“Brand is the name, term, design, symbol, or any other feature that identifies one seller’s product distinct from those of other sellers. Brands are used in business, marketing, and advertising. A modern example of a brand is Coca-Cola which belongs to the Coca-Cola Company.”-From Wikipedia.
What if I or you were a brand? Actually we all are some kind of brand. Our friends, the people who met us somehow have a perception about us: funny, kind, moody, smart, beautiful, creative, etc. Like one would say for Coca Cola: a drink, carbonated, refreshing, happy, lively, popular, international, etc. So the definition of one’s brand is all the things that people would associated with that product or person. Now what about if Switzerland was a brand? What would people associated with our country? Actually FutureBrand is a company that does exactly that. It studies what people think of brands, how strong their equity is among people and ranks them. I copy from the latest report: “The Country Brand Index has historically studied perceptions of 118 countries around the world in the same way we measure consumer or corporate brands – ranking them according to strength of perception across association dimensions.” And of course Switzerland was included. How are these reports/rankings used? From business on where to market what products or for people (consciously or unconsciously) to choose where to travel, live or study.
Switzerland came in the SECOND place as a one of the strongest brands in the world and no 1 in Europe! The most interesting part is to explore what people think of Switzerland, what interests them the most, what they know about this country, what we are less good at. So let’s take a look at each one of these.
Switzerland is associated mostly with:Natural Beauty, Good Infrastructure, Safety and Security, Standard of living, Health and Education, Environmental Friendliness, Political Freedom
Less associated though with (some really surprised me):Food (my last night experience kind of proves that, but I will not name the place, since I prefer not to write negative reviews)
Value for money (I see where they are coming from, lol, way to expensive for tourists for sure and for many of us here)
Heritage, Art and Culture (we need to advertise more our museums, galleries, artists, events, etc)
Historical points of interest (fair)
Good for business (isn’t it funny that so many company headquarters are based here?)
Tolerance (personally I thought it is quite tolerant as a culture, but then again I might have read more details of where this comes from).
Are you familiar with word clouds? This is the word cloud of all the things that people said about Switzerland. The below two opinions are just a small sample of what people said that populated the word cloud. By the way I love and I agree with the warm people comment.
Now what are we most expert at as a country?Luxury and Financial Services.
And where we lack expertise?Retail (far from a shopping paradise, despite the super busy streets of Rue du Rhone and Rue du Marche)
Automotive (no credit for the biggest auto show in the world???)
Alcohol (this is not what I witness every weekend, but I admit that the 30CHF for a drink at does not help)
For those who love rankings (I am one of them), here is some more Switzerland achievements: No 1 for Quality of living, no 3 for Value System, No 3 for Made In credibility, in the Top 10 for Tourism.
It is widely believed that perception is reality. True to an extent. But when it comes to a country, I think that we, the residents of this country, can know better the truth, the reality. It is our every day experiences that are the most credible proof of how life really is around here. Personally whenever I travel and to the people that do not live here, I make sure that I share how amazing it is living here. Maybe this way next year we will top the list and score stronger in most attributes. The most substantial though is what is left in our hearts and minds. And I can tell you that this beats any brand, even Coca Cola…
PS: I would like to thank the FutureBrand Company for letting share with you the results of their survey. You can find more about the company and the report at http://futurebrand.com
To better view the details of the above images pls click on the below photo gallery.