Meersburg, Germany. Michael Meier (Managing Director and Owner, Schindler Parent GmbH, Germany)
What is the recipe to success that sets Schindler apart?
We reinvent ourselves every 3-4 years, we have been doing that for more than 40 years… At the same time, we try to be at the edge of technology, creativity and being cosmopolitan.
Can any brand, from any category, be inspirational?
Certainly! We do a lot of B2B and have an incredible range of brands and products we work for. Each market segment is different and the thrill to actually see our work having an influence on buyers’ decisions, making them the preferred option, is always extremely rewarding. We do B2C as well, using the same methodology, and it is a lot of fun as well.
How do you identify the attributes that possibly attract customers to a brand?
We have a structured approach: analysis, strategy, creativity. First, we interviewing them. We do qualitative interviews with customers selected by their statistical relevance. We look at benefits they see, we ask them why they choose this brand compared to others. With these findings we look at the market segments and competitors. Having identified the Unique SATISFACTION Proposition (not just selling, that is shortsighted…), we build our strategy. Then, we look at how to translate that into meaningful, relevant and visually strong messages.
Does brand loyalty still exist?
To a very large extent, and it pays off for strong brands as well. A strong brand lowers risks, shows the differentiation between itself and other offerings, and it explains in easy terms why it is worth the price difference. A strong brand is loved.
How can you make a community fall in love with a brand when they are exposed to thousands of advertisements on a daily basis?
Consumers have learned to filter away meaningless advertising. It is quite amazing how fast the decision to listen or to ignore is made. We did research, together with highly acknowledged scientists, into this. Relevance to the consumer, not the size of the message, is the currency that pays off for our customers.
Have we hit the highest ad saturation in history?
Advertising has become almost meaningless in its traditional, push-communication meaning. To just throw your message in the face of a potential customer does not work.
We concentrate on delivering relevant content in a creative way, using pull instead. We concentrate on what people look for, and deliver answers.
How can we make responsible advertisement?
See above, we stay away from “me, myself and I” kind of advertising. We take on brands that show social responsibility, incl. carbon footprint etc…. Anything else does not make sense to many consumers anyway…