Bertelsmann SE & Co. KGaA

Online survey on brand perception

The Bertelsmann Group is among the world’s largest media companies (approx. €16 billion turnover in 2019). Under the leadership of entrepreneurial legend Reinhard Mohn, the printing and publishing house successfully diversified and internationalized. The company has always been able to respond successfully to technological innovations and changing user habits, including the megatrend of digitization.

Research question: Relationship between self-image and target-image in the brand perception of the Bertelsmann Group

Accordingly, Bertelsmann wants to be perceived as the world’s leading technology-based media, service and education company. Therefore, the research question for the Master’s students at Macromedia University was:

To what extent does the current public perception of the corporate brand already correspond to this target image, which ‘gaps’ can possibly be closed against this background and what could concrete communication measures look like in the future?

Under the direction of Prof. Dr. Ralf Spiller, students from the Cologne campus worked in four teams on the following tasks:

  1. Survey of the public image of Bertelsmann SE & Co. KGaA
    Method: Online survey of various stakeholders of the group (journalists, NGOs etc.)
  2. Survey of the current self-presentation of Bertelsmann SE & Co. KGaA
    Method: Content analysis of Bertelsmann’s social media channels
  3. Presentation of the target positioning of Bertelsmann SE & Co. KGaA
    Method: Content analysis of the most important Bertelsmann strategy documents
  4.  Presentation of Bertelsmann’s brand positioning compared to its competitors
    Method: Qualitative content analysis of Bertelsmann’s and competitors’ annual reports
  5. Development of a communication strategy
  6. Development of a rollout plan for the measures (time and project plan)

At the end of the semester, the students presented their results at the Gütersloh headquarters. One of the interested guests was Karin Schlautmann, Head of Corporate Communications at the Bertelsmann Group, who was enthusiastic about the depth of the analysis.

Practice partner

Bertelsmann SE & Co. KGaA