Ranking in the top 10 as one of the largest economies in Europe, Sweden is a market that should not be overlooked. Consumers are highly educated in Sweden, with approximately 83% of adults 25-64 having completed upper secondary education. Moreover, there is a high usage of social media and mobile communication in this country, with nearly 9.67 million internet users in 2020.
Why You Should Consider Localizing for a Swedish Market
While Sweden is not necessarily the largest country, it still has a hungry market ready to spend money on products and services that matter to them. Here are some reasons why you should consider localizing your product for a Swedish market:
- Innovative nation: Sweden is known as a startup nation. Popular games and services like Spotify, Minecraft, and Candy Crush all had originations from Sweden. In fact, Sweden comes in second only to Silicon Valley for the number of billion-dollar tech companies it produces per capita.
- Ease of doing business: According to a World Bank Group report, Sweden ranks number 10 out of 190 economies for ease of doing business. Their low corporate tax rates and streamlined processes make it easy for companies to form and operate.
- Swedes like to be online: With an internet penetration rate of 92.9% in 2017, the Swedes are among the world’s most connected nations. This gives marketers plenty of opportunities to reach these tech-savvy consumers, providing them with custom-tailored products and services.
- Progressive and open-minded: Swedish consumers are forward-thinking and open-minded. They are typically passionate about things they value. With this mentality, they are unafraid to spend on things they deem important – things like culture, leisure, sustainable & eco-friendly products, etc.
Considerations for Localizing Into Swedish
Here are some tips when localizing for the Swedish market:
- Keep it informal: In general, the Swedes have moved away from more formal expressions. For example, the informal tone of “du” (you) is used more widely than the formal “ni.” Swedes don’t like exaggeration and prefer more direct forms of communication.
- Formatting: Swedes utilize both the 24-hour and 12-hour clock. Typically, they’ll use the 12-hour clock informally and the 24-hour clock for official documents. The date format is generally YYYY-MM-DD.
- Loanwords: There is high English literacy in Sweden, as many are fluent in English and Swedish. The Swedish language is also quite close syntactically with English. Therefore, Swedes don’t have a problem accepting loanwords from English into Swedish. For example, “jobb” in Swedish comes from the English word “job.” Or, “turist” in Swedish comes from “tourist.”
Localizing for Swedes: While many similarities with English, Swedes still prefer localized products, services, and content. Swedish consumers place a lot of value on issues like sustainability, transparency, and the environment. Moreover, being part of a collective is essential, as evidenced in the popularity of collaborative platforms like Airbnb and Uber.