“After the year we’ve all just been through – who isn’t actively thinking about how they reinvent?” asked Country Head of Klarna Australia Fran Ereira as she welcomed guests to Klarna’s spectacular first-ever Australian Smoooth Sessions event.
Smoooth Sessions is Klarna’s global thought leadership program, where we apply our 15+ years’ experience improving the shopping journey and distil it into practical, informative and actionable insights for retailers.
We spoke to Fran on the sidelines at the event in the incredible Calyx at Sydney’s Royal Botanic Gardens, and asked for her top 3 tips on the Art of Reinvention, which was the focus of an engrossing panel conversation. Here they are:
1. Reinvention doesn’t happen overnight
“For brands, reinvention isn’t something simple that you implement at the drop of a hat,” Fran said. “It takes time, energy and commitment to the cause.
“Klarna has been on our own reinvention journey transitioning from a payments provider into a truly unique and fully immersive shopping ecosystem that establishes an emotional connection with consumers and then delivers those engaged consumers direct to retailers. For us, this has been a very deliberate process that has been developing over the last few years and will continue into the future.”
2. Authenticity is key
“Of course, you need to demonstrate your reinvention is something that is real, that is felt in your very DNA and throughout the organisation,” Fran continued.
“Authenticity and consistency are key and you have to be prepared to give the process time. There can be some tough moments and serious challenges, so you definitely need a group of supporters to bring with you on the change. Obviously your customers are the most critical – and also your people. If either of these two groups do not believe in the change, feel it is truly held or relevant, then your reinvention is doomed.
“On the flip-side, if you are being authentic, then you can be confident that your reinvention will ultimately be successful, whatever the challenges?”
3. Now that and disruption is the new norm, it’s reinvent or perish!
“I think most people understand this point,” Fran said. “Just have a look at the Fortune 100 list of the world’s top companies. 43 of the companies that are on that list now were not there 10 years ago – that is massive turnover. The idea that a business doesn’t have to be constantly evolving and improving is manifestly untrue.
“Klarna really lives this: we are constantly listening, testing, iterating, and seeking to improve what we do. Our culture, driven from our CEO Sebastian down – is restless, perfectionist and committed to continual improvement – having courage, starting quickly and learning fast.
“I’m really proud of this culture and it has definitely played a key part in our success to date.”
Summing up her view of the evening, Fran said: “Klarna is determined to be different. It’s time for a shake-up, for a breath of fresh air that is genuinely focused on growing amazing retail businesses.
“For too long, the payments scene in Australia has been comfortable and, dare I say it, complacent. Sometimes it seems there’s more focus on the payment providers and their valuations, and not enough focus on the hard working retail businesses that are fighting every day to win consumer attention, loyalty and sometimes just to survive.
“That’s our focus every day. Klarna sees enormous strength, resilience and innovation in the Australian retail industry, that’s why we’re proud to be here and absolutely committed to partnering with your great businesses and ensuring you are successful into the future.”