Apple says goodbye to the i!

Day one after the latest WWDC15 in San Francisco. The media discusses the news, especially the new music-streaming-download-radio-service. From a brand strategy point of view, the most interesting part of the news is the name of the service: Apple MUSIC (branded with the Apple icon prior to the wordmark MUSIC). So, we got a new […] Read more – ‘Apple says goodbye to the i!’.
Branding and brand management… you have a problem.

I love brands. Maybe not every brand, but quite a few. I think everybody does, even Naomi Klein. And I love branding, the process and discipline of turning a rather generic, non-distinctive product, service or organization into something special. Branding is about personality, about values, about the why you are in the world and the how you make the […] Read more – ‘Branding and brand management… you have a problem.’.
Friendly Fire: BMW und die CDU-Spende

Ich weiß nicht, was BMW-Marketingchef Steven Althaus gedacht, als er von der Spende der Quandt-Familie an die CDU erfahren hat. Ein jubilierendes „fantastisch!“ dürfte es nicht gewesen sein. Vielleicht ein spontanes wie ehrliches „F**k!“. Das wäre die einzig verständliche Reaktion aus Marketingsicht. Denn was der CDU vielleicht gut tut, schadet der Marke BMW. Warum?  Read more – ‘Friendly Fire: BMW und die CDU-Spende’.
Branding im Digital Age. Alles brandneu? (in German)

Immer wieder werde ich mit der Frage konfrontiert, welche Auswirkungen die Digitalisierung auf Marken, das Branding und die Markenführung hat. Dass sich im Branding und der Markenführung etwas ändern muss ist den meisten der Fragenden klar. Nur was? Verliert das Alte seine Gültigkeit? Wird alles neu? Es ist eine mehr als berechtigte und vor allem […] Read more – ‘Branding im Digital Age. Alles brandneu? (in German)’.
Do you want your brand to be more meaningful? Focus on your interactions first.

Let‘s face it: with the exception of the undisputed super-brands of the „AAA-category“ (Apple, Amazon, Adidas & Co.), more and more brands struggle to win the heart (and money) of today’s consumers. Several studies conclude that consumers wouldn‘t mind if about 70% of today’s brands would just disappear. While the studies may follow the highest […] Read more – ‘Do you want your brand to be more meaningful? Focus on your interactions first.’.
Let‘s build workshops, not exhibition spaces.

The digital age has brought to an end the era of centrally controlled brands. As the digital media empowers humans to connect and interact on a much wider scale with higher speed, artificial brand images and empty promises are easily unmasked. Strong brands are no longer simply created by ensuring a consistent messaging and visual […] Read more – ‘Let‘s build workshops, not exhibition spaces.’.
Brands in the digital age – it‘s a personal thing.

As we learned in business school, the concept of branding is a child of the industrialization and corresponding depersonalization (between producer and consumer, between worker and work, and even between self and self – according to e.g. Marx). It was an attempt to re-connect; a signal from producers to consumers; a trust building tool that […] Read more – ‘Brands in the digital age – it‘s a personal thing.’.
Pantone Universe – senseless sell-out or lively line-extension

Everybody who has or had just a little to do with design or marketing knows the name Pantone. It’s the de-facto name for precise color definition, from print to screen to fashion. Pantone is an excellent example for the power of branding in B2B industries: There are competitors (i.e. RAL or HKS in Germany, NCS […] Read more – ‘Pantone Universe – senseless sell-out or lively line-extension’.
Dear brand, kill your parents or they will „love“ you to death.

I see, your parents love you. You’re everything they have. You are the „thing“ they’re really proud of. They have a plan for you. They have best intentions to support you, to guide you. Even, if you don’t ask for it, they give you their advice. They tell you what to say and how to […] Read more – ‘Dear brand, kill your parents or they will „love“ you to death.’.
Dear brand, it’s about time to join the „New School“.

Your education brought you here. An education characterized by ambitious parents and severe teachers. An education with the promise to grow, to be desirable, to be blessed to earn more, to increase your value year by year. The only thing you were asked to do was to play by their rules. Strict rules, simple rules, […] Read more – ‘Dear brand, it’s about time to join the „New School“.’.
Dear brand, who asked you to put on your birthday suit?

You feel uncomfortable taking off your clothes? You don’t like to become a „naked brand“. You don’t wanna show your „problem areas“. We can imagine. Maybe you got something wrong. Maybe „you can leave your hat on“. Just kidding. Let’s clarify what this is all about. What made you think, we wanna see you naked […] Read more – ‘Dear brand, who asked you to put on your birthday suit?’.
Dear brand, do you really SEE?

You blame us for not loving you any more. You blame us for not perceiving you as hip and trendy and cool anymore. You blame us for becoming inattentive and dismissive. You complain about us being so „know-all“, having excessive expectations. You complain about us jumping categories, behaving irrationally. And you do everything? Talking on […] Read more – ‘Dear brand, do you really SEE?’.
Dear brand, let’s go steady!

It’s clear-cut that brand strategy and management have to adapt to a changing and increasingly networked world. The shift from transactional and broadcasting to interactional approaches is quite overdue. The industry starts to realize that compelling brand experiences will be created by designing interactions, not artifacts. It’s about the process, not the visual manifestation of […] Read more – ‘Dear brand, let’s go steady!’.