brand strategy

CEO / Managing Director

dag landewall

is the co-founder, Brand Strategist and CEO of Reactor Retail and has over 30 years of retail business and top management experience. In addition to being the chairman of Reactor Retail and Reactor Products, he advises select corporate clients on brand strategy and brand personality issues.

"We founded Reactor based on our mutual experiences from being clients responsible for developing and implementing concepts for large retail chains.  Our frustration with fragmented and over-complicated processes drove us to create a consulting firm that partners with its clients throughout every step of the process, all the way from strategy to reality, taking pride in bringing the big ideas fully into the real world. 

To be able to provide clients with real insights - quite rapidly, the consulting firm features genuine experts with proven success stories, providing our clients with a core team comprised of the most experienced design and concept development specialists in Scandinavia."

concept & design direction

creative director

øyvind nystad

is a co-founder of Reactor and directs the creative work of Reactor. He is a specialist in creating game-changing and profitable commercial concepts and his more than 25 years of concept development and design work for leading brands has made Øyvind one of the most respected retail designers in Europe.

"Far too many people place an equals sign between the store experience and design. For us, design is a part of many things that must be defined when creating a successful store concept. What primarily builds a concept – and hence the experience of a store, is the product line – how it is divided up and presented. The other dimension lies in how one affects and controls a gait pattern – by working with glance directions and rhythms in the room. We are of course equipped with many primal instincts, which serve mainly to identify sense-related similarities and differences in our surroundings. Sense perceptions such as light, smell and sound also belong to this dimension. All the elements contribute to dramatizing the customer's  perception of your shop and your brand name."

brand strategy

senior brand strategist

björn drawfarc

is a change-maker and creative business leader, joining Reactor in 2016.  He has extensive experience in retail concept development, packaging design, product & range categorization, in-store graphics and digital transformation. Björn has a passion for emotional brand building with a focus on the customer experience and is behind the emotional expression for a wide range of brand designs, such as Coop’s three new retail concepts in Sweden, PUB, Apoteket, Länsförsäkringar, ClasOhlson and Hipp organic baby food packaging.

"A strong commercial calendar is the key to every retail success. It’s where the marketing team, sales, category management and purchasing department meet – for building that relevant and emotional link between the product and customer. Today, the customer journey does not start, nor end, in the store, but rather is an integrated multi-experience journey and ongoing dialog between you and your customer. Think omni-experience: How will you make your commercial calendar clear and relevant in everyone’s smartphone?”

brand marketing

senior advisor 

inger guttormsen

advises brand clients on how to create strong in-store brand presentations that resonate well among retailers and consumers while meeting the brand's strategic objectives. Prior to joining Reactor in 2012, her professional experience ranged from building strong brands through marketing positions at L'Oréal to managing the Nike retail brand strategy and implementation in Norway.

"The huge rise of private labels has fundamentally changed market power in recent years from big brands towards the private labels of retailers. However, very few private labels have the brand power to shoulder the role of being a category captain. And without a strong category captain brand, it is difficult for a retailer to become a preferred category destination. Wise retailers thus know that they need strong brands to build category authority. So if you own a good industry brand, take a broader view on how you can help retailers transform categories into destinations, creating interesting and inspiring shopping experiences that also make customers connect emotionally with your brand and your products."

brand marketing

senior advisor 

johanna dahlbäck 

joined Reactor in 2015 and advises select retail and brand clients in retail brand marketing and brand presentation issues. She has, despite her relative youth, extensive work experience and educational background from Nike within key account management, retail brand strategy, assortment planning, data analysis and merchandising.

"Seamless retailing has become the gold standard for success in retail, however few retailers know how to achieve it. The consumer’s shopping behavior is constantly changing, which creates pressure on the retailer’s ability to execute a seamless strategy; a continuous customer experience across any device or location where a customer wishes to shop, with a personalized brand experience. Believing in creating the marketplace of tomorrow, already today, is key to being able to meet the expectations of the future consumer’s demand. Implementing a seamless strategy together with the right assortment, based on analysis, and the right product presentation will help your business master the fundamentals going forward.”

Johanna is currently on maternity leave.

concept design

retail art director

ann-catrin friborg

is an expert in visualizing conceptual environments and shopping experiences. She joined Reactor in 2003 after a 14-year international store design career with IKEA. She has led several major concept development projects, directing the creation of strong, differentiating and coherent retail experiences.

"Occasionally one feels welcomed just by entering a store or a restaurant. At first, it can be hard to understand why, but after a while you realize that somebody, out of many details, has created an inspiring, exciting and holistic customer journey and shopping experience. With inspiration from the world around us, we create and visualize conceptual ideas to convey the concept's overarching design ideas and emotional expressions that make customers emotionally connect with your brand. This is our tool for creating a common vision and understanding of the strategic design and direction of the concept. The result is a concept where all details work together to create a specific, successful retail business, hopefully answering the most important question for anyone in retail: why should anyone come into my store?"

concept design

senior retail designer

stein erik berg

is a highly skilled retail designer with more than 30 years of retail and concept development experience. With hundred of thousands of square meters of retail space planned and being behind the retail experience at Stokke, IKEA, Oslo Airport and many more, he is one of the most competent retail designers around.

"The perfect store, an artistic vision, the ultimate design, filled with dreams to inspire, incite and entertain. But a beautiful shopping experience is not enough. For a store to be successful, its retail design must express the soul of the brand - i.e. the brand´s values and strength. Striking the right balance between the products, communication, design, architecture and education is the only way to achieve this goal. As a retail designer, you need a unique mix of elements for each project, because every brand develops differently. The ultimate shopping experience is a place driven by passion and experience. You can have a fantastically designed store, but if the owners and staff are not fully behind it, it will never work. Fantastic opportunities exist for imaginative retailers."

concept design

senior retail designer

elin backaert mass

joined Reactor Retail in 2010 after having worked on the store implementation team at Levi Strauss & Co in Brussels. She designed stores all over Europe, Russia and Turkey for them, with a special focus on developing the first Levi’s LEED Certified stores in France, the UK and Belgium. At Reactor she has worked with everything from exclusive jewelry stores and large pharmaceutical companies to gas stations and restaurants.

“With consumers increasingly buying into the green movement and making sustainable choices, there has never been a better time for companies to begin adopting green business practices. Great retail design solutions do not have to be compromised by incorporating environmental aspects. There are many great examples of the opposite, where following the LEED guidelines creates opportunities for new creative ideas and designs. Environmentally friendly materials are under constant development and can help create innovative new solutions - together with great store planning we can achieve interesting and sustainable retail locations giving the consumers a great retail experience.”  

concept design

visual merchandiser & retail planner

espen tomasgaard 

joined Reactor in 2007 and is a designer with an excellent understanding of product presentation and the ability to enhance any shopping experience with creative visual merchandising. With over 20 years of retail and interior design experience, the scope of his assignments has been far-reaching; from giving start-ups creative shopping experiences to giving Norway’s most successful eyewear concept a cutting edge.

"What does it actually take to make a person stop by your window and be inspired to walk through your doors?  Together with a well thought-out concept and the right products, creative visual merchandising can raise your product value, make it stand out from the rest and consequently inspire your customer to make an immediate purchase. It is our  experience that visual merchandising is the fastest and most time-efficient method of increasing sales in a store. The key to success is to inspire the customer by showing them how your product could appear when worn, used or displayed at home. If your customer can identify with the way you display your products, then the sale is essentially made."

commercial architecture

architect & interior designer

Johan Kristiansen

joined Reactor in 2016 and is an architect and designer with true passion for brand-driven architecture and interior. His field of work ranges from floor planning, interior design, furniture development and signage - always strongly connected to the brand strategy and the overall concept idea.

He feels most pride when a concept is taken all the way to a successful pilot and all the tools in the box are clearly documented in a user-friendly manual. Johan has worked on and developed many retail concepts, from the small Guldknapp-awarded Casefactory, a fashion & accessory chain, to Coop’s total retail concept in Sweden. 

"Successful concepts are built on a clear idea that could be shared with the customers. This idea should be solid and at the same time adapt to change without the big picture being lost. This can only be achieved when the concept is based on a clear and well-rooted strategy. When that overall idea is rooted in the development - most things just naturally fall into place as you go along."

graphic design

senior graphic designer

hilde steen aamodt

is a highly experienced graphic designer. She is the head of our brand identity design work. She also creates complete design programs and guidelines, brand & in-store communication, editorial design and advertising. Hilde is behind the visual expression for a wide range of brand designs, i.e. Nille, Jøtul, Match, Voice, Regatta, Printz, Lefdal, Eurosko, Gyldendal, Tiden and Miles. Her work has been awarded "The Award for Design Excellence".

"Brands are mostly based on the company's own DNA and tell the history, aspirations and vision of the brand in condensed form. I believe in cultivating the client company's personal traits, characteristics and values to their full potential and prefer creating the identity from within, based on visual translations of strategic insights rather than basing it on design trends. My experience is that this approach results in extended longevity for the brand and that it also generates greater pride and internal ownership. In addition, identities created from within are often perceived as more unique and trustworthy in the marketplace."

graphic design

graphic designer

therese skjenken

joined Reactor Retail in 2008 and is a versitile graphic designer with good capacity. She is careful, efficient and her experience ranges from editorial design and in-store promotional communication to packaging and identity. Over the years, she has been involved in projects for Kredinor, Fargerike, Gastro Catering, Synsam, Nike, Shell, Besafe, Apotek 1, Monter, Norema, Coop OBS and Statoil.

"Creativity is largely rearranging what we know in order to find out what we do not know. In my part of the creative process, time to market is almost always the defining factor.

This limitation can actually become an asset, forcing us to look afresh at what we normally take for granted. Using this pressure creatively, we will be able to create and develop visual communication that is even more to-the-point, and that also inspires and gives the best result and message for the customer." 

graphic design

graphic designer

Marit Winter

joined Reactor in 2017 after having worked as a graphic designer at design- and branding agencies in Stockholm for several years. She has been part of several major concept development projects with extensive experience in working with and developing strong visual identities. Over the years, she has been part of developing identities for ICA I Love Eco baby food packaging, Det nya Landet/IM, Vällingby city/Svenska bostäder, Scenkonstmuseet/Musikverket among others.

”I believe that successful brands take a stand and to do so it needs values and a clear personality. Part of my job is to help pinpoint what that is and then give it nutrition and spark. Great brands have a clear visual language and design can help create it. It is therefore important to develop a strong visual identity that highlights the unique offer and that expresses the brand's values and personality; because I believe design should wake emotions!”

 

graphic design

graphic designer & 3d artist

nichlas w. andersen

is a highly skilled and multi-talented graphic designer, with creative capabilities ranging from 3D visualizations to professional photography and digital design. Nichlas started out as a Reactor trainee in 2008 and since then been a permanent part of the team. He is based in New York City.

"Today, people receive vast amounts of communication from sources in every direction (especially from their phones). With so much information to process, our attention span is getting shorter every day, so to get us interested in something, communication has to be visually stunning or make a lot of sense right away to catch people's attention.

Hence my overarching objective is to simplify and clarify the interaction between people and concepts, products or services by excluding the obvious and adding the meaningful. When I succeed in creating something that actually solves a problem and makes the experience easier for people, then I feel good about the job done."

graphic design

junior graphic designer

katrine sæter

is our youngest talent on board. She started out as an intern in 2015 and pretty fast we saw that this is a talent to hold on to! In her current position, Katrine creates design guidelines and  in-store communication, all under the mentorship of Hilde Steen Aamodt.

” I believe in the power of design to help grow and build brands, and I think the way to do this is through a strong conceptual idea based on the company’s own history and values. It’s important for me that the customer be able to recognize and identify with the final result. Hence I think good communication throughout the entire design process is very useful for both parties, and assures everyone will most likely be happy with the outcome.

 Going from being a student to starting to work with professionals was a huge step. I feel lucky about the fact that I get to work side-by-side with highly experienced and great designers every day. That is a huge inspiration, and it helps develop my skills as a designer. Now, I finally get to take part in and influence exciting projects, and see them be brought to life. That’s pretty cool if you ask me!”

industrial design & construction

senior industrial designer

stephen lynch 

is a highly skilled Industrial designer and has been working as for Reactor since 2006.  He has 20 years of experience within design and has worked as a designer, furniture-maker and teacher. At Reactor, he has developed highly creative and functional design solutions for, actually, most of our clients."  

"Within the retail environment, industrial design meets the end user on many different levels. From a sign holder to a shop facade, the most successful designs are those that strike the balance between form, function and end user experience. I believe that through collaboration with retail planners, merchandisers, interior architects, graphic designers, manufacturers and the client, and by paying close attention to detail, it is possible to create design elements that are both esthetically pleasing as well as functional. Through 3D modeling, construction drawings and illustrations, the aim is to communicate both the creative with the technical, and as a result strengthen the retail environment and enhance the experience of the customer with the client brand."

construction & industrial design

3D artist

gerhard aldorf

is a highly skilled 3D designer with a keen eye on light, form and motion. He joined Reactor permanently in 2010 after working as a regular freelancer for reactor since 2003. He has worked as a 3D animator and motion graphics designer for the last 2 decades. His work experience ranges from tv production to industrial visualization and real time 3d graphics.

"Visual prototyping allows us to realize the client’s ideas and then fill in the gaps between what they have communicated and what we have understood. Rather then presenting fixed solutions which are both cost prohibited and time consuming.

Our ability as a company is to render the client’s perception in photo realistic imagery and determine synergy of design. 

This however requires both the skills of the designer and the latest technology in order for the communication to be realized."

Gerhard Aldorf, CEO of Reactor Products, our implementation arm, has over 20 years of expertise in his field, is a leading shop-fitting authority and manages tender and hardware sourcing processes for a large number of our clients.   

industrial design & construction

3D artist

kristian vik

joined Reactor in 2015 after having spent more than a decade creating 3D graphics for everything from the video game industry to the oil business. Leveraing a diverse set of skills ranging from offline rendering to real-time content, he contributes to our on-site visualization team.

"Visualizations are often seen as static - a series of pictures taken after the fact. With contemporary advances in tools and technology we've turned this notion around.

Through close collaboration between different disciplines, we render evolving representations of every aspect of a store - throughout the entire creative process.

In developing ideas and constantly testing them with believable imagery, we uncover a granular account of design that seamlessly goes from ball bearings to big picture."

production & implementation

senior advisor

erik huseby

is the CEO of Reactor Products, our implementation arm, leads our work with bringing the concepts we create into the real world, through sourcing, piloting and roll-out management.  He has over 20 years of expertise in his field and is a leading shop-fitting authority and manages tender and hardware sourcing processes for a large number of our clients

"In the disruptive and unpredictable market of today, many great ideas become irrelevant before they reach the marketplace. For many large companies it has proved difficult to adjust their concept development and implementation processes to this new reality. However, my experience is that it is possible to shorten the interval between the creation of the next big thing and its first encounter with real customers. Our approach is to prepare a concept for roll-out right from the start.  Also, a successful procurement process requires in-depth knowledge of the shop-fitting market and production methods. A professionally done retail tender management process normally accounts for 20 - 30% investment savings."

production & implementation

project manager

heidi nilsen 

joined Reactor in 2010, bringing extensive experience from signage and graphic production to our design team. Heidi secures the realism and graphic production perspective in our designs. She has been managing the production and implementation part of several large projects, ranging from all Nike in-store campaigns in Norway through complete rebranding projects for Kronans Apotek, to implementation of in-store communication programs for Synsam, Fargerike and Rema 1000.

"Working with the best retail and graphic designers in the business, it is my job to secure the brand and graphic expression they and our client want to convey to consumers, while keeping production, implementation and maintenance costs down. Striking the right balance between these cost-drivers will secure the optional lifespan economics of our clients investment. Through spending large amounts of time in the stores of our clients as well as at the production facilities, we continuously learn better ways to strike this balance, and are able to infuse those learnings into our designs, right from the start.”

production & implementation

implementation manager

david edström

is an experienced furniture carpenter and implementation project manager who joined Reactor in 2015. He has extensive experience in retail concept design and implementation and is the man behind the roll-out and implementation of our new banking concept for DNB, which has currently been implemented at over 30 locations across Norway.

“We measure our success by the extent our clients are actually implementing the concepts we develop. To us, that’s what counts and what we take pride in. In the implementation phase, where I work directly on-site with client staff, shop fitters and other installation professionals, I’m grateful for my background as a carpenter because it helps me find solutions that are both practical and cost-effective, while ensuring that our concepts are produced and implemented as intended. In my experience, establishing trust between ourselves and the stakeholders is a fundamental success criterion for constructive dialog and an efficient working process on-site. It's easier to relax if you trust the folks you work with, right?"