Mar 20

Talking Brands (Medium)


“A Picture is worth a thousands words”Arthur Brisbane, 1911

If a picture is worth a thousands words, then what do some of the most popular German and international brand logos say? What values do they communicate?

Of course, each one of us will have different opinions and feelings about various brands, so I will endeavour to capture a broad range of vocabulary and word partnerships that we use to discuss brands.

Here is a list then of some popular adjectives to describe brands.

What words would you use to describe some of your favourite brands?

Let’s take BMW (Bayerische Motoren Werke AG) as an example. This is one of the more interesting logos from both a design perspective and from the brand’s historical development.

BMW was originally founded in 1917 as an aircraft engine production company.  The logo, which was first used in 1929, has been portrayed as the movement of an aircraft propeller with white blades cutting through a blue sky. It also has the same colours as the state flag for Bavaria, its state of origin.

In my opinion, BMW is a timeless brand that represents a high level of quality and workmanship. Although it is a classic brand, BMW offers cutting edge design and innovation. The cars are very stylish, safe and fun to drive. Some even say sexy. See: The BMW 4 Series Is A Big, Sexy, Beautiful Beast

BMW targets an upmarket or more sophisticated market as its cars are somewhat expensive but very reliable, powerful and safety rich. As a global brand BMW is well-positioned to take advantage of growth in emerging markets such as China and Brazil.

Mar 10

Berlin Property Prices May Peak (Advanced)

Berlin Tent Areas

Property prices may finally be starting to ease up a little for those looking to buy or for Berliners trying to cope with rising rental prices. Higher property prices usually translate into higher rental prices, however recent trends indicate that prices may be peaking and could stabilize over the near term.

In all major cities, property and rental price developments tend to follow a similar trend. If you think of a city and its outer lying areas as something like a big round tent, this is basically what prices do over time. They go up more and more in areas of high demand, such as in city centres (in Berlin that’s not so easy to define), and rise slower over time in outer lying areas.

During a property boom prices in the city centre tend to rise first and outer lying areas play catch up by rising later. When prices for new developments in the city centre start to peak or even fall, this may indicate that prices for outer lying areas are close to peaking as well.

Increase of (existing property) outer lying areas since Q1, 2010 (3 years)*

Aldershof (Treptow) +14.78% – (last 12 months +8%)
Lichtenrade (Templehof) +32.28% – (last 12 months +25.9%)
Niederschöneweide (Treptow) +5.24% – (last 12 months +8.3%)
Neukölln +47.36% – (last 12 months +40.7%)
Wittenau (Reinickendorf) +19.34% – (last 12 months +11.5%)
Reinickendorf +5.24% – (last 12 months +8.7%)
Spandau +28.57% – (last 12 months +12.5%)
Lankwitz (Steglitz) +23.04% – (last 12 months +3.2%)
Oberschöneweide (Köpenick) +75.43% – (last 12 months +51.9%)
Lichterfelde (Steglitz) +33.53% – (last 12 months +12.8%)
Lichtenburg +26.45% – (last 12 months +8.3%)
Weißensee +52.17% – (last 12 months -4.3%)

Increase of (existing property) inner lying areas since Q1, 2010 (3 years)*

Mitte +31.63% – (last 12 months -2.7%)
Schöneberg +43.29% – (last 12 months +29.7%… flat the last 6 months)
Prenzlauer Berg +20.33% – (last 12 months +5.6%)
Friedrichshain +28.94% – (last 12 months +14%)
Kreuzberg +21.87% – (last 12 months +10%)
Wedding +39% – (last 12 months +21.7%… flat last 6 months)

Increase of (new property) inner lying areas since Q1, 2010 (3 years)*

Mitte +23.38% – (last 12 months +11.3%)
Schöneberg +29% – (last 12 months +28.1%… flat the last 6 months)
Prenzlauer Berg +10% – (last 12 months -4.3%)
Friedrichshain +36.8% – (last 12 months +16.7%)
Kreuzberg +21.42% – (last 12 months +4.6%)

* data source – Immobilien Scout

Some of the signs that prices are beginning to peak include slowing, single digit or even negative growth for new and existing property in the city centres, such as the areas of Mitte, Prenzlauer Berg and Kreuzberg show.

According to Bloomberg, a NY Company called Blackstone is looking to sell 8000 Berlin apartments that they bought post to the credit crisis in 2012. This may soak up a lot of demand for property in Berlin at a time when Italy and its financial disposition may become a cause of greater concern. Sellers may find it tougher with weaker demand later in the year but tenants renting property might enjoy a reprieve.

For buyers however, interest rates are still low and may go lower and prices are still relatively low when compared to other European cities. Some questions remain though as to how sustainable further price increases are given the low income levels in Berlin and the ability of local residents to pay higher rent. Berlin’s industrial and economic base pales in comparison to other German cities and there also remains the risk of legislation to lower rental price increase allowances from 20% every three years to a maximum of 15%.

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Mar 03

Observations about Web Security – Medium


I decided to do a special update about web security as this is something that affects us all and it is only though wide communication and information sharing that we can all enjoy safer surfing and have confidence in the web.

A new trend of late amongst hackers and those with malicious intent, has been to attack websites and blogs with code injection techniques. This means simply that hackers try to access web servers through open FTP programs, whereby they upload malicious software to web servers, redirect pages, and hijack pages and computers etc. A sign that a website is under attack may be that it is offline often, displays ‘website is banned‘ information or displays information incorrectly or slowly. I have seen this happen more and more to small website owners, bloggers, and large companies.

A second and more disturbing trend is the exploit of Java related runtime software that is used to run more sophisticated websites and applications.

Many websites you may have visited have already been infected and may have already infected your machine.

There are some simple ways we can take control and defend ourselves and our lovely PC or MAC against unwanted software and intruders.

Here are some excellent and free software recommendations for both the PC or MAC platforms that will help keep your machine clean.

  1. Most important – use anti virus software that can perform a boot scan before you start up your PC. E.g Avast for the Mac or PC
  2. Use a good firewall – one that scans a clean PC fully during installation. Mac or PC .
  3. Add some extra spyware software – Spybot SD Resident.
  4. Make sure your browsers have safe browsing options enabled.
  5. Becoming more important! Check Java updates are being installed automatically and regularly.

If your PC is slowing down or doing strange things, you’re probably infected.

Similar to the Avast scan before booting the OS, Microsoft also recently published new scanning software you can run before the systems starts. See: Windows Defender Offline Package.

Enjoy and safe surfing.

Copyright Notice © Berlin Busines English – Image Source: Stuart Miles –