90 seconds with… Dennis Juenger, Head of Brand & Communications at Sika UK

Dennis Juenger - tml Partners, Marketing and Communications Recruiters

90 Second Interview with Dennis Juenger

Naomi Hamilton, Manager and communications recruiter at tml Partners, sat down with Dennis Juenger, Head of Brand & Communications at Sika UK to get his thoughts on career development, influential leadership and marketing & communications trends producing opportunities and challenges for communications leaders.

Who is your business hero and why?

The person who I shall be eternally grateful to is my first mentor, Thomas – who was the Jaguar Cars Global Vice President for Communications & Branding when I joined Jaguar in 2002. He taught me the importance of connecting with the human being on the other side of a marketing effort. To understand them and to build a brand based on emotional connection.

What is the best piece of career advice you’ve ever received?

Always be yourself. One of my previous team members said that working with me was like switching from the BBC to Channel 4 – and I absolutely loved it. Because when you are your authentic self, you will find your place in the world. Never be something that you think someone else might want – always be you.

What has had the most influential impact on your leadership career and why?

To see people reach their full potential. I lead teams through vision and empowerment and seeing people grow and develop to become the best version of themselves is just an amazing thing to witness.

What future trends do you think marketing and communications will see in your sector over the next five years?

The next 5 years will be a very exciting time, because I believe that several things will start to happen.

First of all, I believe that traditional websites will have disappeared by the end of this decade completely. Replaced by AI filtered apps through which our customer will experience products, services, and brands.

Secondly, the emotional connection that I was taught the importance of 20 years ago, will become more and more and more important. Because AI will already be able to tell you which product is the best for your application and then it is up to the brand builders of this world to make connections that go beyond simple fact & figures.

What has fundamentally changed about your industry since you started working in it?

So many, many things – but one constant has been that technology always moves on. This new emergence of technology is unstoppable, and I have seen many teams and organizations trying to convince themselves that they have time – but they do not. What you thought to be a new trend in technology will already have been replaced by something new the day after tomorrow.

When I first started, I can remember sitting in marketing meetings talking about whether printed car brochures will disappear or not.

That is why Brand & Communication associates always must be curious about imagining the future and bring this passion for emotional brand building into their organizations.

What do you consider to be the biggest challenges for marketing & comms leaders?

To deliver a vision of what the brand that they look after should be now, tomorrow and in 10 years’ time.

Organizations that are not customer-led and brands that are not based on an emotional connection can sometimes be in love with what comes the easiest: Facts. So, they get obsessed with telling everyone what they are doing is X% better than what someone else is doing.

But this leads to a clear product focus and always traps your organization in the “what”. But to be truly successful and what will distinguish you is an understanding of the “why”.

So, organizations start with selling a drill.

Then they evolve their thinking to selling a hole.

Then they advance even further and sell a picture being hung.

But eventually they will reach the stage when they are selling a feeling of home.

Because that is the emotional connection of why the customer buys the drill in the first place.

If you could go back 10 years, what career advice would you give yourself?

Don’t sell all your bitcoin this early!

But in all truth, I have had an amazing life and an amazing career – from a little village in the middle of nowhere I ventured into this beautiful world to learn discipline, creativity, and drive – all of which have led me to some amazing places, meeting amazing people and doing incredible things.

One thing that I would have liked to learn a little earlier – maybe 25 years ago – is that travelling the world and seeing reality through the lens of different cultures allows your brain to multiply its potential. And that is maybe a good thought to finish on – go out there, travel the world, see and do amazing things. Cause there is plenty of time to be boring…

Who are tml Partners?

tml Partners are specialist marketing and communications headhunters with access to a global network of marketing leaders.

Whether you’re seeking interim or permanent solutions, our team have the expertise to support across various sectors and locations.

To learn how tml Partners can help you, get in touch with Naomi Hamilton:

+44 (0) 208 138 4478
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tml Partners are executive marketing recruitment specialists

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