Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Mächtige Marken

I spent last weekend in Munich - which involved rather a lot of beer, and sport, but also a good amount of strolling around the city. In comparison to Berlin, or Frankfurt, it's noticeable just how many huge, grand buildings stand around every corner. And there's something about brands that hail from Munich that's similarly grand, pompous even. Even if Google, Facebook and amazon are leading the world today in terms of brand value, there is something insubstantial about their very nature.

Will they really be around in 100 years?

The three Mächtige Marken that dominate Munich are all centenarians.

There's Allianz, whose massive Arena has dominated the city since 2005. Allianz itself was founded in 1890, and is No. 51 in Interbrand's Top 100 brands by value - and growing at an impressive +12%.

Of course, you can't talk about the Allianz Arena without mentioning FC Bayern München, founded a decade later, in 1900. I often think brands have a lot to learn from sports teams - certainly when it comes to fans and loyalty. I visited the FCB Erlebniswelt - an absolutely up-to-date immersive experience and museum celebrating the story (so far) of the club.

Then we come to a modern-day version of one of those pompous Munich palaces: BMW's 'Four Cylinder' building above. BMW is the relative youngster of the three, celebrating 100 years this year. This brand is No. 11 in the world, according to Interbrand, and continuing in double-figure growth despite the doom and gloom about urbanisation and young people not buying cars any more.
There were enough young people milling around BMW World  and the museum - temples to the past, present and future of BMW cars and motorcycles, as well as Mini and Rolls Royce.

And this is the key to the success, and longevity of these proud and powerful brands. Strength from heritage and a focus clearly on the future.

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