Belgium's No. 2 Bank aims to put customers first

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BRUSSELS--KBC Bankassurance, Belgium's second-biggest bank, is restructuring its marketing operations in a bid to get closer to its customers.

"We want consumers to see us as a company concerned mainly with clients rather than with products," says Brand Manager Paul Daels, adding that future advertising will reflect this shift in strategy.

Leo van de Gender has taken over the new post of communications director. Retail marketing director Ronny Goossens remains in overall charge.

The move to a consumer needs focus was inspired by a communications strategy developed together with KBC's ad agency VVL BBDO, according to the agency's client service director, Hilde Boeykens.

"Instead of products we had to communicate on another level altogether. Our reasoning became the basis for the restructuring of the whole department," she says.

KBC promotes itself in the Flemish half of Belgium and in Brussels, where it spends around $5 million in media advertising.

KBC was formed in 1998 from the merger of Kredietbank, CERA Bank and insurer ABB.

Copyright June 2000, Crain Communications Inc.

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