DELA is the only funeral specialist in Belgium that combines the organisation and insurance of funerals. More than 85 years of experience and expertise guarantee a smooth, affordable and dignified funeral or cremation for everyone. It is no coincidence that DELA stands for “Draagt Elkanders Lasten” (bear one another’s burdens) as an originally Dutch cooperative where living through life is central.

more about DELA

the challenge

DELA is the market leader in Belgium and the Netherlands in funeral insurance and funerals through its own network of funeral entrepreneurs. The unique brand concept has great potential, but also a growing group of (in-)direct competitors. Crucial to the further growth and ambitions of the brand were increasing spontaneous brand awareness and focusing on the desired brand associations, translated into a consistent and appropriate customer experience tailored to customers and their relatives.

the insights

Because the brand is active in both insuring funerals and organising funerals itself, some segments have an image of it being either a rational insurance brand or rather an emotional funeral brand. As a warm and human expert in the field of bereavement, DELA wants to provide uniform and clear added value for its target group in all relevant touch points.

brand motive analysis
brand moodboard

the solution

During a year-long collaboration with Pavlov, DELA presented us with a series of complex brand challenges ranging from positioning to customer experience, brand architecture and strategic communication. Initially, our consultants were brought in to sharpen the positioning of the DELA brand for the Belgian market. To that end, we immersed ourselves in the target group’s rational and emotional motives for both insurance and funeral products. We also examined the specific alternatives in the growing group of direct and indirect competitors and defined a series of clear differentiators for DELA’s unique offering. Starting from the existing value proposition, a layering was added to appeal to a broader and younger target group. Eventually, we developed an adapted brand purpose and a rational and emotional need states that answered the often unspoken customer demand, complemented by a series of mood boards and concrete actions.

In a second phase, we developed a complete customer experience framework for the Belgian DELA funeral homes. To this end, we visited more than ten divergent locations in Flanders and Wallonia, with a goal of gaining on-site insights into the operation of the funeral centres, the opinions of passionate employees, the specific needs of the regional target groups and the best practices that could be uniformly extended to other locations. The result was a solid action plan on all-round customer experience, starting from the needs of the target groups and the many strengths of the brand in practice. We further translated this advice into a framework by not only subdividing funeral homes into different types of branches with adapted services, but also by assisting the interior architect, project managers and marketeers at DELA in the customer-centric redesign of existing and future branches with a view to achieving the most positive brand experience in every interaction between the customer and the organisation.

To ensure that the strategic communications served the needs of both the target audience and the brand, we developed a clear strategy based on the proven Hero-Hub-Hygiene model. We guided DELA in selecting a fitting advertising agency and advised on the concrete development of an image-supporting Hero campaign to shift brand perception from brand to the emotional benefits of a partnership. Furthermore, we advised on the redesign of the brand architecture of the funeral homes in relation to each other and the DELA brand, based on the implementation of a dual branding strategy.

interior design moodboard
customer experience mockup
communication strategy