Interview about 25 years of RGN: Then and now | part 3 of 4
Part 3: then and now
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 operation operating officer Maarten Ongering look back on 25 years of RGN.
Erwin Scholten van Agteren, partner RGN
What is the biggest difference between then and now?
@Erwin: The world has changed very quickly. You see this not only in the development of materials and techniques, but also in the way we work with organisations internationally. When we began, that was not something you assumed you would do. You mainly worked with companies from your own country.
Broadly speaking, the work we do is the same: we make sure that the rebranding and roll-out is done as efficiently, effectively and sustainably as possible. The goal is also the same, but our approach to it… well, we have grown a lot in that area. But we have done more than simply move with the times. Thanks to our own development work, we are now in the lead in many cases. We sometimes come across competitors who have copies of our method, methodology and roll-out manuals. At first, we were taken aback, but now we see it as a huge compliment. If you do your job well, you will be copied.
@Maarten: Our strength still lies in our objective attitude and expertise. This means we can offer advice that is sharp and impartial, pointing out the pitfalls and taking practical action based on experience. This also makes the work better. For example, we often warn clients of the danger of a brand identity that is too complex. With signage, that would mean not always having a logo and tagline on every sign because a tagline is updated more often. Do you need to have both logo and tagline on one sign? Then if the tagline was changed, you would have to replace all the signs. And for larger buildings and sites, it is not necessary to repeat the logo on every sign. With good signage and wayfinding, visitors know where they are at any given moment. You don’t have to keep repeating that.
We also advise on how the brand is displayed in terms of visibility and placement in hard-to-reach places, such as at great heights. We would advise, for example, the selection of a more accessible location or for clients to invest in accessible, better-quality maintenance-sensitive parts. You would ultimately save money on recurring maintenance costs, such as the hiring of a crane or aerial platform. If a brand identity is difficult to maintain, we know that it will become too expensive in the long run and organisations will abandon it. That is the purpose of the advice we offer. We also have good working relationships with design agencies, where we have plenty of room to offer objective advice based on our expertise and experience.
Is retail a different market?
@Ruud: With the retail market, innovations follow one onto the other very quickly. It might be the launch of a new product or a new collection, which immediately leads to an in-store campaign. The client would then get us to adapt all the ways in which the brand is displayed in physical stores. Did you know that an average clothing brand has about four campaigns a year? That also means changing the brand displays four times a year! We regularly roll-out a new campaign in 100 stores in 10 countries in 1 night.
Ruud Koetsier, partner RGN
That way, we don’t weaken the brand experience. We often do our work after closing time, so that we don’t inconvenience customers and store employees and everything can continue as normal. We now work for some of the best retail brands, but we do that behind the scenes and mostly in secret.
Next time: our final part, talking about the proudest moments and looking ahead. You can find all parts from this interview on our website.