Havas Brand Predictor 2021: Brand preferences are digital, sustainable and meatless

The brand trends of recent years have become even more pronounced. In the "Havas Brand Predictor" study, Swiss consumers are even more in favor of digital products and services, sustainable products and labels, and alternative diets. However, Corona has also strongly changed the brand dynamics in certain areas.

For ten years now, the Havas Brand Predictor has been measuring the perception of brands in terms of their dynamics, the trust placed in them and brand trends. These parameters are indicators for the current attractiveness of brands as well as for future preferences and purchase intentions of consumers.

Dynamics - The three main trends

Digital, meat-free and sustainable. What has already been observed for several years has become even more pronounced this year. Swiss consumers are becoming more digital, are increasingly demanding sustainable products and increasingly want to eat meat-free.

Digital lifestyle: As in the previous year, Twint and Netflix occupy the top spots among the most dynamic brands in Switzerland. Twint has now taken over the leading position from Netflix and has definitely established itself among the Swiss. But other mobile banking products are also enjoying a strong upswing. Revolut, Neon, and also N26 stand out with the greatest dynamic increases.

Sustainability: The dynamic growth of these labels and products is evident. For example, the top 40 ranks of all 489 brands include Migros Bio, Bio Suisse, Aus der Region. Für die Region, Alnatura, Miini Region, Naturaplan, Demeter, Fairtrade Max Havelaar, Suisse Garantie, Nature Suisse Bio and IP Suisse are all products and labels that stand for sustainability, organic or regionality.

"Please without meat": The issue of sustainability is also making itself felt in meat substitute products and food lines. The most dynamic 40 products include many labels and products that support meat-free nutrition concepts: V-Label, Beyond Meat, Karma, V-Love and Planted. "It's very impressive to see how the sustainability trend continues to diversify and giving up meat becomes part of a sustainable lifestyle," says Marcel Benz, strategy director and member of the executive board at Havas Switzerland. Benz goes on to say that for years, sustainability has manifested itself primarily in farming methods such as organic, animal welfare or Fairtrade, but that other factors for reducing the personal ecological footprint are now playing an important role among consumers.

Dynamics - Corona effect is also digital

The big Corona beneficiaries all come from the same category and also sell digitally; the online retailers. Whether among young people or consumers* as a whole, Switzerland prefers online retailers more than ever. "The shift to online purchases has of course been fueled by the pandemic and has inevitably changed shopping behavior more quickly - and to a certain extent involuntarily. Brands that had secured their online or D2C distribution in particular were able to benefit greatly," says Nathalie Diethelm, CEO of Havas Switzerland, explaining this increase. Top of this category are Galaxus, Migros Online and Coop@home (coop.ch), followed by Digitec, Zalando, Qoqa, Brack.ch and Farmy.ch. "This online retail sector is the big Corona and dynamic winner due to the increases compared to last year," adds Nathalie Diethelm.

Who else has gained or lost momentum?

Tesla and Spotify are other digital brands at an all-time high. Newcomer-of-the-Year is On. "On" made it into the top 10 right off the bat. This brand may also have benefited from the pandemic, as jogging was the only way for many to exercise during this time," Diethelm analyzes the top result, adding that the marketing offensive with Roger Federer and the launch of "The Roger" certainly also caused an increase in momentum for On.

A pandemic curiosity is the A. Vogel brand, which also gained considerable momentum as a result of the Echinaforce tale. Even if the product does not protect against Covid-19, the press hype at least had a positive impact on the perception of the brand. And very likely sales as well.

Another notable movement can be seen in the search engines. DuckDuckGo and Ecosia are enjoying strong positive momentum and are clearly distancing Google, which has lost a lot of momentum. It is interesting to note that Ecosia is positioning itself as a sustainable search engine and DuckDuckGo is committed to data protection. Both are very topical issues. "The sustainability trend but also the increasing caution of customers towards their personal data is well recognizable in the search engines," Marcel Benz comments on this category.

In terms of social networks, Tiktok is the strongest brand, as it was last year, followed by YouTube and Twitch. Whatsapp, on the other hand, has fallen completely, and Facebook is in last place. A large proportion of the Swiss* stated that these brands had lost a lot of popularity among them. "The Whatsapp case is further proof that data protection has become more important to consumers," says Marcel Benz. "People no longer want to disclose their data without restrictions. However, to what extent it will prevent people from using an app like Whatsapp remains to be seen. Contrary to Whatsapp's announcement, the service can still be used without restrictions even without accepting the new terms of use. Apparently, Whatsapp is also concerned that there could be an exodus of users."
The tobacco industry also has to reinvent itself. Smoking products are losing favor with consumers. Camel and Philip Morris are also in the bottom four. Despite marketing efforts to position itself as a smoke-free company, Philip Morris has not yet been able to convince consumers of its new direction.

A polarizing picture is emerging among the media. The print media all have a negative dynamic. A majority of respondents answered that these brands would lose popularity. Some online media, on the other hand, were rated positively. The most dynamic media brands are Izzy Projects, Nau and Watson. Also 20 minutes is still slightly positive, but lost a lot of momentum. 

Momentum Factor - The Most Popular Trend Brands in Switzerland

Using the "momentum factor", the Havas Brand Predictor can determine which brands are trending most strongly with consumers. It is striking that, with the exception of the On brand (and Tesla, depending on how you look at it), the top 15 in this ranking are also made up exclusively of brands from the areas of online retail, digital lifestyle, meat-free nutrition, mobile banking and sustainability. Twint is the trend brand of Switzerland this year, ahead of Netflix and Tiktok.


Trust must be earned - and comes from Switzerland

In terms of trust, it is clear that consumers prefer established quality brands with tradition and long-standing customer relationships. The top 15 are made up exclusively of Swiss brands. This means that the Swiss trust domestic products above all. These mainly come from the food or retail category. Le Gruyère enjoys the greatest trust - and thus also the approval of the highest quality of its products. The cheese brand has been top for many years, but this year it is the number 1 most trusted brand in Switzerland. Le Gruyère is followed by Migros, Lindt, Victorinox and Coop. Migros' Regio concept "From the region, for the region" occupies a place in the top 10 for the first time and is an exception as a label.

Nathalie Diethelm: "The field of the most trusted brands has become even denser this year, which has led to certain shifts in ranking. Swiss consumers only place their trust in traditional Swiss brands.

Young Switzerland: Digital meets Nature

Unsurprisingly, a more digital picture emerges among young people. In the youngest age break of 15 to 26, representatives of Generation Z and the Millennials, Twint takes first place in terms of dynamics - ahead of another three digital brands. The trend toward sustainable products is also even more pronounced among young people. This is reflected in the number of brands as well as in the higher momentum scores compared to the overall population. Even though the "Fridays for Future" could no longer be carried out physically, sustainable brands and products are more preferred than ever before.

Mobile banking brands all recorded the highest increases in momentum: Neon and Revolut ahead of N26. In absolute terms, the first 4 places are the digital brands Twint, Tiktok, Spotify and Netflix. Followed by many sustainability brands and labels, online retailers and brands from the vegetarian and vegan food segment. Marcel Benz concludes: "The results clearly show that sustainable brands and labels, as well as alternative protein sources and meat-free diets, are most attractive to younger people. Young people care deeply about the environment."

Brands with the highest increase in momentum among the under-26sn

Neon 64.9 +70.0
Revolut 74.4 +61.9
N26 70.1 +61.0

The biggest loser in terms of momentum is Whatsapp. The extent to which the new terms of use resulted in a migration to alternative messangers still has to be analyzed.

When we look at trust, a similar picture emerges as in the overall ranking. In the top 15, we find many traditional brands or brands with which young people already have a long-standing relationship. And from the top this year greets Migros. But there are also two younger digital brands in the top 15: Netflix and Twint. Netflix is the only foreign brand in the top 15.

Based on the Momentum Factor, the trending brands among young people are Twint, Tiktok, and Revolut. Netflix's second runner-up in this age segment is Disney+. But also the vegetarian label V-Label, the meatless burger from Beyond or Karma from Coop underline the trend towards meatless products in this segment. Zalando has the best momentum among online retailers.

The from Havas Switzerland commissioned study was conducted by the research institute Intervista in the first two weeks of February 2021. More than 4,500 consumers were surveyed about 489 brands and labels.

What exactly is and what does the Brand Predictor measure?

The Havas Brand Predictor is a strategy tool from Havas Switzerland that illuminates brand and competitive environments and can help brands to take the right measures. The Brand Predictor shows in which psychographic segments (Limbi code) or socio-demographic environments strengths or weaknesses exist, so that these can be targeted. In addition, overall movements in the Swiss brand landscape are made visible and consumer trends can be derived.

Dynamism: Dynamism is virtually the pulse generator of brand attractiveness. Respondents rate the extent to which a brand has gained or lost popularity. The higher the value, the more people said that the brand had become more popular. The brand with the highest momentum is Twint.

Momentum factor: The momentum factor indicates the current popularity of the brands by showing the momentum value in relation to the answers "popularity has remained the same". Thus, the Momentum Factor shows the current brand trends. In 2021, the Twint.

Trust: Trust is defined as the sum of the responses that rate the trustworthiness and reliability of a brand as "always reliable" and "mostly reliable". Le Gruyere enjoys the highest trust in 2021.

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