Research - 28.08.2013 - 00:00 

Swissness is good for business

Switzerland’s global image has improved in recent years – contrary to public perception in Switzerland. Customers are willing to spend more on Swiss products than on items from other countries.


29. August 2013. HSG’s Institute of Marketing and htp St.Gallen Managementberatung AG recently surveyed 4,041 people in 14 countries about the Swiss brand. They conducted the survey in cooperation with the agency Jung von Matt/Limmat and the market research company GfK Switzerland.

Swissness pays off
Many Swiss are convinced that their country’s image has deteriorated in recent years. Internationally, the opposite is true: Switzerland’s image is notably better than two years ago, especially in Brazil, India and China. Switzerland is perceived as a reliable and trustworthy country with abundant natural beauty and a high quality of life. In a comparison between countries, Switzerland came out ahead of Germany, Japan and the US. Swissness appealed to respondents on intellectual and emotional levels.

The study establishes that for companies, Swissness pays off financially: it offers the potential to realize higher product prices. Swissness prompts the highest willingness to pay in countries like China, Japan and India. Indians, for example, are willing to pay 65 percent more for a Swiss bar of chocolate than for chocolate of unknown origin. The Japanese are prepared to pay more than double for a watch that has been manufactured in Switzerland. However, the willingness to pay for – and thus the added value of – Swissness varies widely depending on product and market.

Perception varies according to age and region
Swiss people favor products from their own country over imported goods. A high ratio of them said they pay a lot of attention to the country of origin when buying products. For that group, which prefers Swiss-made goods, the quality of products, in particular groceries, is very important and its members are willing to pay higher prices. This also manifests in their consumption choices: they prefer Rivella to Coca-Cola, and Valser has the advantage over Evian. People over 50, as well as women and German-speaking Swiss, indicate that they are more enthusiastic about Swissness than those under 40, men and French-speaking Swiss.

Picture: Photocase / brightbild

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