Marijke van Rongen works as Senior Global Marketeer at Blue Radix. She is responsible for the marketing & communication of the company. In this interview she tells more about her background and position. She also talks about the introduction of Blue Radix: a new brand in the international greenhouse horticulture.
How long have you been working in greenhouse horticulture?
“I worked at AgroEnergy for more than 8 years before I started this job, also in a marketing and communication role. The last couple of years, I was mainly responsible for the marketing of all data-driven energy services. The autonomous energy management, so to speak. I also did the marketing for the participation in the 1st Autonomous Greenhouse Challenge, where we became third in the world with the team of The Croperators. After the challenge there were discussions about the establishment of a new independent company, especially focused on autonomous growing. When I was asked to make the switch, I wholeheartedly said yes! AgroEnergy is a great company to work for, but after 8 years I was ready for new challenges.”
What does your job look like? Can you describe a working day?
“I have a very broad job, which makes sense in a young company. You don’t have an in-house specialist for every discipline. Broadly speaking, I am responsible for Blue Radix’s branding & positioning, the (inter)national market introduction & approach, digital marketing, the media & publications, communication & the organization of events. When I mention it like that, it almost frightens me. Fortunately, I also pick up a large part of the marketing together with our CEO Ronald Hoek. This collaboration is very pleasant.
As far as I’m concerned, a working day always starts with a good cup of cappuccino. And we offer that at our office. In all our job vacancies we promise ‘awesome coffee’, and not a word has been lied to. I don’t have an average working day, but I often start with my e-mail and monitoring our social media channels. Today I started writing the marketing strategy & implementation for the 2021 business plan. After that I worked on further improving the ideal ‘customer journey’ for our customers. In December we will also organize online demos about autonomous growing, I will then arrange the setup of the software and the invitations. In my work I have to switch a lot between strategy and execution and often in 2 languages. That variation is challenging but it also suits me well, I like it”.
What was it like to introduce a new brand in greenhouse horticulture?
“That was and is fantastic to work on. Building and creating a new brand right from the start, that’s rare to experience. Of course I didn’t do it alone. We started with a small group of colleagues to talk about our positioning, brand promise and purpose under external guidance. So why does your company exist and what higher purpose do you pursue and what is your promise and how do you differentiate your company: what brain position do you take with your target groups? Next, we needed a name for the company and a corporate identity that fits the values. The word ‘Radix’ in our name stands for roots in the ground but is also part of the nervous system and a mathematical calculation. Blue is the color that stands for intelligence, reason and trust, but is also a wink to the city Delft, where our roots lie. Our logo is made up of a word and figurative mark, the figurative mark is a combination between a worldglobe and brains. And what I find funny, in our logo the word Blue is never blue, nice and rebellious. Everything comes together nicely in our slogan: Your digital brain for growth.
When Blue Radix ‘had a face’ we started translating values into words. We tell stories about our company, personal stories about the people behind it, but also how we work. We also find it important to explain what autonomous growing means. We are well aware that we are working on something very innovative and that explanation is very important. We do this in the Netherlands but also internationally through media, presentations, newsletters and online demos. Since our official market launch in September, we have been actively visible and already receive positive feedback about the branding and visibility of our brand on a regular basis. We’re not there yet, but I’m already very proud of that”.
How do you experience working for Blue Radix?
“I am very grateful and happy to be working for Blue Radix. I work together with many great colleagues. And my DNA is in this company and that feels good and special. We can really contribute to global challenges by adding automated intelligence to day-to-day decisions in greenhouses. Such as the increasing need for healthy food and the shortage of cultivation experts. It feels good to contribute to that. We are at the beginning of something very beautiful.