DI Wolfgang Anzengruber Chairman of the Management Board Verbund AG
Positioning of the brand and corporate strategy must blend into one.
1. How significant is the brand for your company management?
Very high. We have succeeded in establishing VERBUND as THE renewable electricity producer and innovative energy supplier in our primary markets of Austria and Germany. In Austria we are the most well-known energy brand and are spontaneously associated with hydropower.
2. How does the brand specifically help you to manage your company and make decisions?
One brand asset from the very beginning was our hydropower, although at the time we still also had a substantial amount from thermal generation. The consistent orientation of our strategy and brand, including all derived measures, resulted in generation that is now almost 100% CO2 free. Our innovative strength also has its roots in our brand and strategy; both support the accelerated development of innovative services and processes, e.g. for e-mobility, for green hydrogen applications, and for virtual power plants.
3. In your opinion, what are the misapprehensions of brand management that need to be avoided?
The brand is more than a logo or advertising cosmetics. The brand must permeate the entire business. It is not enough to simply employ a brand manager, you need to actively integrate all employees and managers. And it requires continuity; brand management isn’t an overnight success.
4. What advice would you give to other companies with regard to brand management?
More than anything else, brand management needs clear objectives which must be in line with those of the corporate strategy. Operative goals for managers and employees can be derived from this, and so you need time as well. Regular monitoring of the corporate strategy and brand positioning is reflected in the goals that have been fulfilled on the one hand, but also the need for adaptation in a changing environment on the other.
5. What company do you admire for its brand management?
Companies that have been able to repeatedly recharge a brand over many decades are remarkable, e.g. Coca-Cola. But also those whose brand becomes part of everyday language or a synonym for a whole product group, e.g. Uhu glue or “googling”.