let Grebban be your new strategic brand and design agency?
It is not the first time we are working together, we have done re-branding projects together before, such as Royal Design and Rum21 some years ago. But nothing as big as we started with Teknikmagasinet which included re-branding, re-platforming, revamping of the consumer experience, next level with CRM/loyalty, PIM, integration of third-party solutions, and much more. A lot can go wrong so it’s been critical to find and work with partners that I can trust completely. In this case, Grebban has helped with UI/UX design, re-branding, and brand strategy. Partnersense has been our technical partner throughout the eCom-project and Voyado is our platform for marketing automation.
Teknikmagasinet has been under a huge transformation for a couple of years now adding new services such as mobile repairs. What is the company offering nowadays?
We will remain the top destination for games, technical gadgets, fun gifts and Christmas presents. But even more, we will focus on sustainability by expanding mobile phone repairs and offering refurbished mobile phones in all channels.
It's quite complex to sell services and second-hand products online. What are some of the tools and systems you will be using?
Our technical solution for e-commerce will be Norce. For mobile repairs, it will be all about driving foot traffic to our physical store. We will make it easier to find the information you need online, the price for your repair, and the different services we offer. For refurbished phones, we can offer the customer to buy online but also to visit our stores. We offer 2 years warranty on all our refurbished phones, something only a few (if any) competitors offer today. We are also investing a lot in our marketing automation to improve customer service but also to create a feedback loop on customer satisfaction etc.
Do you have any recommendations to other companies on do's and don'ts when changing a brand identity?
Might sound like hygiene perhaps but many companies start in the wrong place. Especially in times of transformation, you need to make sure the company’s vision, mission, and strategy are crystal clear. You will have difficulties getting a brand strategy in place if your overall company’s strategy is somewhat unclear. You need to start from the top and work your way down. Also, consumer insights are critical. What you think of your brand might differ a lot from customer perception. Identify your starting point and where you want to go, i.e what position you want to take. Also, cherish the good parts about your brand, and don’t be afraid to challenge internally and kill old “darlings” you no longer need…
Are there any trends or new opportunities within retail- or e-commerce that you are excited about?
Everything is being more and more automized, AI solutions of different kinds are getting more and more sophisticated, so it will be interesting to see where we are heading in a few years’ time. The retail market has been impacted by Covid first and now inflation, making it hard to compare YoY, since no year is like the other. It’s a time of speculations and insecurities in so many aspects so it will be interesting to see if all retailers manage to adapt at the pace it needs.
What (non-fiction) book or article do you recommend Grebban's followers to read?
Just started reading “Sex substanser som förändrar ditt liv” with David JP Phillips and I can’t stop reading, maybe because I can relate to the subject. It’s about how hormones and signal substances affect your well-being, written from experiences of depression and burnout syndromes. Giving insights on how to find your way back to happy emotions by optimizing the body’s own “chemical factory”. Totally recommend adding it to the Christmas wish list!
Learn more about our work with Teknikmagasinet in this interview with Resumé