Brands, brands, brands

On Tuesday, the Swiss Brand Congress took place in Zurich. In addition to numerous forums on topics such as Iconic Brands, Storytelling and Brand Extension, the award ceremony of the Swiss Academy of Marketing Science took place in the afternoon between case presentations.


Around 450 brand decision-makers from companies, agencies and service providers, as well as media representatives, will meet on June 20 at "The Dolder Grand" in Zurich for the Brand Congress. They all have the same goal: to position brands successfully. Live experience or influencer? Worldwide or regionally focused? Big data and science or storytelling? The possibilities are more diverse than ever.

Part of this diversity was covered by the various forums in the morning. Marketers from successful national and international brands presented their work in the afternoon. For example, Sebastian Knebelkamp, Director Cosmetics at Edding. He told of the segment expansion of Eddig, which now also produces nail polish. Edding, he said, is synonymous with markers. But since this market is shrinking in the wake of digitalization, the company has been forced to think about other growth areas. At least at second glance, Nail Polish has a high "brand fit" and uses the existing competencies. The company's success proves it right.


Quotes Sebastian Knebelkamp, Director Cosmetics, Edding:

"Any middle-class romantic would say in our situation: Not so us. The niche only remains comfortable until it starts to shrink."

"We in the North know that best practice and benchmarking won't get you far in a new launch. If you do, you do it right."

"Consumers are extremely happy with our product. Of course, this encourages us to consider other lines of business. Perhaps in the direction of tattooing, permanent color for under the skin..."

Prof. Dr. Stefan Michel, Dean Executive MBA at IMD Lausanne, did not focus on a specific brand in his presentation. He spoke about "Digital Pricing - How Brands Create and Skim Digital Value". His key message: "Pricing management is always brand management.


Quotes Prof. Dr. Stefan Michel, Dean Executive MBA at IMD Lausanne:

"I'm still on Facebook, my kids are laughing at me "What are you doing". I think it's good. On Facebook, I have over 800 friends. In real life, three - one of them is my dog!"

"In digital marketing, there are those who swim with the straw, those who swim against it, and then those who stand in the woods and wonder, "

"Every discount must have a price. If you want a lower price, you should suffer for it. Pricing is pain."

"Copy and steal everything. We don't say steal to that, of course, we say benchmarking to that..."

Kristian Walsoe, Managing Director Marketing, spoke about the successful repositioning of the "Astra" beer brand - and thus its salvation. Around 20 years ago, it was "change or die" for the Hamburg brand. It made it out of the crisis by defining a strong "brand purpose" and with rebellious campaigns, today has a unique image, the most loyal customers, in short: Astra is cult.


Quotes Kristian Walsoe, Managing Director Marketing Astra:

"We made the human need for acceptance part of our Brand: Rebel against intollerance - Fight for diversity!"

"It is fun working for a brand like Astra, believe me!"

"Does your brand have a strong purpose? If not, think about one!"

Roman Reichelt, Head of Marketing/Communications Migros, spoke about the challenges in Migros marketing. About learned patterns in marketing that have to be reconsidered through digitalization and personalization. Migros faces the challenge of continuing to stand for maximum customer benefit and at the same time not getting lost as a brand between big data and real-time.


Quotes Roman Reichelt, Head of Marketing/Communications Migros:

I thought that only the three colleagues from Coop would still be here at this time... Well, then I now have the task of making sure that you don't fall asleep".

"We don't bowl anymore, we pinball. With pinball, we can't always know where the ball is going."

"Speed requires a culture. Not "win or lose" but "win or learn". Someone who doesn't make mistakes is either a genius, or - much more often - a giant coward".

"At Migros, we live on branded interest, and that has to be clear to everyone."

"Playing social media channels is like approaching a woman in a bar: It doesn't get better by thinking long and hard about how. Do it, try it, and if it doesn't work, let it go."

Award ceremony

The "Rigour & Relevance Research Award" is presented for research work that has met with the highest recognition in the scientific community and makes a significant contribution to solving current and relevant problems in marketing practice. The award is decided by a ten-member jury of prominent figures in marketing practice. This year's "Rigour & Relevance Research Award" goes to Dr. Prof. Florian von Wangeheim for his work "Mapping the customer journey: Lessons learned from graph-based online attribution modeling". "Now that's a lot of ETH nerd blah," says Wangeheim about his comments on the award-winning work.


The "Swiss Academy of Marketing Sciences Award" is given to marketing practitioners who have both strengthened the idea of marketing in practice and promoted academic marketing education and research. The award is decided by the marketing professors belonging to the Swiss Academy of Marketing Science from the following universities: University of St.Gallen, University of Bern, University of Basel, University of Fribourg, IMD Lausanne, Université de Lausanne, Università della Svizzera Italiana, University of Zurich and ETH Zurich. The 2017 "Swiss Academy of Marketing Sciences Award" will be presented to Caspar Coppetti, owner of the running shoe brand On. "I would like to see more psychology taught. Best practice wears out quickly. With a sound knowledge of psychology, learners could better understand, have the necessary tools to do good marketing," suggests the award winner. (nod)

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