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CBS wins the German Brand Award

All Categories, Inside CBS   -  29. June 2018

CBS was recently named winner in the category “Brand Creation – Storytelling & Content Marketing” for its cutting-edge “Takeover” concept of students taking over social media channels, extended by the permanent integration on the website.


Successful and award-winning brand management

The German Brand Award – initiated by the Rat für Formgebung | German Design Council, a leading design and brand authority – is juried by a top-class panel of experts from brand management and brand science. It is the major award for successful brand management in Germany. The German Brand Award discovers, presents and rewards unique brands and brand-builders. Winning this award moves the companies and even their industries forward. Among the winners of the German Brand Award 2018 are many well-known companies such as Lufthansa or the Deutsche Fußball Liga (German Football League), and of course also the mandated agencies, including the country’s creative elite like Jung von Matt or GMK Markenberatung.


Communicating reality authentically

An integral part of the Cologne Business School’s DNA is the international approach, the practice-based teaching and the individual support of the students. “We were looking for a way to authentically communicate the real campus life and to take into account the media use of post-millennials and their perception of advertising”, Christian Kracht, CBS graduate and Head of Digital Marketing, describes the challenge. “So why not let the students speak for themselves via a ‘familiar’ channel”, Christian Kracht explains.


This “familiar” channel are Snapchat and Instagram stories, short videos or images that disappear 24 hours after being published. Users expect spontaneous, concise and authentic updates from one’s personal life, targeted at friends and followers. Since February 2017, CBS students have been given the opportunity to take over the university’s account for a period of time and to post unfiltered stories about workshops and internships, experiences abroad or simply everyday life at CBS, in accordance with the three core brand values “International”, “Practical” and “Personal”.


Permanently accessible stories

It is in the nature of social stories that they are gone after 24 hours. Missing the content in the limited timeframe usually means missing it forever. A solution for this drawback of being authentic and spontaneous was found in 2018 with a modified workflow. “We started exporting the created content and integrated it on the CBS website.”


Jury member and managing director of GMK Markenberatung Dr. Saskia Diehl on the “Takeover” concept: “Turning students into brand ambassadors and letting them use a familiar, highly authentic channel is the ideal solution for CBS. By using YouTube as an additional platform and integrating the content on the website, the challenge of short-lived content has also been solved”.

Jury member Dr. Saskia Diehl and Christian Kracht at the award ceremony at Palazzo Italia in Berlin.

Concept convinces independent brand experts

The “Takeover” concept targeted at post-millennials convinced the jury, consisting of independent brand experts. The idea was developed by the digital marketing team of CBS, represented at the German Brand Awards by Christian Kracht, Christina Berghaus and Joshua Sikora.


The jury members:

– Chairman: Andrej Kupetz, CEO Rat für Formgebung | German Design Council, Frankfurt am Main

– Prof. Mike Richter, Professor Strategy and Planning in the Design Process, University of Applied Sciences Darmstadt; CEO iconmobile GmbH, Berlin

– Dr. Saskia Diehl, CEO GMK Markenberatung, Cologne

– Günter Moeller, CEO hm+p Hermann, Moeller & Partner, München

– Prof. Dr. Simone Roth, Course Director International Brand Management, Vice President Brand Academy, Hamburg

– Christian Rummel, Deputy Global Head of Brand Communications & CSR, Deutsche Bank AG, Frankfurt am Main

– Stefan Raake, CEO, AMC Finanzmarkt GmbH, Düsseldorf

– Lutz Dietzold, Co-CEO Rat für Formgebung | German Design Council, Frankfurt am Main

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