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We as PrintLovers are entering a new era: the current Heidelberg management is taking the company out of the center of the action.

As a result, the ’Heidelberg cosmos’, which had been a determining factor in the success of the print industry for decades, is imploding.

My Open Love Letter to the Heidelberg world created an amazing feedback from experts around the globe. I’ll summarize it to share the current status a.s.a.p.

The new ”Over the Skype“ conversation (dated 22 April 2020) with INKISH.TV’s Morten B. Reitoft adds some more insights, facts and findings. You should read & watch.

The key points:

  1. It’s becoming more and more clear that we have stepped into a new era where the industry leader Heidelberg gives up his leadership.
  2. The mantra publicly proclaimed by the CEO Rainer Hundsdörfer, ‘Heidelberg goes digital’ wants to create a new momentum and makes the company, as the lighthouse of the print industry, ’systemically relevant’. — BUT: that is in my opinion completely counter-targeted by the package of measures from March 17, 2020. At least, it creates the danger that the lighthouse will become a dangerous wisp or ghost light for many in the industry.
  3. The goal of sustainably securing the future and prosperity of print was abandoned. It needs a cultural change that works both internally and externally in order to actually achieve the best for everyone in a customer and market-oriented manner.

At least we identified three crucial areas:

  1. Thought Leadership, based on empathy, openness in thinking and confident mindset.
  2. Measures that build trust related all kind of stakeholders
  3. Deep and advancing understanding of the changes & needs to benefit from the digital age.

What do you think?

 


 

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Nice to remember: #drupa2016

#FreitagsGedanken von Andreas Weber | English version below

 

Die ganze Welt scheint nun erstarrt. Doch zu verharren wäre tödlich. Noch sind wir in der Lage, zu kommunizieren. Wenn auch nicht mehr persönlich von Angesicht zu Angesicht, so doch per Kommunikations-Technik. Wunderbar. Oder?

Aber: Ein Neustart in der Kommunikation nötig. Für uns in der Print-Branche hat Kommunikation eh eine ganz besondere Bedeutung. Sie ist Teil unserer DNA.

Darum hier aus meiner Sicht ein paar Anmerkungen und Tipps:

Haben Sie schon einen Notfallplan? Im Fokus: Vernetzung & Interaktion.

Besonders bedrohlich für uns im B2B:

Die Print-Fachpresse diffundiert; ca. die Hälfte oder sogar mehr der Titel wird wohl vom Markt verschwinden! Die ersten Verlage haben angekündigt, die Produktion der Print-Titel auszusetzen. Ob e-Newsletter, die Pressemeldungsinhalte der Herstellereindustrie kolportieren, Nutzen stiften, wage ich zu bezweifeln, 

Fachpressearbeit/PR, wie wir sie kennen, erscheint sowieso zu langsam in der Umsetzung, zumeist ohne eigenen Inhalt — und ohne Reichweite. Und ohne zu wissen, wie die Inhalte beim Empfänger ankommen.

Direktmarketing verpufft derzeit völlig. Denn: Viele arbeiten momentan nicht im Büro, an das die Mailings gehen.

 


 

Generell scheint für mich folgendes relevant:

  1. Egal was ich tue/anbiete: Wie erreiche ich überhaupt noch meine Kunden, Interessenten, Mediatoren und Multiplier?
  2. Wie evaluiere ich, was meine Stakeholder bewegt?
  3. Wie stelle ich sofort dynamische Beziehungen über Netzwerke her?
  4. Wie finde ich inhaltlich den richtigen Ton. Im Sinne von:  „Ich höre zu und gebe pro-aktiv Hilfestellung“. Und nicht: Ich sage Dir, was ich biete.
    Und spezifisch:
  5. Wie kann ich als Hersteller meine zur #drupa2020 geplanten Neuheiten ab sofort erfahrbar machen?
  6. Wie muss ich als Druckerei das Geschäft kommunikativ absichern bzw. Kontakte medial herstellen und ausbauen?
  7. Mit wem muss ich mich verbünden, um im Team schlagkräftiger zu sein.

Falls Se weitere Ideen oder Anregungen haben: Bitte bei mir melden. Wir schaffen das. Gemeinsam!

 


 

#FridayThoughts by Andreas Weber

 

Drupa wants to embrace the future. — We embrace the CHAOS!

The whole world now seems frozen. But to remain would be fatal. We are still able to communicate. If no longer face to face personally, it does so using state-of-the-art communication technology. Wonderful. Isn’t it?

But: A restart in communication is necessary. Communication has a very special meaning for us in the print industry. It is part of our DNA.

Therefore, from my point of view, here are a few comments and tips:

• Do you already have an emergency plan? In focus: networking & interaction.

Particularly threatening for us in B2B:

• The print trade press diffuses; about half of the titles or even more will probably disappear from the market! The first publishers have announced that the production of the print titles will be suspended. I doubt whether e-newsletters, crowded with press release content of the manufacturing industry, create benefits, will be the solution.

• PR work and trade press publishing as we know it seems too slow to implement anyway, mostly without its own content — and without reach. And without knowing how the content is received by the recipient.

• Direct marketing is currently evaporating completely. Because: Many are not currently working in the office to which the mailings go.

 


 

In general, the following seems relevant to me:

1. No matter what I do / offer: How can I still reach my customers, prospects, mediators and multipliers?

2. How do I evaluate what moves my stakeholders?

3. How do I instantly create dynamic relationships across networks?

4. How do I find the right tone in terms of content? In the sense of: “I listen and give proactive support”. And not: I tell you what I offer.

And specifically:

5. As a manufacturer, how can I make my new products planned for #drupa2020 tangible from now on?

6. As a print shop, how do I have to secure the business communicatively or establish and expand contacts in the media?

7. Who do I have to team up with to be more effective in the team?

If you have further ideas or suggestions: Please contact me. We can do it together!

BTW: I think the INKISH team could support all of us in the best way!

 


 

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By Andreas Weber

 


I think this is why we all LOVE inkish (…) key to our success is to ensure the passion for our industry continues through strong leadership and I know you share my views on this! 😀Mark Hinder via LinkedIn Febr. 29, 2020


 

WOW, what a great statement by Morten B. Reitoft focussing the current challenges of the printing industry: ”However it’s time to create a change. Good leaders can create a demand and the needed change — too many accept a decreasing market without challenging that a major part of the down curve comes from lower prices less than decreasing demand ! I challenge that!“

Admittedly, #drupa2020 as the leading global trade fair for the print industry, like all of us, faces maximum challenges. So do we have to pull our heads down? Or stay silent and hope that everything will be done by itself soon? Hardly likely! In this respect, Morten’s thoughts and commitment are important. important for survival!

Because: Valuable communication about print as the basis of success has never been as important to all of us as it is right now and in the near future. If we take stock, it becomes clear that the classic ways in which we design communication — predominantly through push activities, i.e. sender-driven – hardly have any effect. Especially since the content is technically tailored to the needs of the sender. What we need are relevant messages and content that are based on the real market situation and even more on the needs of the individual.

 

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The INKISH concept for #drupa2020 therefore seems unbeatable to me: using the highest level of expertise of a powerful, international and interdisciplinary team, it builds a bridge between innovations, fresh ideas, constructive criticism, comments, reviews and specific needs. And with the help of real-time communication at the highest level!

The core questions are the following, which affect print shops around the world and their suppliers equally:

  • Is your business model flexible enough to adapt to the winds of change?
  • How can you benefit from state-of-the-art communication methodologies in a proper way?

The evaluation factors are characterized by three crucial keywords:

#measurable   

#noticeable   

#enriching

 


#Inglorious INKISH Team

INKISH Team Meeting in Kopenhagen: Richard Askam, Andreas Weber, Henrik Klem Lassen, Patrick Weltz, Ulf Sunnberg, Tobias G. Nielsen, Chris Jordan, Pat McGrew, Ziga Kovac, Jan Majnik


 

What makes INKISH so special and valuable?

I am sure there is a common sense:  crucial for success at #drupa2020 is the best global conversation you can get — in advance, during and after the trade show.

Therefore it’s possible become part of the unique INKISH Team Approach. And I am very proud of being part of it!

MY POV: Our #INGLORIOUSINKISHTEAM with an extraordinary expertise is able to cover #drupa2020 like never before: 55+ hrs. live broadcasting, showcasing 150+ exhibitors. The best: Anybody could subscribe to INKISH for free to use it and love it.

At least, I am also sure that our approach and USP could be your benefit. Some crucial information and key success factors:

  • INKISH is based on two innovative platforms: INKISH.TV and INKISH.News, which combine all assets of an avant-garde communication world in the digital age
  • quality leadership by INKISH through state-of-the-art conversation management (multilingual, multiperspectival, multimedial)
  • broadest spectrum in interactive storytelling, driven by an international expert team, covering all the relevant drupa topics
  • combining real-time video reporting with a massiv Social Media support; we have by fare the strongest impact on Social Media in the whole industry combined with the most profound experience
    • 100k+ direct contacts to top level experts and executives in 160+ countries around the globe via LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, XING
    • based on the results of drupa 2016 we expect during drupa 2020 more than 10m impressions preliminary via Twitter and LinkedIn
  • we are able addressing and interacting with almost all drupa visitors, exhibitors and mediators in real-time.
  • Last but not least: sustainability at its best! INKISH.News provides a dynamic online platform for collaborative publishing which will be joined with INKISH.TV delivering the best-in-class drupa archive.

 


Do you want to experience more?

Get in touch with Henrik Klem Lassen, INKISH’s smart Business Development Manager


 

Cool samples via LinkedIn

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https://www.linkedin.com/posts/reitoft_drupa2020-printingindustry-activity-6638518941918470146-dfbk

 

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https://www.linkedin.com/posts/reitoft_drupa2020-activity-6639106714526334976-SFq-

 


 

INKISH Logo

Morten Reitoft

Morten B. Reitoft, Founder and CEO of INKISH. Photo: Andreas Weber

 

By Andreas Weber

 


It is quite rare in the print industry to have constructive discussions on social media. Morten B. Reitoft shows that it can be done differently. His provocative POV on INKISH.News inspired by my current interview regarding the resignation of Dr. Ulrich Hermann, Chief Digital Officer at Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG, sparked a global debate. And that’s exactly what we need. Bravo!

Some stats for the very first 24h shows the importance:

  • a couple of thousands of readers for the full stories
  • more than 10k viewers plus many hundreds of interactions in real-tme on LinkedIn
  • around three dozend qualified comments which will be the bases for further sories

Here are excerpts from the current discussion on LinkedIn.


 

You should read the latest INKISH.News post by Morten B. Reitoft. It’s very valuable. It’s about: What if Heidelberg went out of business?

Morten actually posted on LinkedIn: “When almost the entire board has stepped down, a new board will most likely have to take an in-depth look into the strategy, and a new board rarely decides to adopt the previous board’s strategy without alterations. So it is not just about implementation – it is about developing a strategy that can be implemented and show it’s strength.” And attached a Link to his full story.

 


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Here is my comment. Pls. feel free to comment on your own.

 

Appreciate your POV, dear Morten. And hopefully its a real wake-up call 🙂

Some input from my side:

  1. The board was downsized with a view to the future, not replaced.
  2. The strategy is and has been approved by the Supervisory Board and its new chairman, a profound expert in corporate strategy, and is fully supported.
  3. The CEO and CFO must now implement the strategy, supported by a newly established executive committee with solid experience in business operations. The motto: execute!
  4. Subscription fully relates to offset printing. This is not about a new sales model, but about digital business model design options that help customers to focus on an improved go-to-market in partnership. Heidelberg takes on the risk and takes over the complete technology, supply and service management to increase the value and profit of the print shop — all based on IoT / Big Data, AI and automation.
  5. It is doubtful that subscription customers go bankrupt because business management is highly transparent and verifiable in real time. It could hardly be better.
  6. The target is of course to establish a new eco-system for print shops. That is why Heidelberg has purchased Crispy Mountain, puts its IT on cloud solutions and in the future relies on AI.
  7. You are right: Ink-Jet Printing is a main topic for the future. Heidelberg’s clear statement is that they generally rely on partnerships in digital printing. And Heidelberg has a lot of catching up to do here.
  8. I wouldn’t say that Heidelberg marketing is poor. Right now it’s different. Talk to the people at Heidelberg Digital Unit, headed by Sonja Mechling. They are amazing. But of course there is still a lot to do…
  9. At least: You are right, we need a new communication approach. Therefor it’s great to see how INKISH makes progress. Heidelberg and others could and should learn from.
  10. The real problem at Heidelberg is: Too high costs for factories in Wiesloch/Germany that are too large. This results in drastic measures that everyone wants to avoid. And this is associated with a cultural change, since you don’t have to stay a mechanical engineer but become a digital solution provider for print in the digital age.

PS: The market capitalization of Heidelberg went down (currently <200 m €). So the company is totally undervalued. — Sounds cynical, but could become a real scenario: Maybe HP or Xerox or even Koenig & Bauer or who ever will achieve Heidelberg (in the worst case to shut it down). Who knows?


 

A lot of others commented as well. This is great and exactly what we need to push things forward in the print industry!

 


 

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#Think!Paper — Edition 3, Vol. 3

Interview by Andreas Weber, Head of Value

 


It’s always a great pleasure to meet Jeroen van Druenen (fun included!). By chance you will meet him anyway: in Portugal, UK, Poland, the USA, Australia, Hongkong,.. and also sometimes (!) in Amsterdam. Haha! However in any case you will have a great conversation. There are not a lot like him around the globe. So read carefully what he has to tell us!


 

What is the beauty of print in the digital age?


Jeroen van Druenen: The beauty of print… The start of a good conversation. The attention prints get instead of an email. You see it happen every day. —  According to Erik B. Nordstrom (Co-President Nordstrom), their results were in part hurt by their decision to stop using printed direct mail to reach its customer for their loyalty program.

Even tech companies like Google and Facebook use print to communicate with their audience nowadays.

It’s there when you have time, it’s on your coffee table, ready to use. In DM we see (much) more ROI, and when it’s tailored and personalized the ROI will dramatically get higher.

And, yes, it’s more expensive than for example email but with much more revenues. And to be very clear, I am not against email, we embrace the digital age. We use it in a multi-channel way. We can automate a reaction on a personalized webpage to start a print job and vice versa. It’s not do this and don’t do that. No, it’s usage of every channel in every way.

Everything in the Mobile Age is so fast. Why is the adaption of digital printing technology innovations so slow? 


Jeroen van Druenen: Our industry has more fights.

  • Our industry is not sexy.
  • Our business partners are not digital savvys or they don’t understand the power of “personalized” print.
  • We need to educate our customers with more case studies, success cases etc.
  • We need to show that print in any form is sustainable and that we don’t pollute our environment.

What are the key drivers for a powerful & successful print service biz today and what will it be in the future?

Jeroen van Druenen: Key drivers to have a successful and profitable print service biz today are in my opinion the offering of multi-channel communications. By all means, printing as a service can be done everywhere. But adding value to paper is something different. Getting the right message for the right customer. Be relevant to them. Adding response mechanism to paper (purls/QR/AR etc.). And if you are relevant for the end customer it will be profitable for your customer and for your own company. So knowledge of marketing, knowledge of databases, knowledge how to get the information you want to use out of these databases, concepting, copy, design of all different channels etc.etc. And, yes, not every expertise is inside your company, so partner up with specialists to work together and built a strong relation with your customer.

Thank you very much for the great conversation!


 

About

 

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Good friends for many years: Jeroen van Druenen, Jacob Aizikowitz, former President of XMPie, Andreas Weber. Photo: Jannie van Druenen.

Jeroen van Druenen, CEO @ Jubels — print and more. Based in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. A privately held marketing communication service provider and printing company. With more than 25 years of experience in the Graphic Arts and Communications industry Jubels offers customers effective, on demand, integrated crossmedia communications.

Specialties: 1:1 marketing, crossmedia campaigns, printing – offset & digital, fulfillment activities, web to print applications, personalized url’s & images.

Jeroen van Druenen is also President of the XMPie Users Group and Board Member of the global Xerox Premier Partner network. And at least as one of the active members of the Think!Paper initiative, he is always giving great advice to all of us.

 


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#Think!Paper — the key facts at a glance

What we do

We evaluate and profile print and its proponents as an effective driving force for transformation – across all industries!

Our mission

We show, first and foremost, that print is by no means driftwood in an ocean of transformation (with Titanic-style effects) but rather a solid anchor for the ‘tsunamis in our heads’!

Our USP

  • We are bringing together the brightest minds to form interdisciplinary #Think!Teams with a global outlook.
  • We are building up the finest pool of expertise with a clear focus on interaction, discourse, customer experience and sustainable conversations.
  • We are reinforcing the bedrock of any successful ‘digital’ transformation – proficient, dynamic and meaningful communication.

Benefits for our partners

We help our partners make new and market-relevant discoveries that inspire them and inject new energy into their development.


 

 

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What does a brand mean to a consumer?
What does a consumer mean to a brand?

By Andreas Weber, Head of Value. |  German Version

Many brands boast that they “create worlds of experience for our customers.” The question I ask myself is: do brands still meet the momentum which really determines customer needs, or rather: customer satisfaction? Or does an increasingly enforced brand experience approach not just miss the mark, but create more frustration than enjoyment?

Preliminary remark: learn from the best! Before any initial questions can be answered, looking back will help to bring us forward (‘Back to the Future’ style). Apple is a prime example to learn from. In the mid-90s, the company was at an all-time low, almost to the point of bankruptcy. Despite this, they managed a turnaround. Today, Apple has been the world’s most valuable brand for years. How was this possible? — “Communication first” was a central statement of the legendary Steve Jobs at the ‘Apple confidential meeting’ on September 23, 1997. 

With the “Think Different” Campaign he launched shortly afterwards, he initiated a tremendous upheaval in the industrial industry. 10 years later, they went on to break the sound barrier with the release of the iPhone. Since then, Apple as been making a higher per capita profit than most companies in terms of per capita sales. 

Although Jobs emphasized that products, marketing and distribution are important, he put smart communication above all else and made it a top priority. With his iPhone presentation on January 9, 2007, he achieved an ad-hoc gain of around $1 billion (media coverage, share price growth) before the product was even on the shelves. The trick: Jobs personally demonstrated the new device in great detail, and thus made himself identifiable with his customers and their new experience possibilities. 

The credo: Smart Communication puts the central focus on the customer experience. This has made the pioneer Apple the number one premium brand to date. As an iCEO, Jobs was also a dedicated Chief Communications Officer, which enabled his ideas to become part of the DNA of Apple, its partners and, in particular, its customers. This is a principle to which other companies, such as Berkshire Hathaway by Warren Buffett or Virgin by Richard Branson presumably also owe their success.

 

 

In my opinion, Apple is by far the most capable Smart Communication Company — and that includes maximum loyalty to their customers around the globe. 

 


Personal note: Anyone who buys an Apple product can experience
this — I’ve just bought the new iMac 27” with a Retina 5K Display and a MagicTrackPad. From (online) procurement including leasing to
free-of-charge delivery, the incredibly easy setup (just unpacking the iMac is a beautifully designed experience) up to the iCloud registration following Apple’s welcome email — which offered the very best professional support — the new computer seamlessly became a part of both my personal and professional life. This includes marvelous surprises, numerous technical innovations and quality features at the highest level. In conclusion: benchmark!


 

So let’s ask ourselves:
What distinguishes customer experience from brand experience?

Learning from the best: If you take a closer look, Apple and many other of the world’s most valuable brands follow a similar principle. Google, Facebook, Amazon, Uber and Airbnb – all of which are highly successful companies of recent times – have internalized and practiced the customer experience principle. 

Experts like to claim that their success is due to the superior innovative platform business model. To an extent, in my opinion, this is true: exponential growth is possible with this model, as you are able to address millions, even billions, of customers directly. However, business model innovations, as well as new digital technologies, are ‘only’ a means to an end — and not necessarily a guarantee of success. 

Think different!

 

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Consideration 1

It is crucial to exploit the innovation and technology mechanisms in such a way that dialogues or conversations with customers take place in real time. This enables us to perfect services and create products that are tailored to the customer’s needs. Smart Communication ensures all of this!!

Consideration 2

The brand itself is no longer the center of attention; instead, it rather becomes a common vehicle for companies and customers. Mass Marketing becomes Customized Mass Marketing. The majority of established brand companies put their focus on brand experience in order to impress customers with the strongest possible brand impact. This is a way to impress your customers with the strongest possible brand experience and thus induce them to buy your products. However, the best case scenario in this: you end up covering your costs, but you can barely manage to grow profitably and organically or achieve double-digit margins.

Consideration 3

Reality is inevitable: customers often feel more and more disappointed if they feel that brands have lost personal contact with them.

 


 

Adobe’s study, Reinventing Loyalty: The New Loyalty Experience (Fall 2017) found that 75% of CMOs admit that customer loyalty/customer satisfaction need to be improved, or that they don’t even know what their customers are dealing with. “This clearly demonstrates that CMOs feel that there is huge room for improvement when it comes to implementing new loyalty dimensions.” 

 

In my opinion, these new “loyalty dimensions” are entrenched in “old” values: trust, satisfaction, and relatedness. These values also form the core of Smart Communication. 

In this context: The usual “digital” transformation efforts of many companies miss the point. Instead of focusing on customer experience, many companies focus instead on the optimization of internal processes. 

While these do save the company time and money, they tend to drastically increase time and effort for the customer. Personal, human-to-human consultation opportunities are thus almost impossible. Anyone who’s spent far too much time on hold knows what I’m talking about.

 

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Consideration 4

In my view, in order to avoid customer dissatisfaction and loss of loyalty, it is not necessarily a matter of changing qualifications, but of changing the mandate of those responsible for marketing. 

Why?

  • Brand experience puts the focus on buying. It mainly uses expensive media and creative services from third parties (although Nielsen reports that in Germany, Europe’s premium market in 2017, gross advertising expenditure declined in some cases, despite high growth in mobile advertising). The corresponding strategies and measures are aimed at, almost as if on a hunt, bombarding customers with advertising, anywhere, anytime. So-called bonus programs make the hunt all the more dynamic.
  • But: Customer Experience, on the other hand, relies on customer satisfaction and service, through methods of direct contact and dialogue. Customer Experience follows the principle of ‘Listen & Learn.’ Real-time capturing of customers experiences is used to continuously improve products and services. Communication and transaction are interlinked as closely as possible, preferably seamlessly. The credo: It’s all about interaction and relatedness by smart communication.

Consideration 5

The Brand Experience Principle no longer applies. Customer sensitivities and expectations can best be met with an individually-tailored Smart Communication architecture, which should be designed with a customer experience focus. 

If the Smart Communication strategy, which is so successful for Apple, is structured in a systemic way, adapted to your company, and precisely understood in detail, the essence of Smart Communication, you will be able to respond extremely quickly to individual customer needs. There is no other choice! ‘Communication first’ thus goes hand in hand with ‘Customer benefits first.’

 


 

Instructions 

  1. Think different! Put your current branding and customer experience strategies to the test and discuss your findings with others. 
  2. Rethink and critically assess the values of your company’s current communication approach and processes (i. e. via the ValueCheck questionnaire).
  3. Listen & Learn. Understand and use the insights that my White Paper on Smart Communication offers, including specific instructions for action and organizational models. 
  4. I am always available for further explanations and support.

 


 

About Andreas Weber, Founder and CEO of Value Communication AG
Since more than 25 years Andreas Weber serves on an international level as a business communication analyst, influencer and transformer. His activities are dedicated to the ‘Transformation for the Digital Age’ via presentations, management briefings, coachings, workshops, analysis&reports, strategic advice. — Andreas Weber’s Blog inspires readers from around 130 countries around the globe.

 


 

 


 

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Was bringt dem Kunden eine Marke?
Was fordert eine Marke dem Kunden ab?

Überlegungen von Andreas Weber, Head of Value | English Version

 

Marken schwärmen: „Wir schaffen Erlebniswelten für unsere Kunden.“ 

Die Frage, die sich mir stellt, lautet: Treffen Marken noch das Momentum, was Kundenbedürfnisse, oder besser: die Kundenbefindlichkeit, tatsächlich ausmacht? Oder führt eine zunehmend forcierte Brand Experience-Attitüde nicht am Ziel vorbei — schafft mehr Frust als Lust?

Vorbemerkung: Von den Besten lernen! — Bevor sich die Eingangsfragen beantworten lassen, tut ein Blick zurück nach vorne gut (’Back to the Future’). Apple ist ein Paradebeispiel, von dem wir lernen können. Mitte der 1990er Jahre im Dauertief, fast nahe der Pleite, gelang der Turnaround. Heute ist Apple seit Jahren die wertvollste Marke der Welt. Wie konnte das gelingen? — „Communication first“ war ein zentrales Statement des legendären Steve Jobs beim ‚Apple confidential meeting‘ am 23. September 1997. 

Mit der kurz darauf gestarteten, unendlich erfolgreichen „Think Different“-Kampagne leitete er einen gewaltigen Umbruch in der Industriegeschichte ein, um mit dem iPhone 10 Jahre später die Schallmauer zu durchbrechen. Apple macht seitdem einen höheren Pro-Kopf-Gewinn als die meisten Unternehmen Pro-Kopf-Umsatz. 

Jobs betonte, dass Produkte, Marketing und Distribution wichtig seien, stellte aber die ‚Smart Communication‘ über alles und machte sie zur Chefsache. Mit seiner iPhone-Präsentation am 9. Januar 2007 erzielte er ad-hoc einen Zugewinn von rund 1 Milliarde US-Dollar (Media-Coverage, Aktienkurszuwachs) ohne das Produkt schon verkaufen zu können. Der Kniff: Jobs führte das neue Gerät bis ins Detail persönlich vor und hat sich damit mit seinen Kunden und ihren neuen Erlebnismöglichkeiten identifizierbar gemacht. 

Das Credo: Smart Communication rückt die Customer Experience ins Zentrum und machte den Vorreiter Apple bis dato zur Premium-Marke Nummer 1. Als iCEO war Jobs zugleich auch ein engagierter Chief Communication Officer, um seine Vorstellungen Teil der DNA von Apple, seiner Partner und v. a. seiner Kunden werden zu lassen. Ein Prinzip, dem andere Unternehmen wie z. B. Berkshire Hathaway durch Warren Buffett oder Virgin durch Richard Branson vermutlich ebenfalls ihren Erfolg verdanken. 

 

 

Apple hat sich aus meiner Sicht mit Abstand als fähigstes Smart Communication-Unternehmen profiliert. Mit maximaler Loyalität bei Kunden rund um den Globus. 

 


Persönliche Anmerkung: Die Erfahrung kann jeder machen, der ein Apple Produkt kauft — so wie ich gerade den neuen iMac 27’’ mit Retina 5K Display und MagicTrackpad: Von der (Online-)Beschaffung inkl. Leasing bis zur Lieferung frei Haus, der kinderleichten Inbetriebnahme (allein das Auspacken des iMac ist ein Designerlebnis!), bis zu der iCloud-Anmeldung unmittelbar folgenden Welcome-Email von Apple — die Profi-Support anbot, der sogleich aufs Beste erfolgte — wurde in kürzester Zeit der neue Computer Teil meiner persönlichen Erlebnis- und Arbeitswelt. Mit wunderbaren Überraschungen dank zahlreicher Technik-Innovationen und Qualitätsmerkmalen auf höchstem Niveau. In Summe: Benchmark!


Fragen wir uns also:
Was unterscheidet Customer Experience von Brand Experience?

Von den besten lernen: Schaut man genau hin, verfolgen neben Apple auch andere der wertvollsten Marken der Welt ein ähnliches Prinzip: Google, Facebook, Amazon, Uber und Airbnb — alles überaus erfolgreiche Unternehmen der neueren Zeit, die das Customer Experience-Prinzip verinnerlicht haben und praktizieren. Von Experten wird gerne angeführt, der Erfolg liege am überlegenen innovativen Plattform-Geschäftsmodell. 

Aus meiner Sicht stimmt das zwar, weil exponentielles Wachstum möglich wird: man ist in der Lage, Millionen und Milliarden von Kunden direkt anzusprechen; aber Geschäftsmodell-Innovationen wie auch neue Digital-Technologien sind ‚nur’ Mittel zum Zweck — und per se keine Erfolgsgaranten.

Wir müssen also das Andere denken — Think different!

 

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Überlegung 1

Entscheidend ist, die Innovations- und Technologie-Mechanismen so auszunutzen, dass Dialoge respektive Konversationen mit Kunden in Echtzeit entstehen, um für die Perfektionierung von Services und Produkten nutzbar zu werden, die sich am individuellen Bedarf des Kunden ausrichten. Smart Communication stellt das sicher!

Überlegung 2

Die Marke selbst steht nicht mehr im Zentrum, sie wird quasi zum gemeinsamen Vehikel von Unternehmen und Kunden. Aus Mass Marketing wird Mass Customized Marketing. Legt man wie die Mehrzahl der etablierten Markenunternehmen den Fokus auf Brand Experience, um über die möglichst starke Strahlkraft der Marke per Mass Penetration Kunden zu beeindrucken und so zum Kaufen zu bewegen, kann man im besten Falle noch Kosten decken, aber kaum noch profitabel organisch wachsen oder zweistellige Margen erzielen.

Überlegung 3

Die Realität ist zwangsläufig: Kunden fühlen sich mehr und mehr enttäuscht, wenn Marken offensichtlich den persönlichen Kontakt zu Ihnen verloren haben. 

 



Adobe
hat in seiner aktuellen Studie „Reinventing Loyalty: The New Loyalty Experience“ (Herbst 2017) herausgefunden, dass 75 Prozent der CMO’s zugeben, dass bei Kunden-bindung/Kundenzufriedenheit Verbesserungsbedarf besteht bzw. dass sie gar nicht wissen, was ihre Kunden eigentlich beschäftigt. „This clearly demonstrates that CMOs feel that there is huge room for improvement when it comes to implementing the new loyalty dimensions.“


Die neuen ‚Loyalty Dimensions’ fußen meines Erachten auf ‚alten‘ gemeinsamen Wertvorstellungen, geprägt durch Vertrauen, Zufriedenheit, Verbundenheit (relatedness), die auch den Kern von Smart Communication ausmachen. 

In diesem Kontext zu beachten: Die üblichen ‚digitalen‘ Transformations-Bestrebungen führen am Ziel vorbei, da nicht Customer Experience, sondern die Optimierung unternehmensinterner Prozesse erfolgt, die dem Unternehmen Aufwand und Kosten sparen, den Aufwand beim Kunden aber drastisch erhöhen. Persönliche Rückfrage-Möglichkeiten von Mensch zu Mensch sind dann allzuoft kaum noch möglich.

 

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Überlegung 4

Um Unzufriedenheit und Loyalitätsverlust bei Kunden zu vermeiden, bedarf es aus meiner Sicht nicht unbedingt einer veränderten Qualifikation, sondern der Änderung des Auftrags der Marketing-Verantwortlichen. 

Warum?

  • Brand Experience legt den Fokus auf „buying“ und benutzt überwiegend kostspielige Medien und Kreativ-Leistungen Dritter (wobei wie Nielsen in Deutschland als Premiummarkt in Europa für das Jahr 2017 vermeldet, die Brutto-Werbeausgaben zum Teil rückläufig sind, trotz hohem Wachstum bei Mobile-Advertising). Die entsprechenden Strategien und Maßnahmen zielen darauf ab, Kunden ständig, fast wie auf einer Treibjagd, mit Werbebotschaften zu befeuern, anywhere, anytime. Sog. Bonusprogramm dynamisieren die Hetze erheblich.
  • Aber: Customer Experience setzt dagegen auf „serving & satisfying“ v. a. durch Direktkontakte und Dialoge. Customer Experience folgt dem Prinzip des ‚Listen & Learn‘. Die Echtzeit-Erfassung der Kundenerlebnisse wird genutzt, um Produkte und Services stetig zu verbessern. Kommunikation und Transaktion werden dabei so eng wie möglich, am besten nahtlos, verzahnt. — Credo: It’s all about interaction and relatedness by smart communication.

Überlegung 5

Das Brand Experience Prinzip führt nicht mehr weiter. Mit einer individuell zugeschnittenen Smart Communication-Architektur, die Customer Experience-fokussiert ausgestaltet wird, lassen sich Kundenbefindlichkeiten und Erwartungen am besten decken. Im Fokus: Great Conversations!

Wenn man die für Apple so erfolgreiche Smart Communication-Strategie systemisch strukturiert, aufs eigene Unternehmen adaptiert sowie im Detail das Wesen der Smart Communication exakt versteht, wird man extrem rasch auf individuelle Kundenbefindlichkeiten eingehen können. Es bleibt nämlich gar keine andere Wahl! ‚Communication first‘ geht dann einher mit ‚Customer benefits first‘.

 


 

Handlungsanweisungen 

  1. Think different! Stelle Deine aktuelle Branding- und Customer Experience-Strategie auf den Prüfstand und diskutiere Deine Erkenntnisse mit anderen.
  2. Überdenke und hinterfrage kritisch den Wert der gegenwärtigen Kommunikationspraxis in Deinem Unternehmen (gerne mithilfe des ValueCheck Fragenkatalogs).
  3. Listen & Learn: Verstehe und nutze die Insights, die mein White Paper zu „Smart Communication“ bietet, inkl. konkreten Handlungsanleitungen und Organisation-Modellen.
  4. Gerne stehe ich mit meinem reichen Erfahrungswissen für weitere Erläuterungen und Unterstützung zur Verfügung.

 


 

Über den Autor: Seit mehr als 25 Jahren engagiert sich Andreas Weber als international renommierter Business Communication Analyst, Coach, Influencer und Transformer. Seine Aktivitäten fokussieren sich auf ‚Transformation for the Digital Age’ via Vorträgen, Management Briefings, Workshops, Analysen & Reports, Strategic Advice. — Mit seinem Blog www.valuetrendradar.com inspiriert er Leser aus über 130 Ländern der Welt.

 


 

 


 

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