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Strength in diverse economy behind steady growth

by David Roth

History of excellence fuels leading German brands



I am delighted to introduce you to the inaugural WPP BrandZ™ Top 50 Most Valuable German Brands ranking.


This pioneering study ranks the country’s most successful brands, analyzes their strengths, and identifies the key forces behind brand growth in Germany. It is the first edition of an annual review that will track and anticipate the evolving environment for brands in Germany, and will chart and explain the changing fortunes of the country’s most valuable brands.


We are incredibly excited to be bringing the BrandZ study to Germany. This is the largest economy in the European Union and the fourth-largest in the world.


In a world rippling with uncertainty, we have come to regard Germany as the ballast that keeps Europe steady. While the geopolitical landscape shifts all around it, Germany just keeps on going doing what it does best: inventing, exporting, creating jobs and gradually growing. And winning World Cup finals.


Germany is also home to a long line of successful and enduring local brands that have become global household names.


The original Eau de Cologne, 4711, dates back to the 1700s, and many of Germany’s famous brewers have been using the same recipes for even longer than that. In this inaugural Top 50 ranking, we see clearly the breadth of the German economy and the extent of its people’s expertise, represented by names as varied as ALDI, NIVEA, Beck’s, DHL, Deutsche Bank, Schwarzkopf and adidas.


Germany itself has become synonymous with the design and engineering of the many automotive brands it has produced; names like BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Audi and Porsche. These are brands that have made consumers all over the world willingly pay a premium for “Vorsprung durch Technik”, without even knowing quite what it meant. Similarly, Hugo Boss, Siemens and Bosch haven’t just taken great products and services to the world; they have exported what Germany itself represents.


The strength of the powerful relationship between “Brand Germany” and the brands of Germany comes under the spotlight in a special feature in this report. We draw on exclusive data and analysis from the annual “Best Countries” research done by Y&R’s BAV Group, with Partners US News and the Wharton Business School. This data shines a light on how country of origin affects German brands, and the power of “Brand Germany” in the mind of the modern global consumer.


We also present market wisdom and cutting insights of experts from WPP companies all over Germany, through extensive Thought Leadership and Best Practices essays. There are succinct, action-led recommendations for brands seeking growth in Germany based on our expert analysis of the market; see our Cross-Category Trends and Key Take Aways for our take on how the market is evolving.


There is detailed analysis of the Top 50 ranking: how the most valuable made it to the top, and the work that must be done to build future value both for those brands in the list, and those that are yet to achieve the scale required to make the Top 50. And we offer a thumbnail sketch of each of the BrandZ Top 50 Most Valuable German Brands, describing both who they are and how they relate to this highly sophisticated and increasingly ad-resistant consumer market.


All of this is presented alongside the specially commissioned photographs of Cecilie Ostergren, who has captured the essence of modern Germany in her stunning shots.


Whether you’re a German brand or a global name, a start-up or a sector stalwart, in this report you’ll find knowledge and insight to help you grow more effectively in Germany – and beyond.


For us at WPP, there is special significance in launching a BrandZ ranking of German brands. Germany is WPP’s fourth-largest market, after the US, the UK and China, and it’s a market we see as a long-term investment. It’s also a market on which we plan to place more emphasis in the future, following the UK’s referendum decision to leave the European Union.


We are therefore expanding our business here, having recently acquired the Hamburg-based creative agency group thjnk AG[JB1] , which specializes in advertising, design and corporate publishing. We have also opened an office in Berlin of OgilvyOne Worldwide, in response to rising demand for customer engagement and digital marketing services. And, in 2016, WPP company POSSIBLE Worldwide agreed to take a majority stake in the full-service digital agency Conrad Caine, based in Munich.


We have increased the number of people in WPP in Germany by around 1,000 people in the past year and a half. Today, over 8,000 people work for WPP in Germany, providing advertising, marketing, insight, media, digital, shopper marketing and PR expertise. It’s part of our global presence in 112 countries. By linking all this talent, creativity, wisdom, and horizontality, we amplify global trends and insights that help our clients in useful and unique ways.


If you enjoy this report, we invite you to browse our extensive BrandZ™ library. This year, the range of publications includes just-released inaugural Top 50 rankings of the most valuable UK and French brands, along with our first ranking of the Top 30 Most Valuable Spanish Brands. These titles join our long-running annual studies: BrandZ™ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands, BrandZ™ Top 100 Most Valuable Chinese Brands, and BrandZ™ Top 50 Most Valuable Indonesian Brands.


To download these and other reports, please visit www.BrandZ.com. For the interactive BrandZ™ mobile apps go to www.BrandZ.com/mobile.


At WPP, we’re passionate about using our creativity to create and build strong, differentiated brands that deliver lasting shareholder value. To learn more about how to apply our experience and expertise to benefit your brand, please contact any of the WPP companies that contributed expertise to this report.



Sincerely, David Roth

WPP droth@wpp.com

Twitter: davidrothlondon

Blog: www.davidroth.com