Experience and excellence
TEXT: ELLA PUT | PHOTOS © BOONDOGGLE
Founded on the breeding ground of intellectual progress, Leuven-based agency Boondoggle originates from genuine digital pioneering in an ever-changing world of marketing, advertising and digital service design.
Boondoggle pride themselves on helping to bring out the best in brands. “Only meaningful brands will thrive,” explains Erik Meylemans, managing partner strategy and service design. “We create strong brands with a holistic approach that spans both product and service design and marketing. The customer experiences we imagine, design and build, need to fit with the consumer, the business and the technology. Brands and businesses come to us because of this trinity. We apply the design thinking methodology to imagine, design and develop their brand experiences with the consumer in mind.”
As one of the first digital marketing firms in Belgium, founded in 2001, Boondoggle has gained essential knowledge over the years to extend its offering towards customer experience consultancy. It has built a diverse portfolio of clients ranging from digital banks like Moneyou and Argenta.nl to international beauty brand NIVEA and governmental and public services such as Belgian Defence, Flanders DC and NATO. Boondoggle is also part of the international organisation Havas, a worldwide network with collaborations all over the world.
Building brand personality
Building meaningful brands today can be a challenge. “In the first place, a brand’s product always delivers a functional benefit. But people are looking for personal and collective benefits,” Meylemans explains. “Especially the millennial generation and the gen X generation expect more from brands. And when brands are expected to have a higher purpose above functionality, that’s where our job begins.”
Beyond defining a brand’s purpose, we also shape a brand’s personality, based on its strong core values. Meylemans: “People relate to people, and if your brand feels like ‘people’, they’ll relate to you too. Through defining its personality, we will guide the brand in facing its consumers. Especially in creating products and services for a brand, its voice and its behavioural characteristics are key. Think e.g. of the importance of the tone-of-voice in how consumers interact with brands through chatbots.”
An innovation and marketing partner
According to Meylemans, innovating brands’ experiences is more than just applying the latest tech to an existing experience. “Yes, a technology driven, innovative approach to an existing experience can give a competitive edge, but these experiences have no value without a fit with the consumer and the business.”
Meylemans continues: “our playing field is defined by this trinity of the consumer, the business and the technology. While some consultancies are good at business thinking and others in technology, we are best in combining those with human centric thinking and creativity. We give brands the competitive edge that consumers are expecting from them today.”
An identity to remember
What is in a name? Boondoggle means an activity or project that is deemed unnecessary and therefore a waste of time and money. “Our company’s name is derived from jobs created during the great Depression in the 1930s in the US. The name is tongue in cheek, to remind ourselves not to take ourselves too seriously and really stay true to the core.”
However, this does not mean that the company does not deliver serious work. On the contrary, the no-nonsense approach takes them all over Europe. “We try to go the extra mile for a client. Not just by offering them a full service approach, but also travelling to their location and developing the plan from there. Düsseldorf, Paris or London, we’ll make sure that we are there to demonstrate that only meaningful brands will thrive.”