Lessons learned from 15 years of successful brand development
Mathias Illgen and Andreas Weber
February 15, 2023
Fifteen years of Stan Hema. A time defined by numerous brand projects for SMEs, culture and the media, highs and lows, and a whole host of insights. How has Stan Hema developed into one of the most successful CI/CD agencies in Germany? And what role does an attitude of always wanting the best and radically striving for top performance play in this? As we celebrate our anniversary, Managing Directors Mathias Illgen and Andreas Weber take the time to share their thoughts on running successful brands.
Six lessons from 15 years of brand development – part 1
1. Do your own thing.
Every new day is an opportunity to chart your own path and do what you believe in. What does it take? A strong opinion and the will to express it. But also the courage to fight against resistance, to stay different and to stand out from the mainstream. Those who remain empathetic and open-minded will manage to find the right path for themselves.
2. Enthusiasm, courage and a little naivety.
We are driven by confident companies and courageous brands that are fun. What inspires us is acting with determination – be it with our clients or with ourselves. This also encompasses challenging, and even overexerting, yourself and others. And never to underestimate the power of naivety, which helps us to keep on breaking new ground.
3. Be demanding.
It’s important not to get too comfortable too soon. Why? Good solutions come about in places where it sometimes hurts – outside your comfort zone. This is exactly where we look for the best solutions for every project. It’s a demand that asks a lot from us and our clients. But we’re sure this provides the best basis for outstanding performance and will remain so.
4. Let’s move away from the top-down mentality.
Less me, more We. New Work, not old economy. Trust, not micromanagement. This includes the courage to do away with familiar hierarchies, break down silos and stop acting like masterminds. Instead, we are able to delegate responsibility and acknowledge that others can do something better. As a community of experts, it’s easier to achieve goals.
5. Responsibility, not growth.
Whether it’s a person, company or brand, we are all part of this society and need to shoulder responsibility for our present and future. We’re aware that it can’t all be about consumption, profit and growth. It is up to us today to look at how we can develop a different, better economy. That’s the attitude we take. That’s what we want to work for.
6. Holistic branding. The brand is the big picture.
Brands can only respond credibly to economic, social and environmental challenges if they are part of the solution. This does not require assertions, but real substance in attitude, product and communication. This means brands must be conceived and managed holistically. This is the only way they can be successful.
Brand consulting, Managing director