Croustico by Vandemoortele
Croustico by Vandemoortele keeps Europe sweet. As a manufacturer of bakery products — baguettes, donuts, focaccias, croissants, and cheese cakes — the Belgian company has more than 100 years of experience satisfying palettes in 12 European countries.
The company, with offices in Ghent, doesn’t just sell supplies, it also sells the skills needed to bring its products to life.
But in 2016, after successfully growing the Croustifrance brand for nearly 20 years, Croustico by Vandemoortele decided it needed a change. Increased competition was squeezing the market, giving people fresh baked goods everywhere they turned: From newsstands to train stations to bars. To respond, Croustico by Vandemoortele launched a rebranding to emphasize both its heritage and high quality products.
We changed a lot: Our name, logo, way of working, and our product offer. Showpad was the tool to make it all work together
What were some of the challenges your company faced before Showpad?
Business scope, we are into bake-off, like croissants, like donuts, like baguettes, the real French stuff. Our customer base is proximity stores, retail outlets, supermarkets, a smaller supermarket change. It was quite an old way, a traditional way of thinking within the companies. So we were a little bit stuck in the past with everything. Everything was on paper. We were sending out newsletters on paper to our customers. It was hard to get through that wall and that’s why in 2016, 2015, we said, ‘Well, we really have to rethink everything we’re doing because the market has changed. Everything has changed. So we had to rethink our way of working. Our business model, because it’s quite big, fundamentally changed for everybody in the company.
How did Croustico make the transition to using Showpad?
We went through to the product, which is the core, passion for bread products and coaching. Our sales reps became coaches, local coaches for every single customer. We changed our name from Croustifrance into Croustico. We changed our logo. We changed our way of working and Showpad came in as a support, as a tool to employ the new way of working. It was about improving marketing and marketing effectiveness. It’s about customer experience. What we can do now is really tailor environments for every group of customers. If one of our sales reps goes into one of your shops, he will not talk about all the rest of the business. He will talk about your business, your promotion, your way of working, your plan-o-gram, everything dedicated to or tailored to a group of customers. And that goes very fast and makes also for sales life much easier because they are, “Okay. All right, I’m in a total, that’s my entrance to shop at,” and that’s what I have to tell to this customer. And you go into your shop and then you start talking, but it saves time. Absolutely.
What has been the Showpad’s impact?
So with 170 shops, normally we employ two extra sales persons. Now, we only do it with one so everybody can work faster. The change from our new way of working, our new strategy, our new DNA, it really pays off. And Showpad plays a role in this. But one of the important things I think is the insight that we have on what documents are being used.
Step one was quite difficult because salespeople thought we were controlling, big brother, but quite quickly, we said, “Well, okay, this is not to control you. This is to see what you need.” And I think we are now a little bit part of the sales team. Every new feature we add is always the result of cooperation between sales and marketing.