Building Brands in the Digital Age

erich speaking about mad men branding

On May 23rd, the Swiss Marketing Association hosted an interactive session for marketing and innovation executives that featured a presentation from Vivaldi CEO, Erich Joachimsthaler. It was followed by a discussion with Erich and Martin Schlatter, former CMO of Wrigley’s, moderated by Vivaldi Senior Partner Roland Bernhard. The event focused on successful marketing strategies in today’s era of digital transformation.

During Erich’s speech, he talked about the shift from Mad Man Branding towards Strategic Brand Management and how we have now arrived at Building Brands in the Digital Age

Erich started the presentation by talking about the Swiss watch brand, Swatch, and how Swatch really excelled during the time of Mad Man branding. He then went into case studies from other brands that were adapting and thriving in the digital world, such as Burberry, BMW and Uber.

Also, Erich gave the example of Schweizerische Post, Switzerland’s biggest mail delivery service provider, as having done an excellent job of succeeding in today’s digital world. Moving beyond its postal service offerings, Schweizerische Post innovated beyond its core business and is now a leading provider for eCommerce solutions for small and medium enterprises.

Erich concluded by returning to Swatch’s current situation. In today’s digital age, Swatch faces challenges in building a strong brand with competition coming from unexpected sources. New competitors have emerged in recent years by entering adjacent categories, such as Nike with its Fuelband. Other companies – from the start-up to the established – are directly attacking Swatch’s core business, such as Pebble, the Kickstarter-funded smartwatch, or Apple’s rumored iWatch. No matter how well a brand succeeded in the ages of Mad Man Branding and Strategic Brand Management, all brands must learn to leverage digital technology to constantly adapt to the ever-changing ecosystem of their consumers in an agile way.

After Erich’s presentation, he and Martin Schlatter, former CMO of Wrigley’s, had a spirited discussion about brand building in the digital world, which was moderated by Roland.