As Head of Marketing and Brand Management at MAN Truck & Bus SE, which won the 2019 Brand Award, Dr. Stefan Zwerenz is an expert in the field of brand management and internal brand commitment. We talked to him about which trends in brand management currently play a central role and how a Porsche comes into the children’s room…
Dr. Stefan Zwerenz, thank you very much for being here today! You deal with the subject of brands in your career – did you already have a favorite brand when you were a child?
There are many great brands, but one brand that has fascinated me all my life is Porsche. Porsche has made it into children’s’ rooms by skillfully branding toys and has created a great deal of enthusiasm among children. As a car enthusiast, Porsche still stirs up enthusiasm in me today – so it is a brand for all age groups. And purely from an expert’s point of view, everything about Porsche’s brand management is just as it should be – a great example of good brand management.
What trends do you currently see in branding? What is currently happening in this field?
Simplicity is one of the major trends in brand management and corporate design. In an increasingly complex world, we can see that customers are very receptive to simple solutions. And many brands are jumping on that. Just like questions concerning the transformation of classic offline brands into the digital world. The latter is a very exciting field of activity for well-established offline brands, and Corona has made it even more exciting.
In which corporate divisions do you think it is particularly challenging to establish a strong internal brand commitment?
The closer the product is worked on in a particular area, the more important it is for the success of the business. So the importance of the brand disappears very quickly in the consciousness of people. This is where you have to be particularly sensitized. In my experience, the more you involve these areas with the brand, the more likely they are to be positively affected.
With what one argument would you use to convince someone of the importance of the brand?
A strong brand prevents a service offering from becoming randomly interchangeable, as it emotionally binds the customer.
What do other divisions expect from a brand manager / brand management team?
Other divisions expect the brand management to approach them. They are told what the brand promise means and also help with the translation into their own specialized department: For example, what does our brand promise mean to me as a controller. Furthermore, it is expected that a variety of materials are available to explain the brand: So from films, presentations, web-based training, good practices to checklists. In addition, the brand management team should also help to assess whether a product is on-brand, so they can see if they contribute to the brand promise or not.