From car dealership to mobility partner

Context and question

Mobility is more in flux than ever. Valckenier, based in Aalst, knows that all too well. The company started out as a local Renault dealership 50 years ago and has grown into a family business with multiple locations across East Flanders and Flemish Brabant. A couple of years ago, Valckenier started wondering how they could continue to meet the rapidly changing mobility needs of the residents of Aalst and neighbouring towns. The complexity and uncertainty of the world of mobility made Valckenier question their role as a provider: how could they continue to offer relevant mobility solutions in the region and in this way future-proof their strategy? And what role should digital channels specifically play in all this?

Approach

Together with Valckenier’s core team, we established the business context and challenges. After thoroughly analysing the structural trends characterising the world of mobility – both globally and regionally – and outlining the company’s own ambitions, we decided on a single-page strategy together with the Valckenier team. In other words, the company’s business reorientation was condensed into one page, with clear, to-the-point strategic focus items.

Transitioning from a product orientation to service thinking was a crucial element of this business reorientation strategy. Valckenier redefined its core business from a service-dominant logic perspective. The company expanded its service offer from selling cars, to developing integrated and mobility solutions tailor-made for customers. In doing so, they continue to aspire to local proximity both at the geographic and service level in order to safeguard and deepen their connection to the local community. At the same time, they also strengthen their proposition by sharply focusing on innovation and actively seeking out partnerships.

This new business strategy was subsequently developed and translated into a marketing communications and event strategy in close collaboration with Valckenier. We refined the ‘Valckenier story’ and brought it to life by updating its branding. Valckenier today stands for a personalised approach to a comprehensive range of mobility services, offered through many channels (omni-channel) and through an accompanying ecosystem that includes various partners. The thinking behind this all is encapsulated in its “Move with a smile” motto. In other words, get around in the way that works best for you.

Result

Over the last few years, Valckenier managed to grow from a traditional car dealership into the premier local mobility solutions provider. The company no longer sees itself as a car seller but as a provider of innovative mobility solutions, tailor-made for local users. Valckenier managed to grow its business as a mobility provider by applying the MaaS (mobility-as-a-service) principle.

As a local mobility provider, Valckenier works with different partners to be able to offer everyone who lives or works in the region the widest possible range of mobility solutions. This ecosystem approach has made Valckenier a pioneer in Flanders: in June of 2020, 15 southern East Flemish municipalities inaugurated their own regional car share system – ‘Valckenier Share’ – thanks to the company.

Valckenier today stands for local mobility solutions, which means greater customer satisfaction. And that’s precisely what this family business wants to be known for – move with a smile.

People involved

Sarah Steenhaut (kernteam)
Sarah Steenhaut, Ph.D.
Audrey Brach (kernteam)
Audrey Brach
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