Well-established and well-managed brands are amongst the most valuable assets of any company, domestic or international, especially in the service sector. They also give us a competitive edge in the labour market. That is why the Group continues to invest in building and expanding its brands. Following the agreed sale of Postbank, we are conducting our core businesses under the Deutsche Post and DHL identities. In 2008, we focused on increasing our customers’ awareness of these brands and their respective performance pledges. We also decided to stop using the Exel brand.
In recent years, we have enhanced our brands’ visual appeal, reworked and realigned the corporate design and provided service employees with identifying corporate clothing. Creating independent images has been a priority.
Brand manuals describe how Deutsche Post and DHL are positioned and define the tone required for effective branding. We have developed in-house measures designed to help all employees become active ambassadors for their brand, employing a variety of internal media to raise their awareness and motivation. Furthermore, a multilingual internet platform was created for DHL employees, which uses a modern, interactive approach to encourage enthusiasm for the brand. Any time our customers come into contact with us and our services, they should experience a consistent and positive brand image.
Our businesses face tough competition both domestically and internationally. Clear positioning facilitates purchasing and investment decisions for potential and existing customers.
Guided by market research, we invested some €80 million in the year under review (previous year: €120 million) in further building our brands. In line with its global presence, around half of that was spent on the DHL brand, for which we launched an international campaign with television commercials and advertisements in business- related media. Additional communication channels included sponsoring, direct marketing, trade fair presentations, press relations and sales support.
Customer retention, customer loyalty and brand recognition are amongst the benchmarks for our success. Market studies confirm that Deutsche Post has for years enjoyed awareness of around 95% amongst private and business target groups in Germany. Awareness of DHL continues to rise and currently stands at about 93% amongst international express delivery and logistics target groups.
Brands are a vital factor in creating value. In 2008, the market research institute Semion Brand-Broker valued the Deutsche Post brand at €14,517 million, reconfirming our outstanding position amongst the top five best-known German companies. Factors analysed included financial value, brand protection, brand image and brand strength.