References

Peter Schwarzenbauer

„Susanne’s ability to reduce complexity and come up with simple yet fascinating solutions elevated the MINI brand to a new level.”

Within my responsibility for the MINI Brand, I gave a hand selected team the task to rethink the MINI brand 360º across brand, product and people in 2014. The aim was to leverage its full potential and make it futureproof. Susanne was nominated for the brand part due to her diverse background in strategy and innovation and her deep understanding of the MINI brand. During this fastpaced project, she proved excellent analytical and empathetic skills, the ability to jump far but connect to the present and to innovate yet preserve the good of the past.

In her role as Head of global MINI Brand Strategy she brought this new strategy successfully to life and developed it further into an electric and sustainable direction. She managed to bring the global markets on board, acting like an ambassador, convincing and guiding in an empathetic way.

We saw this new direction confirmed by a significant growth in brand value, which proved her strategy and instinct right.

 

Peter Schwarzenbauer
Member of the Board of BMW Group, responsible for MINI, Motorrad, Rolls Royce, After Sales (2013–2019)

References

Prof. Dr. Judith Walls

„Due to this positive experience, I would be glad to continue our cooperation in future courses.”

In June 2021 Susanne carried out a live case study on sustainability strategy in the context of the MINI brand. This case study represented a graded group project for the International Executive Master of Business Administration (IEMBA) elective course “Corporate Sustainability Strategy: Today’s Business”. International executives from diverse industries were tasked to work in teams on aspects of MINI’s business to develop a forward looking sustainability strategy, and present their recommendations within one.

Over the course of the live case study Susanne gave background to the MINI brand and its sustainability aspects, briefed the dedicated tasks, conducted Q&A sessions, and gave feed back to the final team presentations. Her briefing presentation was an excellent combination of substance and emotion that sparked the creativity of the group. She brought the nature of the MINI brand passionately to life, connected it to the related context, set impulses, inspired out of the box thinking and substantiated with her profound knowledge. For the final team presentations Susanne provided precise and thoughtful feedback that left the teams with additional insights, learnings and motivation.

 

Prof. Dr. Judith Walls
Chair for Sustainability Management, Institute for Economy & the Environment, University of St.Gallen

References

Micah Kotch

„I always valued Susanne‘s clear guidance, her design sensibility, and her proactive approach to finding solutions.“

I worked with Susanne from June 2016 through 2021 to build the URBAN-X brand as an extension of the MINI brand. This involved the definition of the role of URBAN-X as a home for startups reimagining city life within MINI brand architecture and the BMW Group, its purpose, Corporate Identity and communication strategy to benefit both, URBAN-X and MINI.

In her role as Head of Global MINI Brand Strategy, Susanne intuitively understood how to draw the lines balancing our needs and the needs of MINI and the BMW Group; not an easy task given the demands of a global automotive OEM and a startup accelerator focused on the future of cities and climate adaptation and mitigation Susanne anticipated our needs and requirements, and was thoughtful in reinterpreting MINI principles in a flexible, yet relatable way.

Micah Kotch
Managing Director at URBAN-X, Accelerator for startups, reimagining city life

References

Esther Bahne

„Susanne‘s expertise and ability to create an integrated strong brand profile is outstanding.“

In her role as Head of global MINI Brand Strategy in my first line, Susanne took on the challenge to renew the MINI brand, adapt it to the times and make it futureproof in 2014. This included all aspects of the brand from Purpose definition, Brand Identity, CI and Tonality to the redefinition of requirements for Product, Services, Marketing and new Brand Fields. She also set up the Sustainability Strategy for the next decade including preperation of the brand for the electric era of MINI.

Susanne proved passion, determination and out of the box thinking in defining the right strategy while breaking it down into execution in an extraordinary fast and qualitative way. She always managed to take people along with her, building bridges between the existing and the new and was obsessed with understanding and delivering on customer needs.

 

Esther Bahne
Global Head of Strategy and Innovation, MINI; Global Head of Impact Ventures; President of MINI Business Innovation, LLC (2013–2020)

References

Bernd Rosenbichler

„For me Susanne was the “Master Mind” behind the MINI brand.”

Within the field of brand portfolio strategy and market research I worked with Susanne in strong collaboration from 2015 in order to define and manage the role of the MINI brand within the BMW Group portfolio. The aim was to create the optimum of synergies, differentiation and potentials between the BMW Group brands short-, mid- and longterm. Furthermore, we measured the brand performance, agreed on targets and directions and brought the proposals to the BMW Group Board for approval on a regular basis.

In this process I valued Susanne highly as an agile and passionate forward thinker with substantiated and fact based argumentations, while actively listening to and reflecting on other opinions. Her deep dives into under the surface insights and context factors paired with a sound intuition, often lead to new perspectives and approaches that allowed MINI to fulfill its role as a pioneer.

Her clear interest was to find the best way for MINI while embracing the BMW Group context in order to achieve an overall optimum and create a win-win-situation.

 

Bernd Rosenbichler
Global Head of Brand Portfolio Strategy, Market Research and Long
Range Planning (2015–2021), BMW Group