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Guest Lecture: 5 questions to Michael Schneider, Strategy Director at Jung von Matt

Michael Schneider is Strategy Director at the international advertising agency Jung von Matt. His work gives him deep insights into different corporate cultures.

In this interview, he reveals which business culture is required today and which mistakes companies should not make in the Corona pandemic.

Brand University: Hi Michael, tell us, what do you do as Strategy Director at Jung von Matt?

Michael Schneider: As a strategist, I develop corporate and brand strategies or positioning for brand products. And I wrap the ideas of our creatives in stories, numbers and data to provide companies with evidence why these ideas are promising.
My personal focus is on corporate strategy matters and on psychological and semantic positioning. That means I look for consumer motives, cultural meaning of messages and the appropriate context in which to convey them.

BU: What do you enjoy most about your job?

Schneider: Although I have been working in this profession for 13 years now, I always notice how diverse it is. I deal with a variety of different issues and get deep insights into the innermost workings of different companies. Sometimes it’s about fruit juices, sometimes I think about telephone contracts, car tyres or wind energy.
I also passionately invest time in training younger colleagues. Watching them develop their strategic talent and become more confident is a lot of fun for me. There has never been a day when I considered my work boring.

BU: What is a contemporary business culture to you?

Schneider: At the moment it is difficult to say what is actually “contemporary”. Not long ago I would have said that you need dialogue, flat hierarchies and time and opportunities for personal development.
Under the current circumstances, however, the most important thing is that no one in the team is left behind. Especially colleagues who are still in training must not be forgotten in the home office. If everyone withdraws, this can be the breeding ground for a feeling of exclusion. We have to actively do something about it. We must not forget that people do business and not the other way round.

BU: Do you also see opportunities for corporate cultures in the Corona pandemic?

Schneider: Productivity is being redefined right now, because in home offices we are much more dependent on ourselves and our own time management. That can be an opportunity, but it doesn’t mean that everyone will cope well with it.
That is why we are witnessing the hour of HR departments and supervisors. Their job now is to really listen and create a framework where all employees are considered and can voice their fears and concerns.

BU: What role does the topic of “brand” play when it comes to business culture?

Schneider: A brand is a bundle of associations, expectations and emotions; it offers us orientation. That’s why it’s not only important for consumers, but it also has an effect on the company and is therefore so important for the business culture. And in the same way that you cultivate your brand, i.e. use it for a specific purpose, you also have to treat your culture. Because brand and culture are closely connected – and are central to the productivity and success of a company. When a company successfully reflects and decodes its culture, and builds its brand accordingly, everything feels consistent and appears authentic. And then “success” is much more likely.

Many thanks to Michael Schneider for the exciting insight into his work at Jung von Matt and the topic of business culture!