The night before Polarbröds newly renovated bakery was set to open it burned to the ground. The fire also saw three quarters of the company’s turnover going up in smoke. The fire affected not only Polarbröd an all its employees. It also had a major impact on the small northern town Älvsbyn where Polarbröd is the main employer.
As a result of long and hard work – not least by the family who have owned the company for five generations – Polarbröd was one of Sweden’s most popular brands. On the morning after the night of the fire the message from Group President Karin Bodin was clear: “We’ll be back”.
Before the fire Polarbröd was one of Sweden’s most popular brands. A result of long and hard work by the family who have owned the company for five generations. During the press conference following the night of the fire the message from Group President Karin Bodin was clear to all: “We’ll be back”.
Wenderfalck’s assignment was to support the crisis management after the fire. But also, to keep the brand relevant and top-of-mind among the target groups, despite the fact that most products disappeared from store shelves and market investments were reduced to a minimum. A major challenge in an extremely competitive market.
We initiated a PR-driven strategy where the company’s guiding principles of action, innovation, and wholeheartedness were fundamental in all communication. We proactively communicated all investments, partnerships, and other steps taken for the reconstruction of the factory. We lifted and praised the employees in the communication – those who could continue to work and those who could later be re-employed – for their amazing and incredibly hard work.
We also helped Polarbröd package communicatively strong products and initiatives, including a flour mix of the bestseller “Polarkakan” enabling consumers to bake the bread themselves at home, and a competition to which employees, schoolchildren, and residents in Älvsbyn were invited to come up with their best ideas for the new bakery. We also worked proactively with personal PR around Group CEO Karin Bodin to carry out the message “we will be back”.
Just over a year after the fire, the brand had not only remained relevant but rose from the ashes stronger than ever. Today you can once again smell freshly baked bread in Älvsbyn.