You may not be aware of it but there are Dutch brands around you all the time. The familiar, multinational names behind them are the icons of Dutch industry and testament to this trading nations’ commercial tradition.
Perhaps the most readily recognised trademark of any country is its national airline, or flag carrier. In the case of The Netherlands, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines is not only one of the most highly respected airlines in the world, but also the oldest in operation today.
In 2019 it will celebrate its centenary, by which time the iconic sky blue livery will touch down in over 150 destinations across the globe. More than just serving to connect Holland to the world, KLM is the symbol of Dutch timekeeping, efficiency and service.
Though not everyone knows it’s Dutch, Philips is one of the most famous companies to come out of The Netherlands. Founded as a light bulb factory in 1891, the company soon expanded to become an electronics giant producing everything from televisions and fridges to CAT scanners and dental machinery. With operations in over 60 countries worldwide, Philips employs 105,000 people and has long been one of the leading developers of new patents and technologies.
One of the world´s largest petrochemical firms, this Anglo-Dutch multinational is the product of the fusion of Royal Dutch Petroleum and Shell Transport and Trading. The brand is visible on over 44,000 petrol stations worldwide and is led by CEO Ben van Beurden from its iconic headquarters in The Hague.
Though it produces 3.7 million barrels of oil a day, the company is also highly active in the development of renewable energy production. The Shell logo is one of the most instantly recognisable commercial icons in the world.
Almost as universally well-known are the labels of Amstel and Heineken, two major beer brands that have taken Dutch brewing across the world…
Words Michel Cruz