Best Corporate Brands 2018 : #1 COLRUYT GROUP

After last year’s initial victory, Colruyt confirmed its top dog position this year, retaining the title of Best Corporate Brand. This completes the list, with Colruyt’s election as Best Belgian Brand in 2015 and the recently awarded title of Best Omnichannel Brand. Or rather how to deliver an outstanding performance with low prices.

To understand this phenomenon, all you need to do is take a closer look at the brand’s DNA. It is rooted

in the story of the group’s founder, Franz Colruyt, who originally was a wholesaler of food products. He always preferred to sell large quantities in a setting, which although less attractive perhaps, allowed him to cut costs. “Today Colruyt is one of the first retail players in Belgium to opt for a “discount” position, compared with such representative chains as Delhaize and GB (Ed.: currently Carrefour). Colruyt is a rational choice if you believe in a good price/quality ratio”, according to GfK.

The group was clever enough in its strategy to keep on carrying out as many activities as possible in-house, allowing the group to retain maximum control over all its costs, at every level. “This includes printing brochures, as well as warehousing, bottling its own wine, cutting its own meat and roasting its own coffee. Everything is always thought through, and every action always has the same objective: to offer customers better service at the best price.” This end-to-end control is first and foremost based on automation, the GfK experts confirm. “Colruyt was the first company in Belgium to use full scanning, which made it possible for it to automate the restocking, warehousing and ordering processes.”

Feet firmly planted on the ground

Colruyt’s main asset for the Best Brands Awards was its continuous endeavour to rationalise daily purchases, but this year a few other strengths also influenced its ranking. “The Colruyt Group is also becoming more emotional as a brand, with the highest score for three KPIs in this respect. Consumers identify the most with this company, but as a company Colruyt also succeeds in distinguishing itself the most from the competition, and being the most appreciated company.

Unlike The Walt Disney Company and The Coca-Cola Company, which came in second and third place respectively, Colruyt does not try to pitch a dream to young people. On the contrary, the brand’s feet are firmly planted on the ground; the company is both consistent and unambiguous. It has succeeded in developing, growing and pushing back its boundaries. “It is under this logic that the Colruyt group now has several brands in its portfolio, which all operate in different sectors, such as Colruyt, Okay, Collishop, Dreamland, Dreambaby, Cru, Bioplanet, Spar and DATS24, to name but a few. And of course the brand can also rely on its online shops and its private labels including Boni, Everyday and the famous Cara Pils.”

A future Best Product Brand

There can be no doubt that Colruyt is the Belgians’ favourite warehouse chain. Funnily enough, the brand has never been a winner in the Best Product Brand category, however. That is, until now. “Before 2017, Colruyt oddly enough never made it into the top ten of this category”, GfK confirms. “The brand was ranked

30th”. This has now changed, as Colruyt occupies an honourable third place in the ranking of the best product brands.” According to the GfK experts, the brand owes this dazzling march up the ranking to the group’s stability and its ability to maximally tap into its potential. “Colruyt’s score for the strong relationships consumers say they have with the retailer deteriorated slightly. It did succeed in reducing its latent brand equity, i.e., untapped potential, however.”

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