SPICE Q&A PR - Pieterjan van Biesen (Head of Marketing & Communication)
Why do you like working in PR / Branding?
I knew from an early age that I wanted to work in marketing, without knowing much about it, probably having picked it up in some film or other. But for years I have been fascinated by brands and how they market themselves. What motivates me are people and ideas, and it is no coincidence that these two are the basis of our profession.
What advice would you give someone who is at the start of his/her career in PR / Branding?
For the first time, I went back to school to really understand the code behind our e-commerce. We tend to think that we are digital natives, I'm 33 years old, so I grew up with Instagram etc. But if you want to develop really strong online strategies, it's no longer enough to know "a bit more" than the consumer. So my biggest advice is to keep learning. And besides that, I read the paper every morning to broaden the view of the world around me, because as you know social media only shows what you want to see.
What is the most important lesson you have learned from working in this industry?
Working in PR is working at a fast pace. Everything is "instant" nowadays, so your life is also a fast-paced succession of all kinds of things. In this industry you can not work something out a few weeks or months in advance, because while your one campaign is in the magazines, the journalists are already waiting for news for the next one.
What is the biggest change within PR & Branding since COVID-19?
About five years ago, we started to develop our brand's channels in order to provide better content, but I underestimated how important it is to also manage your personal channel. People love people more than brands, and fortunately so. So in order to provide your community with news, it is important to also be able to follow a few people behind the brand. And above all, I would say to have something to show on social media and it's also ok to take a digital break, I did that myself for most of December and it can also be a good thing.
What role does social media play in your strategy?
Social media is our brand's biggest priority, next to making a collection. It makes us more accessible. NATAN is a luxury brand that has been around for 38 years, we know that we still often have too high a threshold. Thanks to these digital channels it is easier to show our diversity of products, and we can show not only the ball gowns.
Do you work with influencers? Why do you, or why don't you?
Influencers play an important role in everything we do. But we see the term broadly. Like many of us in the industry, I believe in targeted marketing with a group of micro-influencers who fit your brand or concept. And then you have to succeed in making them real ambassadors of your brand. At NATAN we are also recording a number of podcasts with these micro-talents. More than ever, we understand the importance of ‘local’. Local shopping, local production, local talent. Local hybrids as influencers, that's where the future of digital communication lies, in my opinion.
The NATAN house
CREATING A TIMELESS AND ELEGANT ENVIRONMENT. STAYING TRUE TO YOUR ROOTS. DELIVERING UNIQUE AND EXCEPTIONAL WORK, WHILE MAKING SURE THE HARMONY OF ALL COMPONENTS IS GUARANTEED.
With the head office located in the heart of Brussels, the company is a nest of talent. Heads full of ideas, hands rushing to make everything possible all conducted by Edouard Vermeulen, making sure the end result always exceeds the expectations. He has succeeded in creating a unique, magical universe where women become even more con dent thanks to the energy of his designs.
Yesterday evening the first Dutch edition of the successful NATAN Collective was celebrated during the grand opening in X BANK. Alexander Sporre and Chloé Leenheer were chosen as winners by Edouard Vermeulen and an independent jury consisting of Danie Bles, owner of Amsterdam Fashion Week, Miluska van 't Lam, editor-in-chief Harper's Bazaar and photographer Carmen Kemmink. They received an amount of money to develop their talent. As of today, everyone can admire the work of the six photographers for free in X BANK.Read & see more
On Saturday evening, September 7, NATAN showed the latest Cruise 2020 collection under the clouds of Amsterdam in the glass dome of Capital C.