A word from Vlerick

previous icon Professor Frank Goedertier: There are at least three key success factors to pull off a successful re-branding endeavour. One, a company has to make sure that the re-branding is sufficiently noticed to avoid ‘lost’ customers that suddenly don’t find their old brand anymore and do not recognize the new name. Two, a company should avoid that its re-branding is perceived as merely cosmetic (i.e. just a name change, rather than a renewed offering/approach to the market). And three, successful re-branding endeavours are supported from the inside-out, meaning that that should focus on creating an internal brand culture that ‘lives’ the new brand identity.


In the Belfius case these three elements were explicitly considered. The 70% brand recognition rate a few weeks after the launch proves the company succeeded in taking the first hurdle of getting into the attention zone of its target group. The fact that the name was leaked was likely a blessing in hindsight from this perspective.
The resultant social media buzz, carefully monitored and managed by Belfius and its communication agencies, created an attention window that was quickly further opened by mainstream media thus generating large scale exposure around the new brand name. To make sure the name change isn’t perceived as cosmetic, Belfius takes every opportunity to link the name change to changed consumer needs and expectations in terms of banking. The advantage of a drastic name change is that it creates a psychological opportunity to start from a clean slate in terms of brand building. Finally Belfius realized that probably the most crucial factor in a re-branding exercise is having the brand supported by a strong internal brand culture. A new name can be announced with a big fuss, but if there is no real behaviour supporting the new identity claim in every consumer contact moment that follows, a lot of the identity re-building momentum is lost. As Belfius truly sees this a key priority the company is taking all precautions to make the re-branding a long-term success.


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A word from Vlerick

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