Since last year, Blue Lines has been contributing to the company’s international reach through copywriting and translation services. So there’s more than enough to have a yarn about! We sat down with Sophie Hautekeete, Head of Marketing and born textile expert.
What immediately stands out in your communication is the very coherent and streamlined style. What’s the common thread?
Ah, the common thread – that’s something we at Belysse hold dear. So much so, it’s actually hidden in our name. The word ‘Lysse’ is derived from the French word for the Leie river, very much the epicentre of the entire Flemish textile industry. As for the ‘Be’, this stands for identity. We want to be different, making the textile and carpet industry more relevant than ever through innovation and a forward-thinking approach.
That being said, the bottom line is still our deep-rooted passion for textiles as a craft. I grew up in a house where I literally had to step over pattern drawings, and sewing was a daily activity. This passion for fabric and meticulous workmanship is instilled in many who work here.
As we understand it, Belysse is an umbrella for a number of brands. How does this work exactly?
That’s right: Belysse comprises four different brands. In Belgium we have modulyss, our innovative ‘pull brand’, ITC, our residential brand, which you will find in stores like Leroy Merlin, and Arc Edition, sold directly through our distributors. The fourth brand, Bentley, is our US arm, which is managed entirely at the local level.
With modulyss, you are focusing on neurodivergent design. Could you tell us more about this approach?
Neurodivergent design explores how we can create inclusive spaces for varied neurological profiles, including people with ADD, ASD, ADHD, high sensitivity, dyslexia, etc. The aim is to design environments that are pleasant and ‘navigable’ for all. This can be achieved through, amongst other things, intuitive wayfinding, separate rest areas and acoustic optimisation. And it’s not just about offices: airports, railway stations and supermarkets can often be overwhelming places.
During our ‘modulyss Talks’, we invite experts to discuss topics such as biophilic design (design using organic forms) and neuroaesthetics (research into how the brain processes aesthetic stimuli). In the US and UK, there are already clear guidelines around inclusive architecture. It’s about time we paid more attention to this ourselves.
With these talks, you are really leading the way in your industry. Could you tell us which other topics you’re planning to explore?
For us, it’s about much more than just floors or carpets. We want to address themes that are forward-thinking and relevant to the specific challenges of modern-day architects, such as AI, sustainable design and well-being. Additionally, these talks act as a great source of inspiration for us – not only because they are so engaging in terms of their content, but also because of the questions they raise. They teach us about what it is that keeps architects up at night, for example.
This innovative, curious and somewhat rebellious character is truly part of modulyss’ DNA. It’s something that’s reflected in our tone of voice, while our residential brand ITC focuses much more on guidance in its copywriting.
Speaking of copywriting, what is it you expect from your language and content service provider?
Two obvious, yet very important considerations spring to mind. Firstly, our corporate identity has to shine through, ensuring we are consistently recognised by our target audience. After all, surely every marketer’s dream is for people to go ‘ah yes, that’s modulyss’ or, say, ‘that’s clearly Blue Lines’ when reading your content. As such, adhering to brand guidelines really is a priority. If a company has no set guidelines, I can imagine you guys needing a great deal of discussion behind the scenes before even thinking about getting started. And that’s the way it should be.
Secondly, content writers are so much more than just copywriters to us. They are also journalists, whose job is to immerse themselves in the subject matter to deliver compelling content. We see acquiring in-depth knowledge through extensive research as a prerequisite to any writing – not to mention the importance of other considerations, such as SEO expertise.
Are you saying your language service provider should play an active role in your content projects?
Exactly. Before we started working with Blue Lines, we worked with some local language service providers, who would just type away without asking any of the important questions beforehand. No wonder, then, that the content would often prove somewhat lacking.
A good content provider should act as a veritable sparring partner, bouncing off ideas together with their clients. Only then can we talk about a collaboration where the team is able to learn and grow.
Last question: what exciting projects have you got on the horizon?
We are busy putting together a whole series of modulyss Talks around AI. At ITC, we are planning for the roll-out of Ympact: a label of sustainable quality for different types of yarn, which will raise our standards well above those of our competitors. The plan is to gradually roll out this label for even more types of yarn. So this project will have quite an impact!