Sweden - Country Commercial Guide
Market Entry Strategy

Generalizes on the best strategy to enter the market, e.g., visiting the country; importance of relationships to finding a good partner; use of agents.

Last published date: 2021-09-14

While Sweden’s markets are generally quite open to foreign competition, they are also highly competitive. To break into the market, products and services must be globally competitive and sometimes customized for the unique Swedish market.

Important Market Entry Information:

  • Demonstrate a clear competitive advantage (i.e., price, quality, branding).
  • Pay close attention to both the obvious and subtle cultural differences between the U.S. and Sweden and adjust marketing strategies accordingly.  The Swedish cultural philosophy of “jantelagen” still eschews overt self-promotion and achievement as inappropriate, but this is changing, especially among the start-up community.
  • Evaluate prospective partners carefully and choose an experienced, well-established distributor.
  • Be flexible and adjust expectations to the scale of the market.  Although Sweden is the size of California, its population is only 10.4 million.  (The total population of the Nordics is 27.4 million.)
  • Evaluate the potential for distributors to cover the entire Nordic region.  Depending on the industry sector, prospective business partners may be based in Stockholm, Gothenburg, Malmo, or other Nordic cities.
  • Express commitment to the market with a long-term perspective.  Visits are important because Nordic partners want first-hand assurance of a partner’s reliability and commitment.