John Kerry spricht mit TeilnehmerInnen, Theresa May erklärt, Bob Moritz PWC hört zu und Ernst Welteke überlegt sich eine Antwort ...

Our last article about the WEF 2020 Davos (in German) is about dialogue, or rather, the lack of dialogue in corporate blogs, especially on topics like climate change, health, etc. Here, we want to further examine the event itself and the impressions it made with regard to the important topics of climate protection, health, etc., because both authenticity and rational opportunism were present. This article is part two of our WEF Davos 2020 analysis and the third article in our series, Marketing Trends 2020 (KPI and AI). Check out this entry in German here.

We spent time both in groups and alone at the WEF, and this article features a taste of the many impressions of Marketing Club Lago members and the drkpi team, plus a short video on the Swiss Railways (SBB) and climate change.

What does the event cost?

As an SME, a visit to the WEF is actually impossible without an invitation from the organizer or a WEF member. Membership costs between approximately CHF 58,500 (US$ 60,000) to over CHF 195,200 (US$ 200,000). On top of this, there is the cost of individual registrations for the forum itself of approximately CHF 12,700 (US$ 13,000) per person. Then one still pays for accommodations and additional costs like a meeting room or a room host your own event with catering, etc.

Even though invited guests and President Trump do not have to pay a fee as participants, the taxpayer has to pay for this expensive fun. For example, vehicles hired by the US Secret Service for Ivanka Trump’s shuttle service in the Davos area cost approximately CHF 33,200 (US$ 34,000). The total price of the two-day visit to the WEF 2020 Davos for the American delegation and the US President will cost the taxpayer more than CHF 3,903,600 (US$ 4 million).

Outside the main venue, dozens of events have been established, which use the WEF to gain more interest and sponsors. Simple access to the hotels, which gives just one person access to a secured zone, costs about CHF 200 (US$ 205) per week. Often this is sold only via packages, which contain additional offers, so that the whole thing costs about CHF 3,000 (US$ 3,075).

  • Would your company be willing to send you to Davos? Have you been there before? Tell us about your experiences in the comments, we are curious!

WEF 2020 Davos: So everybody knows who they’re talking to…

From day one, every guest at the WEF is classified according to a hierarchy. What does that mean? You are assigned signs according to your “function” in the company and “importance” to the business world. So at first glance, it is clear which position you are in. Category 1 stands for the absolute VIPs and category 7 for less important people. Even the entourage of US President Donald Trump experienced this. For example:

  • President Donald Trump has a badge that identifies him as Category 1, “Head of State”.
  • Ivanka Trump, daughter and advisor to the President, is Category 7, i.e. “Functional Staff”.
  • Jared Kushner, husband of Ms. Trump, is categorised as assistant and senior advisor to the President and his WEF badge places him in Category 4, “Sub-Ministerial Position”.

The share of people in each category is particularly revealing: overall, 46% of this year’s participants were listed as category 1 and 0.75% in category 7. Considering how difficult it is to get an invitation, having nearly half the guests belong to Category 1 also shows the type of people the WEF prefers for their event. However, why a guest is placed in one category or another, or put on display (or not), the WEF does not explain.

  • What do you think of the WEF’s hierarchical organization?
WEF 2020 Davos: Dein Schild sagt aus, wie wichtig du bist!
WEF 2020 Davos: Your badge shows how important you are!
  • What did you notice and remember about the WEF 2020 Davos?

Health is almost no longer affordable?

OrphanHealthcare Foundation Director Dr. Frank Grossmann (MCLago member) was invited to the WEF by The Economist magazine. He discussed the future of healthcare systems in a breakfast forum starting at 7 am.

As with climate protection, not everything is green in the healthcare sector. Unfortunately, “The world is on fire…” is not only indicative of climate change: everything is too expensive, sluggish, and inefficient or unsustainable. In fact, we can no longer afford our healthcare system, even in most OECD countries. These high costs also mean that many people in the world do not get the care they need.

The panel was top-class and therefore it is not surprising that facts were provided that remind us of the situation of people with rare diseases.

WEF 2020 Davos: Simonetta Sommaruga President of Switzerland and Member of the Federal Council - Die Welt is in Flammen - auch in Sachen Gesundheitsversorgung... The Economist Healthcare Panel.
WEF 2020 Davos: Simonetta Sommaruga, President of Switzerland and Member of the Federal Council – The world is on fire – also in terms of healthcare… The Economist Healthcare Panel.

Climate change: Opportunism as far as the eye can see

The view from the top should be more than the bottom line.

Goal 17 Partners #Goal17Solutions

“Goal 17” refers to the 17 goals that are at the center of the United Nations’ sustainable development agenda through 2030. For example, the group had attached this banner to a house (in the picture on the right). The goals are praiseworthy and desirable, but do the leaders of industry live by them?

WEF 2020 Davos: Ideale Bühne eigene Schwächen mit Publicity zu überspielen, d.h. die perfekte Selbstdarstellung - Donald Trump und Fortune Global 500.
WEF 2020 Davos: Ideal stage to cover your own weaknesses with publicity, i.e. the perfect self-presentation – Donald Trump and Fortune Global 500.

The conflict between commitment to climate protection and profit orientation is obvious at the WEF. Greed for profit seems universal at a time when participation in the WEF is devouring money, when large companies want to make big profits and are campaigning for Corporate Social Responsibility.

The problem is that the two have not yet come to an agreement: Joe Kaeser, the head of the Siemens corporation is an example of this. He tries to stage himself on social media, offers a seat on the supervisory board to the climate youth, but then at the same time tries to earn money from the coal boom in Asia and Australia. Ignoring climate change over profit?

Another example is the PWC, which has also offered its own event parallel to the WEF. PWC has hired, i.e. paid for, top-class speakers, such as Theresa May, former Prime Minister of Great Britain (see contribution photo at the top, Theresa May with Bob Moritz as moderator).

At this event and also during the WEF Davos, Bob Moritz was repeatedly asked about the revelations about Angola’s ex-president’s daughter. Because the auditor – PWC – will probably have to explain for a while yet why the probable illegal money transfers were overlooked. Moritz always commented on the whole thing with the same comment:

I am shocked and disappointed.

Bob Moritz, PWC, WEF 2020 Davos, in connection with the Luanda Leaks

Receptions were also organized by countries themselves, parallel to the WEF, in order to present themselves to the illustrious group of participants. They tried to put themselves in the right light. The focus is on PR, image and the country as a brand. All in the hope of further stimulating investors, buyers or even tourism.

The coronavirus was also an important issue in terms of country image and health care, although a possible risk of infection by the three participants from Wuhan was not taken into account.

WEF 2020 Davos - Auch Länder nutzen das WEF für Promotionszwecke wie z.B. zur Erhöhung der Bekanntheit, Image Verbesserung, usw. Bsp. Indonesia.
WEF 2020 Davos – Many countries, including Indonesia, also use the WEF for promotional purposes, such as increasing publicity, image improvement, etc.

WEF 2020 Davos: Social Networking

Those who have the option are spoilt for choice. The WEF 2020 Davos was certainly worth the trip, and the social events were the most important, including chance meetings in a bar or at a small reception (there were several hundred during the week). My finale was on Friday evening at the 3rd Annual DEWA WEF DINNER (see below). The atmosphere was very nice, the food was wonderful and there were interesting discussions with very interesting and authentic experts from different countries and industries. Really a very successful conclusion.

  • Would you be interested in visiting the WEF?

WEF 2020 and climate change: conclusion

The WEF’s efforts in climate compensation are commendable: Davos 2020 – CO2 neutral. Greta Thunberg, as star guest, naturally also addressed climate change. However, presenting it mainly as a situation that demands sacrifices from all of us is not the strategy that will necessarily lead to success. Here are a few examples of individual “sacrifices”:

  • Flying means CO2 emissions (estimated at 3.7% of global greenhouse gas emissions), but by 2025 the ICT sector’s estimated share of greenhouse gas emissions will rise to almost 8%.
  • The annual increase in digital energy consumption accounts for around 9%.
  • Streaming songs on Spotify or movies on Netflix uses 1,500 times more energy than the normal operation of a smartphone, i.e. simply making a phone call.
  • If you watch a video for 10 minutes via the cloud, you use the same amount of electricity as if you were to keep a 2000-watt electric oven running at full power for 5 minutes (i.e. at around 225 degrees Celsius).

Climate change requires major changes from all of us. A price on CO2 emissions, energy consumption, etc. is a good approach. The WEF 2020 has already taken some steps in the right direction, but banning limousines from the event and using only public transport would be even better.

Because what annoyed almost all of us were the limousines and minibuses that clogged the streets in Davos during the WEF. They made it difficult for us pedestrians or public transport users and also polluted the air – unnecessarily. However, getting a head of state to the eevent by public bus is still a bit difficult.

As a private citizen, on the other hand, this writer (Urs E. Gattiker) only used public transportation. But the increasingly common occurrence of cancelled SBB trains overtook me on one of the days I went up to Davos, and I had to organise a ride at short notice. Luckily, I managed, and was only 1.5 hours late arriving in Davos. I missed the one event, but was able to attend the next one.

  • What’s your opinion? How can WEF participants save energy and help care for the environment?

Talk is cheap, and discretion the better part of valour. Individuals also spoke a lot about the need for changes to mitigate climate change, but did not act accordingly. In her speech on Tuesday morning, EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen made the climate crisis a central challenge, calling on the international community to act. But the day before, a limousine drove her to a meeting with Swiss Confederation President Simonetta Sommaruga and picked her up again. She could not be found on Davos public transportation during her stay. A case of rational opportunism – using the WEF as a stage for oneself, but not setting a good example. Unfortunately, many of the top-tier guests are not much different from Donald Trump.

PS: For the last WEF event on Friday evening, Frank and I also had to use the car, because you can’t make the trip to Zurich on the train after 10 pm – there is no bus from Davos Monstein to Davos Platz after 7 pm… The rest of the week we all tried to make it by bus and train.

Helena Helmersson, CEO of the fashion chain H&M

Helena Helmersson, CEO of the fashion group Hennes & Mauritz (H&M) was a little annoyed in Davos. Perhaps she was most in tune with the spirit of the times when it came to the dialogue at the WEF 2020 Davos on sustainability, environmental protection and fair production:

We should talk less about these things and do more instead.

WEF 2020 Davos, Helena Helmersson, CEO, H&M

We use more and more digital technologies, but the number of conferences is also on the rise. For instance, there are estimated to be 300 “established international art fairs” every year, forcing gallery representatives and their clients to travel a lot more than in 2003, where there were only 50 events. This is not unique to the art world, either. Whether it be the computer sciences, marketing, and so on, we all want direct contact, to meet in person and learn what makes the other person tick and so forth. Trotzdem merke ich, dass Konferenzen vor Ort immer noch sehr populär sind. Es ist wohl so, dass wir alle den direkten Kontakt zu anderen Menschen suchen, um uns persönlich austauschen zu können.

On Saturday, September 14, 2019, I had the opportunity to visit the WordPress Camp in Zurich. This was an opportunity I didn’t want to miss, especially since the event took place in the Technopark in Zurich, not far from our office. I had never taken part in a WordCamp before, but I found out about this event thanks to Word-of-Mouth Marketing from the Chefblogger, so I was there on Saturday.

First, I educated myself on the special webpage for this event. Everything sounded very good. As a newcomer, I applied as a volunteer. Such events depend on volunteers to keep the costs as low as possible. I was deployed at the registration desk and was required to start at 07:40 that morning. For newcomers to a conference like WordCamp, volunteering is ideal.

For example, I was able to greet many participants personally at the reception desk. On my “free afternoon” (I only had to work until 13:00), I was approached by some people because they remembered my presence and help with check-in. At a WordCamp like the #WCZRH, you can expect to learn from experts, pass on your expertise and exchange ideas with others. This was explained on the website and is symbolised by the image below.

#WCZRH #WordPress #WordCamp: Was ein Teilnehmer von dem Event erwarten kann.
#WCZRH #WordPress #WordCamp: Was ein Teilnehmer von dem Event erwarten kann.

What did I learn?

This question can be answered in three sections:

  • You don’t know exactly what you’re going to learn: The title of a lecture says little about its content and even less about its quality… but that’s nothing new :-)
  • Technology and methodology: Technologically, there was not too much for me to learn. Nevertheless, some things I was not so current on anymore and the lecturers showed the audience many little tricks.
  • Social Networking: I had the chance to meet great people and see old friends again :-)

What was new?

Another exhibitor explained the differences that have to be taken into account when choosing a hoster. It was very interesting to learn what happens if you don’t pay attention to the details…

Another observation, which is perhaps typical for events of a more technical nature, is that exhibitors come here to meet existing customers and connect with new potential customers. By the same token, the customer comes because – despite all the digitalisation – they seek direct human contact with the exhibitor. On the other hand, many of these exhibiting geeks stared at their monitors instead of addressing the visitors. Some were never even at their booth.

The conference itself had 2 tracks.

Track 1

Here, presentations were streamed over the internet

Many of the presentations were 10 minutes and provided a short introduction.

Track 2

Here, research results were presented and discussed.

Animated discussions occurred in workshops or before and after the presentation.

Program Download (700 KB PDF file)-–-WordCamp-Zürich 2019

Conclusion: What’s your opinion

My summary: The atmosphere was very friendly. I couldn’t see the “Röstigraben” between the participants from German-speaking Switzerland or Germany, and French-speaking Switzerland or France. Nevertheless, there were some language barriers. It was hardly surprising that participants from Italy/Ticino, Germany/German-speaking Swiss cantons, and France/French-speaking Swiss cantons often spoke with other groups in English.

I also learned a few things. New technologies, innovations and very good ideas and suggestions were presented. As examples I can give the tips for how to speed up a WordPress page or why you can use one or the other plug-in for multilingual websites. My personal highlight was learning why the usability of a website is closely linked to user experience.

What experience have you had with WordCamps, Barcamps or traditional conferences?

Do you prefer virtual conferences in livestream or to be there in person? Why?

Am Scheideweg. Alte Marke neu positionieren oder neue Marke aufziehen? Was darf es sein?

Have you ever been in a situation where you were responsible for a brand change? Or where you were responsible for a rebranding project? Then you know very well how difficult this can be. By the way, you are not alone – others have a hard time with this kind of project as well. For instance, Weight Watchers was founded in 1963, and since then, their primary focus has been helping customers lose weight. Customers meet, their weight is checked and successes and failures are discussed in these self-help groups. Based on this history, management was of the opinion that changing the name from Weight Watchers to WW made a lot of sense. The “WW case” illustrates 2 things:

  • Hard-earned brand equity or brand value can be destroyed very quickly and unintentionally.
  • A word or abbreviation like WW can have another meaning. In this case, WW means World War to many.

Our case here illustrates how we tried to avoid these mistakes when rebranding drkpi®. Of course, we made a few others, as the text below explains.

1. WHAT DISTINGUISHES SUCCESSFUL BRANDS

The following 3 points explain what successful brands do better:

  • The brand has a classification and clear meaning in the relevant area of products.
  • Authentic and consistent brand promise.
  • Development capacity in the social area and relevant market.

According to Stefan Schmidheiny (Accent.swiss), the first challenge is when your brand becomes a generic term (e.g., Kleenex, Scotch Tape, and Xerox). It is both the best-, and the worst-case scenario for a brand. However, drkpi® is in no way in such a situation.

The second challenge we need to manage is the risk that our rebranding will be considered a flop by media, fans of the brand, and so forth, such as happened with Weight Watchers (see above). A second illustration of such a flop is Douglas, which sold perfumes, body care products, and so forth, and rebranded itself, using the hashtag #TheNewDouglas to spread the word on social media. Unfortunately, no one beyond the CEO and communications department really cared to use it.

The third challenge is ensuring that staff and associates understand the values and meaning of what the brand should represent. In turn, they feel empowered to support and help with the relaunch.

2. BRAND RELAUNCH NECESSITATES PROCESS MANAGEMENT

Ideally, the relaunch of your brand works systematically, as outlined in the 3 steps below, with each step being completed before starting the next one.

Corporate Image / Design:

  • what are our values?
  • how do we implement these things (logo, letter paper, brochures, etc.)?

Layout

  • logo
  • webpage
  • letterhead, etc.

Implementation

  • webpage
  • letter template
  • brochures, etc.

But in practice things rarely, if ever, go according to plan. Experience teaches us that digitisation of certain processes gives us the rare opportunity to analyse them. If need be steps can be eliminated, changed or even improved. This permits us to become more efficient as well as doing the right things, i.e. be effective.

Only thereafter will we begin to address questions related to such things as which hardware serves us best, whether we should use a cloud service, and so forth. The same goes for questions regarding brand value, strength, and strategy. Of course, answers to these questions also influence the range of products on offer. For example:

  • Priority 1. What do we really want to achieve thanks to a new brand name, image, etc.? Increase our customers’ trust in our brand / products, boost sales, and / or simply save costs?
  • Depending on the answers to Priority 1, what is the aim and purpose of this exercise? What is the purpose of a possible repositioning or renaming of the brand, such as drkpi® (or Weight Watchers changing to WW)?
  • Marketing and sales. To what extent does the design and our product range match the desired brand image?

Is a brand name like drkpi® worth keeping or is a renaming with relaunch more effective? It takes hard work to gain brand equity. However, a new logo or CD may not do the trick.

First Ideas:

  • CyTRAP Labs GmbH, that is drkpi® – the brand – performs qualitative and quantitative analyses.
  • We help firms optimise their corporate communications, digital and content marketing, as well as compliance, privacy, and data security.
  • In addition, drkpi® offers training, courses, and audits.

More concrete vision of these ideas:

  • We help companies optimise their work in the areas of corporate communication, digital, content and impact marketing, as well as compliance, privacy, and data security.
  • drkpi® analyses the extent to which a definable and measurable effect has been achieved.
  • In addition, drkpi® offers training, courses, and audits.

3. REPOSITIONING OF PRODUCTS

The table above shows, of course, everything is still a bit sketchy and possibly unclear. We had quite a bit of work left. As well, another round of discussions were needed to improve the team’s understanding. In short, we ended with 4 product groups to offer. These are listed in the table below.

StrategyAcademyComplianceAnalytics
1. AnalysisPriorisationNeeds assessmentAs-is AnalysisBest-Practice
2. Consulting FocusingPlan of actionActions to be takenDevelopment
3. ImplementationOptimisationTrainingRealisationSMART-Metrics
4. ControlMetricsAchievement of objectivesData securityBenchmarks

4. FIRST STEPS: BRAND EQUITY AND POSSIBLE REBRANDING

As shown in the table above, these considerations about the brand and its values led to further changes. For starters, the strategic direction was changed, product offerings streamlined and pricing policy clarified. Up to this point, little if anything had been discussed about branding or reputation. Just to be clear, it was a challenge for us.

Themes

  • Brand awareness
  • Strategy and growth
  • Organisation, governance, and processes
  • Usability / user-friendliness of the webpage
  • Usefulness of the webpage

Questions

  • Do (prospective) customers know the brand?
  • Which countries and markets with which product?
  • How can we streamline processes?
  • How easy is it to navigate and find the information one needs?
  • Does the information offer added value for our target audiences?

5. INTERIM BALANCE SHEET

This blog entry shows how many different aspects influence the answer to the question of a brand’s possible repositioning. In the beginning it was discussed whether we should throw out the DrKPI brand (at that time still written that way, today as drkpi®) altogether, or make further use of it. We decided to keep this brand for several reasons:

  • The name has a positive connotation.
  • Every firm wants to find and use actionable Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).
  • We own the .com domain, i.e. drkpi.com.
  • Thanks to the short name, the domain name is easier for most users to remember (i.e. only 5 letters).

But how we want to position our products today has changed a lot over the last 5 years. Only after the questions asked in the above had been answered reasonably well, did we approach the more classic questions of graphics, CD design, and communications, etc. For the customer, the packaging of the brand is less important than the content, for example:

  • innovative and competitive products,
  • quality for a fair price, and
  • excellent customer service.

If the company masters these 3 things successfully, the packaging is just the icing on the cake.

6. WHAT IS YOUR OPINION

What we would like to hear about is what your experiences are:

  • How did you solve the challenges discussed above?
  • Have you ever had to change a logo or the corporate image and / or the website of the company?
  • Did all go according to plan with your rebranding exercise? What went great and what was not that great?
  • To what extent has such work in the are of branded triggered changes in internal processes and changed product offerings for your company?

We look forward reading your comment below. Thanks for sharing.