Identity works

The basses are booming, the ice cubes clinking noisily; it’s much too loud for small talk so what do you shout back at the person who asks you: “And who are you?” How do you define yourself? Family status? Lifestyle? Profession? And do people actually bother to remember any of these exchanges? Probably not, because interesting people don’t need words to stand out. We discern the facets of a person’s personality by the way they handle themselves and interact, the way they dress and how... Continue »

15. November 2015


Only Summer Will Tell

The state of superficial being-in-the-know has never been worse as trams, trains and buses are flooded with free sheets touting shallow news and infotainment. Slivers of news squeezed into newsfeeds or pushed onto your smartphone ensure that we all see that oh-so-cute cat video, and, gasp, thingamajig’s newest profile image. Not to forget the nip slip at that gala event and whatchamacallhim’s blooper? We watch the short news clip with the latest hostages at the bus stop, and, oh, look - Continue »

22. Juni 2015


The Death-Knell for Innovation

What I really dislike about the ordinary is its sameness – both visually and intellectually. When individuals and their personal opinions fade into the so-called mainstream, because suddenly everybody’s doing what everybody else is doing too. To be yourself – an individual who stands out – takes guts and the fortitude to break free from established patterns. Continue »

20. April 2015


Misguided Middle-Class Attitudes

Around here, money matters are generally kept private. They aren’t really discussed much: who earns what salary, how much people pay for their rent or clothes is considered a personal matter. Naturally, we all have our own relationship with money; a relationship, which, once it becomes even slightly exposed, quickly reveals something about every single one of us. Whether it’s the individual who disappears to the rest room whenever the check’s been called for, or the person who’s always flaunting Continue »

14. Februar 2015


Let’s go globocal!

Do you prefer to buy local produce? Is so, you’re neither an oddball nor a goody two-shoes, instead you’re right on track with the latest trends. Crisp lettuce exclusively from Marco, the guy we went to school with and who now grows organic vegetables. And ski socks, a freshly knitted pair each year, only from Milena, the art student with the enormous pair of horn-rimmed glasses. Today, in just almost everything we buy, what really counts is authentic provenance or a personal connection. Continue »

02. Dezember 2014


Getting Priorities straight

Priorities need to be set, day in, day out; by the hour, by the minute, in fact almost non-stop. Get up and go for a run, or turn around and grab a few more Zs? Let that great idea you just came up with mature for a day, or sell it straight away? Salad or fries? Call, yes or no? Paint the town red or read in bed? Each day, we have a never-ending succession of decisions to make. Some love it, others dither about every single one. Continue »

15. Oktober 2014


Have No Fear!

Courage appears to have two sides to it. On the one hand, we seem to lose our fearlessness as we grow older. Remember riding a bike downhill with no hands, clambering up a rocky face without a safety rope, or balancing on a narrow branch high up in the sky while grinning down at the increasingly pale face of your Mom? The more experience we gather along the way, the more we lose our appetite for that kind of courage. We allow caution to take the lead instead. Bicycle helmets, security ropes Continue »

05. Juni 2014


The Age of Approachability

Some things will never change: anything involving children, animals and bare skin instantly triggers our attention, and we stop to take a second look. In all probability people's basic needs have remained consistent throughout the ages: love, appreciation, sexuality, freedom, joy, a purpose in life. Our primeval instincts continue to drive us to seek these qualities and in all likelihood this will remain so until the end of time. What has changed and will continue to change is how these Continue »

05. Mai 2014


More class, please!

Bona fide class is rare. Immediately apparent, it still shows even when nobody is looking on. There's nothing that impresses me more than people who are inherently considerate, and treat themselves and those they interact with, thoughtfully; the kind of people who send you a hand-written thank-you card. And when this attentiveness is coupled with a good sense of style, that rings of class to me. Chanel and Brioni are not essential, more an instinct for the right balance between too much and too Continue »

20. März 2014


The Key Players

Some things never change and one of those things is playing by the rules. Then as now it was the done thing to abide by certain rules, even when we were children and still pretty carefree: first your homework, then get out to play ball. And a few years later these rules were still being applied: first the homework, then go see your girl. I was reminded of this the other day when I stumbled across a Taco Bell clip on YouTube. The clip brought back that sense of elation Continue »

17. Dezember 2013


At Your Service!

Service and performances are rather like mozzarella. Without a bit of added flavor they're pretty bland. Mozzarella needs basil, tomatoes and a dash of balsamic vinegar to engage our taste buds. Concepts like service and peformance need some modifiers to trigger associations. Peak performance brings to mind elite sports, intrepid mountaineers, Usain Bolt. And good service should have an echo of cozy meals spent in good company. Spontaneously however a number of unpleasant experiences tend to pop Continue »

05. November 2013


Keep the Pace

No mistake about it: I enjoy speed, the thrill of acceleration – living and working at a rapid pace. People who take decisions and live their life proactively, have fascinated me for as long as I can remember. Whereas the procrastinators, the indecisive, those who spend their life waiting for something to happen, have always baffled me. Until, suddenly, summer's here – always a wonderful occasion. No matter what the weather’s like. Whether it’s raining or pouring, or the sun actually Continue »

10. September 2013


Nice and Easy

A line. A dot. An edge. Conscience. Marriage. Laws. There are many things that create boundaries and mark them at the same time. Whether these are of a political, cultural, social or geometric nature. Probably as many reasons exist to step over these borders, or at least test them, as there are limits themselves. Though I\\\'m certainly not advocating more thoughtlessness than already prevails in society today. Everyone has a right to their own personal boundaries and these must be respected. Continue »

18. Juni 2013


Keep it real!

Have you ever thought what you would do if, all of a sudden, you had the chance to change a major decision you made in the past? What if: you had studied an entirely different subject, taken that job offer in Asia, followed your first love to Buenos Aires …? How would your life have been affected? Where would you be today, what would you have experienced and what not? No matter what you believe in, your life would have taken a different course. But would your values today be different too? Continue »

05. Juni 2013


Bipolar Worlds

Shades of gray are seldom unfashionable and currently quite trendy, especially in the field of literature. Generally I find gray has a lot going for it. Classical and unassuming, even in the opinion polls gray zones do not reflect indecisiveness, but simply highlight the number of those whose views are neither entirely black nor white. But in one area I find it extremely hard to become enthusiastic about grayness at all. I’m referring to the blurred boundaries Continue »

13. Februar 2013


Role Models

Recently, while we were having breakfast, a friend asked me why I had such an earnest look on my face while eating my yogurt, almost as if I were engaged in a highly intellectual task. Caught by surprise, I could not come up with a good retort. Though possibly that’s because I seldom look in the mirror when I’m eating yogurt. Several days later, and caught up in something completely different, an image of my Dad popped into my mind. Suddenly, I remembered how, as a child, I would sit opposite Continue »

15. Januar 2013


A Day in the Life of ...

Picture this: You, one-of-kind you, are promenading along Zurich\'s Bahnhofstrasse. It\'s a beautiful day. You feel fantastic, unique – and you look it. People turn their heads to get a better look. Some even stop to stare. You, of course, don\'t acknowledge the commotion despite the obvious whispers, stares and finger-pointing. You know that everybody wants you, but that only the very few will ever have you. Your appearance reflects this, and people\'s reactions are predictable: the occasional hand Continue »

06. November 2012


Beliefs, Love, Branding

Once upon a time, I worked in an office with an extremely short-fused colleague. Instead of thinking for himself, he tended to ask questions out aloud. Does someone know why? Does anybody know what? Where is ... anyway? And if anybody could actually be bothered to reply, there was one pitfall you had to avoid at all costs: beginning your answer by saying: "I believe that ..." Because even before you finished your sentence, the guy would bark: "Believing is what you do in church, I need to Continue »

04. September 2012


Brands and Music

Using music to give a brand an additional emotional dimension makes good sense. Ideally, however, this process should only be viewed as an additional branding feature: music cannot replace core values. Audio branding is the most common, yet not the only term to describe the use of acoustic elements as part of brand communication done in brand development and brand management. It is a component in multi-sensory communication strategies, and employing audio branding can complete a comprehensive Continue »

06. August 2012


Home to go

Home means something different to all of us. “Anywhere I lay my head, I’m gonna call my home,” Tom Waits sings. For others, home is where you can sit down to breakfast in your pajamas. Where voices sounds familiar, and people speak the same language. A place where all is well. One way or another: Home describes a state-of-well-being in which we feel secure, at ease, and able to live in harmony with our inner self, surrounded by all sorts of things we take for granted. Thus, home is a Continue »

11. Juli 2012


The Fifty/Fifty Pact

We have it all: a flat screen, a smartphone, a job, a car and an (unused) gym membership. More than enough. And yet, we still want more. More success, more money, more clicks, more “likes”, more friends. The urge to own and display our possessions is apparently unquenchable and has escalated into the burgeoning superficiality that rules our society today. Just stop to consider the absurdity of our pseudo-contacts with people on Facebook. People we don't even know, but with whom we are happy to Continue »

03. Mai 2012


On Time

Certain things need time to come into their own. Cheese for example, or wine, Grappa, even men. And not seldom the same applies to brands. To many companies this time element poses the first real obstacle. Yet it is quite simple, really. In a world in which people are bombarded daily by gazillions of images, status updates and changes of all kind, time has become a costly commodity. One of the few luxuries that cannot be bought with money (or expensive campaigns). “Genuine time investment” Continue »

30. März 2012


The Meaning of Numbers

So here we are at the start of a brand new year: 2012 - two thousand and twelve. What does it hold in store for us? If we consult the meaning of numbers we find the following information: In mathematics 12 is considered a sublime number, because 6, the number of its divisors and 28, the sum of its divisors, are perfect numbers. Furthermore, according to German spelling rules, 12 is the final number that is spelled out. And did you know that if you were to position 12 spheres Continue »

06. Januar 2012


Dear readers and friends of The Brander,

Season's Greetings from all of us at The Brander to you our favorite readers! And also, a big thank you for your support during the past year which has been the very first for The Brander. We are taking a break for the holidays, but we'll be back on Tuesday, January 3rd with a whole new year of inspiring brand stories. Happy New Year 2012! Until then, Olivia Continue »

25. Dezember 2011


The art of telling stories

The scene is set above the rooftops of Paris. It is early morning, and a slender, almost elfin figure is leaning against a vermilion chimney pot; a young woman with long, silken, black hair and immaculate, almost porcelain-white skin. As she raises her head and gazes skyward, hundreds of poppies suddenly begin floating down from the heavens. They come to rest on gables, dormers, roof tiles, taking root there and blanketing the city in red. That world of experience which the Japanese fashion Continue »

02. November 2011


Back to the weekly pattern

Along with the fall The Brander is returning to its weekly pattern: after the summer months, during which our correspondents revealed glimpses behind the scenes of various brands in Bali, Hong Kong and New York on a bi-weekly basis, we would now like to get back to our weekly updates. Together with fashionable highlights from Berlin and exclusive fragrance creations from Los Angeles, we will also be portraying the winner of our brand poll. From the selection we presented, the MuseumsQuartier Continue »

19. September 2011


The Brander during the summer months

Almost as many songs have been written about it as about love itself, it is equally longed for, and the minute it finally arrives one starts worrying about detecting signs of its passage, all too soon heralded by brightly colored leaves slowly drifting to the ground. Small wonder we want to get the most out of the summer while it’s here. It would be a crying shame to spend the summer months of July and August just gazing at multimedia screens. Yet in the not altogether unlikely scenario that Continue »

14. Juli 2011


Welcome to «The Brander»

In our online magazine we will be portraying – as the name suggests – brands and their creators. On an ongoing basis, new stories will offer glimpses behind the scenes of large, small, and exclusive brands. Moreover, we will be publishing regular columns by known authors with their own personal take on our core topic.The current article, “Kellogg’s Trauma”, is by German-born author Juli Zeh, who shares her wry childhood memories with us. Our monthly editorial will include an overview of the... Continue »

01. März 2011



The Brander is a publication of the Branders Group