Vlerick Business School starts a new chapter

The new name and corporate style highlight the strategic and international process in the long term

Today Vlerick Leuven Gent Management School will be renamed Vlerick Business School, a move which will radically transform the school’s identity to better reflect the changing environment of business education.

Philippe Haspeslagh, Dean of Vlerick Business School, says this rebranding goes deeper than simply giving the school a facelift: "Two successive socio-economic crises have forced companies, business schools and individuals to think about what it is they do and why. We too have thoroughly scrutinised our organisation, from programme design and delivery to the client, to our reputation and international visibility.

As well as a brand-new name and corporate style the following aspects were also tackled in this process:

  • A reworked MBA curriculum
  • Redesigned Executive Education programmes
  • New research partnerships
  • A new campus in Brussels set to officially open in 2013
  • The further development of our international offerings in Russia and China
  • The further integration with Vlerick Alumni into 1 ecosystem

Patrick De Greve, Director General, says: "Within Belgium Vlerick is world-famous, but not yet in the world itself. To date Vlerick is very much a well-kept secret in the global market of business education, despite our MBA being ranked as one of the best value programmes in the world by the Financial Times. And we have also built a sterling reputation for the quality of our tailored education programmes. That is why this rebranding is a significant component of a long-term project aimed at giving Vlerick the international presence and recognition its teaching and research merit.

Vlerick Business School clearly distinguishes itself from the typical bland and conformist style that most business schools use for their communication with its new logo and the bold colours of its corporate style, which exude openness and diversity. The new visual identity, and the new name especially, also emphasise the fact that Vlerick has ventured beyond its roots in Leuven and Ghent to operate in the heart of Europe and the BRIC countries with campuses in Brussels, Beijing and St Petersburg.

The rebranding was also the perfect opportunity for the Vlerick Alumni Association to evaluate its own brand identity and harmonise it with that of the school. They now share one logo and one corporate style. The next step will be an integrated website. Dirk Bontridder, President of Vlerick Alumni, says: “The School and the Alumni Association believe in the same values. With one brand identity we can make the Vlerick brand stronger, at national and international level. Together with the alumni, who have spread out their wings and who work in over 100 countries across the globe, the alumni association is an important brand ambassador for the school.

Vlerick did not go about this lightly. The visual change marks the final phase of a two-year process, which started as a student audit project in 2010. Students benchmarked the school against others worldwide and these results compelled the Board of Directors to decide upon a rebranding.

The new brand was built around four core values, which set the school apart from its competitors, and which were identified based, among others, on the opinion of thousands of students, alumni, staff, customers, journalists and other business schools. Internationality is a basic requirement to be ranked among the top business schools. Vlerick, however, also takes a pragmatic approach to bridging the gap between theory and practice, welcoming collaborations and being open in terms of its vision and of diversity, characterised by entrepreneurial vitality.

"We are not pursuing growth for growth’s sake”, says Philippe Haspeslagh. "We are trying to build a school that is ready to formulate an answer to the increasingly complex demands of our demanding customers. A strong business community and a dynamic economy require a strong business school which can help tackle the many challenges we face and help accelerate the change process. The rebranding is the final phase of this process and also marks the start of a completely new chapter for Vlerick Business School.

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