Creating Relevance: How Brands Add Value
All companies have a brand whether they want one or not. So how can brands remain relevant in times of volatility and uncertainty? In this discussion, Margit Wennmachers (Andreessen Horowitz) and Jens Thiemer (BMW Group) talk about brands and branding with moderator Britta Weddeling (Bits & Pretzels).
When asked about when founders should start thinking about their brand, Wennmachers responded, “Brand is not fame and brand is not an advertising campaign – it’s what people think of you. So I’d say: day one!” She added that starting early on it is especially important if startups are trying to attract talent from giants like Google and Facebook to work for them. On the other end of the spectrum, Thiemer discussed the challenges and opportunities on developing a legacy brand like BMW.
Andreessen Horowitz (a16z)
Margit Wennmachers is a partner at venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz (a16z), which has invested in companies such as Airbnb, Facebook and Slack. Margit is a16z's chief marketer, advising the firm and entrepreneurs on their communications and marketing strategies. An entrepreneur herself, Margit cofounded the leading marketing and communications firm, The OutCast Agency, in 1997.
Dr. Jens Thiemer is Senior Vice President for Customer and Brand BMW. He studied business administration at the University of Trier and received his doctorate in "Innovative Brand Management in the Automotive Industry" from the University of Kassel. Before joining BMW in 2019, Dr. Thiemer held the position of Vice President Marketing Mercedes Benz.
Bits & Pretzels
A longtime Silicon Valley correspondent for German business paper Handelsblatt, Britta Weddeling became Editor-in-Chief at Bits & Pretzels in 2019. She is responsible for running media and content at the annual founders festival in Munich.