Northern Playground has shattered its sales records, achieving approximately NOK 18 million in turnover during 2021—a 55% surge from the prior year. However, the impressive financials tell only half the story. The Norwegian clothing brand also leverages customer feedback, particularly negative reviews, for product improvement.
Though 2021 was a banner year for Northern Playground, it was not without its challenges, as Camilla Gundersen, the company’s Head of Marketing, explains: “We struggled with delivery delays last fall due to our main manufacturer’s material shortages. Despite this, what could have been an exceptional year was still a very good one.”
Northern Playground’s commitment to sustainability sets it apart from competitors. Gundersen elaborates: “We operate under the ‘Grandma model,’ encouraging customers to take care of our products as they would a cherished sweater knitted by a grandmother. The goal is to minimize consumption while maximizing garment longevity.”
This customer-first approach extends to pricing as well. The company eschews discounts and sales in favor of creating quality clothing and paying their producers fairly.
Despite a modest marketing budget, Northern Playground thrives on word-of-mouth advertising from loyal customers who serve as brand ambassadors.
“Our customers not only champion our brand but also contribute to product development,” Gundersen says. “Whether through the idea portal on our website or feedback on new product launches, customer input shapes our design process.”
Customer feedback continues to be invaluable even after products have been launched. Partnering with Lipscore, the company focuses on collecting reviews, good and bad.
“Negative feedback is especially crucial for refining existing products and future development,” says Gundersen, adding that they have an unusually high response rate from customers willing to give feedback.
Their online store is built on the Swedish e-commerce platform Centra, with CMS from Norwegian Sanity and a payment solution from Adyen. They also have a physical store in Oslo that doubles as a community hub where customers can get products repaired, give feedback on future releases, and even purchase food and drinks from local suppliers.