Image Research for Our Neighbours

Image Study for the Netherlands Embassy

In order to intensify the economic and scientific relations between the two countries, the Netherlands Embassy in Berlin wants to find out how the Netherlands as an economic nation are perceived by German decision-makers. A qualitative study with German top decision-makers from the areas of politics, economy and science was designed to precisely identify the specific image of the Netherlands and thus provide the basis for Dutch companies’ future strategic activities

The challenge

The solution

The success

The challenge

Germany is the most important market for the Netherlands. The total trading volume of the two states is one of the highest worldwide. The parameters of the countries’ economic relationship are indicating further growth. Nevertheless, there is still some untapped potential and some Dutch industries are under pressure. In the scope of an image analysis with German top decision-makers, the strengths and weaknesses, potentials and barriers regarding Dutch industries and companies shall be identified. The study aims at creating positioning models for the “brand Netherlands” and formulating a communication strategy which promotes the intensification of the economic and scientific relations between the two states.

The solution

In the spring of 2013, in-depth interviews (in-office and phone) were conducted with over 70 top level representatives from business companies (senior management, managing directors) and associations, political institutions (e.g. State Secretaries) and scientific institutions. The regional focus of the research was put on South Germany, a region with high potential. Central criterion for the choice of the interview partners was their authority to take decisions or their significant influence on decisions regarding investments and cooperation with foreign partners. The interdisciplinary team of GIM explorers (psychologists, sociologists, political scientists, ethnologists) was put together in consideration of the different target groups.

The success

Due to the extremely high relevance of the results (decision-makers on highest level) the image analysis provides substantial output. For the Netherlands Embassy this is a great instrument that enables them to consult their stakeholders on a high level and to help them reach their goals. Since the conclusion of the study, we have continuously been implementing the actual results on different platforms in cooperation with the Dutch Embassy (e.g. brand workshops, joint PR initiatives etc.).