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Forget the ROI, here comes the ROH

Success is about happiness

ROI: everyone knows this acronym. But what does ROH stand for? Really Old Habit? Removal Of Hardware? Risk Of Harm? All right, we’ll tell you. ROH stands for Return on Happiness. And how a German construction company with Dutch roots is positioning itself on the market. And better still – who doesn’t dream of this? – forging ahead of the competition. I quote: “Of course the figures count. But who says you can’t measure happiness? Satisfaction – the satisfaction of our employees, customers, partners: this is the core of our philosophy.” Let’s take a closer look at Kondor Wessels and the philosophy of partnership behind the claim “Construction comes from constructive”.

A new way to stand out

Until now, one thing has always been carved in stone: if I want to outshine the competition, I have three options. I can either score points with my cost leadership, I can make my product so exceptional that customers are willing to pay more for it, or I can focus on specific areas (specialisation). All of these possibilities are difficult to realise in a market driven by calls for tender, and they also hold considerable potential for conflict. If, like Kondor Wessels, you offer product and project development, planning, construction and project partnership from one source, they also mean restricting an established portfolio. However, there is a fourth way: I can create a corporate culture that makes my company stand out from the crowd. A culture that is applied, not superimposed. That is not replaceable, but 100% Kondor Wessels. But how do I make this special culture visible and tangible?

Agency as catalyst

All at the same table: agency, management, HR, market research. This was the starting point from which the Kondor Wessels “feeling” was to be repositioned. What makes us what we are, what makes us different, rationally and emotionally, what messages do we want to send – and which of them are really relevant to our target groups? During the course of a multi-phase process, DUO and Kondor Wessels determined the company’s current and target position, defined its vested interests, and identified and fixed its values and character. This was important, but ultimately only an intermediate step.

A brand with an image

The visible second stage encompassed what makes the “new” Kondor Wessels stand out today. The revision of all the wordings and the corporate design, the brand new website as a milestone – all this had to be rolled out to coincide with ExpoReal and therefore had to take place within an extremely ambitious timeframe. This was only possible in the spirit of partnership which Kondor Wessels represents. In highly focused working groups made up of agency and company representatives. And with clear premises: we want to be authentic and personal, to engage with our partners at eye level. Communication as a mirror of reality. Presenting an image is part of this: that is why all our photo material was created in shoots featuring staff. Besides personalising our image, this had another effect that is almost equally valuable. It is a token of esteem, a true incentive and loyalty instrument.

Innovative construction team process

Beyond communication, partnership-based positioning also drives innovation in planning and construction processes. Kondor Wessels is an advocate of the construction team process. This is our answer to one of the fundamental principles in Germany – the separation of planning and execution, particularly in the public construction sector. Is this separation compatible with the Kondor Wessels philosophy of partnership? Of course, provided we create a new culture of cooperation. The above-mentioned construction team process champions this culture. It nurtures a spirit of partnership and consequently promotes constructive cooperation on equal terms during the course of everyday planning and construction activities. This is only possible if economic and social competence are fostered equally. And if attention is paid to the needs and emotions of everyone involved in the project, thus creating a common view of the project and the partnership. As a result, everyone knows their role and the contractual partner’s fears and expectations become transparent. This is the way to realise construction projects on the basis of successful partnerships: by bringing together planning and construction right from the start, everyone has a common understanding of what the project is to achieve. And everyone works constructively on ways to reach this target more efficiently, with less stress – we’re now back at the ROH – and more happily than before. Construction should be fun and a way to make friends; this is our declared aim.

Positioning in practice

Kondor Wessels’ restructuring measures are demonstrating that partnership is more than a communicative vehicle, also in organisational terms. Internally too, we are practising positioning more than ever before – with a shared service centre, the Kondor Wessels Competence Center. Our goal is also to create the physical space required for cooperation based on partnership, thus accelerating interdepartmental workflows.

Found imitators?
In such a fiercely competitive industry – in the struggle for the best, the orders, the viable links with authorities, decision-makers, multipliers – a unique selling proposition is a pearl without price. Kondor Wessels developed its USP from the identity it has evolved. Imitation is doubtless a practical aspiration. But in reality, it is only a theoretical possibility.


“there is a fourth way: I can create a corporate culture that makes my company stand out from the crowd. A culture that is applied, not superimposed. That is not replaceable, but 100% Kondor Wessels.”

KondorWessels Mockup A4​

KondorWessels Mockup

Martin Schubert and Heike Heider, Managing Directors of DUO Werbeagentur

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