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Swiss brands strengthen resilience in turbulent times

Which Swiss brands are the most resilient? And what criteria can be used to measure resilience? Our study on the resilience of Swiss brands yielded some surprising results.

It's not easy being a Swiss CEO or corporation these days. In the German city of Constance, supermarkets are being raided by Swiss shoppers, while shops in Bern have more sales staff than customers. Swiss vacationers are cavorting all over Austria, while one out of every four Swiss hotels is fighting for survival. In the export business, they have to justify the 10 to 20 % higher costs as an added value in global competition. So what options do Swiss companies have – other than reducing costs?

To persevere during such difficult times, companies need resilient brands. Because the more robust brands are, the more they can help companies to assert prices, keep employees on board, and master the challenges of transformation.

We have examined the brand resilience of Swiss brands. We wanted to know: What are the most resilient brands in Switzerland? And what optimization potential do Swiss brands have? The study is based on our BrandTrust Resilience Index, which we developed for the purpose of determining brand resilience.

The main results of the study are:

  1. Victorinox is the most resilient brand in Switzerland – ahead of Lindt, Ricola, Swatch, Migros, and Swisscom.
  2. Bands of the Swiss Confederacy and cooperative brands lead the pack – because demonstrable "Swissness" helps.
  3. Chocolate is at the top – banks take last place.
  4. Swisscom takes care of its customers; all others are engaging in re-branding.
  5. Many Swiss brands are well-known, but not attractive.
  6. The Swiss like to shop in other (European) countries.
  7. Migros leads by a wide margin. Aldi is getting established.
  8. Family tradition beats corporate world – across all sectors.
  9. Attack from Silicon Valley – Google and Apple are threatening the banks.
  10. Swiss destinations are interchangeable.

Conclusion of the brand resilience study: It's the real Swiss values that make Swiss brands and their companies so strong: Cooperative structure, familiarity, authenticity, closeness to people, excellent performances, but also innovation and the idea of "obstinate" resistance to threats from the outside. Being indispensable in the lives of customers, thereby achieving a price premium and being "good" for Switzerland – those are the great optimization potentials for CEOs and brand managers in Switzerland. They are what can help them succeed at making their companies more resilient and imposing their high Frank prices with real added value. New names or vacant creative image campaigns without any substance are perceived as being merely "cosmetic" and drive customers to Euroland.

 

How the BrandTrust Brand Resilience Index works:

The BrandTrust Resilience Index is a method for measuring and therefore controlling brand resilience – i.e. the stability and agility of brand companies. As a foundation, BrandTrust interviewed over 150 CEOs and top decision makers from 40 business sectors in Switzerland, Germany, and Austria in the fall of 2014. Using the results, we determined the ten most important criteria on which the BrandTrust Resilience Index is built:

  1. Price-Premium
  2. Volume-Premium
  3. Brand-Advocacy
  4. Employee pride
  5. Sustainability
  6. Adaptability
  7. Awareness
  8. Indispensability
  9. Brand experience excellence
  10. Social relevance

These criteria went on to serve as a basis for several studies: In 2015, a total of 20,000 customers and buyers were surveyed on the resilience of 223 brands – of them around 5,600 customers and 65 leading brands from 14 market segments in Switzerland. These brands were selected not only on the merits of their brand strength. Additional important criteria were factors like sustainability and price premium. The study was led by Achim Feige, Partner at BrandTrust.

Further study results: You would like to find out more about the brand resilience study? We will be glad to provide you with more detailed information. Your contact:

Achim Feige
Partner Brand Trust GmbH
E-Mail: achim.feige@brand-trust.de

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