Highly committed people who make success possible are always to be found behind a major brand. This year the German Design Council honours Bernhard Maier, Chairman of the Management Board of ŠKODA, as Brand Manager of the Year.
Continuously increasing sales figures, an incisive design and excellent popularity ratings distinguish the ŠKODA brand from its competitors. During an interview, Bernhard Maier provided more details of the branding activity which was completely rebooted at the beginning of 2016. "The result has been an unmistakeable offering which our customers can see everywhere – in our products, in the showrooms, in the communication – right through to our sponsoring activities. Simply put, right along the customer journey."
During the interview Bernhard Maier stressed the visibility of the 122 year history of this tradition-rich Czech company for which completely new prospects were opened when it was taken over by Volkswagen. Since that time ŠKODA has also accepted new development responsibilities within the Group. The brand positioning is well received not only in Europe but also in Asia: "Nowadays ŠKODA represent smart understatement. Increasing numbers of customers are to be found in this value set. A further point is the new, expressive and modern design idiom which emphasises the attractiveness of our products" is how Maier describes the current strengths of the brand – and also refers to "Strategy 2025" which was used not only to give an edge to the design strategy but which also defines clear growth objectives. The plans seem already to be bearing fruit, as demonstrated by the active interest in the two new SUVs, the KODIAQ and the KAROQ. "The timing couldn't be better for our SUV offensive. But we are also confronted by some serious challenges – at the present time we are examining ways of increasing our production so that we can quickly satisfy the demand," stated Maier when describing the tasks which accompany success.
The extensive interview with Bernhard Maier can be found in the catalogue of the Automotive Brand Contest 2017 which contains detailed information on all award-winners and topics. A pdf of the interview can be downloaded from the following link: www.automotive-brand-contest.de/interview.html.