Trade Nov-Dec Interactive - page 32

GAT:
Who is Kunst und Kollegen
communications?
Rainer Kunst (RK):
Kunst und
Kollegen is the communications
agency I started five years ago in
Düsseldorf – with no clients and no
employees. Today we are a team of
25, and we are excited about clients
like Weight Watchers, Western Union,
ERGO Insurance, Giant Bikes and
Schwarzkopf & Henkel. The name of
the agency derives from my family
name ‘Kunst’ (which is German for
art) and ‘Kollegen’ which stands for
‘colleagues’ as I think it is important
to give all employees the opportunity
to take on personal responsibilities
within the company.
GAT:
How did you get to where you
are today?
RK:
I think the key is our ambition to
make our clients more successful. We
invest a lot of time and energy into
strategies and concepts before we even
start implementing a communications
strategy. We ask questions. Where and
how can we effectively reach the
target audience? What message is
most efficient for which communica-
tion channel? The answers to these
and many more questions lead us a
finely spun mesh of custom-made
communication measures to improve
our client’s overall success.
GAT:
That sounds great in theory
but how do you get to the right
answers?
RK:
The answer is simple: with the
right people. Our number one priority
is having a great mixture of employ-
ees. We work with executive and
creative teams who bring years of
experience in branding and advertis-
ing to the table as well as with
younger professionals who throw
fresh ideas into the mix. Branding,
corporate design, classical advertising,
point-of-sale, online communications,
social media - we do it all with an
open mind and a no-nonsense/
can-do attitude.
GAT:
Why are you opening an
office in New York?
RK:
Well, actually, my mother asked
the same question! But in all serious-
ness, the opportunity came up when
Daniel Meister, who I worked with
from 2005-2008, dropped by our
Düsseldorf headquarters. He was
working for a different agency in New
York at the time focusing on new
business development. I suggested
he’d do the same for us. Since we’ve
known and respected each other for a
long time, we quickly came to an
understanding, and he is now the
Managing Director of our New York
office.
GAT:
Your first time in the United
States was 30 years ago.
RK:
Yes, I lived here in 1983 as a
foreign exchange student, and this
stay left a memorable impression on
me. I love the American ‘pursuit of
happiness’ mentality. That’s why I’ve
kept coming back for professional and
personal reasons. I am still in contact
German American Friendship
Interview with Rainer Kunst, CEO of
Kunst und Kollegen communications, Inc.
Billboard, Weight Watchers
Print Ad, GIANT Bikes
German American Trade Nov/Dec 2013
32
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