Brand awareness. Expertise. Confidence. Three characteristics of a good reputation. For some time now, Philippe Huyzentruyt – the strong man behind the West Flemish property developer of the same name – has been building his own reputation, and therefore also that of his company, in a strategic and personal way.

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But why is a reputation so important? Whether you are aware of it or not, every entrepreneur has a reputation. It sets you apart in a world where companies are becoming more and more alike and success is determined by uniqueness. A credible interview with a newspaper in which you can directly address your target audience inspires more confidence than an advertisement with a commercial message.

You can build that reputation in different ways. By showing leadership in times of crisis, or by connecting with your customers or stakeholders. And – like Philippe Huyzentruyt does – by questioning sacred cows and holding up a mirror to the sector.


Of company managers with a strong reputation, we know what their vision is and what they stand for. So that’s where it all starts. After a few good conversations, we knew how Philippe wanted to profile himself. Then we just had to wait for the right opportunity. That opportunity came recently, with the start of the construction industry holidays. Together with him, we wrote a sharp but constructive op-ed with the unambiguous title: “Get rid of the collective building leave”.

We then pitched the op-ed exclusively to VRT NWS online. This triggered a storm of reactions in the conservative real estate sector. But the message was out, and Groep Huyzentruyt was building credit inside and outside the sector. Why: because the story was well-founded, had a positive approach and was strong in terms of content.

Communication flow

In order to spread Philippe’s vision even more widely, we set a communication flow in motion. In an extensive interview in Het Laatste Nieuws, he was not only able to present his expertise on the construction industry leave to a wide audience. At the same time, he now had a platform which he could use to talk about the resilience of his employees and his company in times of COVID-19, and used it to make an appeal to politicians as well. Media attention he had earned thanks to his earlier op-ed.

We linked the right post on LinkedIn, and the end result spoke volumes: the front page of the most read newspaper in the country, an extensive weekend interview inside, almost 40,000 views and some 500 responses on LinkedIn. That is what is called a strong case of personal branding.


Koen Cypers
Koen Cypers

Business Manager

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