Woonwaard is one of the largest housing associations in the Netherlands. In everything they do—building, maintaining and renting out houses—their main goal is to offer people a home. The activities of the association are carried out without a profit motive. Woonwaard offers a relatively large number of social housing, and since 2019 Woonwaard it can claim the title of the most sustainable housing association of the Netherlands.
Woonwaard has managed 14,000 homes for more than 10 years, and it is responsible for a large part of the tenant market in the region. Potential building partners did not fully understand Woonwaard’s mission, and when recruiting employees, the current identity was an embarrassment. The old identity, established three years ago, no longer matched the new profile of a substantial reorganization.
We conducted an investigation into the organization with our own brand-identification-program, an extensive system that tracks over 500 character traits (attributes). We were not confined by ‘archetypes’ or limited sets of core values. We believe in the mix of elements specific to the brand. These make the brand unique and special. After all, brands are just like people.
Our brand-identification-program quickly revealed that the Woonwaard identity had to be modern, yet serious, and it had to convey calmness and serenity. The identity also had to represent the diversity of the tenants and the positive aspects of renting. In our work, we considered the pomegranate as a metaphor—calm and controlled on the outside, with great passion and activity on the inside.
There have been a number of positive outcomes during the short time since the new identity has been implemented. Partners and tenants have responded favorably. The new brand has been helpful when recruiting new employees. Current employees have embraced the brand, as they feel it now represents the value of the association’s important work.