7 September 2011 439 words, 2 min. read

Dandoy, a Belgian “Love Brand”

By Pierre-Nicolas Schwab PhD in marketing, director of IntoTheMinds
Saatchi & Saatchi has a word for brands they want to be turn into successful stories. They call them “love brands”. I have also my love brand, and it’s a Belgian one. Its name is Dandoy. The famous Brussels-based family-owned […]

Saatchi & Saatchi has a word for brands they want to be turn into successful stories. They call them “love brands”.
I have also my love brand, and it’s a Belgian one. Its name is Dandoy.

The famous Brussels-based family-owned company, which will in 2012 open a store in Japan,  opened us its door for a visit of its workshop located in the trendy Dansaert area.
The street smells after speculoos, the century-long specialty of Dandoy. Given the many shops of Dandoy in Brussels and its worldwide reputation, I was expecting a mini-factory. I’m surprised to enter rather a workshop where craftsmanship and tradition seem to be the leitmotiv.
We are welcomed like friends by Sallem, the head of the workshop and we immediately feel at ease with him.


The picture of “Mister Valere”, the grand-father, hangs on a wall (as in every single shop) and he seems to make sure that tradition is followed and quality respected as in the ancient times. I’m touched and when you talk about him with the employees you feel their emotion and respect. This is no fake. This is true commitment to the company.


Work is performed in a relaxed atmosphere and what immediately strikes me is the well-being of all employees. The interview we had with them confirmed it. They are happy to be there, proud to work for Dandoy and they definitely find a sense to their working for this company. A good evidence of this is that many employees have been with the company for more than 20 years. One of them has actually worked for Dandoy for 38 years and he seems motivated like on the first day.

 

What was also striking for me was the generosity of everyone. For instance, although production follows the level of stocks, Salem did not hesitate to show us the production of biscuits which were not scheduled on that day. Actually he even made some Christmas specials for us, those huge speculoos which are typically offered to children at Christmas. The visit took place in June and I doubt that these biscuits would sell quickly but this was not the point. Tradition is perpetuated and gestures have not changed for 100 years. That’s the inner beauty of the product and what customers certainly are after: authenticity.

My take:

Dandoy is definitely a love brand. It is loved by its customers and, most important of all, loved by its employees who show an incredible level of commitment. Here’s the secret. If you want satisfied customers make sure you also have satisfied employees and that you give a sense to their lives.





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