We work closely with our clients to establish and manage their brands – from the analysis, strategy and identity development phases, to implementation and brand controlling efforts. Evaluating the strengths and opportunities of brands and defining their identities is just a small part of the many services we offer. We partner with our clients to transform brands into effective strategic management tools that define clear goals, simplify operational decisions, and ensure the viability of organizations and companies over the long term.  

 

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Brand Strategy as critical success factor

10/26/2017 | Our dossier, »The role of the Brand Strategist at KMS TEAM«, explains why a sustainable brand strategy is a critical success factor for companies and organizations in the digital age.

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Measuring the brand: The beauty and the beast

»Half of my advertising is a waste – I just don’t know which half«. Henry Ford supposedly said this. The quote may be charming, but is not a fundamental law of marketing.

For many years now, practical criteria have been in place to measure and document the benefits of advertising and brand maintenance efforts. The key to their success: a functioning system of key performance indicators (KPIs). It helps to identify the right starting points to strengthen the brand and make strategic decisions that have a positive impact on the entire company.

Naturally, there is no one ideal solution to implement an effective KPI system – companies, brands and stakeholder groups are simply too different for this to be the case. Instead, there are principles which can be used to create a logical system.

Deriving strategic brand objectives

Brand objectives may not be developed in isolation, but need to be derived from the company’s overarching strategic aims. In other words: The KPI system should correspond to the company strategy as well as the brand positioning. Choosing the right indicators will help make the brand objectives more tangible and manageable.

It is necessary to measure KPIs from different areas in order to determine the strength of the brand. For example, the area of »perception« involves exploring brand awareness and the level of quality customers associate with the brand. »Behavior« encompasses key performance indicators like the percentage of repeat buyers or the willingness to pay a premium for a brand-name product. Reliable feedback on all of these aspects can be collected by conducting surveys. 

Companies are often tempted to request and measure as many KPIs as possible. Furiously collecting data only leads to amassing huge amounts of raw data, but in the end, the findings are frequently quite minimal. When it comes to KPIs, less is usually more: In most cases, the best approach is to choose a dozen indicators that can be examined in detail in terms of expenses and revenue.

Strengthening every aspect of the brand

It is necessary to get all stakeholders involved – customers, vendors and investors – in order to achieve a truly holistic assessment of the brand. Relevant competitors should also be included as KPIs tend to be less informative when viewed in isolation. The data is collected, structured and formatted in a logical way to promote careful and thorough analysis. All findings flow directly into brand and management decisions. This is how the KPI system promotes objective, data driven brand management.

People shouldn’t be intimidated by the challenges involved when implementing a KPI system as it can be easily adapted and scaled to meet the unique needs of each corporate brand. The metrics gained from this analysis provide an indispensable basis for the further development of the brand. They reveal the brand’s strength and success, making brand management efforts more logical and efficient. And in the end, the entire company profits. 

 

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Brands and innovation: Friend or foe?

Strong brands thrive on clever innovations, but these can sometimes have a destructive impact. Tools and methods are available to help avoid such negative outcomes.

The topic of innovation is important to every company. Approximately 30,000 new products launch on the German market each year, primarily from prominent manufacturers of branded goods. Such efforts have major flaws, however: 50 to 60 percent of these products are not accepted by customers*. The magnitude of these failures is even more dramatic when one considers that customer-oriented innovations are at the heart of successful growth strategies. New products and services create relevance in saturated markets and in times of crisis, boosting sales and profits. This only works if a company can actually adopt the customer and market perspectives, and establish an effective innovation process internally. Instead of simply claiming to be innovative, companies need to exemplify and be powered by innovation.

All innovations need to be in line with the brand. In many cases, innovative ingenuity is considered a main prerequisite for success. But only the fewest organizations link brand management to the innovation process internally. Many implement new ideas without taking the brand identity into account, creating dissonance in the overall brand profile. In the worst case, customers no longer know what the company or product stands for in the end. In order to reveal their full potential, innovations need to be consistently integrated into the overall brand identity.

How good are innovations?

Developing innovations should involve efforts in two different directions: An established innovation process within the company, and customer integration.

Canyon is a good example of how a company successfully examines whether or not innovations will have a beneficial impact on the brand. The exclusive bicycle manufacturer worked with KMS TEAM to develop a method for evaluating product and service innovations in line with the brand’s mindset. Suggestions for improvements and changes are brainstormed and evaluated in the process. This approach and the decision regarding whether or not the suggestions are to be realized is closely linked to the company’s design and communication concept. As such, products and services are always integrated directly into the overall brand identity.

A positive side effect of this evaluation system is that is dramatically shortens the time and effort required to make decisions internally. It helps Canyon bring relevant innovations to market very quickly – and they are also a good fit for the brand.

MINI is an excellent example of how companies can get customers involved as innovators. MINI gets customers actively involved in designing models, services and other vehicle elements through its online portal »minispace.com«, and allows them to take part in the innovation process for the brand. All suggestions can be evaluated at the end, and the idea with the most votes is chosen for implementation. MINI gives its customers the feeling of making their own contributions to the brand. Realizing these ideas helps the company generate enthusiasm surrounding the brand while creating equally relevant innovations. MINI promotes a very lively, on-brand dialogue among specific target audiences through this portal.

In summary, key prerequisites for customer-oriented, on-brand innovations include getting customers and employees equally involved in innovation work, and establishing an innovation process that is exemplified throughout the company. Brand management should also be involved in developing innovations early on to ensure that all ideas are created and evaluated in line with the brand.

After all, the customer determines the success of each innovation in the end.

*Absatzwirtschaft: »A marketing trap for new products« (December 4, 2014)

Author: Katrin Rindermann, Brand Strategy Consultant KMS TEAM

 

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MENTZ

Brand development, Corporate Design

Points become a journey. MENTZ, a middle-sized family business, is a leading developer of multimodal mobility systems for public transportation, working with public transport associations around the world in cities like Munich, London and Dubai. The company delivers dynamic information services that support travellers before and after their journey.

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MVV Energie

Brand Development, Corporate Design

Mannheim-based energy company MVV has been a pioneer in energy transformation for years. We translated this momentum into a new brand identity. The first step in the process was the question: How can we rethink energy and bring it to life?

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Audi

Corporate Design

Our starting point for the new Audi corporate design was to take a truly holistic approach to creating design principles for analogue and digital applications. Our goal was to replace the complex system of CI rules with dynamic principles – allowing the brand to communicate quickly, flexibly and creatively with people across all touch points in the age of digital transformation.

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Staatsgalerie Stuttgart

Corporate Design

KMS TEAM developed the new visual identity for Staatsgalerie Stuttgart from two starting points – its position as a strong international brand, and as a museum with a unique collection.

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Diakonie

Corporate Design

We were appointed to rework Diakonie’s image and to develop a new visual language. It was to be direct yet dignified, concrete yet playful and emotional.

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FORIS AG

Brand development and hierarchy

»At FORIS, we strive every day to provide top-quality financial services with the diligence and reliability people expect from us. KMS TEAM amazed us by exceeding our expectations in every respect,« Prof. Dr. Hanns-Ferdinand Müller, member of the board FORIS AG.

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LEDVANCE

What is the symbol for light?

03/14/2016 | For LEDVANCE we found an answer to this question.

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JINS

Brand development

JINS is a leading eyewear manufacturer with over 300 stores in Japan, China and the United States. We conducted an extensive relaunch to restructure and reposition the brand strategically, helping to promote the international expansion of this Japanese brand.

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Canyon Bicycles

Strategic positioning and brand management

Canyon Bicycles develops high-quality sport bicycles and sells them to customers exclusively through the internet. Since 2006, the company benefits from a brand identity and strategy that accelerates decision-making as well as product and service innovations.

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»Inside Space«

03/01/2016 | Over 150 guests joined us on a special journey: They experienced how brands fascinate us, and how we bring brands to life as a TEAM.

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Stemme

Brand development

»ABOVE IT ALL«: The new brand identity for Stemme, a manufacturer of premium motor gliders, stands for engineering skill, performance, freedom and individuality. It positions the venerable company as a premium brand.

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Schneider Schreibgeräte

Identity, mindset and strategic brand management

Since 2009, we have worked with the long-established German company Schneider, renowned manufacturer of writing tools, to develop strategic brand management processes that will continuously increase the value of the brand while tapping into new markets and customer groups.

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Porsche Motorsport

Brand portfolio and partnerships

Porsche Motorsport embodies the Porsche brand unlike any other division. As such, it is the most important brand touch point with the greatest relevance to content and communication. The clear structure developed for the brand simplifies management decisions for motorsport brand partnerships over the long term.

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Canyon Markenetwicklung: Roadlite Canyon Markenetwicklung: Roadlite Canyon Markenetwicklung: Roadlite

Canyon Bicycles

Brand development

We developed the »Pure Cycling« attitude for Canyon Bicycles, a company that produces high-quality sport bicycles and sells them to customers exclusively through the internet and catalogues. This mindset has helped the company become a successful global brand.

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NürnbergMesse

Brand development

NürnbergMesse is one of the 15 largest exhibition companies in the world. The new brand identity positions the exhibition company as a competent and motivating event partner while strengthening its position over the long term in the face of national and international position.

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KMS TEAM expands management

11/14/2013 | Alexandra Pfister, Director Finance and Accounting, and Simon Betsch, Director Brand Strategy, have joined Knut Maierhofer as Managing Directors.

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Endress+Hauser

Communication Analysis

How well and how efficiently do we communicate in our core markets of Germany, the U.S. and China as compared to our competitors? This is the question that Endress+Hauser, leading manufacturer of process, automation and measurement technologies from Weil am Rhein asked us.

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Bauwerk Capital

Brand positioning and identity

KMS TEAM defined a unique brand positioning for the Munich-based provider of exclusive, sustainable residential real estate in a market devoid of transparency. The focus is on corporate strengths such as service quality, exclusivity and a close relationship to the customer.

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pbb Deutsche Pfandbriefbank

Brand development

pbb, a bank specialized in real estate and public sector finance, was founded in 2009 as the »Good Bank« through the Hypo Real Estate merger. The new brand clearly distinguishes pbb from its past by conveying reliability in a focus on the classic German bond (Pfandbrief). pbb was successfully privatized after entering the stock market in July 2015.

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Porsche Design

Brand positioning and identity

Porsche Design, Porsche’s luxury and lifestyle brand, aligns all of its activities with the sport car manufacturer’s high standards for exclusive, outstanding and technically superior design. The result is a thrilling, distinctive positioning designed to ensure the long-term success of the brand.

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ThyssenKrupp

Brand positioning and portfolio

ThyssenKrupp’s introduced a comprehensive new group strategy in 2010 which necessitated a simultaneous enhancement of the brand profile. Focusing on the umbrella brand allows this diversified industrial group to communicate its many activities in ways that are relevant to their specific target audiences worldwide.

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Bench

Positioning and implementation

The British lifestyle brand Bench worked with us to translate rapid growth and short-term success into a long-term brand management strategy.

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Klöpfer

Brand portfolio strategy

Klöpfer is one of the leading wood dealers for processing craftsmen and bulk buyers. The company follows a consistent customer orientation reflected in the brand’s strategic concept and relevant company decisions.

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Sport 2000

Brand identity and portfolio strategy

The SPORT 2000 buying group consists of over 3,000 retailers in 25 countries, each with different demands on the brand. A shared identity is the foundation for successful brand development and market cultivation in competition with franchise companies as well as new types of commerce.

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SRAM

Brand strategies and statements for SRAM Urban

The cycling components manufacturer lays the strategic foundations to expand its strong market position into the urban mobility segment.

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Pinakothek museums in Munich

Brand development

Munich’s Pinakothek museums combine to form one of the world’s most significant museum complexes and have considerably increased visitor numbers over the last several years. One important factor is the visual identity. Its streamlined, timeless aesthetic symbolizes open-minded, yet sophisticated and challenging museum work.

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Lamborghini

Brand development

The new beginning for Lamborghini in 1998 involved a radical identity at every level. Consistent simplification shifted perception to the core of the brand: extreme, uncompromising, exclusive. Spatial presentations and dramatic brand experiences played a major role in helping Lamborghini regain its legendary status.

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Warendorf Küchen

Brand positioning and identity

Warendorf Küchen was established as a new brand to replace »Miele die Küche« in the market. The aim was to create a new, relevant market position in the competitive market for premium kitchens and set this brand apart from the rest with an authentic brand idea.

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Weltholz

Brand development

Weltholz is the wood import brand of the Klöpfer group, responsible for supplying specialized dealers with different types of wood from around the world along with valuable marketing tools and information. The logo and name clearly visualize Weltholz’s areas of expertise. The tree trunks in different colors on the stylized globe indicate the diverse range of products as well as the company’s extensive reach.

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