Steven Althaus, Ph.D.
Head of Global Brand Management
Group Market Management
How do you see the marketing of brands changing in the next five to 10 years?
"A strong brand is a consequence of a robust business model, not the other way around."
The brand will be increasingly “managed,” not just communicated and orchestrated. Brand management will evolve, the role of the brand will continuously increase (as a sign of identification, navigation, and orientation), and it will be treated as a major financial asset.
What unpredictable factor most impacted how you managed your brand in the past decade?
The ongoing technological revolution (ubiquitous broadband, information whenever and wherever) and the dominance of Google was the most unpredictable factor.
Is there a single touchpoint of your brand that you think will be more influential to your consumers in the next five years?
Word of mouth, net promoter score, and community recommendations.
What points can you share from your experiences that contribute in building a successful brand?
A strong brand is a consequence of a robust business model, not the other way around.
The brand is treated as a strong, differentiating asset, from employer branding to corporate, distribution, and product branding. The brand has earned a place within the business decision process and is perceived as a differentiator in the marketplace. Every business entity branded Allianz has to contribute to the overall Allianz value proposition.
"We respect established brands and their equity as we operate in a multi-local environment. The world differs, so does Allianz."
Can you provide us with insight on how you have managed to successfully balance a diverse portfolio of brands?
We respect established brands and their equity as we operate in a multi-local environment. The world differs, so does Allianz. Therefore, in our global approach of brand consolidation (80 percent of the business branded Allianz), we did not follow a “one-size-fits-all approach,” but defined individual migration paths, respecting the principle mentioned above—that a strong brand is a consequence of a robust business model, not the other way around.
Dr. Steven Althaus is Allianz’s Head of Global Brand Management. He is responsible for gobal brand management covering the areas of advertising, media, corporate design, e-marketing (Allianz.com), and sponsorship (F1, Allianz Arena).
Steven graduated from High School in California in 1985 and passed his final exams in Germany in 1988. When he was 25 he had acquired his major degree in economics from the University of St. Gall, Switzerland. In 1995 he ended his career as a student by earning his PhD degree at the University of St. Gall. He then joined Young & Rubicam. At Young & Rubicam he worked for the business development function out of Frankfurt, later in London. In 1998, at the age of 30, Dr. Althaus became Managing Director of Springer & Jacoby in London and Hamburg. He moved to Munich in 2001 to work as Managing Director for Loyalty Partner. He has been with the Allianz Group, Munich, since 2002.