Multilingual Business Communication

April 7, 2009

Arcuris: Managing Excellence

Filed under: Aisling van Vliet, company, lien van den broeck, Poelaert Nathalie, Valérie Debrauwere — meertaligebedrijfscommunicatie @ 8:13 am

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Want to reassure your company of a succesful rebranding? What about a risk-free product launching? Worrying about a major restructuring within the company?

We, at Arcuris, provide a fully certified freelance manager, up to date with the latest technologies, ready to change your company’s risk into an opportunity. He comes in at the project level and leads your company’s project team, in tight cooperation with your programme manager and according to the preset guidelines of your company. After the succesful completion of his task within time, budget and quality requirements, our freelance manager draws up a lessons learned report which can be used for future reference when faced with a similar risk problem.

This is what you can expect from any risk manager, right? So why take Arcuris on board then? Well, here are two important reasons why:

Firstly our freelance manager focuses on the long term benefits for your company. He knows how important motivated employees are for the future of the company so, in contrast to many other freelance risk managers, he takes the people aspect of the project at heart and reassures your company of a motivated team. When the project is finished, the team members will have more respect for themselves, their work and their company. Secondly, our freelance manager takes the perceptions of all the important stakeholders into account through continuous, effective communication to reassure your company of the desired outcome.

In other words, when taking Arcuris on board to lead your team through a risk project, you secure your company of attaining the desired outcome within the time, budget and quality requirements, whilst boosting your employees’ motivation. We, at Arcuris, know how to change your risk into an opportunity.

So why wait any longer? Contact Arcuris NOW for excellence in risk management and get a free concise risk analysis.

April 6, 2009

Something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue

Filed under: internship, marketing communication, Valérie Debrauwere — meertaligebedrijfscommunicatie @ 11:51 am

20090205_gent2Does this “hideous blue thing” look familiar to you? As of now it is the new logo that will be used to promote the city of Ghent. The logo was designed by an advertising agency, Duval Guillaume. So long to the old, classic design with the three towers embedded as the ultimate symbol of the historic city. Apparently they needed something new and blue.

However it’s not a complete farewell to the old logo. To make it even more confusing: this new logo will only be used as part of a communication plan to promote the city abroad. On top of that, the logo seems to be borrowed as well. Many have already pointed out the resemblance to other logos. Clearly the logo creates some controversy.

One of the main rules in creating a succesful logo is that there shouldn’t be too much explanation needed to understand the meaning of it. But “where does that colon lead to” and “what is meant by so much town”? In view of the many reactions that have already been posted on Gentblogt, the most important blog of the city, one can see that’s where Ghent or Duval Guillaume probably went wrong.

Soon, I will start my internship at the city of Ghent, where one of my tasks will be to assist in providing legal advice regarding the use of logos. Allow me this last outburst of opinion, hereafter I am available to provide completely impartial advice.

(Valérie Debrauwere)

March 14, 2009

Blame Game

Filed under: crisis communication, Valérie Debrauwere — meertaligebedrijfscommunicatie @ 11:52 am

It’s shocking: the reports of shootings and killings that have been flooding the media lately. Wednesday, Tim counter-strike-freelancing11Kretschmer took the lives of 16 people, including his own, at his former school. In their search of what went on in the mind of the 17-year old German boy, police found violent videogames, such as the game “counterstrike” on his computer.

The discussion about the effects of violent videogames is yet again reopenend.

In a reaction to this blame game the European Parliament has announced the possible establishment of a European Code of Conduct to prevent children from accessing violent games.
Videogames receive a PEGI-label, images to point out a sexual or violent content, giving parents guidance in preventing their children from playing games, not suited to their age. According to the European Parliament sales to minors should be prohibited, based on this label.
The European Commission should also research the development of a “red button”, a system to control access to online games.

To my opinion none of these measures can be called effective. These will certainly not prevent any shootings from happening. What a 17-year old, or any other person for that matter decides to do, can’t be that easily controlled…This may even have nothing to do with games as KU Leuven researchers state not yet to have found any link.

The book “Grand theft childhood” reinforces my conviction that games, even the more violent ones, can have so many benefits on people of all ages. For instance: Gamers are known to have better reflexes. Games offer an escape out of everyday life and a virtual way of coping with stress.
Gaming can even help you get a job!

Don’t let the opponents and the recent reports fool you. It’s too easy to go and blame it all on games.

Game on!

(Valérie Debrauwere)

February 15, 2009

Survival of the fittest

Filed under: crisis communication, marketing communication, Valérie Debrauwere — meertaligebedrijfscommunicatie @ 5:31 pm

 

In these volatile times, battles are fought on every level of society. The latest power struggle takes place between Delhaize and Unilever. On the one hand, retailers try to entice customers by providing them with alternatives to more expensive products. They stress the combination of quality and cheapness and create more private labels. On the other hand, companies are having difficulties coping with inflation and the rising cost of raw materials to manufacture their products. Consequently a lot of brands undergo a price rise which is felt by both retailers and customers.

 

Delhaize refuses to continue to accept this and now boycotts the products from Unilever. The products are banned from Delhaize’s shelves, while other brands are being suggested to the customer through in-store marketing campaigns. Unilever from their side have started a campaign to promote the availability of their products in other stores. There are only two possibilities left: The customer could switch to other in-store brands or he could seek his much sought after goods elsewhere.

 

Another aspect that, to my opinion, could determine the outcome of this “fight” is: What’s the most important for the Belgian customer (according to the marketing theory of shopping motivation)? Is he looking for an overall shopping experience, a nice atmosphere and the possibility to try or taste the product, something Delhaize is quite known for? Or is the range of products offered by a shop and the easiness in obtaining them, his main concern?  Whatever the answer to these questions may be, I think neither of them will profit from this decision. Some customers might well be impressed by Delhaize’s decision for now, but how long will it last? Other customers might also not like this patronizing attitude and would want to retain the opportunity of free choice.

 

Delhaize or Unilever? Only the strongest will survive.

 

Sources: http://www.standaard.be/Artikel/Detail.aspx?artikelId=DMF10022009_012&kanaalid=11

http://www.tijd.be/nieuws/ondernemingen_consumptie/Delhaize_weert_300_Unilever-producten.8141899-430.art

http://www.trends.be/nl/economie/bedrijven/4-222-51870/delhaize-weert–te-dure-unilever-producten.html

http://www.nieuwsblad.be/Article/Detail.aspx?articleid=DMF10022009_012

 

(Valérie Debrauwere)

October 26, 2008

The power of the customer

Filed under: employee communication, marketing communication, Valérie Debrauwere — meertaligebedrijfscommunicatie @ 3:00 pm

In the context of blogging, consumers are now being referred to as “powerful monsters” by Sjoukje Smedts in “Trends”. This means that they are more and more actively trying to take over the role of marketers. It is they who can make or break a brand. For instance in the case of Dell (whose blog was mentioned in an earlier post by Geert Jacobs) one single blogger managed to make the stock ratings drop by spreading tons of negative gossip about the brand.

Swedish marketing phenomenon Stefan Engeseth warns companies about the importance of listening to their supporters. Not doing so could harm one’s own brand. In other words companies must understand and learn about the benefits of staying in touch with their customers. That way they might even be able to take advantage of the ideas brought forward by fans. The iPod for example initially wasn’t invented by Apple itself but actually came to life thanks to the efforts of an outsider.

Thus marketers should work together with consumers to overpower their competitors. Engeseth advises companies to employ managers who are already in contact with some bloggers. The key-aspect is to try and find ‘the leader of the pack’ of the blogging community. They should get him on their side since he’s the one all the others listen to. A productive exchange program could spring where on the one hand the company gets the support of the ‘leading blogger’ and he on the other hand gets that little extra piece of product information that makes the other bloggers look at him in awe.

source: “De kracht van de klant” by Sjoukje Smedts in Trends, 16 oktober 2008, p. 110-112

(Valérie Debrauwere)

edit: Companies should acknowledge this power of the customer and embrace the new phenomenon of blogging, to draw out as much benefit as they can. In any case this can only be to their advantage. [In response of the comment I have added an additional source giving companies information on how to harness the marketing power of blogs.]

 

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