Identity & Positioning

In a society that rapidly becomes more transparent and more critical, organizations need - to be trustworthy - to be clear about their position in and their connection with their environment. They need to be aware of what's going on and what their role should be. Ambition leads to movement, transition. And, if properly implemented: improvement. To position your organization effective in the playing field, it is important to be clear about your identity and ambition. With her clients, Bourne examines the identity, ambition and context of the organization. Thus we arrive at a possible positioning, which clarifies the nature of the transition.

APPM aims at improving the Netherlands


In order to improve the Netherlands, APPM Management Consultants develops and transforms buildings and areas. At the moment a spin-off of APPM is being founded, that explicitly focuses on projects that shape the transformation of heritage. The new company will improve the Netherlands by preserving heritage with a sustainable approach and surprising solutions.



Bourne has been asked to take care of the branding of the new company. We are now working on the formulation of identity, determining the positioning, developing a corporate identity and creating a website. To be continued.

Bourne-Design-Bureau-Amsterdam-APPM-positionering-design-corporate identity-branding

KING. Living your brand

At King design, designers, DTP specialists and project managers are equally represented. This means that the agency is capable of rolling out international campaigns quickly, efficiently and for a good price. At the same time, their proposition is not always clear: is it a creative agency or an agency to which I deliver my creative concept and ideas, which they will deploy into a successful campaign? In its own communication, the agency is not entirely clear about this either.

During the ‘Bourne sessions’ we held at their office, we come to the conclusion that theirs is not a question of profiling, but that we’re facing a positioning issue.

The people of King design are challenged to (re)define their skills  and proposition sharply, regarding also their context and ambition. We assist them in this thinking process and force them to abandon temporarily the modesty that so characterizes them.
We are dealing with an agency that is simply very good at developing and deploying international campaigns precisely because designers and project managers work closely together on all projects with much love for the customer. This determines the result and exactly that result is what makes King design unique and distinctive.
The name King design is then no longer fitting. KING it will be. Living your brand.



Naming and branding for Vancis’ joint venture

Vancis, a high-level ICT provider in The Netherlands, offers its services to companies, educational and medical institutions. The core of their activities are the datacenters in Amsterdam and Almere. From these centers, Vancis offers data-, cloud- and managed services.

Vancis has developed a brandnew digital research environment that will be marketed through a joint venture.


Bourne develops a suitable name for this joint venture. We start with composing a longlist of names which we then reduce to a shortlist from which the name has been picked: RSRCH. We cooperate during the naming process with De Merkplaats for the necessary brand- and name research (Euroscan).

Because RSRCH will be active in various markets, we also advise on the branding strategy of the joint venture.

Reaching different audiences out of one strong identity

De Regenboog Groep has successfully devoted itself for forty years to improve the quality of life of vulnerable people in Amsterdam. The organization relies heavily on the participation of volunteers. The communication has always been focused on recruiting volunteers and benefactors to fund projects and initiatives. However, financial parties, policymakers and formal health facilities are nowadays equally important. They are interested in the accountability and achievements of the organization.



In several sessions, we have been thinking together about the ambition and identity of the organization. Precisely this identity clarifies that De Regenboog Groep is the obvious match for both vulnerable people and volunteers as well as organizations in the business environment. We then work this positioning out in strategic communication tools.

Bourne-Design-Amsterdam-De Regenboog Groep-Identity-Positioning

Positioning IMSA

IMSA Consultancy has no standard consultants. The staff are very intrinsically motivated and possess a wealth of experience and knowledge of business on sustainability related issues. With both hands they grab all kinds of opportunities related to sustainability issues. This variety makes it difficult to explain themselves. IMSA people have enough drive but a bit too little focus.

However to sell their products and services a certain degree of focus is indispensable.

Bourne organizes a number of interviews with employees and helds strategy sessions with the decision makers of the organization. With them we look for the core, the identity of IMSA. Incrementally we are able to bring focus in their story.


From identity to employer branding

Along with agency Wervingsvisie Bourne thinks about the recruitment communication of technical wholesaler Kramp. It is quite inspiring to join expertises and we are both proud of the result. We produce a plan that makes a logical connection between the identity of the organization and the labor market. First, we formulate Kramp’s identity based on input, gathered during a session with representatives from various countries in which Kramp operates.

Then we translate the identity into an appropriate employer brand (What does the identity request from the employer and the employees?) and an employer story, consisting of Kramp’s proposition towards its people. Next we appoint the consequences of the employer brand for the recruitment policy, the specific target groups, their selection criteria, how to reach them, etc. Finally, we design the structure of an international recruitment site.

Bourne-design-Amsterdam-Employer branding-Kramp

A joint science institute for Amsterdam universities

Bourne advises the Amsterdam universities VU and UvA about the positioning and branding of a joint science institute. The cultural differences between both universities are large though. Fortunately ‘betas judge each other on merit, less on culture’, as someone assures us in one of the interviews that we held in preparation for two positioning workshops. Herein participants from both universities meet each other in a shared ambition to develop a science city in Amsterdam, a place of deepening knowledge and with international allure.


‘Society is calling for transparency. Who is who, who can do what and who is allowed to do so? Society’s focus is on the quality and consistency of registers (of professions) and related services. In healthcare and beyond. Good and reliable registers are becoming increasingly important. Data must be correct and accessible. In the future, interpretation and comparison of data will play a major role. CIBG is the hub and authority in the field of (professions) registers and related services.’

Bourne guides the process to come to the above vision of the CIBG, executive agency of the Dutch Ministry of Health. Its mandate is broad, with a focus on designing, managing and securing (professions) registers, such as the register for physicians and the donor registry.


After guiding the organisation in the process of defining its vision and mission, we also formulate the identity of the organization, to create a sharper focus on its ambition and its context. To gain support for the new course, we then write a corporate story.


Brand platform for Korean broadcaster JTBC

To give direction to all plans, ambitions and dreams for the future, we develop a brand platform in close collaboration with the staff of JTBC. This platform serves as a positioning document and as a basis for the identity of the Korean broadcaster. In this phase of the project we work with DesignThinkers and our colleagues of Total Impact.


Kindergarden shifts focus from parent to child

For babies to grow up to open-minded children, who live life with a positive self-image and are confident of what lies ahead. That is the ambition of Kindergarden, each and every day. The childcare organization draws this conclusion after several strategic sessions, which Bourne guides.

After formulating this very focussed ambition, we write Kindergarden’s corporate story, based on the organization's identity and positioning, and develop an appropriate redesign of the corporate identity.


Boutique museum in The Hague

We position museum The Mesdag Collection in The Hague as a French ‘salon’: a meeting place for artists and art lovers. The old home and studio of HW Mesdag lends itself perfectly for this goal. The magnificent collection of the Dutch marine painter, the beautiful garden and the attractive rooms are a place to visit again and again. That is the core of the communication strategy for The Mesdag Collection and that’s what the museum shows in message, image and programming.

Bourne-Desing-AmsterdamDe Mesdag Collectie-positioning
Bourne-Design-Amsterdam-The Mesdag Collection-Communication

OSA: repositioning after privatization

OSA is an Amsterdam project-consulting firm that works on social innovation and a strong social infrastructure for citizens. OSA initiates, implements and staffs projects in cooperation with various parties, such as governments and welfare organizations. As of 2013 OSA becomes independent and it is important to consider a clear positioning. Through several sessions with decision makers we come to the following position:

  • OSA is a national player: no longer a local party. Therefore, it is important to position yourself bigger, start looking beyond Amsterdam.
  • OSA is a consultancy, no welfare organization. Create some distance from (local) welfare groups, with whom the organization is now often associated.
  • OSA collaborates: this is important to emphasize, especially in regions where OSA is not yet known.
  • OSA is demand-driven: the offer is defined and developed in terms of demand.
  • OSA is about 'new welfare': it is specifically focused on participation, not on caring for.


  • OSA offers solutions: it is all about results and reality - the form in which results are achieved (products and services) is of second importance.

OSA can position itself as a nationwide business player. There certainly is competition, but the difference between those organizations and the identity of OSA is that they lack mostly the idealistic touch which is characteristic for OSA. There is plenty of space in the playing field for an organization that combines pragmatism and ideals.

AIX is THE rosé wine from the Provence. And it shows! Owner Eric Kurver certainly knows how to market his product. He ensures that AIX is available in exactly the right places and is consumed by exactly the right persons. AIX is a hype!

However, to be more than a hype and, even more important, keep its position, it is crucial that the AIX brand not only chooses its audiences, but that the audience chooses the brand. Along with online marketing agency H5O we visit Eric Kurver in the French Provence. In addition to restyling the label, we talk a lot about the positioning of AIX. Design and strategy come together in a brand book.


The brand ‘De Hollanders’: The art of not being cynical

With theater group De Hollanders we speak extensively about identity and positioning.
De Hollanders are into theater, literature, encounters and the identity of the Dutch. It all starts with field work, searching for this identity. The results De Hollanders translate into theater, music, literature: art!

The wonderful encounters they have provide input for a further quest for the identity of the Dutch. Thus, De Hollanders are more than a group of actors. It is a platform of creative people who understand the art not to be cynical. Their hope, questions and insights they like to share with you. In the theater, on the street, in the Netherlands.


Bourne-Design-Amsterdam-De Hollanders-Branding

Positioning Het Juridisch Loket

Het Juridisch Loket has positioned itself as a neutral party that is accessible to everyone, which oversees all jurisdictions, and helps citizens with a legal problem fast, good and for free. The client is therefore a very important target group. However, there are more stakeholders with whom Het Juridisch Loket wants to interact actively.


The organization wants to intervene in the debate about a fair society. In that context, it is important that it positions itself self-consciously and with some authority among its stakeholders. The importance of a well-chosen profile in image and message is clear as the relationship of Het Juridisch Loket with its stakeholder groups varies widely.
In positioning, Bourne shifts Het Juridisch Loket from a facilitating position to an agenda setting one. The challenge in the design process is then to develop a corporate identity that symbolizes a professional organization which is aware of its context, the people within and possible (latent) legal issues.

Diakonessen Hospital in Utrecht and Zeist is in the middle of the transition from being a traditional to a more professional hospital. A real enterprise, but still patient-centered. In a number of workshops with the management, we formulate the hospital’s identity, after which we visualize its different aspects in a number of moodboards.


Moodboard 1: Swap

Sick people want to be cured. Their choice for a specific hospital is based on very basic needs: these of security, a personal approach and of course a professional treatment. In this scenario the hospital moves along with the needs of the customer; all in exchange for customer satisfaction.

Moodboard 2: Reputation

In the reputation scenario, the four core values of the hospital (welcoming, entrepreneurial, professional and driven by results) come together, shown from its own perspective and perception. The hospital visualizes its ambition in this scenario, and focusses less on the patients.

Moodboard 3: Relationship

In the third scenario the hospital is looking for values it shares with its patients. A strategy, based on relationship, focuses on reciprocity and emphasizes what they have to offer each other.


Bourne-Design-Amsterdam-Diakonessenhuis-Corporate Identity
Bourne-Design-Amsterdam-Diakonessenhuis-Corporate Identity
Bourne-Design-Amsterdam-Diakonessenhuis-Corporate Identity

Repositioning the Emirates Post Group

Emirates Post Group (EPG) faces the challenge to reposition itself and its subsidiaries. Among these subsidiaries are the national postal operator of the Emirates, but also the marketing department, documentation services, a courier and a logistics center. Bourne needs to find an appropriate positioning in which all parties will feel at home.

What follows is primarily a thorough investigation, in which we send around questionnaires, do interview representatives of all parties involved and organise a number of strategic sessions in Dubai.

Based on the findings of our investigation, we develop a coordinate system that we call the ‘Identifier’. The horizontal axis visualizes the ambitions of EPG, the vertical axis the values the company stands for. This results in four quadrants (approachable, confident, assertive and unbounded). Each subsidiary can plot itself in one of the quadrants, and this way keeps its individual character within the shared identity of the group.

Bourne-Design-Amsterdam-Dubai-Emirates Post Group-Positioning
Bourne-Design-Amsterdam-Dubai-Emirates Post Group-Positioning

A strong brand can combine multiple activities

Local is founded by four men with a lot of experience in energy development and sustainable renovation. These two areas are only partly overlapping. Both offer sustainable, future-proof solutions for the real estate industry. Approach, values and competencies of Local also match. However, the target groups, the (tone of voice of the) message and the proposition (energy development being a means, sustainable renovation a goal) are very different. How to position these different activities?



This is the question Local asks Bourne. We advise the company to invest in a strong, identity-driven, monolithic brand. When Local gains a good reputation various activities can be developed under this brand which are nevertheless quite ‘Local’. To build the brand and this reputation, we design a visual identity that makes a statement and we set up a very substantive communications strategy (based on white papers, blogs, PR, offering a platform) for Local to acquire authority in the area of sustainable real estate.

Bourne-Design-Amsterdam-Local-Corporate identity-Logo

Positioning Gamewise

In a number of strategic sessions it becomes clear that Gamewise, developer of serious games, wants to position itself as a partner for HR, communications and/or marketing managers in changing organizations. The craftsmanship, the development of serious games, thus disappears into the background. Herewith, the company takes a distinctive position in respect to other players in the field of serious

gaming, which are often primarily recognized by the appearance of their games. Probably those players have the end-user in mind, who are less interesting for Gamewise because of its focus on those who decide on the use of serious games to develop their employees. For the design to be developed this means that we don't want to visualize the product but its effect.

Bourne-Design-Amsterdam-Gamewise-Corporate Identity

The process of naming

When thinking about a new name for an organization, a choice must be made from the naming spectrum, which moves from abstract and associative to communicative and descriptive names. Each of the four options has its own characteristics and it's good to be aware of them and discuss the primary purpose of the name. To come up with a new name, we combine the spectrum with four categories defined by us: focused on the tradition, the product/service, the organization and its proposition. By using this model we will come up with the perfect name, by presenting our client first a long list of possible names, which we then (with the client) reduce to a shortlist and the final name.