Today, more than ever before, we really understand how purchasing decisions are made and what role the brand can implicitly play when information is processed in our brains. Strong brands have an instant recognition, often without us seeing a name or a logo. They give us reliable orientation and tell us stories that generate purpose beyond mere functional benefits. Of course, we are all buying products – but brands change our perception by addressing psychological goals of customers. In the end, precisely this additional value is what usually drives purchase decisions and for which customers are willing to pay more – irrational but human. With this in mind, brands are indeed more important than ever.
What tools or technology do you use to manage your brand?
AE: At the centre of our brand management processes is the Brand & Design Platform. Here people can find guidance with regards to brand strategy and design, along with concrete guidelines and templates to create all kinds of ‘on brand’ communications.
Through our Brand Dialogue Platform, we invite people from all our teams around the globe to collaborate with us on our brand. This tool allows colleagues to get in contact with our Brand Design Support Team and to ask any questions related to branding. They can upload their latest communication layouts and get immediate feedback via live chat. The platform helps us to ensure simple processes and international coherency in managing the brand.
In addition, we recently launched our Online Brand Training. The initial idea was that there should be no employee, external agency or designer working with our brand who is not familiar with our brand strategy and design. The tool is fun to use and – at the same time – it effectively teaches brand essentials. We have already received a lot of positive feedback from users in Germany and we are in the process of rolling it out to all markets this year.
Which brands do you admire or use as inspiration?
AE: I admire brands that are successful in building a relevant and consistent brand image over the decades. To do this, the essence of the brand and its implicit goal value must be absolutely under control so that current trends can always be absorbed without changing the core. Coca-Cola, Apple and Nivea are outstanding examples of this. Furthermore, strong brands are able to react flexibly to specific contexts (medium, target groups, culture, occasion, etc.), so that – like Google – they will still be recognised unambiguously.
Which trends are likely to have the largest impact on your brand?
AE: In the age of digitisation, the audio identity of a brand is constantly growing in importance. As voice and sound interaction increases, brands must literally learn to speak. This leads to the creation of new worlds for brand communication in which sound plays a significant role.