Is there a Doktor for your brand?

No, it’s not a riddle but I’d suggest some professional help from the Brand-Doktor, Mr Steen Puggaard. In 1997, he was with the McDonald’s Corporation as the Senior Marketing & Communications Manager for Central Europe and Central Asia and was based in Kyiv, Ukraine. Steen helped with the country opening and department set-up, product introductions and expansion.
Later, he was in Chicago for 5 months and was involved in McDonald’s first brand architecture which he then took from Chicago to Singapore in 1999 to build up joint ventures in Asia – this meant making sure that Asia knew and understood McDonald’s brand architecture. From 2001 to early 2006, Steen made a switch from McDonald’s to Burger King as the new Marketing Director of Asia before starting up his own company, Brand Doktor.

What is Brand-Doktor about?
It is basically a brand consultancy firm but what makes us different from other firms is our concept of how brands should work. Brands can only exist in the consumer’s head thus showing how it should relate to the consumers.

Who are your target audience?
We help especially SME’s with brand development if they do not have the right person for the job or have no experience with branding. We lead them through the whole process and make them understand that everyone, not just the marketing team is related to the brand, they understand the brand and how they can contribute.

What are the most common branding mistakes?
One of the key mistakes that most companies make is often stating how their brand is different. There are so many products that serve the same purpose but why do consumers pick one brand over the other? It is all based on the preferential point: What makes consumers prefer and identify your brand over others. That is our main concept at Brand-Doktor’s.

Why start up your own business in Singapore?
I have three main priorities in life; one was to buy a plane and be a good pilot. I did that. The other was to be an ‘Iron Man’ in triathlons which I completed in Korea in August. The last was to utilize my experience and contacts that I’ve made to the best of my abilities which is what I can achieve with Brand Doktor. So it’s just a matter of accomplishing my last goal before attaining personal satisfaction.

What are the current challenges that you face?
One would be changing the concept that only the marketing team is in charge of the brand. I would like to prove that is the whole organization that is part of a successful brand strategy and also introducing the Preference Point concept to companies. The approach is logical, simple and straightforward. There are no fancy diagrams whatsoever.

Given your experience and knowledge, have you ever considered being a lecturer?
I am flirting with that idea, yes…

So what do you do when you are not working on Brand Doktor?
I am working on another project, a European-style fast food outlet that serves with quality, somewhat similar to Spizza and Pasta Mania.  Other than that, I am actively involved in ‘Iron Man’ triathlons. I have also been won the Singapore National Rowing competition for two years straight. I started in 2001 when a national coach from China managed to excite me over rowing; I still don’t know how he managed that without speaking a word of English. The Sailing Regetta is another sport I like, I race with twenty over boats for three days. I am currently working on beating my last Iron Man record…

Don’t you ever rest?
I don’t like to relax at all! Oh alright, even when I am relaxing, it’s considered working I guess? Because I like to read factual and non-fiction books, I have this insatiable craving for knowledge and reading is one way to fill that void.

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