Building a brand is a marathon, not a sprint

AUDI AG board member for Sales & Marketing Hildegard Wortmann about the Dos and Don’ts of crisis communication and how she’s turning around the brand of her company

This week’s podcast guest is one of the most influential women in the international automotive industry: Hildegard Wortmann, Member of the Board of Management for Sales and Marketing at AUDI AG and a leading expert in brand creation as well as crisis communication. 

In conversation with Bits & Pretzels Editor-In-Chief Britta Weddeling, Hildegard Wortmann shares a rare glimpse into her playbook on developing and maintaining a brand using the personal narrative of the company as well as how to communicate in a crisis. 

From 1) why you should start communicating in a crisis even if you don’t have all the answers yet to 2) what to do to keep your brand relevant & interesting over time and 3) how to handle rough times, such as the Dieselgate, and learn from mistakes as an automotive brand.

The powerful executive who’s the first woman ever on the board of an automotive company, draws her deep expertise from her years in leading marketing roles in the industry – at Unilever and BMW, where she completely revamped the MINI brand in the early 2000s - turning the MINI into one of the most popular cars in the world today. 

And we’ve talked to Hildegard Wortmann just days after our Bits & Pretzels Networking Week in October.

02:47: Building a valuable brand – what entrepreneurs need to know 
04:22: How the automotive industry realized the importance of brand value
06:34: How to handle a brand that has heritage and a long tradition 
10:28: A look into Hildegard’s playbook for crisis communication 
12:11: “You’re part of the narrative that you create around that brand.” 
15:20: How to utilize Social Media for your personal brand and use it with purpose 
27:28: Beer Garden Break: “I want all the female founders to really be courageous” 
34:12: Tool Box: You can never network and communicate too much 
35:57: Either-or-game: “Listen in order to understand, not in order to answer”

Production: Regina Körner, Migo Fecke (professional-podcast.com); Sophie Dechansreiter & Dina Zhakupova