GfK Conference 2018

NurembergConvention Center, 05.07.2018


1 Prof. Dr. med. Christiane Woopen | Professor of Medical Ethics and Theory

Director of the Cologne Center for Ethics, Rights, Economics and Social Sciences of Health (ceres), University of Cologne

Chair of the European Group on Ethics in Science and New Technologies (EGE)


Data is a new currency, the new gold, a comparison frequently made to underline the high value of data in the digital age. In conjunction with Artificial Intelligence (AI), data promises better marketing, more effective advertising, more attractive products and more efficient control over consumer behavior.

Yet how can customers, employees or patients safeguard their privacy? And can we still exercise effective self-determination when our personal environment is governed by algorithms drawing on our personalities to create a profile and gradually “nudge” us into a particular way of life?

Data not only has an economic value: we also have to think about our ethical values.

2 Ingo Stapf | Commercial Director Germany | GfK Consumer Panels | GfK SE


The positive consumer climate in Germany has led to increased awareness of quality on the part of consumers in recent years and to rising propensity to spend.

These are the optimum conditions for trading-up fast-moving-consumer goods (FMCG). However, this applies only if consumer demands in terms of products and quality can also be met.

What is important to consumers where quality is concerned and where they currently put their trust when it comes to the quality of food products is revealed by the findings of a Consumer Panel survey conducted by GfK in May 2018 and Summer 2011.

In this talk, I shall be giving an insight into whether and how trading-up can work in retailing and industry. For instance, discount stores and supermarkets are using the present positive conditions to increasingly nudge their customers towards higher-value products by modernizing and adapting both their brand image and product ranges. For manufacturers of FMCG, trading-up offers unique growth opportunities if they address changing consumer requirements and motives and meet consumer desires for something they can put their faith in with authentic products and clear communications.

3 Antje Schubert | Managing Director| iglo GmbH


What do soap bubbles and emotions have to do with trading-up? Germany – a nation of bargain hunters – where consumer prices are lower than anywhere else in the European region. So what can be done to strengthen the value consumers place on long-established brands or even to significantly increase this? The search for the answer as to how trading-up might be possible involves so much more than the classic marketing mix.

Trading-up levers:

Portfolio and trends
Quality and sustainability

4 Jürgen Boyny | Global Director| Consumer Electronics | GfK SE


In 2018, it is estimated that around 7.1 million TV sets will be bought. This means that almost one in six households will have acquired a new TV. The televisions of today are generally flatscreen and transmission is virtually fully digitized.

Although the TV market is more or less saturated, new potential still remains on the horizon for the coming years. Buyers are demanding ever larger screens, better image quality and, increasingly, they want to access new content via the internet at times that suit them. The current trend is clearly toward a second device.

Videos are not only watched on TVs, but also on mobile end devices such as smartphones, tablets or PCs. All this means that TV consumption as a whole demands a re-think.

6 Carine Léa Chardon | Managing Director | Deutsche TV-Plattform e.V.

SMART-TV: Opportunities and Challenges

The pace of change in media consumption over the past 30 years since the beginnings of commercial TV has been rapid. Today’s media use is shaped by comprehensive accessibility to audiovisual content. Media consumption on the move, anywhere and anytime, has become well established as platforms and intermediaries have assumed important media access functions.

Along with broadcasting content, online media content is also being increasingly used. This endows social media platforms and search engines with huge importance. At the same time, the number and variety of devices used to access media has also grown.

Virtually every consumer device (from TV screens to handheld devices) gives access to audiovisual media, with radio, TV and streaming services completing the available range. Smartphones play an important role, particularly in the case of younger people. Smart TV, which also offers radio, TV and online services, facilitates a personalized and diversified media choice and is well integrated in the overall package of today’s media consumption.

At content level, the spectrum on offer is wide and varied, and the level of investment in content is growing. Not least, the major Video-on-Demand service providers are becoming relevant production companies, whose popular film and TV series are now competing with the established broadcasters. This is a development which cannot be reversed, and it certainly does not disadvantage consumers, who are now free to decide which channel or service they prefer to watch.

Current challenges associated with smart TV consumption relate not only securing reliable access and detectability, but also data protection. Regulatory instruments are in place and these are subject to ongoing development in light of the process of constant innovation.

In conclusion, we can say that the variety of different media currently available is huge, that image quality is constantly being improved with the aid of ultra-high resolution technology and that AI is being used to make media consumption even more attractive through personalization and flexibility.

7 Prof. Dr.-Ing. Markus Lienkamp | Chair of Vehicle Technology | TU Munich

THE STATUS OF ELECTROMOBILITY 2018: Customers will decide

From hype to revolution: by 2025 at the latest, electric cars will be cheaper than cars with combustion engines. Moreover, there is the threat that these will be outlawed. Who on earth will still be buying “old” technology? While the automotive industry is unable to satisfy demand for electric cars and there are insufficient charging stations available, consumers may be cautious about buying cars for many years – and this could even happen as early as 2020.


Electric vehicles are technically viable
From 2020 onwards, electric vehicles will also be economically viable for numerous applications (total cost of ownership)
Customers will decide and will want the new product
If the market cannot deliver, customers will wait.

The slides of the speeches are available in German only - for downloading please go to the German page.