Best Brands 2020


Best Brands College

In order to underline the informative aspect of Best Brands, prior to the evening’s award ceremony is a congress during the day. At the Best Brands College 2020 high-profile speakers discussed the overriding topic of “Purpose as the new currency – How companies are positioning themselves as successful future brands with value-oriented brand management”.


Best Brands College 2020

House of Communication Munich
Brienner Straße 45 a-d
80333 Munich

19. February 2020
Get Together: 9 am

Agenda 2020

Kristin Rau


Kristin Rau, Deputy Head Innovation & Success, WirtschaftsWoche


Beat Balzli

The business of making the world a better place – or why earning money can no longer be called earning money

Beat Balzli, Editor-in-Chief, WirtschaftsWoche

The financial crisis, climate crisis, housing crisis and greedy managers have damaged capitalism and the market is struggling with an image problem. Reinforced by a new generation seeking meaningful work opportunities, companies are coming under increasing pressure. They have to change, explain their raison d’être and be more than mere profit machines if they want to attract the best employees – and remain credible to their customers.

Thomas Gries

Purpose-driven brands need leadership, trust and freedom

Thomas Gries, Managing Director of Member Service, Markenverband

In his talk, Thomas Gries takes the position that a brand without a stance or clearly recognisable brand core is lacking essential attributes to be perceived by consumers in the long term and to secure a sustainable future for itself. This is not a new phenomenon. Brands with a long tradition have always had a relevant purpose that they have been able to clearly convey to their fans – and without it, they would no longer be on the market today. If brands want to achieve long-term success, they need trust, credibility and differentiation, as well as framework conditions in which to develop freely.

Mathias Friedrichs

The new consumers – what is driving the fridays for future generation?

Mathias Friedrichs, Director Consumer Insights, GfK

Ever since schoolchildren and students went on strike to demand action and prevent climate change as part of the “Fridays for Future” movement, the subject of environmental protection has been on everyone’s lips. But only 26% of the young generation are also prepared to make sacrifices for the benefit of the environment. So what is driving these young consumers? To what extent do their attitudes actually influence their consumer behaviour? And what repercussions is this target group having on society as a whole? We will be answering these and other questions in our talk. This will provide you with a basis on how to best address the “Fridays for Future” generation and align your communication in a way that is in tune with the times.

Cawa Younosi

Employee happiness: a flirtation between mathematics and cultural change

Cawa Younosi, HR Head Germany, SAP

“Change is the new normal” + “an aversion to change” = employee satisfaction. Surely not! Or maybe? Europe’s most valuable brand, Germany’s best employer, #1 DAX company in terms of market capitalisation, #49 of the most valuable companies in the world. There is no magic behind all that, but a system. Why people are the key and what kind of mindset is the catalyst will be explained by Cawa Younosi in his keynote.

Uwe Schmidt

#voranbringen (moving forward) – how Bayer is emotionalising its purpose

Uwe Schmidt, Head of Corporate Brand & Reputation Management, Bayer

Long before everyone started talking about “purpose”, Bayer had clearly formulated its own purpose for employees and society and, more importantly, also put it into practice. The analysis of attitudes in Germany towards scientific research and innovation in general, and towards the pharmaceutical and agricultural industries in particular, have revealed the need to place a greater emphasis on this purpose. This talk will highlight the most important aspects.

Michael Durach

Corporate Responsibility - Learning from Best Cases: Develey

Michael Durach, Managing Director, Develey

Michael Durach attaches great importance to making the company fit for the future. In addition to the strategic regional focus, this also includes showing responsibility for the environment. Since 2008 the Bavarian company has been implementing its successful sustainability concept – for which it received the German Sustainability Award in 2020. Find out how traditional company Develey is asserting its position on the market with a regional business model and setting itself up for the future with sustainability as its differentiating feature.


Corporate Responsibility - Learning from Best Cases: dm

Managing Director, dm

Every individual has a responsibility when it comes to sustainability. Since German drugstore chain dm-drogerie markt was founded, this attitude has been firmly embedded in the company’s philosophy and is also supported by its more than 41,000 employees nationwide on a daily basis. Global phenomena like climate change, digitalisation and changes to Germany’s demographic development are presenting companies and people with major challenges in living up to this responsibility and pursuing it in a future-oriented way. Kerstin Erbe will be showing how dm is dealing with the changes to ensure that it can continue making a difference in the future.


Purpose – Marketing catchword or driver of change?

Panel session with Ronald Focken, Managing Partner Serviceplan Group, Dr. Martell Beck, Head of Marketing & Sales BVG, and Sabine Schmittwilken, Head of Global Brand Management & Social Media innogy

The word “purpose” is on everyone’s lips right now. But is it just another empty marketing buzzword? Where do we draw the line between that and “purpose-washing”? And can purpose marketing even make a difference? During a panel session, these and other questions will be discussed by Ronald Focken, Managing Director of the Serviceplan Group, together with Dr Martell Beck, Head of Marketing & Sales at the Berliner Verkehrsbetrieben (BVG), the city-owned municipal transport operator of Berlin, and Sabine Schmittwilken, Head of Global Brand Management & Social Media at Innogy.


Do it differently – maintain a clear stance! What really defines a strong brand these days

Clarissa Moughrabi, Head of Market Research, Axel Springer

As consumers, we are currently longing for orientation, reliability and security, especially because we are living in a time of individualisation. We are looking for things we can identity with and brands and companies have to offer us that by taking a clear stance – if they don’t want to neglect the consumers’ needs and fall by the wayside. Without values, brands and companies are replaceable if they are lacking in character and purpose. An image has to be cultivated and strengthened, and it takes a long time to raise the profile. Find out why strong brands attract each other, why native advertising has been able to triumph, why brand showcasing is not a relevant topic – and what all of that has to do with attitude.

Peter Christmann

Advertise and save the planet in the process – with Media4Planet

Peter Christmann, founder of Media4Planet

It sounds so simple – and that’s because it is: with one of the core value creation processes of the media industry – communication – Media4Planet is the world’s first media model that enables the private sector to support the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. The proceeds from its activity are used to help protect our planet. ProSiebenSat.1 is already on board as the first media partner. In his short talk, Peter Christmann, co-founder of Media4Planet, will explain how the model works in practice and also highlight the other benefits it offers advertisers.

Bachér und Heise

The channel jungle in media planning – radio and podcasts as an opportunity for value-oriented comunication

Frank Bachér, Managing Director of Digital Media, RMS Radio Marketing Service and Nele Heise, media researcher

Podcasts are an important driver of the highly exciting online audio growth we are currently seeing. For listeners and advertisers, there are countless possibilities for individual content. Due to an abundance of formats and contents, target groups can be appealed to in a very targeted way. This is reflected for example in the currently very relevant topic of sustainability. Frank Bachér, Head of Digital Media at RMS, and Nele Heise, freelance media researcher, will be pooling their expertise in this field in an inspiring talk and discussing the opportunities and potential of value-oriented communication in the audio sector.