“Made in Switzerland” Study: Extremely Popular Worldwide, But Not Very Innovative

Zurich / Shanghai / New York. May 18, 2016. Swiss brands enjoy a fabulous reputation in the world. Products Made in Switzerland are liked by many. 74% of the surveyed Chinese, Americans and Germans like Swiss brands. In important image dimensions such as “quality”, “prestige”, “trustworthiness” or “environmental protection”, federal brands can look forward to high approval rates according to the study of the Zurich management consultancy globeone. This is particularly the case in China, where 87% of respondents from the top ten major cities say they like Swiss brands. Nevertheless, the Swiss brand origin can in many cases be communicated even more actively in order to exploit the potential even better.

Hidden Innovation and Low Price Performance Ratio

The perception of innovation is quite different: Although Switzerland is one of the world’s most innovative nations, it is hardly noticed internationally. Only 16% of respondents think that Swiss products are innovative. “The big discrepancy in the field of ‘innovation’ is surprising here,” notes globeone CEO Carina Hauswald. “Numerous international rankings such as the ‘Global Innovation Index‘ or ‘Innovation Union Scoreboard 2015’ have for many years awarded Switzerland as the most innovative nation in the world. But this does not seem to have arrived globally. “Added to this is the cost factor: less than 20% of respondents say that consumers offer Swiss brands” good value for money “.

Brand Awareness Still Expandable – Lead Rolex & Nestlé

The average brand awareness of the 15 best-known Swiss brands is also expandable at 49%, but at a relatively good level. Among the best known brands are consumer and luxury goods such as Rolex (80%), Nestlé (78%), Lindt (65%), OMEGA (60%) and Swatch (58%). However, brand awareness is very different in different nations. For example, while OMEGA is known to 78% of Chinese, only 36% of Americans say they know it. Regional differences are also evident in the popularity of the Swiss brands. The affinity of many Chinese for status symbols such as luxury watches is also reflected in the popularity ratings for OMEGA and Rolex. Both achieve much higher scores in the Middle Kingdom than in Germany and the USA.

Positive Positioning Potential Underused

In other areas, too, Swiss brands are not yet using their full potential: in the three countries surveyed, Switzerland is the most prominent country of origin of services. Nevertheless, many Swiss brands are still relatively unknown or do not yet play this strength to their advantage. “Significant added value is lost here, because a skillful integration of the brand origin” Made in Switzerland “or” Designed in Switzerland “could convey important image aspects more credibly and efficiently than with alternative advertising arguments,” comments Carina Hauswald, CEO of globeone in Zurich.

First edition of GO studies on consumer perception of Swiss brands in key global markets (Germany, China and the USA).


  • Representative survey among US, Chinese and German consumers (n = 1,500)
  • Survey period: Q4 2015


  • Identification of the Country-of-Origin image (COO image)
  • Identification of strengths and weaknesses of Swiss brands as well as untapped potential for Swiss companies and the Swiss economy as a whole

The Country-of-Origin is defined as the country where the headquarters of a company marketing a product or brand is located. This does not require local manufacturing.

Country-of-Origin effect is one of the most analyzed phenomena in consumer behavior in international markets. Consumers and customers associate positive or negative attributes with companies, products or brands when they know which country they come from.

  • Increase perceived quality and prestige of a brand
  • Promote consumers’ purchase intentions in favor of a brand
  • Has potential for increasing brand performance dependent on industry and product category
  • ABB, Credit Suisse, Lindt, Glencore, Nestlé, Novartis, Omega, Rolex, Roche, Ricola, Swatch, Schindler, Swiss Life, Swiss Re, UBS, Victorinox, Zurich Insurance


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