Wolfgang Schaefer has been building global brand strategies for over 20 years in Europe, the US and Asia Pacific for companies as diverse as PepsiCo, P&G, Unilever, Coty and Nestle. He is that rare internationalist and chief strategist with true global reach, as well as with first-hand experience of cultural understanding and empathy.
His main expertise lies in prestige brands such as Davidoff, Chopard, Swarovski, Lancaster amongst many others. Today he serves as Chief Strategic Officer for SelectNY, one of the world's leading premium brand building networks where he focuses on:
- Brand expansion, partnerships and co-operations
- Business and product ideation and innovation
- Cross-cultural brand and communication assessments, development and adaptation
- Strategic-creative development of brand platforms and activation programs
- Market segmentation and portfolio planning
- Trend and cultural research programs
He is also the co-author, with JP Kuehlwein, of Rethinking Prestige Brands--Secrets of the Ueber-Brands. The book discusses how both the concept and context of prestige is changing. For example, it is no longer unusual to find items that were once considered premium at stores or in categories where they were not expected in the past- such as a Missoni line in Target or water that retails at $15 a bottle. Interestingly, as luxury becomes more mass, consumers are also rethinking consumption. Rather than owning more, they now prefer to curate a portfolio of experiences and items that express who they are and what they stand for. Ueber-Brands or modern prestige brands are therefore less self-important or aggrandizing, and instead are now more self-aware and self-reflecting.
Raised in Germany’s Rhine valley, an early access to other countries and cultures was natural. Today, Wolf is co-located between NYC and Berlin. He’s a frequent lecturer at universities and conferences in the US as well as Europe, and holds an MA from the University of the Arts Berlin,