How Klarna managed its brand launch in a pandemic

Launching into Australia at the start of the year, the fintech unicorn suddenly found itself needing to overhaul its marketing in the wake of the coronavirus crisis

Klarna, the buy-now-pay-later fintech outfit, had just launched in Australia with its global campaign, ‘Get What You Love’, featuring Lady Gaga, when the COVID-19 pandemic broke. 

Klarna Australia general manager and domain lead, Fran Ereira, told CMO it had to be really nimble about reinventing its brand launch. The small, innovative team pivoted and reshaped its brand-building activities to reflect the new market.

“It’s been an incredible 100 days since the launch in January, a time that has forced us all to reflect on our priorities and how we view the world,” Ereira said. 

Like all companies, Klarna has been impacted by the pandemic, but it quickly shifted to working from home and its operating model means it’s business as usual. The marketing execution takes a bit more adjusting.

The fintech needed to reinvent its approach from a heavily out-of-home (OOH)-focused, experiential campaign to more targeted and digitally oriented tactics. Ereira said it’s serious about delivering a positive financial wellness message to the market and its focus “is to support Australian businesses and give them options to keep generating sales and helping consumers spend mindfully to be able to buy the things they care about from quality local brands”. 

Klarna is working with partner, Commonwealth Bank, and has several campaigns in the pipeline including supporting the #WeWearAustralian campaign. It has also partnered with former fashion magazine editor, Kellie Hush, as a local content editor.

In addition to the impact of everyday restrictions, there's been the added challenge of launching a new brand to market. “We’re still educating Australian consumers and retailers about the benefits of Klarna because we want them to thrive and survive after the pandemic," Ereira said.

"Despite the challenging environment, we’ve had solid momentum with an exciting pipeline of great brands, which we can’t wait to share."

Responding to the COVID-19 pandemic has meant more consumers are staying in. This has been a boon for online retail and presented a unique opportunity for Klarna. Ereira this was counterbalanced by shifting attention to helping consumers be mindful with their money and buying quality items while promote its local retail partners in its marketing efforts.

“People are obviously spending a lot more time at home and shopping online, which is a great opportunity for us,” she explained. “Many consumers are spending about 30 minutes on the app and they are exploring, creating collections, checking out the deals and nominating price notifications on the things they love or aspire to own.”

Klarna's platform represents a bigger a shift in retail, which is putting greater payment choices into the hands of consumers. Gone are the days when consumers simply paid outright or with credit. The buy now, pay later options are giving shoppers many more ways to pay for things on their own terms. 

Ereira said Klarna knows consumers are demanding more transparency, flexibility and intuitive services and it wants to meet that demand head-on. It believes flexible payment options are not about encouraging overspending but helping to balance payments.

Klarna’s research data of Australian consumers shows 40 per cent of consumers are more likely to shop with a brand or retailer that offers flexible payment options. This rises to one in two for Gen Z (48 per cent) and Millennials (49 per cent).

"There is a major opportunity to deliver a payments option unlike any available in Australia,” Ereira said.

Looking ahead, Ereira predicted retailers will need a new arsenal of strategies to stay competitive in the new environment of increased competition with market uncertainty and fluctuating consumer spending.

“Brands need to ensure their marketing plans address the changing needs of consumers and deliver messages in the places their customers are spending time,” she added.

Follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia, take part in the CMO conversation on LinkedIn: CMO ANZ, follow our regular updates via CMO Australia's Linkedin company page, or join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CMOAustralia.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Latest Videos

More Videos

Extremely informative. One should definitely go through the blog in order to know different aspects of the Retail Business and retail Tec...

Sheetal Kamble

SAP retail chief: Why more retailers need to harness data differently

Read more

It's actually a nice and helpful piece of info. I am satisfied that you shared this helpful information with us. Please stay us informed ...

FIO Homes

How a brand facelift and content strategy turned real estate software, Rockend, around

Read more

I find this very strange. The Coles store i shop in still has Flouro lights? T though this would have been the 1st thing they would have ...

Brad

Coles launches new sustainability initiative

Read more

Well, the conversion can be increased by just using marketing, but in general if you are considering an example with Magento, then it is ...

Bob

How Remedy is using digital marketing and commerce to drive conversion

Read more

yo nice article

Bob

6 Ways to ramp up Social Media to Your Web Design

Read more

Blog Posts

9 lessons from 7 months of relentless failure

The most innovative organisations embrace failure. Why? Because it is often through failing the most creative out-of-box thinking happens. And with it comes vital learning opportunities that bring new knowledge and experience into teams.

Jacki James

Digital product lead, Starlight Children's Foundation

Why conflict can be good for your brand

Conflict is essentially a clash. When between two people, it’s just about always a clash of views or opinions. And when it comes to this type of conflict, more than the misaligned views themselves, what we typically hate the most is our physiological response.

Kathy Benson

Chief client officer, Ipsos

Brand storytelling lessons from Singapore’s iconic Fullerton hotel

In early 2020, I had the pleasure of staying at the newly opened Fullerton Hotel in Sydney. It was on this trip I first became aware of the Fullerton’s commitment to brand storytelling.

Gabrielle Dolan

Business storytelling leader

Sign in