Interview with Christoffer Grönlund – Co-founder and Head of Affiliates at Winlandia

Interview with Christoffer Grönlund – Co-founder and Head of Affiliates at Winlandia

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Interview with Christoffer Grönlund – Co-founder and Head of Affiliates at Winlandia

AffPapa recently interviewed Christoffer Grönlund, the Co-founder and Head of Affiliates at Winlandia, who talked about how he co-founded the company more than a decade ago and shared his insights on the firm’s past and future expansion journey.

Yeva: In the crowded iGaming space, it is vitally important for gambling firms to stand out from the competition to succeed. How does Winlandia accomplish this task, Christoffer?

That is an interesting question. Just paint with the broad brush here I´d say you need to be coherent to every market’s specific needs. That will enable you to be a better supplier for those needs. You would also need a multifaceted marketing strategy as these days there are so many touch points before an actual conversion takes place.

For us at Winlandia I would say it is important to be agile and flexible and to work in a very data-driven way. Having an A/B-testing mindset and basically letting the data take the decisions for your theories so to say.

Yeva: Winlandia recently underwent a rebranding to better position itself for growth across Europe and numerous other international markets. Could you briefly share a bit about the process and talk about the business’s future expansion plans?

As we decided to rebrand into Winlandia we made an overview of potential markets and made a SWOT analysis for all potential new markets. As we are a White label Casino with Skill On Net, we were also able to get solid intel from our partner to make our strategic work a much smoother ride.

On the overall, we have just launched in the UK. During the remainder of 2023 we will continue launching Winlandia with our new design template onto Denmark and ROW. The next stop is to have soft launches for Canada, New Zealand, Brazil, and LatAm. so it is all about putting in the hours here like proper busy bees.

Yeva: What drove you to co-found Winlandia, Christoffer? If you could go back in time and start all over, what do you think you would do differently and why?

This brings back many memories and nostalgia, haha. Me and our CEO and friend Matti Pekkanen have worked together since 2008 when I was with Betsson at that time and later on moved to ComeOn! When it started. Back in 2008, he was one of the first Casino Affiliates in Finland. In 2012 he sold his network, and he asked me to join his new business Finlandia Casino as a co-founder and take on the responsibilities of marketing. Knowing Matti for many years and his capacities, I could see the potential just in front of my eyes. So, the decision to join was easy.

We had a very strong start, a quite bumpy ride in the middle, and finished off with smooth sailing before rebranding into Winlandia.

In retrospect, I would say that we have executed our plan quite decent, given our company and the tools available to our exposal.

If there were to be one thing, it would be to start the journey of Winlandia earlier. But then again, being Finlandia in Finland, you don’t want to bite the hand that feeds you, kind of.

Now everyone in the company is on their toes cheering for this transformation journey.

Yeva: As player engagement is an important metric in an operator’s success, what engagement-boosting features does Winlandia offer currently? How will these systems change as the firm expands internationally?

We do offer a state-of-the-art CRM structure together with our partner Skill on Net, as far as Retention goes. Personalization becomes more and more important to meet every customer more on an individual basis.

Since there are so many touch points throughout the Customer journey it is important for us to meet our customers and communicate across the board.

We don’t have to invent the wheel every single time we launch onto a new market. Instead, we are able to scale up and bring out tools with us to the next place we set camp, and where our customers start to call it Home.

Yeva: Over its time on the market, has Winlandia ever encountered a fraudulent affiliate? How does the company deal with malicious partners?

Luckily, we have had almost zero of that unpleasant experience. We do have one single occasion, but we handled it directly and the damages were slim to none.

As we have affiliation at the core DNA of our company, we have quite good knowledge about the Good and the Bad of the Affiliate Business. Most likely we will not be that easy to fool.

Our Affiliate Partner strategy is very simple but good. We offer our Dedicated Affiliate Management to our chosen few Exclusive and Semi Exclusive Affiliate partners. That means we get to know our Partners, and we don’t work with what I call John Doe Affiliates. All in all, these are important keys to this equation.

Yeva: How does Winlandia approach various emerging industry trends? In your view, how important is it for operators to embrace a variety of trends to achieve success in the ever-evolving gambling sector?

The iGaming industry is under constant change. As we are in the Change business with its rapid development it is important to have ears to the ground and embrace change to stay relevant and competitive.

Trends are trends and can have a shorter life span, but the trick is to spot the important trends that can tend to be more long-term and decide whether to be an early adopter or not. So it boils down to strategy in a way.

Yeva: Now that we’re close to the end of our interview, it is time for us to change our topic of conversation a bit. What do you enjoy doing the most in your spare time, Christoffer? What hobbies do you have?

In my spare time, I enjoy spending time with family and friends. I am a father of two, so I prioritize my kids.

I like having dinners with friends and family, cooking in general can be very therapeutic. I like working out at the gym, yoga, traveling, reading books, watching good movies, and going fishing and hanging out in nature. Having a BBQ out in nature recharges the batteries quite nicely. Last but not least, I like following my favorite football team through thick and thin. Something like that.

Working days are all about routines and early mornings. I do like to lead an active life. I might come across as a crazy person with a weight vest on, doing push-ups in the mornings, haha. So that is a hobby, to constantly push myself. David Goggins is some kind of guru with this mindset. It is a work in progress. 🙂

Company: Winlandia
Interviewee: Christoffer Grönlund
Date: 12.12.2023

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