BDO invests in brand consultant Pavlov

Let's grow together: Pavlov partners with BDO

We are proud and excited to announce our partnership with BDO Belgium. Through the participation of this leading consultant in our company, we not only take a step towards Pavlov’s further growth, but also guarantee an even deeper expertise for our clients.

In turbulent times, smart organisations invest heavily in strengthening their brand values. Therefore, more than ever, we want to support ambitious brands in their challenges of valuable positioning, stimulating customer experience, attractive brand culture and relevant brand identity.

To provide you with an even more complete solution for your brand in the future, we are therefore committed to qualitatively scaling our operations. Thanks to the capital injection and the complementary expertise of BDO, from now on we will be able to offer even more well-founded advice, backed by an internationally renowned partner that makes a unique symbiosis possible.

How this partnership empowers us

Besides its traditional areas of expertise such as accountancy, BDO increasingly focuses on a broad range of consultancy. To assist companies from A to Z with all kinds of issues, in an innovative way. In June, BDO therefore also participated in energy player Odot, now followed by a participation in specialist brand consultant Pavlov.

“We notice that companies do not always know how to make a brand a valuable asset for their business,” BDO Belgium CEO Peter Van Laer points out. “For example, in restructuring, we see that the right positioning of a brand can contribute to its success. On top of this, during acquisition processes, we see that companies have many questions around positioning, culture, customer  experience and the possible rebranding associated with such an operation.”

“That symbiosis works both ways,” adds Pavlov partner Stef Verbeeck. “Our clients recognise how business-critical their brand is and what impact a solid brand strategy has on aspects such as sales, communication and HR. A strong brand makes things possible, and like BDO, we assist our clients especially during times of growth and transformation. Through the partnership with BDO, we can substantiate our advice even better and deepen our niche without broadening it.”

What will change for you?

Pavlov will continue to be the leading independent brand consultant you can turn to with your challenges regarding strategy, identity, culture and experience for your brand. Our name, address, approach and employees remain the same. Your regular contacts will remain your point of contact and will soon be joined by a growing team of specialists in the field. We also maintain our familiar and trusted style of collaboration with clients and partners; with short lines of communication, personal approach, up-to-date insights and in-depth branding expertise.

As of October 16, 2023 our board has been strengthened with Johan Vandenbroeck (President) and Peter Van Laer (CEO BDO Belgium).

More about BDO

BDO Belgium is an internationally operating consulting organisation with a solid reputation in financial services (Audit & Assurance, Tax & Legal, Accounting & Reporting) and complementary, specialised advice to support clients towards future-proof digital and sustainable growth (Advisory). In Belgium, BDO has more than 950 partners and employees spread over 12 offices and relies on an international network that is active in 164 countries with an expert team of more than 110,000 partners and employees.

Parent brand

How a strong parent brand can make the difference

Unilever, Nestlé, Coca Cola Company, Cargill, General Motors, Apple, Colruyt Group, Johnson & Johnson, Arvesta… these are all examples of strong brands that have a portfolio of (often very diverse) sub-brands in products or services. These so-called ‘parent brands’ or umbrella brands prefer a sophisticated strategy that allows them to capitalise on the economies of scale and reputation of their group and enables them to approach different market segments with a varied brand portfolio. That combination of smaller sub-brands in turn contributes to the brand equity of the parent brand.

What effect does a parent brand have on the buying preferences or perceptions of (potential) customers? This largely depends on the extent to which the parent brand is played out in communications. Some organizations consciously choose to operate rather as a holding company, with the parent brand only serving as a financial structure or organisational framework above the sub-brands. In that case, sub-brands are marketed independently and can completely run their own course. Others fully draw the card of the parent brand as a kind of hallmark for the various sub-brands. After all, according to research, it can – through its proven reputation, history of quality and authority – adjust buying intentions and reduce perceived risk when making purchases. This approach potentially has a number of advantages:

Advantages of operating a parent brand

The opportunity for cross-pollination: customers tend to be more loyal to different brands playing a particular niche or specialisation than to one central brand offering everything. Yet there is often an initial distrust of new products or services from companies that customers have no experience with. The parent brand removes this hesitation more quickly and increases the likelihood that customers will not only sample one particular sub-brand, but also discover the other products or services in the portfolio. An additional opportunity, therefore, to more easily generate sales for the group through different angles and create cross-fertilisation between the sub-brands, requiring them individually to invest less in awareness and lead generation.

The opportunity to reach multiple market segments: a strong brand makes conscious choices to target or exclude specific groups of potential customers. For example, a premium brand will position itself as more exclusive and often more expensive than its competitors, and will not be tempted to offer products or services that do not meet that standard. A parent brand, however, can differentiate more broadly and take more risks, by targeting different audiences with different sub-brands. Target groups sensitive to price, for example, will then not choose a premium sub-brand in the portfolio, but may opt for a cheaper alternative that carries the same parent company seal of approval. Assuming that the situation and motives of target groups can change over time, this offers opportunities for all sub-brands within the group. After all, a consumer who chooses a cheaper alternative now may just as well switch to another product or service within the group over time and vice versa.

The opportunity to build long-term relationships: a parent brand serves as a beacon of trust for target groups over time. It transcends individual sub-brands within its portfolio that gradually evolve, disappear or are added. The scale and constancy of a parent brand means that there are more frequent opportunities to conduct more interactions with target groups (from different sub-brands) and build long-term relationships with customers. The parent brand can see trends in the buying behaviour and expectations of different target groups across various sub-brands, which they can respond to strategically by making changes to the portfolio or approach of the sub-brands.

The potential challenges for a parent brand approach

It is important to note that the aforementioned benefits obviously only apply when the parent brand has a strong market presence and a consistent reputation with its target groups. Damage to the parent brand through misjudgements in brand extensions, lack of trust or loss of reputation can have negative consequences for all individual brands it covers. Another challenge for a strong parent brand with sub-brands is the continuous balance in how the different brands relate to each other. Managing a portfolio of different brands, each with their own positioning, requires a lot of coordination and should not become an obstacle to the parent brand’s position in the market.