What Marketers Can Learn From Best Swiss Brands 2014
In 2014, Interbrand recognized the Best Swiss Brands for the 3rd time.
In honor of the occasion, Interbrand hosted an event in its Zurich office
on May 13th. Both clients and leaders representing the Best Swiss Brands
joined Interbrand to celebrate.
For the first time, B2B brands were included in the ranking,
indicating the growing importance of this sector. ABB, Swiss Re, Sulzer,
and Syngenta are impressively demonstrating the role of consistent and
mindful brand management and its rising influence on the company's
With outstanding overall performance, the unrivalled Nescafé occupies
the top spot in the ranking, but the Swiss luxury industry and the
pharmaceutical industry, represented by powerhouse brands like Novartis and
Roche, are also very strong.
A close examination of the ranking, and the leading Swiss brands it
highlights, suggests factors that are indispensable for successful brand
management. It reveals that the most successful brands understand the
importance of brand management. These brands know when to evolve, when to
reinvent themselves, and the importance of aligning their brand strategy
with their business strategy.
When looking at the leading Swiss brands and assessing their strengths,
some common themes and lessons emerge:
Evolution of brand management
The impact of the brand on a company's performance is becoming
increasingly evident. Organizations that realize this are integrating the
brand into the overall business strategy, with the brand strategy serving
as the interpretation of the business strategy. However, when brands are
viewed as the valuable assets they are and positioned to lead a business
forward, it is essential to have a great vision for them. To fulfill the
promise of that vision, it is often necessary to make changes and drive
innovation. To bring that vision to life, to touch audiences emotionally
and to create a truly outstanding brand experience also means placing a
strong emphasis on design and clear, authentic communication.
Brand experience across all touchpoints
Brands cannot be successful if people are not aware of them and impacted
by them. In order to reach target audiences and keep them engaged, the
establishment of a compelling brand experience is necessary. Not just
relying on the brand’s classic offline brand appearance, the experience
also includes the digital experience and, even more important, a
cross-channel approach. By enhancing the customer journey through design,
communication, and service at every step, companies can create a seamless
brand experience that will anchor positive emotions in the customer’s
The importance of employer branding
A clear and powerful brand position is not only key to attracting and
sustaining the interest of customers, but also plays a significant role in
attracting and retaining highly skilled professionals. Brands inspire and
strengthen commitment internally and motivate existing employees to become
brand ambassadors. Projecting this authenticity, appeal, and
credibility—internally and externally—is something successful brands seek
to do effectively.
Brand value determines brand activities
A corporate brand is sometimes thought of as a cost center, but
organizations are better served by viewing it as a business asset. A
company needs to understand its brand, gauge its effectiveness and
potential, and manage the brand as it would any other asset. Brands have
the innate potential to either strengthen or hinder a company, and it is up
to the organization to determine which of these two possibilities becomes
reality through the ways in which it leverages the brand. To leverage the
brand effectively, Brand Performance Management must be established.
Measuring and tracking a brand’s value helps companies decide which
initiatives are necessary to build its brand power.
Brand communication means leading a
In a digitally-connected world, where communication is taking place
everywhere, at all times, it’s no longer enough to craft messaging and
blast it out, hoping people will respond favorably. Today, there are many
brands competing for attention and mindshare and static communication will
not engage, build relationships with customers, or break through cultural
noise. Today, brands must participate, interact, respond, and express
passion for their corporate culture and offerings in an authentic way.
Creating a platform to receive and discuss customer feedback, expectations,
ideas, and requests gives brands the opportunity to learn about changing
customer needs, meet those needs better, and ensure a positive impact.
The future of brand management
The Best Swiss Brands report illustrates how brand management is
practiced today. To recap:
- Brand Management 3.0 is more about facilitating than controlling
brand communications. It means shifting from “Brand Cop” to the “Brand
- To achieve maximum impact, experiences must be thoughtfully
designed, powerful and consistent across touchpoints, resulting in a
memorable brand experience.
- Employer Branding is a key investment for any company’s future.
Strengthening one’s reputation and image as an employer is an effective
way to attract the best people, while a strong internal brand is
crucial to retain talent. The talent a company attracts—and keeps— can
boost future earnings.
- Measuring and tracking a brand’s value helps companies decide which
initiatives are necessary to build its brand power.
- A vivid dialogue means benefits for all stakeholders, but marketers
must bear in mind that fruitful brand conversations happen when brands
are positive, passionate, open and responsive.
For the full ranking, detailed information, and interviews with
marketing leaders visit www.bestswissbrands2014.ch