Research - 12.03.2018 - 00:00 

"Swissness" continues to be rated first class in Poland

"Swissness" continues to be a valuable trademark in Poland. The Institute of Marketing (IfM-HSG) and htp St.Gallen Managementberatung AG have conducted a study of this issue on behalf of the Polish-Swiss Chamber of Commerce for the third time.

12 March 2018. The total of 1,000 customers and 74 managers who were interviewed in Poland rate Swiss companies as especially reliable; also, they are considered to be attractive employers. There is optimisation potential with regard to innovative capacity, in particular. Explaining the higher prices of Swiss products and services remains a challenge.

Switzerland’s image in Poland has remained clear and stable over the years. A majority of interviewees associate Switzerland with banks, cheese, watches and chocolate. Accordingly, these industries also evoke the strongest associations with Switzerland. They are followed by environmental technologies, pharmaceutical products and architecture. Clothing/fashion, IT hardware and software, and the machine-building industry are less likely to be expected in Switzerland.

Respectful treatment of customers

For the second time since 2014, the study also focused on the image of Swiss companies as business partners and employers. Generally, Swiss companies come off excellently and, in comparison with 2014, their image as a whole has improved once more. The outstanding features here are the companies’ reliability in their dealings with business partners, their attraction as employers and a respectful treatment of customers. They were given the lowest rating, but still at a very good level, for the simplicity of cooperation, their speed and their flexibility.

Swiss products and services are still considered reliable, of high quality and luxurious in Poland. According to the survey, the interviewees are also prepared to pay more for this quality. For example, a price premium of 8 per cent was calculated for kitchen sinks – a product that hardly evokes great emotions among consumers. At the same price, 82 per cent of interviewees would prefer a kitchen sink from Switzerland to one without any indication of origin.

Poor perception of innovative capacity

This is still optimisation potential with regard to Switzerland’s innovative capacity, which is rated behind that of Japan and Germany in Poland – as indeed it is in most countries in the world. This is in contrast to various rankings, in which Switzerland is regularly rated to be world innovation champion. The innovative capacity of Switzerland and Swiss companies should therefore be marketed in a more active manner.

All in all, machine-building and plant engineering from countries such as Japan, Germany, the US and also Switzerland are rated less highly than in 2014; conversely, Poland and China have improved. Thus both local and Chinese competitors are gaining in significance in Poland.

The survey was conducted in cooperation with the Swiss export promotion agency Switzerland Global Enterprise and the national organisations of Franke, Geberit and Jura in Poland.

Photo: Fotolia / ferkelraggae

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