Moulding a Stronger Future – the BDG campaign
“Associations should have the courage to communicate more,” emphasises Max Schumacher, the spokesperson for the BDG Executive Board in Düsseldorf. “This is quite different from the conventional committee work typical of associations. That work is important and should be beyond reproach as far as internal industry matters are concerned. But when questions are raised regarding public perception, representation to outside parties and the association’s self-definition, then we’ve actually entered the field of marketing.”
Ingo K. Thielen is a marketing consultant and owner of the TazlThielen communications agency in Duisburg, which is among the external partners helping BDG to professionally implement the campaign.
Summarising the jointly developed reasons behind the image campaign, he says: “The foundry industry is a typical supply industry. Cast components have been important and necessary since ancient times, but for the most part they’re not visible in the finished product or can only be recognised as such at second glance. Casting processes and materials are often considered as rather outdated and archaic by those who don’t deal with them on an everyday basis.”
Moreover, the sector as a whole is heterogeneous when it comes to processes and deployed materials; company structures range from small family-run operations to large enterprises and group-like structures.
That’s why, says Thielen, it’s imperative to find a common denominator to tie together outside communication efforts: “This is not about individual processes, materials or specialties. Instead, the campaign is designed to convey the idea that castings are the mould for a strong future. Strong in the sense of modern, contemporary, sustainable, innovative; strong also in the sense of durable, solid, reliable and at the same time in regard to new applications in lightweight construction and in the production and exploitation of renewable energy sources. But strong also in the sense of positive, unexpected and visually appealing.”
”We want to show that casting is a modern, forward-looking process and that castings are innovative, contemporary components with a diverse range of possible applications,” agrees Dr. Erwin Flender, president of BDG.
“Cast components frequently are ‘hidden champions.’ Sometimes our industry and the things we do appear outmoded, antiquated and not very creative. But the exact opposite is true. This campaign aims to show young people, in particular, that ‘casting’ can do more – because all industrial sectors have to face up to the fact that there’s a real scarcity of young talents and leaders. This will become even more evident in coming years. Throughout the campaign, we will work with companies to launch concrete projects addressing this issue, both on an industry-wide and on the regional and local level.”