Wallonia brand versus Flanders brand: home region scores best

27th November 2008, Comments 0 comments

Vlerick Brand Management Centre (VBMC) organised a brand personality survey and asked people how they felt about regional and nationals 'brands'.

27 November 2008

Brussels - A total of over 10,000 people took part in the survey, which was conducted via the Internet in both Flanders and Wallonia. The researched brands relate to 15 different product categories, from beers to banks, from cars to cosmetics and from retailers to media. One new element this year is that ‘regional brands’ – i.e. Belgium, Flanders, Wallonia and Brussels – were surveyed for the first time. This reflects the increasing interest in recent years in branding for countries and regions.

This brief survey shows that five personality dimensions can be distinguished:

- liveliness
- unchanging/established quality
- aggressiveness/boldness
- simplicity
- emotional quality

How do members of the public perceive Belgium and its regions?

Nationalist sentiments play an important role in the way in which people perceive Belgium, Flanders, Wallonia and Brussels as brands.. Comparing the perceptions of the Flemish with those of the Walloons, we can see that we are much more familiar with our home region and attribute a stronger personality to it. The Flemish take the view that Flanders scores significantly better on all personality factors than Wallonia; the Walloons regard Wallonia as significantly more lively, as an established value and as less aggressive.

Overall, Flanders is regarded as most lively and as an unchanging/established value; Wallonia scores significantly less well on these personality characteristics. However, Wallonia does very well in terms of having a simple and emotional personality. In terms of aggressiveness (impatient, aggressive, bold and pretentious) Brussels scores highest, followed by Flanders, Belgium and Wallonia.

The Flemish and the Walloons are in almost complete agreement about the Belgium brand. In general it seems that Belgium has a less developed personality than the regions. For both groups, Belgium is ‘greyer’ than their ‘own brand’ (i.e. their own region). Compared with Belgium, the Flemish see Flanders as being much more lively, much more of an unchanging value and also more emotional. For their part, the Walloons believe that their region is more of an unchanging value and less aggressive than the Belgium brand.

The Vlerick Brand Management Centre is a research centre in the Marketing & Sales knowledge domain of Vlerick Leuven Gent Management School. The Centre conducts academic research into brands in conjunction with Dexia (the Prime Foundation Partner) and six Research Members.


(expatica November 2008)

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