Swiss produced goods have largely retained their allure throughout the world, but German products have taken top spot for the first time in a regular survey of global consumers.
The “Swissness Worldwide 2016” survey found that Switzerland’s image of openness remains intact despite a 2014 vote to restrict foreign workers. The Swiss brand also stands for hard work and reliability.
This is particularly appreciated in China, India, Russia and Brazil – countries that are home to 40% of the world’s population. As a result, consumers are prepared to spend an average 40% more for Swiss goods than those produced by other countries, the survey found.
Overseas consumers will pay twice as much for Swiss luxury watches as other brands, 50% more for cheese and cosmetics and an extra 7% for ski holidays.
Even domestic consumers are prepared to pay more for products marked with the Swiss white cross. For example, Swiss consumers will pay 6% for Swiss branded biscuits than those from other countries.
But perception of German goods among the 7,900 consumers surveyed by the University of St Gallen and brand consultancy Jung von Matt/Limmat comes out narrowly better than Swiss products. This is the first time that Swissness has been toppled from the top spot since the brand awareness survey began in 2008.
The report’s authors urge Swiss companies to step up their innovation efforts to avoid slipping any further. At the start of next year, new legislation will specify how much Swiss input (in terms of ingredients, research and manufacturing) goods must contain to qualify for the coveted Swiss Label brand mark.