De Baak
Branding & Communication

How can de Baak appeal to a broader audience with its brand positioning?

Training Institute de Baak has been helping people in leadership and personal development for 75 years and has a solid track record. Today it finds itself in a crowded competitive field and the challenge is to appeal to a broad target group.Not only executives, but also other professionals and a younger audience. De Baak therefore wants to sharpen its brand positioning and develop a new campaign.


Sharpening visual identity and brand positioning

We contacted Blauw because the How Brands Grow methodology of market philosopher Byron Sharp appealed to us. We had been working with it ourselves recently. We were very curious to see what this research would reveal, which Category Entry Points (CEPs: all user and need moments that give cause to think of the category and its brands) and Distinctive Brand Assets (DBAs: visually recognizable brand elements) are the most promising for De Baak. Once we knew that, we could also sharpen our visual identity and brand positioning. But also use this positioning as a starting point for our new advertising campaign.

Initial contact was made with Blauw's Branding Team and a plan of action was soon drawn up. In doing so, De Baak came up with the idea of involving not only its own marketing & communications department, but also the external advertising agency Dawn, which would develop the new campaign for De Baak.

'We know we need to distinguish ourselves in the market even more in order to stand out,' says Marketing & Communications Manager of de Baak, Justine Passera. 'That's why we wanted to know what people currently think about de Baak, how well known we are and how we can ensure that more people think about our brand and choose de Baak. Blauw Research's positioning study gave us those answers.'


Assumptions were either confirmed or adjusted by new insights

The study kicked off with a qualitative component. All possible CEPs and DBAs of de Baak were surveyed in 4 different focus groups. Justine: "We were able to log in digitally with our teams to see how our target group responded to the questions. We found that very valuable because we heard firsthand how people think about our brand.

We went into this research with certain assumptions and these were either confirmed or adjusted by new insights. For example, we discovered that many people still experience a barrier because they think our training is only for executives, while that is not the case. We have a suitable training for everyone with a college or university level. All these insights were very enlightening.

Justine: "We wanted every party to be aware of this research from the beginning. After all, we needed to see the impact reflected through all communication channels and in all resources. This also allowed us to create a research-based campaign. I am convinced that creation cannot be separated from a good understanding of the brand as well as external factors. So in addition to this research into the target group, we also took a good look at the DNA of our brand and social developments, in order to determine on the basis of that context how de Baak can add value.


Advice for making truly data-driven choices

With a longlist of CEPs and DBAs in hand, a concretization session followed. During this session Blauw helped the teams of de Baak and of course the advertising agency to make a shortlist. Justine: 'We found this session very interesting. Blauw gave us advice on how to make really data-driven choices. We also had our own ideas, but it was great to be able to choose the most promising ones based on research.

This also helped in reaching agreement with each other. Thus, there were no endless or difficult discussions, but rather fun and enlightening conversations. Then we discussed what we could do with certain CEPs in practice, because how is such a CEP expressed in an advertisement, for example? It was a continuous puzzle that we were putting together. But in the end we were very satisfied with our shortlist.'

The shortlist was validated among a wider audience, quantitatively. But during the research, de Baak itself was also already rolling up its sleeves: "We were working on two trajectories that ran in parallel. We had the research conducted by Blauw and quite early on our marketing & communications department met with the advertising agency to think about the campaign.

These two trajectories then progressed very gradually. For example, when we received the interim results from the research, we immediately discussed them with Dawn. Then they would come up with creative concepts and together we would check again whether the research results matched the creative translation that had been made. Because of this intensive collaboration in a triangular relationship, we naturally explored several routes at first, but eventually we found a "sweet spot" somewhere in the middle, a creative concept that fits our brand and makes De Baak relevant to our target audience.


We can already tell that our sharpened brand positioning is making us relevant. Last June we launched our new campaign and since then we have seen the number of participants in our trainings grow. More people are visiting our website and signing up. But people are also coming to de Baak via via. So we see that our campaign and sharpened positioning really contribute to someone's decision phase.

Now we are going to have the image people have of us measured again by Blauw, and compare it with the baseline measurement. We are of course very curious about that. All in all, we enjoyed working with Blauw. It was a short and intensive period, but it was great that Blauw was able to move with us.

"Because of Blauw's positioning research, we now know how to ensure that more people will think of our brand and choose the Hook."
Justine Passera
Marketing & Communications Manager

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