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Dr. Marcus Lingel
Chairman of the Executive Board
Merkur Privatbank

It would be a mistake to define the brand at some point and then, come what may, leave it as it is. A brand must be alive. A brand is not a hard fact.

How important is the brand for the management of your company?

The brand is very important for the management of MERKUR PRIVATBANK. For us, the brand is linked to the vision. Specifically, our brand contributes to achieving our vision.

Our vision is: We want to become the largest and most profitable owner-managed bank in Germany by 2030. In principle, we have given ourselves a growth mandate with this. This is an internal vision. Every one of our employees knows this goal and we regularly push this message.


How does the brand concretely help you to manage your company and make decisions?

For us, the brand is above our vision. The above-mentioned growth mission from the vision helps us to realise our brand. The claim and brand essence that we communicate to our customers of MERKUR PRIVATBANK is: Unique entrepreneurial banking.

The brand essence forms the framework to which we and every employee can orient ourselves. Linked to this is also the creation of a mindset that is used for decision-making.

I can specify this with an example. We have also given ourselves the growth mission in asset management. The brand serves to differentiate our products. Thus, we have offers that are located at the top of the service pyramid and products that offer an excellent standard service. So to speak a “full version” and a “slimmed-down version”. Ideally, however, our customers feel that they receive top performance in any case. According to my mindset, top performance is a natural add-on for us.


In your opinion, what are the mistakes in brand management that should be avoided?

It would be a mistake to define the brand at some point and then, come what may, leave it as it is. A brand must be alive. A brand is not a hard fact.

A living brand continues to develop, becomes sharper and sharper and thus better and better. We at MERKUR PRIVATBANK have also noticed this ourselves: the brand development process has obliged us in our decisions. It has helped us to focus on certain areas.

This focus on the brand core has given us growth momentum: despite the difficult economic environment for many other banks at the moment, we generated our best result ever in 2021 and hired 80 new employees. I am sure that the brand plays a role in this positive development.


What advice would you give other companies for brand management?

My clear recommendation: build a brand. It seems to me that many other companies don’t do that at all.

I also recommend clearly communicating the brand values internally. Values must first be lived internally by all employees, as well as the management team, of course. The myth must be created internally and then communicated externally.


Which company do you admire for its branding?

There are a few. I spontaneously think of BMW, Porsche or Adidas. At BMW, the brand message is “Joy of driving”. That is the great internal myth. There is enthusiasm for the product. When I talk to BMW employees, the enthusiasm and loyalty to the brand is striking.

Another great example is the HIPP company. As an owner-managed company, HIPP is comparable to us, the MERKUR PRIVATBANK. At HIPP, the owners also stand up for the entrepreneurial values, for the brand essence. I don’t do it any differently. When there are such guardians and credible representatives of the values, it increases the credibility of the brand.



Dr. Marcus Lingel is Chairman of the Executive Board and personally liable partner of MERKUR PRIVATBANK KGaA, which has its headquarters in Munich. He is responsible for sales in the business areas of investment and financing at MERKUR PRIVATBANK. He also heads the Human Resources, Legal and Treasury departments and is responsible for public relations.


The interview was held on January, 19th, 2022.