Interview about 25 years of RGN: the beginning | part 1 of 4

part one: the beginning

From Twente to across the world, RGN grew into the European market leader for rebranding and its rollout for projects of all shapes and sizes. In this four-part series, founders Ruud Koetsier and Erwin Scholten van Agteren and chief operating officer Maarten Ongering look back on 25 years of RGN.

Group 79

When did you think ‘There’s a market for this!’?

@Ruud: It was the late 90s and the world of marketing was changing rapidly. A company’s brand and how it was seen in all the various forms of company communication was becoming increasingly important. Car manufacturers, banks and insurance companies were usually the trendsetters when it came to branding, but other industries soon followed. Acquisitions and mergers also made the merging of existing brands more common. In short, more attention was being paid to brand identity. So that was where we started.

@Erwin: Our expertise in implementing and managing brands meant that we could carry out a complex process on behalf of our clients. We had a different, more innovative view of how to achieve this, but we could only stay true to that by having our own company. So we took the plunge and started our own business, which was rooted in our own expertise. On 1 September 1997, together with our then partner Joost Nijland, we registered with the Chamber of Commerce in Enschede.

How exciting was the first assignment?

@Erwin: Our first assignment was for Arbo Unie, for which we carried out the signs and signage for more than fifty buildings. In the end, we even supervised the entire rebranding process. Sustainability was an important aspect of the project, which was quite unusual for the time. But we were the first to advise on that.

@Ruud: And then at the beginning of 1998, we also got our first really big international assignment: the rebranding of the impressive fleet of TNT Global Express. It was a mega job involving a total of 19,000 vehicles on every continent, from lorries, vans, and aeroplanes to boats and even bicycles. It was a huge project and we still consider it an honour to be entrusted with that assignment. But it was high pressure because the client was sending us everywhere. I once took a morning flight in a Cessna from Twente airport to Schiphol, so that I could then fly direct to Copenhagen. After my appointment there, a helicopter took me to the next destination. It was in that period of ’98 that we also had our first video call! It was insane.

Next time: more on ‘the different approach’ and our timeline, with our biggest milestones and events in 25 years RGN. You can also read our press release about RGN’s 25th anniversary.

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