The country has always interested me, a big part because of the language. They interact in a more direct way and make playful use of the language. This is also reflected in their marketing efforts. Throw in a high level of care and attention to things like signs and information display, something I always enjoy, makes a trip across the border something special!
Some things I noticed on my last trip:
An ice cream store that carries the logo of Unilever's Heartbrand.
Customers put together their own Swirl, a combination of different kinds of ice cream and toppings such as chocolate or fresh fruit. The products available in these stores are a limited to the soft-ice offerings of the Heartbrand.
Such retail stores for already established brands can work in two ways.
The first one is to raise the brand awareness among customers. Seeing it this way the stores can even operate at a small loss because they support the sales in the supermarket, a form of advertising you may call it.
And on the other hand it can be seen as a full-sized business, being independent and profitable.
And it seems like the Swirl's concept follows the second option. The brand has more than 125 locations spread around in Europe, Israel and Indonesia.
While walking around I came across a travel agency that had a logo I was familiar with but not a brand name.
Turns out that the logo works as an umbrella brand with different company name in each country, very similar to the Heartbrand!
The brand was created by Interbrand and is used in 16 countries. They came up with this brand to help the integration of all the different travel services that TUI AG (the mother company) offers.
"Based on the developed vision (“World of TUI is the most beautiful time of the year”) and mission (“Putting a smile on people’s faces”), a universally understood symbol was created for the new “World of TUI” umbrella brand: a smile."In Belgium it is now as Jetair, in the UK as Thomson among others. And in NL, it is Arka (nice way to make the logo more dutch, by putting it white on an orange background).