Industry Interview: 30 Year Anniversary Bruid & Bruidegom!

Interview with CEO of Bruidmedia Rob Klaarenbeek

Rob Klaarenbeek

1. Bruid & Bruidegom exists 30 years now, congratulations! What is your role at Bruid & Bruidegom and how long have you been a part of the publication?

This year is indeed the 30th anniversary of Bruid & Bruidegom Magazine. We are very proud to have had the opportunity to accompany millions of bridal couples during the preparations for their wedding day.

As CEO of Bruidmedia International it is a great privilege to direct the way we communicate with bridal couples and to connect their interests to the interests of the suppliers in the wedding industry. We continue to develop new initiatives based on our firm belief that every bridal couple wants to organise a truly unique wedding and is looking to us to provide them with information and inspiration. This continuous renewal and connection to our readership’s wishes, regardless of their religious, cultural or traditional background, has, in my opinion, been the main component in our ongoing success for the past thirty years.

2. Describe your magazine, what makes you different?

All our media, whether it is Bruid & Bruidegom Magazine, Braut & Brautigam Magazin, our separate specials such as LookBook or our websites like www.brautmagazin.de, have a central focus on bridal couples. We offer them the information they need to organise their dream wedding. Our own editorial team creates inspiring articles and photo shoots. Our sales department discusses with wedding specialists the best ways to present their specialty products and services.

In addition, what sets apart is our open communication, our continuous search for opportunities in the wedding industry and our ongoing investment in innovation. And, of course, we never lose sight of our readers. They are our customers, but also the customers of our advertisers and it is ingrained in our dna that we will always put them at the centre of everything with the same positivity with which they organise their wedding.

3. What have you seen from Enzoani that have helped keep us fresh?

Enzoani appeals because of the company’s ambition. They refuse to take the path others have gone on before, but forge their own way and find their own approach with regard to collections, market development, marketing and all other company aspects. The events in Los Angeles are one-of-a-kind. I have had the absolute pleasure to attend your event last year and was blown away by the experience. Your film featuring the 2014 fashion show shows that the creativity within Enzoani is huge. In my opinion, this perfectly reflects the current zeitgeist which sees a return to inner values. Enzoani’s approach makes one stop and think and challenges you to review your own business approach. It is truly inspirational.

4. How have you seen the bridal industry change over the years?

The wedding industry is always in motion. Were there just six to ten bridal labels in 1983, there are currently more than a hundred. This has changed the way the bridal stores operate. The most important challenge at the moment is to optimise the co-operation between stores and manufacturer in order to meet the difficulties created by the fickle nature of brides. There are brides buying dresses for their wedding in 2014. There are brides who are getting married in four weeks and still need a dress. The key to this issue is partnership: working together for the absolute best results.

Brides and grooms are well informed and often have a better understanding of what they DON’T want than of what they DO. This is why they rely on the expert advice of the stores and often ask difficult questions which can make life hard for the shopowners. I have a tremendous amount of respect for bridal stores. They start off with the responsibility to create a good shopping environment. What follows is the challenge to buy in the right bridal collections and to continuously market the store among newly engaged couples. But the real challenge begins the moment the bride sets foot in the store, one which asks a lot of imagination, people skills and resourcefulness on the part of the shopkeepers and sales assistants.

Fortunately, we work in an industry where brides place great value on the role of the shopowner. It is possible to make a difference – as a bridal store and as a bridal manufacturer. We have to cherish and perfect this role and rise to meet these challenges in the knowledge that we truly contribute to the perfect and unique dream wedding of bridal couples.

Rob Klaarenbeek

CEO Bruidmedia / Brautmedia

The Netherlands / Belgium / Germany / Austria / Switzerland