Switzerland's strongest brands are more digital than ever before

Unter den 20 stärksten Marken der Schweiz befinden sich 2017 zum ersten Mal fünf digitale Brands. Weiterhin eine hohe Dominanz haben Marken mit Schweizer Ursprung. Google ist erneut der stärkste Consumer Brand 2017, gefolgt von der Migros. Dies sind einige Ergebnisse der Markenstudie BrandAsset Valuator von Y&R Switzerland.

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The study has been conducted every two years since 1995 by Y&R Group Switzerland. It is representative for German- and French-speaking Switzerland.

Google remains the strongest consumer brand in 2017

Google successfully defends its top position in the BAV ranking, maintaining its position as the strongest consumer brand in 2017 after 2015. Once again, it relegates Migros to second place. Lego completes the brand podium and lands in 3rd place. Interestingly, if not only consumer brands but also NGOs and NPOs were integrated into the ranking, Rega would be in first place instead of Google.

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Top 20: WhatsApp new in the club of powerbrands

Digitalization is also reflected in the power brands. Digital brands now account for a quarter of the 20 strongest consumer brands, more than ever before. WhatsApp is among the top 20 in Switzerland for the first time. The meteoric rise of the messaging app is remarkable. Only launched in 2009, it has managed to assume a dominant role in consumers' lives within a very short time.

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Since 2011, the share of digital brands in the top 20 has been rising steadily, reaching its highest level ever in 2017 with five brands - Google, Office, Wikipedia, Windows and WhatsApp.

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Overall, however, brands with Swiss origins continue to dominate the top 20: 14 of the 20 strongest consumer brands originate in Switzerland.

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Google in the top 10 for all generations for the first time

Another first: Google is the first digital brand to make it into the top 10 this year among all three age segments (digital natives, 14-29; digital immigrants, 30-54; silver surfers, 55-74).

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Among silver surfers in particular, however, brands with a Swiss cross in the logo or at least a long Swiss history are still preferred. The digital natives, on the other hand, have a much more digital top 10 brand set: For them, WhatsApp, Wikipedia, YouTube and Microsoft Office are among the ten strongest brands in Switzerland, in addition to Google.

Excursus: Banks - The brand is essential

From the point of view of retail customers, banks' services are interchangeable. Viewed objectively, the differences between the individual institutions in the core areas of paying, saving, financing and investing are marginal. One of the few perceptible differences for consumers is ultimately the brand.

It is essential for banks to invest in their brands in order to communicate their attitude to customers via this platform and to build a meaningful relationship. This keeps them relevant to customers. As a result, they also differentiate themselves from the competition and create esteem as well as familiarity. As the Power Grid shows, the Raiffeisen banks, the cantonal banks and PostFinance currently succeed best in this. Their brands are rated significantly better by consumers on the pillars of relevance, differentiation, appreciation, and familiarity than those of the competition.

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Relevance makes the difference

Digitalization is constantly changing the world: Networks, smart devices, big data, and computing power are creating ongoing momentum. The old theories of brand management and brand communication are no longer effective in the digital world and demand a new way of thinking: away from the differentiated "Big Idea" to the sustainable "Relevant Idea".

To be relevant, brands today must offer consumers opportunities for identification. They must not blanket them with 360-degree integrated messages, but build meaningful relationships with them and maintain engagement 365 days a year through intelligent channel networking.

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The guiding principle of the "Relevant Idea" focuses not on differentiation from the competition, but on the interests of consumers. Consequently, the central question is not "What makes us unique?" but "What interests our customers?" and "What role does our brand play in this?"

BrandAsset Valuator - the largest brand study in the world

The BrandAsset Valuator has been the largest brand study in the world for more than 20 years. In Switzerland, it is conducted every two years by Y&R Group Switzerland. These rankings are based on the results of brand strength, which is made up of the factors differentiation, relevance, esteem and familiarity. In addition, the results of the study provide information on the image and usage of the brands investigated. The study is representative for German- and French-speaking Switzerland.

The BrandAsset Valuator study design was fundamentally revised in 2015 and continued as a commissioned study in 2017. As part of the study, around 3,600 people between the ages of 14 and 74 were surveyed on their personal brand perception. The survey was conducted by the LINK Institute, the Swiss market leader in survey research.

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