Each month we introduce you to one of our partner agencies in Partner in the Spotlight. Giving you a look behind the scenes. Sharing some Dutch digital design insights. Or telling you about something that they believe the world needs to know. This month we talk with Bravoure. A digital design agency based in Amsterdam and focused on helping their clients build relationships through digital platforms. Jeroen Disch, design director, and Matthijs Tielman, strategy director, talk with us about what Bravoure represents, why diversity matters - both in the workplace and in the work they create - and being a Dutch Digital Design partner agency. Time to meet Bravoure.
bravoure (noun: Dutch/French)
1. self-confident display of skill
2. bravery, courage
‘At Bravoure we dare to be different, together.’
Bravoure creates digital platforms that offer unique experiences. Experiences that connect with and touch visitors: designed to build long term relationships.
‘Digital platforms form the basis of our clients’ entire communication strategy. They never act as a stand-alone. We always consider all available communication channels, and how they interact. This also enables us to gather data continuously, in order to learn and improve.'
Introducing Jeroen Disch, Matthijs Tielman and Kim Krauwel
Jeroen has been at Bravoure since November 2021. A relative Bravoure-rookie. Previously Jeroen worked at digital agency GRRR as lead design. He is also the author of Halfvet, a bi-weekly online newsletter where he writes about his passion for branding, UX and typography. For Jeroen, it’s all about brand thinking and creating digital identities and experiences that make a brand stand out from a crowd, and connect with its users. Building ecosystems where all elements and touch points work together.
Matthijs joined Bravoure in March 2022. Another Bravoure-rookie. Matthijs loves delving into the magic of brand strategy, content and what stories make a brand unique. According to him, perfect branding is about interacting and connecting with users. He believes that users will come to you automatically if there is a genuine connection. A connection driven by bespoke content and easy-to-use, inclusive digital environments. Before Bravoure, Matthijs worked at Wayne Parker Kent - an Amsterdam-based advertising agency - as head of strategy. He was also the founder of a web shop with a collection of bags and accessories for men, and hosted the popular podcast ‘The Brief’ for a few years.
Kim Krauwel is managing director of Bravoure since 2018. We didn’t talk with Kim in person, but spoke about Kim and the difference she is making by leading Bravoure. In a world where there is definitely a positive move towards more leading ladies, but where there is still a lot more room for improvement when it comes to diversity and inclusion.
A different perspective
‘By having Kim in charge, there is a different perspective on how to do business, the way we work internally, and what talent we want to attract. There is definitely no room for macho behaviour - something we call ‘haantjes-gedrag’ in Dutch. We encourage everyone to be themselves. No need for anyone to feel that they have to be aggressively assertive in order to make an impression. It is important for us to create a safe working environment - through coaching and inclusive leadership.
To drive change with regards to inclusion, it is important for people to be able to recognise and identify themselves with other people and roles within a working environment. Hopefully Kim sets an example for other women in the industry. Having her lead a digital agency sends out the message that it is possible to make an impact within the agency world, and to make a difference as a woman in charge.
We also started to look for talent in a different way - by using a different tone of voice and being more proactive. Creating different personas that allow for a different, more inclusive and identifiable approach. Our objective is to always have a work culture that truly represents society and all its different visions, views and opinions. This enables us to create diverse experiences, and will not only make us more diverse as an agency, it also allows us to build digital ecosystems that will be more successful commercially.’
Creating diverse and inclusive work
‘Naturally, it is our intention to create diverse and inclusive work. However, this also depends on our clients. Different clients are at different stages of the diversity and inclusion process. It is our role to educate our clients about the importance of creating diverse and inclusive work. As mentioned before, it is important that users/customers recognise themselves in the experience we offer them. The more they connect, the more successful an experience will be. In the end, this will also be more commercially viable for our clients.
We guide our clients by creating different personas that reflect the world we live in: describing how each persona interacts and connects with the brand. It is our responsibility to build a bridge between the brand and each user. To fully understand the users’ needs and values.
Being diverse and inclusive will make a brand more accessible. Accessibility means that a larger audience can understand, navigate and interact with your platform: enabling everyone to be active, contributing members of the digital world. Accessibility is necessary for some, but beneficial to all. It will make your digital platform SEO-friendly, load faster, and your code future-proof. You also comply with (future) digital regulations.
It is essential to go back to the core - of a brand but also of a user. To truly immerse yourself in the user. The more inclusive you make an experience, the bigger the reach.’
Being a Dutch Digital Design partner agency
‘It is inspiring to be amongst a group of creative, digital peers. To be able to use them as a sounding board. To gauge where digital design and technology is going. To experience different definitions of what (Dutch) digital design is all about.
This is also important when it comes to diversity and inclusion. Together, as an industry, we can strive to be even more impactful, and create goals and policies together - on a bigger scale, with a bigger reach. As Dutch Digital Design we have the possibility to create more awareness, and continue to challenge our partners, our clients and society. Making sure that we keep the discussion going.
We need to be the change we want to see - individually, but also as an agency or Dutch Digital Design.
On a more practical note, we would also like to see Dutch Digital Design as a platform where we can share views and ideas on technology, specific themes and thought-leadership. A knowledge sharing-platform where we have the opportunity to learn from each other and truly connect.’