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Interbrand unveils the top 40 Swiss brands

Nescafé, UBS and Nestlé top the list in 2009

13 February 2009, Zurich – Nescafé is far and away Switzerland's most valuable brand, concludes Interbrand’s latest study "Switzerland's 40 Most Valuable Brands" published in conjunction with the business magazine BILANZ for the fourth consecutive year. With a brand value of CHF 16,303 million, the classic instant coffee brand has topped the table. UBS secured the second position with CHF 7,560 million, followed by Nestlé with CHF 6,973 million in third place.

With two brands in the top three and Nespresso (CHF 955 million) finishing sixteenth, Nestlé has yet again dominated the ranking.

The Swatch Group is represented by no less than six brands – Omega, Swatch, Longines, Breguet, Tissot and Rado. And Chopard has entered the table with a premiere performance: thanks to a brand value of CHF 1,029 million, it claimed the fourteenth place.

The study reveals the interesting phenomenon that numerous brands increased their value although the recession had already taken its toll on their annual earnings – which were posted for the end of 2008.

"Once again, these gains demonstrate the indisputable benefits of coherent brand management," summarizes Jürgen Häusler, CEO of Interbrand Central and Eastern Europe. "Clearly positioned brands generate value and secure their earnings levels on a sustained basis. However, in times of market instability, even ostensibly strong brands need to recognize and exploit opportunities for added value. Every crisis throws companies' assumptions about their brands into doubt. Brand analytics can help organizations quickly adjust to changing conditions, execute strategically sound brand investments and steer brands safely through times of crisis."

Brand valuation by Interbrand
The table lists the forty most valuable Swiss brands that are worth at least CHF 100 million. To qualify for consideration, brands need to fulfill two criteria: (1) they must be based in Switzerland; and (2) sufficient financial and marketing data needs to be publicly available.

Initially Interbrand performs financial analyses projecting the revenue likely to be generated by the brand in its segment during the next five years (Economic Value Added). Then, based on publicly available data, the influence of the brand at the point of purchase is calculated. The result, i.e. the anticipated brand revenue, relates to the future, so the projected revenue needs to be discounted by the rate of risk. To determine the brand's vulnerability to risks, its strength is determined by evaluating further market research data such as awareness and approval scores. The net present value of the brand is computed by subtracting the projected cost of the risks from the anticipated brand revenues.

The brand values enumerated in the table therefore reflect the current value of any expected future income attributable solely to the impact of the brand.

Brands that are exclusively B2B no longer feature as a brand’s presence is defined by a brand's products or services making a lasting impression on the general public through clearly established identities or consumer-facing communications. Swiss Re, Holcim, Ciba and ABB, whose consumer presence is too limited, have all dropped out of the rankings this year.

The pharmaceutical giants Novartis and Roche have also ceded their status in the top 40 for 2009, an outcome due to the fact that brand strategies in this industry focus on the product brand rather than the producer. As a consequence, corporate brands are comparably less significant for customers in the pharmaceutical segment. In the eyes of most consumers, it is the brand name of the medical product – not that of its manufacturer – that counts. Most are familiar with the Voltaren brand, but relatively few are aware that it is made by Novartis.

"Like the pure B2B brands, pharmaceutical corporate brands lack the public profile needed to make the rankings," concludes Stefan Rüssli, Brand Valuation Director at Interbrand Central and Eastern Europe. "A lack of uniformity in the regulations governing communications in the segments and markets has also proved a factor. The discrepancies preclude fair comparisons between domestic and globally operating pharmaceutical companies, as they do between the manufacturers of OTC and prescription drugs."

The revised methodology applied in this year's rankings has not only produced positional shifts. It also rules out effective comparisons with the 2007 findings. "We are, however, ensuring comparability with the other global brand rankings published by Interbrand," says Nik Stucky, Global Practice Leader in Brand Valuation at Interbrand with responsibility for all brand rankings, explaining the new criteria.

Should you have any questions, please contact
Isabel Ossenberg
Communications Manager, Interbrand Central and Eastern Europe
Phone +49 89 520 579 36,