In an era in which we are witnessing rapid changes to consumer cultures and increasing fragmentation of markets, the power of the brand is again growing in importance. Fundamental changes are occurring in the methods used to successfully establish and maintain brands. The factor at the heart of this transformation is digitalisation. The introduction of concepts such as social media, influencer marketing, dematerialisation, branding automation, digital brand controlling, behavioural branding and brand-specific leadership (to name but a few) have led to the development of quite new approaches to and theories of branding.
Through projects, we help businesses understand the connections and changes that are part of this process of metamorphosis and enable them to develop and implement the necessary market strategies.
BMW: The aesthetics of a brand
In many commercial sectors, the design and aesthetics of a product play a decisive role in connection with consumers’ decision to purchase. With this in view, the BMW Group wished to discover what factors influence the perceived aesthetics of a brand. We managed to identify the main driving forces of the perceived aesthetics of a brand in a transfer project and drew up concrete measures with which these could be influenced.
Appenzeller: Innovation vs. tradition
We have undertaken various surveys of the Swiss and German markets on behalf of the Appenzeller® brand. In the context of the first survey, an innovation strategy was developed for Appenzeller® that harmonised with the positioning of the brand. Based on the results of extensive desk research, a survey of cheese producers, sales representatives, members of trade organisations and other cheese specialists and working in collaboration with the management and marketing executives, we were able to develop and put in place a comprehensive innovation strategy for Appenzeller® cheese. The objective of another survey was to analyse all customer touchpoints and their corresponding dependencies in the ‘consumer journey’ of an individual cheese customer. Using the results as a basis, we were able to define the strategic implications and draw up a matching list of measures for Appenzeller cheese.
bsw: Trends in brand communication
In 2013, we entered into a joint project with bsw leading swiss agencies. The aim is the shared establishment and steering of two academic surveys that are to be conducted on an annual basis. Survey 1 is designed to look at businesses that commission promotional measures and its purpose is to collect information on the status quo, market developments and trends and the satisfaction of these businesses with their current communications and media agencies. Survey 2 assesses the communications and media organisations within bsw, collating data on the status quo of situations within the agencies (benchmarking) while it is also intended to act as form of report on core trends within the media and communications sector. The results are presented at joint press conferences and through media publications.
SELECTED RELEVANT PUBLICATIONS
Behavioral Branding – Wie Mitarbeiterverhalten die Marke stärkt
(Torsten Tomczak, Franz Rudolph Esch, Joachim Kernstock, Andreas Herrmann)
Corporate Brand Management – Marken als Anker strategischer Führung von Unternehmen
(Franz Rudolph Esch,Torsten Tomczak, Joachim Kernstock, Tobias Langner)
The Social Influence of Brand Community: Evidence from European Car Clubs
(René Algesheimer, Utpal Dholakia, Andreas Herrmann)