In many parts of the world, when people ask for a Post-It, they mean a yellow sticky note; an Aspirin, they need a headache tablet and by Jeep, they are referring to a topless outdoor vehicle. Over time, brand names such as Post-It, Aspirin and Jeep have become synonyms for complete product categories. DKV was elevated to this exclusive club of brands in Frankfurt recently by being selected as one of the brands of the century: a “Marke des Jahrhunderts”. Ulrich Wolter, Director of Marketing at DKV, explains in the interview how a brand becomes a brand of the century and why having a strong brand is important.
Ulrich Wolter, who decides which brands become brands of the century?
“An eminent jury of highly respected brand experts convened under the auspices of the ZEIT publishing group makes that decision. Awards go to 250 German brands that are the market leaders in their segment and stand for a whole product category.”
How does a brand become a brand of the century?
“In order for its brand to become a generic term for a product or service, the company with an innovation – in this case the fuel card – must be the first to enter the market with it. DKV fulfilled this requirement with a pioneering achievement. Throughout its 85-year history, the company has always set new standards for cash-free service en route and continues to do so today: with over 80,000 acceptance points in 42 countries and 92% network coverage in Germany alone, DKV offers the largest network in the industry. More than 200,000 customers with over 3.7 million DKV CARDs and on-board units have placed their trust in us.”
What advantages will DKV enjoy by being a brand of the century?
“I believe these types of award also place a kind of obligation upon the winner. Of course, we would like to continue to exceed the expectations of our customers when they come into contact with our brand. This would include their interactions with us through our office-based personnel, our website and other contact points. Only when all these snapshots they receive of us agree, do we develop a good reputation. Our employees work very hard every day to achieve this ideal.”
What will happen next with the DKV brand?
“Like our customers, the DKV brand cannot stand still and must adapt to changes, without losing our identity. Therefore, among other things in this age of digitisation, we are currently working on increasing the visibility and cognisance of the DKV brand in new fields of business. Only in this way can we remain true to our own claim “You drive, we care.” to stand for a whole product category.”
Ulrich Wolter, thank you for speaking with us.