Zakaria Amlal, CEO racious: “In everything we do, we are one with the customer”
Text BBP Media | Picture Pure Picture
Gas on digitization
Digitization is simply booming and gracious is of course noticing that. Amlal: “Everything and everyone must digitize, from the baker to the multinational. Especially in this time of corona you see that brands are accelerating digitization but also want to strengthen their positioning. As a brand, how do I ensure that my services are marketed properly and effectively in a different way? How do I adjust my positioning? That is the crucial question. Digital has become your right to exist as a brand, it’s that simple. “
Gracious can play an essential role like no other in this digital translation. The agency creates, builds and promotes, as they like to say, awesome brands. Amlal: “We create synergy between the different disciplines, design, development and marketing. We give our own approach to the concept of full-service. Of course many other agencies also preach that, but we really stand next to the customer, we do it together. We are one with the customer in everything we do. We look at their status quo, objectives and the associated KPIs. What do you want to achieve with us as a brand? If you do this well, you will be a partner for years, because that is felt. Go for it together. And sometimes it doesn’t work out, then you say goodbye. You have to be honest about that too. “
Gracious works for a large and wide range of brands such as Amac, ANWB, Bax Music, Hunkemöller, Staff Personal-Financial.com Groep, Karwei, Warmteservice and Staatsloterij. All facets of marketing communication are covered: loyalty enhancement, digital strategy, brand positioning, design and creative brand campaigns. And in addition to the existing well-filled portfolio, there is much more in the pipeline. More and more international brands are opting for gracious, an important strategic pillar of the agency.
Hence a branch of gracious in Amsterdam. Amlal: “You just have to be honest: Amsterdam is the international center of marketing, advertising and digitization. We have to be there to take a good chunk of the pie, to compete in the race for major international accounts. Moreover, attracting top creative and strategic talent in the capital is simply easier. We have now hired 10 fantastic people, including from top international brands who had to downsize due to the crisis, who excel in the field of strategy, creation, technology and design. Together with the location in The Hague, we achieve top productions for a growing number of customers. The remarkable thing is that COVID-19 has worked as an accelerator precisely in that collaboration. Our bright minds and awesome brands know how to find each other quickly and easily digitally and the collaboration between both offices is truly phenomenal. “
Awesome brands: Imou and Vogel’s
Gracious’s international ambition is increasingly bearing fruit, because the agency is Imou’s lead agency for the Western European market. Imou is the consumer brand of Dahua Technology, one of the world’s largest end-to-end security solutions, systems and services. The company has a wide range of smart home products: from cameras to door locks and sensors. Gracious also recently acquired the account of the Eindhoven family business Vogel’s, an international leader in high-quality TV wall mounts for which it is currently developing a fully strategic digital plan and a redesign.
Amlal: “We emphatically want to be a player with an international footprint. A network that is relevant in various places in the world, starting in the Netherlands, Belgium and later in other parts of the world. We do not need to become a new Mediamonks or Dept., but we have an international right to exist. I am really convinced of that. Our approach shows that we can clearly deliver added value. With a no-nonsense approach, smart solutions, creative power, fast switching and with demonstrable successful output, regardless of location. Who we would like to work for? I will mention a few: Adidas, McDonald’s, Apple and Unilever. We can deliver the same as the classic advertising agencies or the large full-service agencies. The big difference is that we can do it for half the budget. We have a great network of professionals who understand their trade. And for every party that feels addressed now, I say: challenge us and you will be amazed. ”
According to Amlal, the current question from marketers focuses on a new positioning of your brand, partly under the influence of digitization. “As a brand you have to remain relevant, but also effective. Marketers seek the balance in this. You have to stand out in the market and at the same time bind your customers. So now put energy and budget in a good positioning. We can help marketers with online marketing strategists, developers, designers and concept makers. We really want to think along and make the brand stronger and awesome. “
Gracious has emerged even more strongly in the last three years and is now working harder than ever on an image of a fully-fledged digital, strategic and creative partner. Amlal: “We have an incredibly professional team and we have a lot of positive word of mouth. The aim is and remains that we also get on the shortlist of major international brands. Let people judge us on the output and our digital insights. In the meantime, we are continuing to build a beautiful international network of 100 people and at least as many great brands! “
This article was created in collaboration with gracious