Interview with Ludwig König


The WORK.CULTURE.CAMPUS is the stage for our DNA.

Mr König, the rebuilding of our showroom in Karben is finished, which sets the stage for people to come and visit the new WORK.CULTURE.CAMPUS. How do you feel about that?

It’s a great feeling! With the WORK.CULTURE.CAMPUS we finally have an opportunity to apply the same strategy for brand positioning as we’ve been using for years to promote products and working environments within projects. It makes us proud that we are at last able to communicate convincingly what König + Neurath stands for. Our own employees, dealers and customers are resoundingly impressed. 

We’ve created a very special first impression with the modern, contemporary reception area. It’s incredibly rewarding to escort customers past reception and take them over the bridge into the showroom. Welcoming visitors like this in the WORK.CULTURE.CAMPUS is a new and wonderful dimension. And it’s fantastic to see how our specialists – but also employees who don’t do this every day – present the different areas impressively and passionately. It’s a completely new way of interacting. I’m so proud of this – both as a colleague and also as a senior partner.

WORK.CULTURE.CAMPUS – what does the name tell us about this place? And how did you arrive at the name?

Work Culture is our central theme. The term “Campus” conveys additional aspects: knowledge, dialogue, communication, analysis of the different forms and environments associated with the workplace, design metaphors. These are the aspects we use to influence work cultures. They are reflected in the strategic, future-oriented approach of the campus.

What’s the fundamental idea behind the campus?

We’d like to embrace customers’ needs, wow them and inspire them – using emotion, personality, product, form, colour, language and the exciting combination of diverse themes. At the heart are the people, our employees, all from different specialist backgrounds. They are parts of the whole, the WORK.CULTURE.CAMPUS is their stage. 

We used to have individual products on show. These days we display integrated solutions in our showroom. And we place these solutions within an overarching context. On the first floor we look at working environments. But we aren’t primarily talking about the product, the salient theme is emotion and sensitivity. We’re aiming to ask the right questions to provoke a response.

What do you hope to achieve with the WORK.CULTURE.CAMPUS?

It’s about the big picture, the context within which our customers move. We’d like to demonstrate that our solutions can be used flexibly, in a variety of contexts and for diverse requirements. So we display products in different functional and creative capacities in inspirational work settings. The result is an interesting effect. Visitors can spot the individual products but they might be in another design idiom, an alternative configuration, on castors, with a different leg frame variant, as a desk or a bench workstation. They appreciate that we have product families that can be used for diverse applications and configured by the user.

What other themes and areas are there to discover?

In the lower area of the showroom we look at details. We talk about our products, which we define through colour, materials and forms. This goes some way towards supporting the need to select a product based on these aspects. 

We also address various other focuses, such as the logistics concept but also the matter of customisation. Other themed areas include our history, sustainability and our WORK.CULTURE.MAP. Another thing we highlight is that in future we will increasingly see software solutions for our hardware. That’s my idea of future-oriented working – the unbeatable combination of software and hardware.

Apart from the showroom, what other features does the brand experience in Karben have?

We’re using the WORK.CULTURE.CAMPUS to promote some of our other products and services with added value for the benefit of customers with further to travel. For instance we’ve got our own box at Eintracht Frankfurt, of which we’re very proud. We invite our customers there for presentations – and ideally to a match as well.

Customers can also experience our production facility first-hand, with a guided factory tour – from steel coil and unprocessed chipboard to the finished product. Production with vertical integration is historically at the heart of König + Neurath – a heartbeat that continues to this day.

Our brand experience also includes hospitality. We’re great hosts, and we know how to feed our guests.

What effect do you hope to achieve with the new design?

It’s a milestone for us. We want to thrill our guests with the presentation over an area of 2,800 square metres, extending over the bridge and including the showroom area on the first floor and ground floor. Of course effect also equates to sales, that’s our livelihood at the end of the day. But the most important effect is and always will be the enthusiasm and passion that’s clearly apparent where the WORK.CULTURE.CAMPUS is concerned. We are showcasing ourselves and our DNA – it’s personal, authentic, premium quality. We’re a force to be reckoned with.

How can dealers specifically benefit from the WORK.CULTURE.CAMPUS?

The main benefit is that they can use the space for dialogue with others. This is a place for them to encounter products and people who specialise in sustainability or the WORK.CULTURE.MAP. Our dealers can find marketing activities along the lines of references and design awards, and possibilities for working in a variety of zones. For individual working or one-to-one meetings, but also for group get-togethers with customers. We’ve got suitable areas for all these, and dealers have access to them with professional support. They can even use them independently if they are regular visitors to our campus.

This is intended to be a long-term project. What’s the timeline like for the ongoing development of the WORK.CULTURE.CAMPUS?

In the future we are planning even more intensive modernisation at all levels. For example we’d like to upgrade our canteen. The idea is to turn it into a cafeteria that can be used for social and formal meetings, as well as private chats. 

We aim to create a rounded end-to-end brand experience. Visitors arrive, look at our ideas for working environments and our products, take a tour of the production facilities, break for coffee, go into the cafeteria for some food. That’ll be offered as an all-inclusive package. An authentic König + Neurath experience from start to finish. There’s certainly plenty still to be done – but I’m really looking forward to it. The WORK.CULTURE.CAMPUS is already a place that not only inspires our customers – it inspires us too. That’s the best premise for developing the place further.

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König + Neurath AG

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Industriestraße 1-3
61184 Karben