At TrendsActive we are blessed with having multiple clients with whom we have a long relationship. Proximus (a large Belgium telco operator) is one of them. For more than a decade, we are their trend consultancy partner. Over the years people come and go. According to Harvard, the average CMO stays in its job for 4.1 years. Fortunately, some people stay much longer at a company which fosters a strong client-agency-relationship.
One of these people within Proximus is Peter van Hende. A super talented hybrid guy that does not only understands research and trends, but also is a strong creative and a communication and branding strategist (yes, that’s possible for some people). One month ago we had a meeting in Brussels with Peter, the new Chief Brand Strategy about their repositioning and updated brand book.
This is what happened. Peter picked us up from the lobby and we went to his desk. Without mentioning anything, he grabbed a priest robe out of a box and put it on. He said “let’s go to the meeting room” and in full costume we walked through the shiny skyscraper towards the meeting room. Everyone on the floors and in the elevator was staring at us like…WTF? When we arrived in the meeting room, he said. “As Chief of Brand I feel responsible for the evangelisation of our new positioning and brand strategy” and he started his presentation full of religious symbols while treating the new brand book as a bible.
Working in the field of branding for many years this was something extraordinary, differentiating and extremely effective. Storytelling is key when delivering a message, not just externally, but also internally. At TrendsActive we believe a brand grows from within. So for us it’s clear; we need more Peter’s in the world of branding. To have people who are able to find the essence of the content they work with and are able to express it in their own passionate and authentic manner, is a blessing from the sky. Thanks Peter for being your authentic self! Your brand should be so lucky to have you as an evangelist!