OK Västerbotten

Background: OK Västerbotten is a cooperative association owned by it’s members. The associa- tion manages 36 fuel stations that also function as post offices, convenience stores, cafés and meeting places.

Challenges: Not many have known what OK Västerbotten does, nor what the association stands for – and the members are generally older.

 

OK Västerbotten is facing three major challenges:

 

  1. Awareness. All stations within the county collaborate under thebrand name OKQ8. OKQ8 is known by the public but considerably fewer know about OK Västerbotten, what they are and stand for, or the value the association brings to the region and its members.
  2. Rejuvenation. The association has many older, male members. The association is therefore striving to rejuvenate its membership and become more appealing to young women.
  3. Engagement. Many of OK Västerbotten’s 94,000 members are inactive. They do not use their fuel station card nor their membership and therefore their democratic rights within the association.

Solution: Our extensive work on brand insight has led us to the conclusion that OK Västerbotten represents values that are vital to today’s young consumers:

 

  • Participation and co-ownership
  • Sustainability
  • Local connection

We also know that conscious and principled brands in themselves attract and create conscious and principled customers. Therefore, OK Västerbotten works intensively and focused in three primary areas of sustainability: social, economic and environmental – for the benefit of customers, members and the region.

 

For example, in collaboration with local energy company Umeå Energi, OK Västerbotten has invested in electric vehicle charging points, which have been installed – and communicated – during 2017. The head offi- ce, situated in Umeå, is now powered by solar cells.

 

OK Västerbotten continues to invest in local and regional products. Over the past year, the association has developed a new food concept called Street Taste. A range of US-style type of street food, made using produce from Västerbotten.

 

All of this is summed up in the brand promise: More Value Together. Thus: The more members that OK Västerbotten attracts, the better the conditions for developing the stations and, thereby life in the county. And the more successful OK Västerbotten is, the more its owners – the members – will get back in dividends. A financial and social cycle that has many winners.

 

This insight, and the brand promise, permeates all strategic decisions and thereby all communication.

Results:

Reaching further and wider:

  • On Facebook, organic reach increased by 96% during the period 2016-2017
  • In 2017, brand recall in Västerbotten was measured to 61% and brand recognition to 96%

 

Attracting more young people:

  • Memberships stabilized at a level around 94,000 members.

 

Increased engagement:

  • Voting in the association increased by a 100%
  • The flea market and collection in favor of Musikhjälpen have raised hundreds of thousands of Swedish kronor for charitable causes and created awareness of the main issue – the power inherent in many people working together.

But equally important

  • OK Västerbotten’s operating profits have improved by €600,000 between 2015 and 2017. This enables them to continue proving that together is better – and continue to stand up for and facilitate life throughout Västerbotten.