Ron Krekels: It was an important move as BU Brand’s knowledge and experience and the close collaboration is leading to signficiant synergies.
Matthias Rensch: In Strategy 2030, we defned Europe as our home market, so we no longer see it as international business. Uniekaas is special as it’s the oldest cheese brand in the Netherlands, it’s got a unique brand history! Perhaps it’s also worth mentioning that Uniekaas is now divided into two parts, with marketing and sales assigned to the Brand business unit, while production – including maturation, factory and warehouse, is in the Private Label business unit, which already has all the knowledge and experience.
“Uniekaas has a unique brand story.”
Matthias Rensch, COO Business Unit Brand
Rensch: We focus on a trio of purpose, values and personal strengths in the BU. Purpose is related to our origins, our cooperative DNA, and our social responsibility to our owners and their families. We’ve developed our values together with almost all of the employees in the BU and they provide the foundation for our work. And we’ve identifed each individual employee’s personal strengths, as we want to understand them and build on them, rather than focusing on fixing what people think of as weaknesses – a more traditional approach. We’ve also discussed all this with our Uniekaas colleagues, and worked on it. We rely on that trio I mentioned, it makes a lot of sense and constantly accompanies our work.
Rensch: We’ve done a lot of work in video and phone calls since last fall, because of the coronavirus. But I wanted to reach out to our new colleagues and help them get in touch with one another, too, so I came up with the idea of “Talk With Cord,” an online internal talk show, in a company context. It’s hosted by our colleague Cord Heiseke, Sales Manager BU Brand. He uses MS Teams to invite people for interview, a chat and to have fun.
Krekels: It’s about having the same mentality. We’re a team, because together we are stronger and better able to take on the market. We prot from each other’s experience, and that brings us valuable synergies.
“We’re achieving significant synergies!”
Ron Krekels, Uniekaas Managing Director
Rensch: It’s an ideal starting position for us, because Uniekaas is such a special brand. We want to make it even stronger as it has enormous potential. The challenge is to gain a sustainable hold on the market through clever marketing and sales. Category Management will also play a big role in this.
Krekels: The big challenge for sales and marketing is maintaining the growth curve. Around 90 percent of the Dutch eat natural cheese. That’s exactly what Uniekaas is. What’s also important is that we have a valuable partner at our side: Jumbo, a fast-growing supermarket chain, and they’re also based in Belgium. Benelux is also an important market for Uniekaas.
Rensch: We want to be the first choice in Europe when it comes to cheese that’s matured naturally and otherwise, for consumers, retailers and food service companies.
Krekels: BU Brand has really clear ideas about how marketing campaigns should look. We want to support the DMK Group as part of BU Brand..