Stihl to open Brand World

Museum part of company’s extensive rework of German headquarters

Germany Located on the banks of the Rems River with a view of its natural surroundings, the Stihl Brand World includes a three-story exhibition space. (Photo: Stihl Group)

Outdoor power equipment specialist Stihl has opened its new Brand World (Markenweldt in German) in Waiblingen, Germany. Part of an extensive, multi-year project to expand the company’s headquarters, the Stihl Brand World is designed to take visitors on a journey through the nearly 100-year history of the business and the brand. One highlight of the exhibition is a comprehensive knowledge platform about the power of forests.

“I find the new Stihl Brand World impressive,” said Winfried Kretschmann, the minister-president of Baden-Württemberg (the German state in which Stihl is based), at the grand opening ceremony in July. “It’s exciting to see how much technology and know-how goes into these products.”

For Stihl Advisory Board and Supervisory Board Chairman Dr. Nikolas Stihl, the new building was an investment in the future that reaffirms the company’s commitment to its hometown of Waiblingen.

“The total investment of more than 100 million euros, by and far the most expensive construction project in our company’s history, underscores yet again Stihl’s deep connection to the location and the region,” Stihl said. “The Brand World is the centerpiece of the modernization and extensive expansion of the Stihl founding company headquarters. It gives visitors the opportunity to get to know our family-owned business — along with our philosophy, history, present, and future — in an informative and interactive manner.”

Germany Winfried Kretschmann, the minister-president of Baden-Württemberg, the German state that is home to Stihl. (Photo: Stihl Group)

Three levels

Located on the banks of the Rems River, the Brand World includes a three-story exhibition space measuring just over 1500 sq.m.

“Besides the development of the company and Stihl’s innovative products, the exhibition focuses on the power of forests, which has been inextricably linked with the Stihl brand since Andreas Stihl founded the company in 1926,” said Sarah Gewert, Stihl Executive Board member for Marketing and Sales. “The importance of the forest for our planet, especially in light of ongoing climate change, as well as the way sustainable forestry works and the relevance of the forest for each and every one of us, is presented interactively on a dedicated level.”

The company worked with international experts from science and forestry to create the knowledge platform, which combines research and practical applications and is curated by Professor Jürgen Bauhus, Chair of Silviculture at the University of Freiburg.

Two additional levels, Vision and Innovation, showcase the company’s history — from its roots with two-man saws used in forestry to the latest Stihl technology, as well as a preview of the future and applications yet to come. Employees also play a role in the exhibition, with some presenting topics that are currently relevant to the company, such as the Stihl sustainability strategy, the high degree of vertical integration, and product innovations in the fields of safety and ergonomics.

In addition to gaining insights into manufacturing and assembly, visitors also have the chance to explore the wide range of products from Stihl.

The Stihl Timbersports section lets visitors immerse themselves in the competitive atmosphere of lumberjack sports. The complex also features an amphitheater for product demonstrations, a café, and the Stihl brand shop.

The exhibition is presented in German and English. The company said it was created to appeal to a wide audience — from forestry, horticulture, and landscaping professionals to fans of Stihl — without neglecting younger guests as well as people who are simply interested in learning more about the company.

A digital guide escorts visitors through the exhibition and provides additional informative content.

The Stihl Brand World is scheduled to open its doors to the general public on Saturday, Sept. 30. Online tickets for the exhibition’s regular Saturday and Sunday visiting hours are expected to go on sale starting in mid-September at markenwelt.stihl.de. An internal test phase to train additional visitor guides and optimize operating processes will continue until then.

Construction underway since 2019

Construction of the new complex started in 2019 with the gutting of company’s high-rise office complex. Originally built in 1972, the tower has now been fully renovated to house roughly 300 modern workspaces and a selection of meeting rooms. The old company buildings around the high-rise have been replaced by new ones containing the Brand World, a staff cafeteria, and additional office space.

Despite major challenges during construction as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, building work progressed on schedule, allowing the company to dedicate its new headquarters as planned in late 2022. The opening of the Stihl Brand World marks the culmination of the construction project.

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