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Orange Belgium challenges EPHEC students for its digital brand ‘hey!’

5 June 2023

Our 100% digital brand hey! is designed to meet the needs of ultra-connected customers whose lives are completely digitally oriented. And when we say digital, you say... Gen Z. That’s right. Students today are more online than other generations have ever been. This makes them the perfect sounding board to uncover the needs and expectations of the target audience of hey!. 

A dream team hackathon

Our hey! brand is just one example of Orange Belgium going all out when it comes to innovation. And innovation sometimes means teaming up with partners that add value to your business. That’s why hey! is proud to partner with EPHEC, an institution full of talented people honing their skills to make a difference.


What better way to start making that difference than with a challenging hackathon. On April 17 and 18, we invited a dream team of 11 EPHEC students, carefully selected by 3 of their professors, to a hotel in Brussels. During this two-day adventure all students – some of them were influencers – also acted as ambassadors for the hey! brand, using their social networks to promote it. A fine example of co-creation. 

Students on a mission

The main question the students had to answer during the hackathon was: how can hey! communicate its youth offer even better? 


We started off the two-day event with a delicious breakfast. Once all minds were fed, the students received the briefing. It was nothing less than a professional digital marketing consultancy mission. Part of this mission was to achieve ambitious KPI’s within a month, while respecting a defined budget. Like an agency, all students had access to the tools Orange Belgium and hey! use to tackle the briefing in the best possible way.  

After lunch, the participants were ready for an afternoon of brainstorming and content creation. No work without play, so we ended the day with bowling and a cozy dinner. 

Unique learning environment

On the second day, the EPHEC students participated in work and coaching sessions. We ended the hackathon by fine-tuning the input and preparing the follow-up of this project. This follow-up took place on May 17, when hey! invited all the students involved to the Orange Belgium office. There, the students presented the results of the hackathon. Afterwards, the hey! team and the students delved into the strategy and key learning points. All this was rewarded with a delicious lunch and drinks.  

We're proud to say that the hackathon and the office visit in May were intriguing and enjoyed by the students: "I had an enriching experience communicating directly with people who are already working," explains Ghadir Awad Smeha. "The hackathon allowed me to put into practice the skills I have learned so far and to understand the challenges and opportunities that companies face in a real work environment."  


Why a hackathon?

Instead of using traditional tactics and assuming what their target audience likes, the hey! team decided to meet their audience in person. As a result, the hackathon not only provided hey! with unique insights, but the students also learned all the ins and outs, challenges and advantages of working for a large company like Orange.  


As EPHEC student Alexandre Lagache explains: “One difference between school projects and professional projects like this one, is that at school, we don't need validation from a specific department to carry out certain tasks. We think less about the impact an action could have on the company.”  


Malika Benbelaid, one of the participating students, agrees, adding that a hackathon is a great way to learn about your target audience: “The biggest piece of advice I'd give to any company is to spend some time understanding your target audience and how you want to interact with them”, she says. “Once you've identified your tone of voice, you can let your creativity run wild by experimenting with different types of publications to find those that generate the most engagement from your audience.”  

The power of co-creation

After the hackathon, we’re even more convinced that co-working with students is important. Team hey! got to collaborate directly with their target audience, giving them an honest outside view of the brand and a lot of fresh communication ideas. 

Thank you, EPHEC, for making the start of our partnership so memorable. Or as student Laurent Meuthen says: “It was a unique experience that will last a lifetime.” Moreover: it will be an experience that probably even more EPHEC students will be able to participate in next year. We’re already looking forward to that challenge! 

Feel like you’re also up for a challenge?

Whether you're fresh out of school or more experienced, Orange Belgium is looking for all kinds of profiles to join our fun team. Browse our job openings to find the professional adventure that will make you #ProudToBeOrange, too.

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