German Brand and Design Congress Change – new horizons

11 November 2021

Porsche Museum in Stuttgart

Crises are tremendous catalysts for change. They cause old certainties to shift and new horizons to open up. The theme of this year’s German Brand and Design Congress is “Change – new horizons”.


Which branding and design concepts reach the minds and hearts when existential questions sharpen people's sense of the essential? It is these question that interdisciplinary experts from research and academia, successful brand management practitioners, agency creatives and, of course, the attendees from a wide range of industries and professions will be discussing and reporting on at the congress.


The central issue in these discussions is that of sustainability: how can companies be led successfully and sustainably in the future, both with regard to the protection of the environment and in terms of social responsibility and values? What do branding and design mean for a circular economy or for non-profit organisations? Only brands that actively address societal issues and initiate their own transformation processes can keep up with the times; a brand’s sense of purpose is becoming the barometer for its success.

Impressions of the German Brand and Design Congress 2021

Photos: Lutz Sternstein – phocst.com 

 

Lutz Dietzold, CEO German Design Council

 

 

Prof. Mike Richter, President German Design Council

 

 

Alexander Almerood, BioNTech Europe GmbH

 

 

Alexandra Vitt-Krauß, Bethmann Bank AG

 

 

Marcus Hinkel, Volocopter

 

 

Lisa Unkelhäußer, Bosch Climate Solutions

 

 

Hans Meier-Kortwig, GMK Markenberatung

 

 

Burkhard Remmers, Wilkening + Hahne GmbH+Co.KG

 

 

Samuel Waldeck, Shift

 

 

Ben Ellermann, Future of Voice

 

 

Dr Mehrnoush Rahmani, Siemens Mobility GmbH

 

 

Johann Laeschke Koto Berlin and Hannah Wickes, Ecosia

 

 

Martin Brandt, Erwin Hymer Group SE

 

 

Prof Oliver Grabes, P&G Grooming & Braun

 

Speakers

Alexander Almerood BioNTech Europe GmbH
Alexander Almerood BioNTech Europe GmbH
Director Marketing & Sales
People worked together to contribute to the fight against the pandemic. Find out more about this success story in a keynote with Mario Michael Schmidt from SLYHEALTH GmbH and Alexander Almerood from BioNTech. Vita

Alexander Almerood works in international business administration. He was a Product Manager at Teva ratiopharm for four years and then Head of Digital Marketing for a further two years. Subsequently, he developed multichannel marketing at Amgen and the neurology section at Celgene as Associate Marketing Director.

Alexander Almerood has been the Director of Marketing & Sales for BioNTech Europe in Germany since December 2020 and contributed to the successful launch of the COMIRNATY® mRNA Covid-19 vaccine in Germany.

Website
Martin Brandt Erwin Hymer Group SE
Martin Brandt Erwin Hymer Group SE
CEO
As the world's leading manufacturer of recreational vehicles, we stand by our economic, ecological and social responsibility. Individual leisure experiences are only possible in an intact natural environment. This must be preserved and protected. For us, responsibility means not doing business at any price. We always act in accordance with ethical principles and fulfil our social responsibility with numerous projects. Vita

Martin Brandt has been CEO of Erwin Hymer Group SE since 2015. His professional background includes the following areas: corporate development, the construction-related project business, the development of growth strategies and emerging markets. In addition, there are special focuses on the topics of innovation and technology. Martin Brandt has extensive international experience and was Chief Operating Officer at ZUMTOBEL GROUP and Executive Vice President at ASSA ABLOY AG.

Martin Brandt studied industrial engineering at the Technical University of Karlsruhe.

Website
Ben Ellermann Future of Voice
Ben Ellermann Future of Voice
CEO
“AI assistants are no longer a niche, avant-garde phenomenon in 2021. Rather, they are an established element of our day-to-day digital life. It is time for brands to accept their audio brand as an integral element and develop them with lasting effect.” Vita

Ben is the Managing Director of Future of Voice, an agency for voicebots and chatbots in Berlin. He has held various digital specialist and leadership roles in the field of digital transformation for almost 15 years now. In addition to posts at the Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung, the Talanx Group and customer management contractor buw, Ben has worked for the MUUUH! Group, of which Future of Voice is a member, for four years. His specialities are developing customised digital customer journeys and conversational AI. Ben is also an active speaker, lecturer and panellist on Germany’s digital scene.

 

 

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Prof. Oliver Grabes P&G Grooming & Braun
Prof. Oliver Grabes P&G Grooming & Braun
Design Vice President
"Values often determine the outcome not only in a society, but also in companies. The importance of sustainable value systems that serve as a guideline and lead people and brands credibly through times of crisis is correspondingly high. Well thought-out, durable products that are as sustainable as possible provide a better response to the challenges of the present and the future - an attitude that has shaped Braun's understanding of product development since the company was founded 100 years ago." Vita

Oliver Grabes has headed Braun's design department since 2009. Having grown up in a household with many Braun products, he has long been convinced of clear, durable product design: for him, good design is simple, functional, aesthetic and as sustainable as possible.

Building on Braun's extraordinary design past, he and his team developed a modern design language that appropriately and successfully translates the brand's values back into today's world. The result is a new generation of innovative Braun products that have won over 150 international design awards in the last 10 years. 

After studying product design at the HfG Offenbach, he worked in Germany, Holland, England and the USA. He creates a variety of products and product systems for international brands and start-ups, whose often complex technology only becomes comprehensible to the user through thoughtful design and enables the longest and most positive user experience possible. In addition to his work at Braun and P&G, he teaches as an honorary professor at the University of Wuppertal in the department of industrial design.

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Marcus Hinkel Volocopter
Marcus Hinkel Volocopter
Head of Marketing & Brand Management
"Volocopter is leading the way for an alternative and innovative form of sustainable transportation: electric urban air mobility (UAM). Volocopter is doing so by developing, launching, and operating a fully integrated ecosystem of urban air mobility services, complementing the current mobility mix by an aerial option. Through its purely electrically powered aircraft, Volocopter is part of the electrification of transportation and thus also a driver of a zero-emission future mobility. The holistic approach of the VoloIQ UAM platform will enable people to travel safely in the urban environment in a sustainable, convenient, time-saving, and cost-effective manner." Vita

Since 2019, Marcus Hinkel is responsible for the development of the international brand strategy, marketing and brand communication as well as brand design as Head of Marketing & Brand Management at the air cab pioneer Volocopter. Volocopter is a global pioneer for one of the most innovative forms of sustainable transportation: electric urban air mobility (UAM). Volocopter develops and operates a fully integrated ecosystem for urban air mobility services that will complement the current mobility mix of major cities.

In 1993, Marcus Hinkel founded the communications agency HINKEL360, and in 2001 the digital agency IXTACY. With over 50 permanent employees, it is one of the first agencies in Baden-Württemberg. Marcus Hinkel has advised and provided communications support for over 120 national and international brands. Customers included Mercedes-Benz Special Vehicles, Michelin, Hager Group, SEW-Eurodrive, Pfizer, Weber Haus. After an interesting offer for the sale of his two agencies, Marcus Hinkel had sold both companies in 2018 and wanted to cultivate his hobbies. The call from one of the Volocopter founders - Alexander Zosel - changed everything. To develop a startup for electric urban air mobility services into a global brand, he did not want to miss this unique opportunity. Since 2019, Marcus Hinkel is Head of Marketing & Brand Management at Volocopter.

Website
Johann Laeschke Koto Berlin
Johann Laeschke Koto Berlin
Managing Director
"Sustainability is luckily a must have for every brand today. For Koto this means we have to consider what implications this has on developing brand assets for our clients. The materials, production and also the approach to any digital touchpoints in terms of accessibility and loading times is always top of mind for the work we do." Vita

Johann Laeschke (45) has been Managing Director of Koto since spring 2021. His goal is to further expand the Berlin location. Laeschke comes from the creative agency B-Reel, where he first joined as Managing Director in 2018 and then additionally developed and managed the global business for major US clients such as Google. Previously, he served as Project Lead at Viacom, Head of Marketing and Sales at Scoyo, Group Account Director at AKQA and General Manager at Virtue/VICE Germany. During this time he worked for premium brands such as LVMH, Richemont, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Nike, Zalando or Google in strategy, design development and marketing consulting. In parallel, Johann Laeschke gained experience as a successful start-up founder.

 

About Koto

KOTO was co-founded in 2015 by Carolin Matthews (Founder & Managing Director), James Greenfield (Founder & Creative Director) and Jowey Roden (Founder & Creative Director). Today, KOTO has 65 strategists, designers and copywriters with studios in Los Angeles, London and Berlin. Cities that set global standards with their creative talent. KOTO brings the international perspective to all projects - whether for Airbnb, BlaBlaCar, Paypal, Sonos or Venmo. Always unique, always strategic, always positive and for all channels.

Website
Hans Meier-Kortwig GMK Markenberatung
Hans Meier-Kortwig GMK Markenberatung
CEO
»If design is really thought out and developed from within the brand, if it is part of the brand strategy, it will last for a long time. Long-term oriented brand management makes brands more efficient and thus more sustainable.« Vita

Hans Meier-Kortwig has been a brand consultant with a passion for over 25 years. He studied business administration and design management at the University of Cologne and the London Business School. In 2006, he founded GMK Markenberatung in Cologne. As its managing director, in recent years he has supported brands such as Bosch, Deutsche Vermögensberatung, Gaggenau, Siemens and the BMW Group in all brand-relevant disciplines - from brand strategy, brand design and brand implementation to brand management and brand controlling.

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Dr Mehrnoush Rahmani Siemens Mobility GmbH
Dr Mehrnoush Rahmani Siemens Mobility GmbH
Head of Mireo regional train platform
At Siemens Mobility we have developed the Mireo regional train platform in order to fulfill the essential customer requirements, i.e., lower energy consumption, lower Life Cycle Cost, high flexibility for interior and IT requirements and a fast time to market. With Mireo we created a modular train platform that addresses all four main requirements perfectly and furthermore it is extensible for further markets such as non-electrified tracks with environmentally friendly power systems, e.g., the hydrogen technology. Mireo has won the German Sustainability Award Design 2021 last December, which confirms its sustainable and future-oriented design. We believe that commuter trains will play a very important and sustainable role in the future mobility and that we shall flexibly react to new market requirements. Therefore, from my point of view, platform-based solutions will be essential to create flexibility and fast delivery to the customers. Vita

Mehrnoush Rahmani is the technical lead of the Mireo platform at Siemens Mobility. Together with the Mireo team, she develops and maintains the platform solutions and represents the platform module kit to all stake holders. Before taking over the platform lead Mehrnoush led the TrainIT platform at Siemens Mobility and developed the passenger IT equipment. Mehrnoush has studied electrical engineering and information technology at Technische Universität München and did her PhD at BMW Group where she spent the first years of her career life.

Website
Burkhard Remmers Wilkening + Hahne GmbH+Co.KG
Burkhard Remmers Wilkening + Hahne GmbH+Co.KG
Head of International Communications and Public Relations
“Whether different stakeholders or shareholders, the perception and charisma of a brand will in future depend on how much it pursues a credible, purposeful vision between the conflicting priorities of people, profit and planet.” Vita

Burkhard Remmers, whose academic background is in history and German literature and linguistics, has been Head of International Communication and Public Relations at Wilkhahn since 1995. The office furniture manufacturer has won not only prestigious design awards, but also the German Environmental Award. As the author of international trade publications, book contributions and presentations, Remmers is considered an expert on the links between health, collaboration, identity and purpose in the context of workplace design.

Website
Mario Michael Schmidt SLYHEALTH GmbH
Mario Michael Schmidt SLYHEALTH GmbH
Managing Partner, Co-Founder, Head of Creative & Innovation
People worked together to contribute to the fight against the pandemic. Find out more about this success story in a keynote with Mario Michael Schmidt from SLYHEALTH GmbH and Alexander Almerood from BioNTech. Vita

Mario Michael Schmidt is a multiple national and international award-winning creative with over 20 years of experience in leading international advertising agencies. He has spent the last 14 years in senior positions at major healthcare agencies, such as CDM World Agency, TBWA World Health and inVentiv Health Europe. In 2020, he co-founded Dopamine Healthcare Communication. Dopamine skyrocketed and accompanied one of the most important product launches in recent history.

 

 

Website
Lisa Unkelhäußer Bosch Climate Solutions
Lisa Unkelhäußer Bosch Climate Solutions
Senior Partner
Design & sustainability are linked strongly together. Therefore sustainable design is a foundation for Bosch. Right from the product development stage everything is about improving people's quality of life, minimize the impact on the environment and work always resource-efficiently. Vita

After her Bachelor's degree in "International Business Management" with international experience in Abu Dhabi and Hungary, Lisa started her career at IBM Sales in 2012. After business development with cloud startups, she took over the key account management function for industrial companies, where she was able to deepen her expertise around the electronics, automotive and manufacturing industries, as well as with technologies such as IoT, AI, Analytics but also core IT know-how around SAP and data center transformations. In 2017, Lisa joined IBM's Cybersecurity department and took responsibility for the Cybersecurity Channel team in Austria, Switzerland and Germany. In 2021, she moved to the Bosch Group and took on the role as Senior Partner of Bosch Climate Solutions and now works with their customers on sustainability and climate strategies. She is also a member of the Bitkom Industry 4.0 working group and is involved in the Industry 4.0 platform.

Website
Alexandra Vitt-Krauß Bethmann Bank AG
Alexandra Vitt-Krauß Bethmann Bank AG
Head of Communications & Marketing
“Successful brands always radiate from within – their brand essence includes a clear vision, their corporate strategy, their positioning and their corporate culture. However, a brand only becomes invincible when it can offer a deeper sense of purpose that speaks to people personally.” Vita

Alexandra Vitt-Krauss has been responsible for branding, communication and strategic marketing at Bethmann Bank, a subsidiary of the Netherlands’ ABN AMRO Bank N.V., since 2019. She is a member of the bank’s internal sustainability board and, simultaneously, an international e-commerce team. Vitt-Krauss studied at the Universities of Bielefeld and Cologne. After obtaining a degree in economics, she spent the first few years of her career as an executive research assistant for the chair of finance. She built up the digital communication for the Association of German Banks during the mid 1990s before becoming Head of Corporate Communication & Media at private bank Sal. Oppenheim in 1999. After this heritage-filled institution was acquired by Deutsche Bank, she was also given the task of heading up marketing for wealth management at Deutsche Bank.

 

 

Website
Carsten and Samuel Waldeck Shift
Carsten and Samuel Waldeck Shift
Founder
"We often only see the sunny side of the technological change. So let's take a look at its downsides and consider what a fair shift might look like." Photo: Jérome Gerull Vita

Carsten Waldeck is a designer, philosopher and inventor from Hesse. Carsten obtained a degree in communication design from Darmstadt University of Applied Sciences in 1999. In addition, he studied computer science and philosophy in Marburg and worked as a research assistant in “mobile information visualisation” at the Fraunhofer Institute, publishing scientific articles about his “Liquid Browsing” invention and other innovative creations in the field of interaction.

Samuel Waldeck is a designer from Hesse. Samuel received his degree in audiovisual media from the Academy of Media Arts Cologne in 2006. Afterwards, he worked as a designer for aid organisation ora Kinderhilfe international e. V. and later for Dr. Schumacher GmbH.

The two brothers founded SHIFT GmbH together in 2014 and continue to lead the company. In 2016, the start-up presented the SHIFTPHONES m series, a sustainable smartphone and also the world’s most modular. SHIFT GmbH operates as a 100% social business without any investors. Its main goal is to maximise purpose and values rather than profit.

 

 

Website
Hannah Wickes Ecosia
Hannah Wickes Ecosia
Chief Marketing Officer
"Ecosia is a regenerative company, rather than a climate neutral one. Given the severity of the climate crisis, “climate neutrality” and “sustainability” have become inadequate goals. Ecosia is powered by 200% renewable energy - we aren’t just producing enough solar energy to power our searches, we are also putting clean energy back into the grid. We are also carbon negative as we remove much more CO2 than we emit, thanks to the trees we plant and protect. Ecosia wants to shift the paradigm: Neutrality is out. Regeneration is the future." Vita

Hannah Wickes is the Chief Marketing Officer at Ecosia, the search engine that plants trees. Focused on building and executing an ethical marketing strategy that crosses brand marketing, paid and earned media, content, and green-centric business development, Hannah and her team are strengthening Ecosia’s position as a pioneering social business that has funded the planting of more than 135 million trees. Prior to Ecosia, Hannah managed various business development and marketing activities at one of Germany’s largest startups, Trivago, and before that worked as a producer and journalist for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation and Triple J.

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Host

Dr Ines Marbach
Dr Ines Marbach
"Climate knowledge is the key to climate action! Today, sustainability is more topical and necessary than ever if we want to minimize the social, ecological and, not least, economically devastating consequences of climate change. That is why I am particularly committed to raising awareness about climate protection." Vita

Dr Ines Marbach holds a PhD in environmental science and is a specialist moderator for sustainability. Before setting up her own business as a freelance moderator in 2016, she worked in higher education for many years. Intially as a student and research assistant of the master's programme "International Information Management" at the University of Hildesheim, where she engaged in the lugistic studies of the languages German, English, Spanish and French. Due to her journalistic inclinations, she chose to specialise in media studies and politics. After successfully completing her studies, she was offered the opportunity to start writing her PhD dissertation. Following her interests as an environmentalist, she chose the field of environmental sciences. Under the title "Cultures and Climate Change: An Empirical Investigation of Climate Awareness of German and Spanish Students", she examined the climate awareness of German and Spanish students as part of her doctorate. After the successful completion, she has been eligible to use the title "Dr. phil". since June 2016. Since then, Ines Marbach has been a popular presenter at congresses, events, trade fairs, award ceremonies and galas related to sustainability and climate protection. She has also presented programmes on German television and is the presenter of the YouTube series "Grüner wird's nicht" (It's not getting any greener), where she interviews people and companies who present innovative ideas in the field of climate protection.

 

 

Partners 2021

Design, brands and what drives them: The German Brand and Design Congress.

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