To sustainably build a brand? Do it for the right strategic reasons! And from there on consistently propagate your brand in every possible way. Partool succeeded doing this and The Reference played a big part in this interesting story: from the positioning and expansion of the brand to the implementation of an online shop.

The challenge

Vandenbulcke en Vervaet zit boordevol plannen voor de toekomst. We waren duidelijk op een sleutelmoment aangekomen in de evolutie van het bedrijf. Daarom deden we een beroep op de kennis en ervaring van The Reference. Zij hielpen ons verder onderscheiden, beter positioneren in de markt en zorgden voor een optimalisatie van onze service. Dit door de ontwikkeling van een e-shop.

- Hendrik Wallijn, bestuurder van Partool

The solution

Sinds 2013 ontwikkelde The Reference samen met Partool:

  • één overkoepelende merknaam (Partool) met complete corporate identity: baseline, logo, stijlgids,...
  • een volledige go-to-market strategie voor de lancering naar medewerkers, klanten, leveranciers en andere stakeholders.
  • een op maat gemaakte online shop met specifieke functionaliteiten, zoals:      
    • ERP integratie.
    • grote, rijke en gevarieerde catalogus.
    • prijszettingen.
    • realtime stockoverzicht van de drie vestigingen.
    • betalings- en bestellingsoverzichten, ...
  • advies en ondersteuning voor Search Engine Optimisation en Google Analytics integratie


Somewhere in the nineties, we saw a fusion of two companies selling tools, industrial materials, paints and mechanical components. ‘Vandenbulcke’ and ‘Vervaet’ brought their business together and worked hard to improve their strength in customer service, technical consultancy, courses, urgent deliveries and even storage of critical parts. One important service is the daily deliveries to customers of their 3 shops.

The result: a multichannel success

The Reference was the ideal partner. They are a full service agency that could assist us in every single aspect: starting from the compelling strategic brand exercise we were escorted to perfection at every stage. Our new corporate identity was impeccably extended throughout the whole company and our customers can now find all the information on a stylish new website where they can check immediately wether a product is in stock or where they can monitor and transmit their orders immediately.

- Hendrik Wallijn, director of Partool

The new brand was a resounding success: customers and employees received it with open arms. The evolution to online also led to a large number of advantages in terms of cost savings, increasing the service level and profitability:

  • More and more customers are now buying online instead of by fax, phone or email, the number of on-line visits increases along with the brand awareness;
  • Local, physical stores are becoming more popular and run a higher turnover than before;
  • More and more new customers find Partool (online and offline): there are 86% more registrations in 2015 than in 2014;
  • The average order value is lower in 2015 than in 2014, affected by the strongly increased frequency of purchases (customers buy less per purchase, but make significantly more purchases).

We can not publish the exact impact on the Partool sales and profit figures, but it does not take much imagination to understand after reading the above that this is a success for Partool.


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The Reference is nothing without its customers. Melexis is the stock market-listed global player in the semi-conductor and sensors industry for whom we facilitated future company growth by updating the brand, building the completely new corporate website and giving shape to the use of online channels. Read more about this client.

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