After a fierce pitch in the early summer of 2015, Prophets started working as the full service communication partner of the Belgian bank Crelan. Having guided the marketing campaigns for numerous financial institutions over the past years, we were up for the challenge. Even more so because we were very happy to partner with a banking client that has a truly unique story to tell.

The challenge

After the merger between Centea and Landbouwkrediet in 2013, Crelan had to focus on making its new name known to the public. After two years, it became clear that people had heard of the brand, but didn’t know what it stood for. Budget-wise, Crelan could never compete with the communication power of the top 3 banks. That’s why we had to clearly differentiate Crelan from all the others… and explain why those differences mean so much to Crelan’s customers.

Our approach

As the world is still slowly recovering from the financial crisis, and criticasters emphasize that the corrupt banking world has hardly changed, a bank that communicates on ethical values has become a rare thing. A bank that successfully leads these conversations is even more rare. But this 100% Belgian cooperative bank can. Together with the Crelan board members, we redefined this brand and translated the bank’s DNA and conviction into tangible customer benefits. Based on these benefits, we developed a new style and baseline: “Crelan, zo hoort een bank te zijn.” (meaning: the bank the way a bank is supposed to be).


The result
Based on our new positioning, we launched a broad first branding campaign around the core values in October 2015, using a print Manifesto by the CEO, print ads, TV spots and a broad mix of online and social media. The campaign successfully reached the lion’s share of our Belgian target audience (mediaplanning and buying by Initiative), and it helped motivate the network of 700 Crelan agents to get the company’s story sharpened and ready to spread.
The creative work was evaluated very positively by external and internal audiences, even though the message focused heavily on values and not on flashy excitement. The campaign resulted in a very important direction as we all worked to advance the new Crelan brand. This will be further followed by brand, services and product campaigns throughout the coming years. The results on the brand perception will be available after our next TNS brand tracking report (Q1 2016).




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