Red Dot: How do you successfully position a brand over decades?
Daniel Leyser: Giving a brief answer to that question is difficult, because there are so many variables that come into play. The first question that arises is whether the people in charge have a clear understanding of the company’s brand and its significance and – even more crucial – whether there is a general consensus on what that brand actually stands for. That is the only way to adapt brand messages over time and keep them relevant without diluting the brand’s core. But strong brands also keep visibly repositioning themselves vis-à-vis current issues and developments. One key to success is to implement the positioning internally and externally with programmatic clarity and consistency, making it experienceable and reliable beyond mere lip service. Adaptability is also key. The world out there changes every day – socially, technologically, and with regard to media. The challenge facing brands is, at best, to anticipate developments, to adapt to them or even come up with things that are ahead of their time. Only if a brand manages to do that, it will be able to create that much buzzed-about relevance. And that is only achievable with competent employees who understand that their actions directly impact the company image. It is those people who, directly and indirectly, make the company and the brand what they are. The last point I would like to make concerns good infrastructure – good governance processes and instruments, regular training and effective brand management.